WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Trudeau announces Canadian-led NATO mission in Iraq as Trump complains about defence spending
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will lead a new NATO military training mission in Iraq for one year. Up to 250 Canadian troops will be posted to Baghdad to help protect and guide an operation that will instruct Iraqi troops to take on Islamic State militants and other threats to their country, Steven Chase writes.
The announcement came as Trudeau is in Brussels for a NATO summit where Canadian and European allies are under fire by U.S. President Donald Trump for what he considers insufficient defence spending.
While there, the Prime Minister met with Trump for informal talks on trade. It was the first face-to-face encounter the two have had since the explosive G7 meetings last month in Quebec. A spokeswoman for Trudeau says the conversation topics included efforts to revise NAFTA and touched on the implications of a new Mexican president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, for those negotiations.
Bank of Canada raises interest rates, says trade hit likely to be bigger than earlier forecast
The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate again today, as widely expected by analysts and investors. But there is considerably more uncertainty surrounding the pace of future increases promised by the bank, Barrie McKenna writes, as a tariff war intensifies between the United States and its main trading partners, including Canada. The central bank increased its key rate to 1.5 per cent from 1.25 per cent. That rate, which sets the trend for rates on mortgages and other loans, has not been this high since December, 2008. (for subscribers)
U.S. President Donald Trump said this week that he intends to go ahead with tariffs on another US$200-billion of Chinese goods. China warned it will hit back. Trump is also threatening tariffs on imports of cars and parts from Canada and other countries.
What does this mean for you? The era of fantastically low interest rates has ended, Rob Carrick writes. He offers these five steps to adjust your finances to the new reality. RBC has raised its prime lending rate to 3.7 per cent following the BoC move - and it’s not the only financial institution to hike rates. For investors, the announcement, and the growing probability of more hikes before year-end, suggest that the future will be very different than the past for Canadian banking stocks.
Doug Ford government will revert to old sex-ed curriculum in Ontario
Ontario’s education minister says the sex-ed curriculum taught to children in the coming school year will be an older version, not the controversial updated program brought in by the previous Liberal government. Lisa Thompson says the ministry will be moving quickly to consult parents on how to update the curriculum and details on that process will be coming soon. Premier Doug Ford promised to repeal and replace the controversial sex-ed curriculum when he ran for the Progressive Conservative leadership and repeated the pledge during the spring election.
At Queen’s Park today, veteran P.C. legislator Ted Arnott was elected Speaker of the House. He won on the first ballot against Randy Hillier, Jane McKenna and Rick Nicholls. The election of the speaker begins a rare summer sitting at the Ontario legislature that is expected to last at least two weeks. The new Tory government says that during the sitting, it will introduce legislation to scrap cap and trade, end the York University strike and cancel a wind project in Eastern Ontario.
Tim Hortons plans China expansion, testing food delivery in three Canadian cities
Restaurant Brands International says it plans to open 1,500 Tim Hortons outlets in China over the next decade. The move into China, in a joint venture with private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group, follows last year’s entry into the Philippines, Britain, Spain and Mexico. Tim Hortons will keep its beverage offering the same in China but will customize its food menu for the local market, president Alex Macedo says. (for subscribers)
Back in Canada, Tims is testing food delivery with the Skip the Dishes app, through 148 restaurants in three cities: Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa. The company says it hopes to expand the delivery test beyond those select cities in the coming months. In September, it plans to test-trial two more changes: a kids menu and a loyalty program.
Croatia beats England 2-1 to face France in World Cup final
Mario Mandzukic scored in the 109th minute as Croatia came from behind to beat England 2-1 after extra time and reach its first World Cup final. The team will face France on Sunday in Moscow.
