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Canada Evening Update: Liberals expanding program to protect foreign workers; Mexican President urges Trump to back down from tariff threat

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Liberal government expanding program to protect foreign workers in Canada from exploitation

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Starting next week, the Liberal government is rolling out several new measures to protect vulnerable migrant workers and immigrants living in Canada. Temporary foreign workers who find themselves in abusive job situations will be able to apply for open work permits, which will allow them to find other work in Canada.

This is meant to address a number of documented cases across the country of migrant workers facing labour exploitation, human-rights abuses and squalid housing situations.

This comes after Globe and Mail investigations into foreign workers falling prey to a web of labour trafficking in Canada, and a second about employers taking cash from foreign workers seeking permanent resident status.

Mexico’s President urges Trump to back down from tariff threat, calls on country to unite

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged U.S. President Donald Trump to back down from threats of imposing punitive tariffs on June 10 if Mexico does not halt the flow of illegal immigration from Central America to the U.S.

Lopez Obrador told reporters that the country will “overcome this attitude of the U.S. government.”

At a press conference Friday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican imports in a migration dispute does not involve Canada. She told reporters it was a “bilateral issue, just as the border question or the management of our shared border with the United States is a bilateral issue between Canada and the United States.”

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Stockes tumbled Friday on fears of an expanding trade war.

Read more: How Trump’s trade tariff threat has put Mexico’s back to the wall

Wildfires rage in Alberta as homes in Metis community destroyed, man sings gospel

Wildfires continue to leave Alberta in a haze as an official with the Metis Settlements General Council said on Friday that 14 homes in a northern Metis community have been destroyed.

There are concerns more properties may be consumed as the Chuckegg Creek wildfire had grown to 2,600 square kilometres as of Friday. The same fire forced 4,000 High Level residents out of their homes more than a week ago, and they’re still waiting to return.

About 800 people live in the settlement, which is about 760 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and has an estimated 245 houses.

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Across Alberta, there were 29 active fires and 10 were considered out-of-control.

Glenn McGillivray: “Really, all you need for a large, aggressive wildfire is low relative humidity, the right fuel and a source of ignition. High temperatures and brisk winds will add to the risk, but aren’t obligatory ingredients.”

Federal government posts $14.9-billion deficit in March

The federal government’s finances recorded a $14.9-billion deficit in March alone, finishing the fiscal year in the red. The rush of year-end spending means the 2018-19 deficit is on track to come in around $11.8-billion.

Last month’s report, which covered the first 11 months of the fiscal year, showed the federal government was in surplus heading into March.

While the March report covers the full fiscal year, the official year-end results will not be announced until the fall.

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WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR

WikiLeaks’ Assange showing signs of ‘psychological torture’: A UN human rights investigator said on Friday that Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a “politicized show trial."

Huawei cancels meetings: China’s technology giant ordered its employees to cancel technical meetings with American contacts and has sent home numerous U.S. employees working at its Chinese headquarters, the Financial Times reported Friday.

Roger Federer reaches milestone: The iconic Swiss eased past Norway’s Casper Ruud on Friday to become the oldest male player to reach the fourth round at the French Open in almost 50 years. Federer also played in his 400th Grand Slam match.

Judge orders Facebook to hand over records: In a 57-page decision on Thursday, a U.S. judge ordered Facebook to give shareholders emails and other records concerning how the social media giant handles data privacy after data for 87 million users was accessed by Cambridge Analytica in 2015.

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Newfoundland man pleads guilty: Lucas Dawe, 20, pleaded guilty to the charge of interfering with human remains after a skeleton went missing from a cemetery. The Conception Bay South man still faces charges of possession of stolen property – the remains –and disobeying a court order related to prior theft charges.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as investors digested Trump’s shock threat of tariffs on Mexico.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was unofficially down 51.75 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 16,036.49.

Global equities tumbled and safe-haven sovereign bonds surged after Trump’s threat added to fears that escalating trade wars will push the U.S. and other major economies into recession.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 356.74 points, or 1.42 per cent, to 24,813.14, the S&P 500 lost 36.6 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 2,752.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 113.09 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 7,454.62.

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TALKING POINTS

We must learn to co-operate with, not fear, China

Learning to talk to, work with and learn from China will require a certain humility and respect for a culture that is very different and much older.” - Chandran Nair

The best way to make Toronto sports tickets cheaper? Win more

The Raptors’ decision to set reasonable ticket prices is good PR – or at least avoids potential anger that it would price-gouge its fan base. But it also reflects a miscalculation of how obscenely fans would be willing to spend – whether because they ardently love the team, they have money to burn, or they’ve spotted a new bandwagon.” -Moshe Lander

Physician, heal thyself: the potential crisis of conscience in Canadian medicine

That’s when disaster struck – not because of a problem with the research, nor an unlucky break, but because of a reckless act that triggered a grim change in the course of my life.” - Gabrielle Horne

LIVING BETTER

Whether you’re planning a tropical getaway or are staying poolside, one thing to consider is how to maximize your time at play. With the right wardrobe, it’s possible to move from a leisurely day at the beach and then glide effortlessly into your evening plans. Here are the right outfits for an easy, stylish summer day.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Emily and Reg Booy sing softly to their baby, Annalyn, who was born nearly three months prematurely, in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Vancouver hospital.

Their rendition of You Are My Sunshine is altered slightly, according to a music therapist’s direction. They swap out the word “never” to sing, “You’ll always know, dear, how much I love you.”

The Booys are part of a pilot project at B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, one of several Canadian hospitals providing music therapy for babies with complex medical needs. The program personalizes songs – from folk tunes to Metallica hits – and encourages parents to sing them to their infants as lullabies.

Similar programs, inspired by one in the United States, are being offered to the youngest of hospital patients in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and London, Ont.

Read here why hospitals are prescribing lullabies more and more.

The Booys sing to their daughter, Annalyn, while she taps her feet on the keys of her toy which lights up and plays music to her touch. BC Women's Hospital, Vancouver, B.C. May 28, 2019.

Jackie Dives for The Globe and M/The Globe and Mail

Evening Update is written by Shelby Blackley. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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