Skip to main content

Good evening,


Steelmakers press Trudeau to slap import taxes on U.S. steel immediately

Canada’s steelmakers are pressing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to slap tariffs on U.S. steel imports now rather than waiting until July 1. The planned move is in retaliation for U.S. import taxes levied on Canadian steel and aluminum by U.S. President by Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump took to Twitter again this morning to take aim at Canada in a mounting war of words with Mr. Trudeau over trade. Since imposing the tariffs on 30 countries last week, Mr. Trump has blasted Ottawa far more than Mexico or any of the European Union countries he also hit. “Canada has all sorts of trade barriers on our Agricultural products. Not acceptable!” he tweeted. On a Sunday morning TV news program, Mr. Trudeau said it was “insulting and unacceptable” for Mr. Trump to portray Canada as a national security threat to justify tariffs. The Prime Minister is not alone in his criticism. At a meeting in B.C. on the weekend, G7 finance ministers and central bankers asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment” to Washington over its position that tariffs are justified for reasons of national security. (for subscribers)

Just how ugly is this trade war going to get? “With last Thursday’s announcement by the Trump administration that it was following through with clearly illegitimate steel and aluminum tariffs, the gloves are off on trade, and the world is venturing into a bare-knuckle slugfest,” writes former Canadian trade negotiator Andrei Sulzenko.

Before the Ontario election on Thursday, here’s a breakdown of the NDP and PC platforms - and what their pricey promises could mean for the province

Days before the election, one thing seems clear: neither the Ontario NDP nor the PCs are showing much fiscal prudence. The parties are neck-and-neck in the polls, and their platforms each promise about $10-billion in extra annual spending.

The parties’ approaches to key Ontario issues such as hydro, taxes, education and health vary greatly, but both could use reality checks; for example, on the deficit. Deficit-fuelled spending can be justified during recessions, but the parties may add debt when the economy is at, or near, its best. “Will a future government be forced to cut spending and raise revenues when the economy is hurting because the next government chose to over-spend when times were good?” asks former federal parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page.

One problem is that Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford’s election platform gives voters little to go on, The Globe writes. It’s vague, short (around a quarter of the size of the NDP’s) and released barely a week ahead of election day. Mr. Ford fails to include deficit or surplus projections, and although the platform is full of spending promises, it says virtually nothing about hikes in government revenue or cuts in government service. Voters are left without a way to assess how Mr. Ford would cut or tax, and instead asked to put their faith in him.

At the MPP level, Toronto Police are investigating the conduct of an officer running for the PCs in Scarborough-Guildwood. The police launched a professional-standards investigation into allegations that Roshan Nallaratnam sent a threatening e-mail last week to almost 100 people. The e-mail, which Mr. Nallaratnam says is fake, begins with an expletive, then “… don’t do nasty campaign against me. I will teach the lesson after election.” A spokesperson for Mr. Ford also called the e-mail fake. The Toronto Police said the investigation has just begun.

Rob Carrick writes that a winning strategy in politics these days is to promise to tax the rich. Variations on the tax-the-rich theme worked for the Liberals in the 2015 federal election and for the BC NDP in 2017. Ontario’s NDP have their own ambitious spending plan that will be funded in part by tax increases on the wealthy and on business. For example, a tax of 3 per cent on cars sold for more than $90,000. But some worry the tax hikes may hurt the economy; further, the move may not produce the desired results. In 2015, the New Brunswick government tried it and found the highest earners ended up lowering their tax bills thanks to tax-smart accountants, financial planners and advisers.

Unpublished Chinese censorship document reveals sweeping effort to eradicate online political content

An unpublished document shows China has cracked down on the country’s online broadcasting platforms, banning content that includes tattoos, flirtatious dancing, images of leaders and Western political critiques. The document, obtained by The Globe and Mail and said to have been issued by China’s central internet authority earlier this year, is likely tied to the rapid growth of the country’s online video services: Hundreds of millions of people in China watch short video clips and live-stream video every month.

As new avenues open for creativity, obscenity and political protest, the document acts as a master guideline for content blocking. It targets political dissent, but a lot of other content too, such as sensitive information about the environment, activities that spur large gatherings or anything deemed creepy (for example swallowing “weird stuff”). “I go through each category, this is the theme I see: a heightened sense of regime insecurity,” said Yaxue Cao, the founder and editor of

This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this online, or if someone forwarded this e-mail to you and you want to receive it in your inbox, you can sign up for Evening Update and all Globe newsletters here. Have feedback? Let us know what you think.