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Canada’s main stock index fell today as threats of a full-scale trade war between China and the U.S. led to a sharp decline in energy and materials prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 131.40 points at 16,417.32. U.S. stocks also fell, breaking a four-session streak of gains after Washington’s threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200-billion worth of Chinese goods fanned trade war fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.21 points to 24,700.45, the S&P 500 lost 19.81 points to 2,774.03 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.59 points to 7,716.61.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL
We got our first video glimpse of the “Wild Boars” soccer team since the 12 boys and their coach were rescued from a flooded cave system in Thailand. The clip released today shows them smiling and waving from their hospital beds after an ordeal that has gripped the world.
The rescue has a Canadian connection. Erik Brown, who grew up in Langley, B.C., and owns a diving company in Thailand, joined the rescue team. He posted a photo of himself with other divers on his Facebook page under: “9 days. 7 missions and 63 hours inside Tham Laung Cave. Success.” His family says he is safe, happy and very tired.
The Canadian visa process is broken. And it must be fixed
“Right from the outset the very notion of visas and who needs them points to differential treatment for people coming from countries that are wealthier, have closer trade and other relationships with Canada, and are fortunate enough not to face situations of war and serious human-rights abuses. When the very premise of the system is discriminatory in this way, the process complex, decisions opaque and the outcomes often arbitrary and unfair, human-rights concerns absolutely do arise.” - Alex Neve, secretary-general, Amnesty International Canada
A futile shouting match on Toronto’s gun violence
“A smart, forceful police response is obviously part of the answer to gun violence. So is a smart, generous social response. John Tory, Toronto’s mayor, wants both: programs to keep kids away from gang activity, policing to round up the gang leaders. As Tony Blair, Britain’s former prime minister, once famously put it, ‘It has always been absurd that the debate about crime in this country has some talking of its causes and others of the need to punish criminals. Sweep away the dogma – tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.’ ” - Marcus Gee
In cooling housing market, it’s time to get reacquainted with active saving
Hot housing has been the feel-good personal finance story of the 2000s so far. Enjoy your gains, but recognize how your behaviour as a saver has been altered for the worse and then make adjustments for when housing does actually cool off. If you’re in debt, especially non-mortgage debt with a comparatively high interest rate, get that paid off soonest. Then, redirect at least some of your former debt repayment money into savings and long-term investments. - Rob Carrick
Want to make the most of your summer vacation photos? Whether you’re shooting breathtaking mountains or city skylines, here are tips to take the best landscape pics: Get to know your camera and all of its capabilities before you leave. Focus on composition: The more time spent on that will likely result in pictures that need less editing or post-processing. Work with what you’ve got: With smartphone shooting capabilities becoming increasingly sophisticated, there is no need to splurge on an expensive camera. And practice, practice, practice.
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Former B.C. Mountie who advocated for change within force dies by suicide
Former RCMP officers who suffered sexual harassment and bullying on the job are grieving the suicide of an ex-Mountie who advocated for change within the force they say ruined so many lives. Catherine Galliford, who was one of the first Mounties to speak out about her experiences at the hands of fellow officers, said she was devastated to learn that Krista Carle, with whom she graduated from Depot division in Regina, had taken her own life. Carle worked for the RCMP for 19 years but took medical discharge in 2009 following sexual harassment on the job in Alberta, before she moved to British Columbia. Galliford said she received a call from Carle’s sister last Friday saying that the former Mountie killed herself on Vancouver Island, leaving behind two teenagers who were being raised by their father because of her post-traumatic stress disorder.
The superiority of steel: Ontario company builds prefab homes from recycled cars
Green Terra Homes admits steel is a tough sell but is determined to spread the word, one home at a time. That’s not to say the Trenton, Ont., company won’t make you a home out of wood, Dave LeBlanc writes. It’s just that they think steel is the real deal. The customer gets a much more rigid structure that lasts 10 generations, and can be confident in the knowledge termites won’t snack on it and that it consumed six recycled cars instead of 50 trees, says Green Terra operations manager Max Broojerd, who points out that a steel home’s only waste product is “the little pucks” that they punch out of the studs.