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Trudeau, Macron lay down hard line on U.S. tariffs ahead of G7

Canada and France are united going into the G7 summit and will demand that U.S. President Donald Trump reverse trade tariffs on steel and aluminum. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they will “show the U.S. President that his unacceptable actions are hurting his own citizens.” French President Emmanuel Macron was also blunt, saying tariffs on European, Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum are “unilateral and illegal.” Trudeau and Macron emphasized their desire to promote shared values, such as democracy and global institutions, and their commitment to gender equality and the fight against climate change.

But if one thing is clear, Mr. Trump intends to put up a fight. On Wednesday, his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters that the U.S. administration won’t back down when it comes to trade. Mr. Trump will likely be an outsider when it comes to other issues too, such as Iran, given his decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

But Canada has a card up its sleeve – its looming tariffs on American exports are strategic. The strategy? Hit Donald Trump in swing states and those that supported him in the 2016 presidential race (for subscribers).

To catch up on the trade war, read our explainer on Mr. Trump’s tariffs (for subscribers).

Ontario election under way

Ontarians are at the polls today until 9 p.m., and we’ll soon know who the province's next leader is. Who votes and where will play a big part in determining the election outcome.

Regardless, the new premier will face a bigger economic challenge than predicted, David Parkinson writes. All three major parties’ plans are based on optimistic assumptions about where the province is headed. In reality, Ontario is set for a demographic crunch – an aging population means slower growth in the labour force, which will significantly limit the economy’s growth. Whoever wins Thursday’s election will need to catch on quickly (for subscribers).

A historic win may also be in the cards for Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner. According to polls, he’s in the lead in Guelph. If he wins, he would become the first-ever elected Green Party member of the provincial legislature. “People are saying they’re just sick and tired of the three parties, all the political spin, all the vague answers, all the attack ads, so here in Guelph, I think that’s partially why I’m getting so much support,” Mr. Schreiner says.

For one last refresh before you cast your ballot, read our election guide, and check back at for up-to-date coverage of the official results.

Higher rates, stricter mortgage rules curbing home prices but debt still a key risk: BoC

The Bank of Canada says higher interest rates and stricter mortgage regulations are curbing Canadian home prices and household debt levels. However, outstanding debt continues to be a key risk to Canada’s financial system.

Although optimistic, the Bank of Canada believes that it is still too early to gauge the full impact of tighter mortgage standards, the latest of which kicked in at the start of 2018. As well, trade tariffs recently imposed by the United States, amid concerns about the prospect of an all-out international trade war, are hanging over the economic outlook this year.

The Bank of Canada also warned it will need to act soon to keep inflation from pushing past its 2-per-cent target, likely signalling a July interest-rate hike. The odds of a July rate hike is now just shy of 80 per cent, up from slightly more than 50 per cent on Tuesday. Overall, the door seems kicked wide open for a rate increase.

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Canada’s main stock index rose slightly, led by gains in the energy sector, which benefited from rising oil prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.85 points at 16,192.78. The S&P and Nasdaq fell on Thursday with the technology sector snapping its recent rally while investors kept an eye on trade tensions and waited for U.S. and European central bank meetings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94.81 points to 25,241.2, the S&P 500 lost 1.98 points to 2,770.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 54.17 points to 7,635.07.

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While David Suzuki is often associated with peace signs, protest signs greeted him at the University of Alberta today where he accepted an honorary degree. The university’s selection has been under fire since it was announced in April, with some arguing Mr. Suzuki’s anti-oil-sands stance hurts Alberta. Still, Mr. Suzuki gave his speech and walked away with an honorary doctorate of science.


As trade war escalates, era of the Trump whisperer comes to an end

“Mr. Trump once seemed to make a few friends on the world stage, and though he didn’t change course for the sake of the relationship, he was often willing to ease a little, or play down differences or keep talking. Now, his attitude is different.… That may have always been Mr. Trump’s temperament. But it also seems clear he’s now surrounded by a team that reinforces his own instincts” (for subscribers). – Campbell Clark

The CRTC’s fundamental mistake: Broadcasting is the internet, but the internet is not (solely) broadcasting

The CRTC maintains that internet access is “almost wholly driven by demand for audio and video content.” However, its own data contradicts that conclusion, since it also notes that 75 per cent of wireless internet traffic is not audio or video. The reality is that internet use is about far more than streaming videos or listening to music. Those are obviously popular activities, but numerous studies point to the fact that they are not nearly as popular as communicating through messaging and social networks, electronic commerce, internet banking, or searching for news, weather and other information.“ – Michael Geist

Tasty rates now available for money you can afford to lock up for a year

“The upward creep of rates can be seen clearly in what banks, trust companies and credit unions are offering people willing to lock in money for a year with guaranteed investment certificates. There are several options that will give you returns that meet two important requirements. One, they beat the latest inflation rate. Two, they beat the returns on high-interest savings accounts. There should always be a premium for locking your money into an investment as opposed to keeping it in a liquid savings account (for subscribers).” – Rob Carrick


Warm weather signals it’s time to unwind and fire up the grill. Beppi Crosariol picks eight red wines to pair with your go-to BBQ staples this summer (for subscribers).


Even New Yorkers can’t afford a Toronto home

JunJun Wu came to Toronto from New York expecting less-expensive housing. But that’s not what the 26-year-old found: “The apartments that I saw were so tiny, which was shocking. Compared to my studio in New York, these were half the size.” While Toronto’s housing market still isn’t as pricey as Vancouver’s, prices have soared in the last five years (and another 3 per cent this year) pricing many out of the market – especially millennials.

Evening Update is written by Amy O’Kruk. 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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