Canada’s main stock index rose, boosted by gains in the technology and financial sectors even as losses in energy and mining stocks weighed on the index. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 8.70 points at 16,052.24. On Wall Street, the major indexes climbed higher as rising technology and consumer stocks countered a drop in energy shares pulled down by falling oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.72 per cent to 24,813.69, the S&P 500 gained 0.45 per cent to 2,746.89 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.69 per cent to 7,606.46.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.


Tennis superstar Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open today with an injury, putting a stop to a highly anticipated match against rival Maria Sharapova. This was her first Grand Slam appearance since the birth of her daughter, while Sharapova was returning to action at Roland Garros after a doping ban. But the drama was building off the court this weekend, as Williams finally spoke about an anecdote Sharapova included in her autobiography a year ago, calling it “100-per-cent hearsay.”


Who deserves to win Ontario? Nobody

“What I really want is a minority government that doesn’t last long and then a do-over with a different bunch of leaders. Is that too much to ask? The irony of this bizarre election is that Ontario is not a wacky province. We are, generally speaking, a prudent, dull and middle-of-the-road sort of place. We don’t usually go in for separatists, socialists or right-wing rabble-rousers. It feels as if we got into this mess by accident.” – Margaret Wente

Ontario has lost its political centre

“The political centre is collapsing in Ontario, polarizing between social democrats and populist conservatives. We thought it couldn’t happen here. It’s happening here. And it poses a grave threat to the Liberal Party, both provincially and federally. We don’t know yet whether Andrea Horwath’s NDP or Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives will form a government after the election. But both offer radical change. No party has plans to balance the provincial budget, align new spending with available resources, seek practical, incremental change. For both parties, the centre is the enemy.” (for subscribers) - John Ibbitston

Why Kathleen Wynne’s early concession was a fitting final act to her campaign

“Her central campaign has been a strange animal. Operationally, from nice-looking events for Ms. Wynne to sharp opposition research on opponents, it has functioned at least as well as the other parties. But it has lacked a consistent, overarching strategy. At various points this calendar year, Ms. Wynne has campaigned from the left and the centre; argued too many people are being left behind by economic growth and defended the growth as too strong to risk; presented herself as a change agent and tried to make a case for steady hands; portrayed Mr. Ford as a unique threat, and lumped Ms. Horwath with him as equally bad. Meanwhile, she has attempted to break through with a series of slogans and catch phrases – ‘Sorry, not sorry’ is one of the more recent ones – promptly abandoned when they didn’t get traction.” (for subscribers) - Adam Radwanski

Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish

“‘We will continue to make arguments based on logic and common sense and hope that eventually they will prevail against an administration that doesn’t always align itself around those principles,’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in response to recent tariffs imposed by the United States. Canadians are left with the impression that President Donald Trump is an irrational buffoon who is shooting himself in the foot with his trade policies. In fact, contrary to common (and, apparently, Canadian political executive) sense, the U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from President Trump’s perspective.” - Christian Leuprecht and Roger Bradbury


Trying to get an edge when it comes to your health and your waistline? Food scales can help you eat fewer calories meal by meal. The eyeball method of sizing up portions can be off by more than 100 calories. By weighing portions, research suggests dieters are more successful at losing weight. If you’re planning to slim down, start with calorie-dense foods (such as meat, fish, cheese, nuts, pasta and grains). One bonus is that after weighing and measuring for a few weeks, you’ll be able to eyeball your food more accurately, scale or not.


Act of love: The life and death of Donna Mae Hill

The morning of May 17, 2018, my mother ate her last meal in the breakfast room of the Passage, a hotel in downtown Basel, Switzerland, Lawrence Hill writes. Mom had black coffee, a croissant and a piece of cheese. She lingered over a small chocolate truffle that I had picked out for her at 7 a.m. that day in a store in the old quarter of the city. My mother had always had a weakness for chocolate and I had a weakness for indulging her. Mom died that day. Her name was Donna Mae Hill, and she was 90 years old. She died by her own hand. I am heartbroken, but I am also happy. My mother got her wish, which she had expressed verbally and in writing to her family, to lawyers and to doctors for some 40 years: When it came time to die, she wanted to exit on her own terms.

Evening Update is written by Amy O’Kruk and S.R. Slobodian. 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.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe