Good morning,

An Ontario Superior Court judge has handed a strong rebuke to Ontario Premier Doug Ford this morning. Justice Edward Belobaba said the provincial government's move to cut in half the number of seats on Toronto's city council in the middle of the municipal election was unconstitutional. Expect a swift appeal.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay in Ottawa. If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this email newsletter to you, you can sign up for Politics Briefing and all Globe newsletters here. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Canadians were taken aback when Mexico announced a bilateral North American free-trade agreement deal with the United States last month. But Canadians shouldn't have been surprised, sources tell The Globe – Mexico only stabbed Canada in the back because Canada tried and failed to do the same thing to Mexico. NAFTA talks continue this week. U.S. officials still say Canada's protected dairy industry is the major obstacle to a deal, though negotiations are ongoing on other sticking points, such as the dispute resolution process.

Federal New Democrats are meeting in Surrey, B.C., this week for a strategy session before Parliament returns next week. With the party behind in the polls and in fundraising, MPs say they know they've got a steep hill to climb. "No one’s afraid of admitting there are challenges and things we need to work on," NDP caucus chair Matthew Dubé said.

This past summer, with its rising temperatures, raging wildfires and surging floods, shows we have a long way to go in adapting to the urgent threat of climate change, scientists say.

A dozen public-sector construction projects in Ontario are delayed or cancelled because of problems at a single contractor.

The Quebec election campaign is getting personal.

Senator Patrick Brazeau said he feels like he's starting to turn his life around after hitting rock bottom. "People always say there's a reason for everything. I still don't know what that reason is, but I'm just lucky to be here," he told CBC.

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And Mark Holland, the Liberals' new whip in the House of Commons, says he's approaching his new role as disciplinarian and organizer with a lot of empathy. "A good whip doesn’t whip. … A good whip pulls people together and gets them onto the same page," he told The Globe.

Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on Maxime Bernier's new party: "Perhaps it’s churlish to point out Mr. Bernier immediately followed the launch of his new venture by going on vacation. But as a minister under Stephen Harper, he seemed someone who valued work-life balance more than many colleagues."

Noha Aboueldahab (The Globe and Mail) on Canada's arms deal with Saudi Arabia: "That Canada continues to supply Saudi Arabia with arms, despite the horrific atrocities being committed in Yemen on a daily basis by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, is puzzling – if not absurd."

Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail) on NAFTA: "The most compelling reason for staying at the negotiating table and getting a deal is that trade is a long game. At best, Mr. Trump has six more years in the White House. Depending on his political and legal fortunes, his tenure could be significantly shorter. Canada needs a framework to navigate the current wave of U.S. protectionism, but also the post-Trump era."

Andrew Coyne (National Post) on NAFTA: "But Trump, to the extent he believes in anything, really believes in protectionism. Because he knows so little about the economy, or anything, really, and even more because he rejects on principle the advice of anyone who does know anything about anything, he cannot be expected not to do the crazy thing he threatens to do."

Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail) on Sweden's far-right: "In Hungary, Poland and Italy, parties of the far right now govern. And it means that Sweden now joins France and Denmark among countries where around a fifth of voters see nothing wrong with routinely casting a ballot for a party of intolerance."

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Fozia Alvi (The Globe and Mail) on Rohingya refugees from Myanmar: "The question is not whether genocide is happening again, as it did in the 1990s in Rwanda and Bosnia, but what Canada – with our reputation for generally being on the right side of history – will do about it. With lives on the line, we need to formally declare what is happening in Myanmar as a genocide, enabling us to take measures to isolate the Myanmarese government and army, and put pressure on our allies to do the same."

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