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Canada Evening Update: Trump, NATO allies at odds ahead of president’s meeting with Putin; retiring Hydro One CEO’s multimillion-dollar compensation

Good evening,


Trump, NATO allies at odds ahead of president’s meeting with Putin

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The first part of Donald Trump’s European tour ended in confusion today, with the U.S. President boasting that he had personally convinced the other 28 members of the NATO alliance to dramatically increase their military spending, Mark MacKinnon writes.

That’s not what happened, say other leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who billed a 10-year defence-spending plan as Canada’s answer to Mr. Trump’s spending call. There were also conflicting reports about whether Mr. Trump had threatened to pull the United States out of NATO if the other allies didn’t shoulder more of the spending burden.

The differing views undermined the alliance’s efforts to look united ahead of a summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki. Many NATO members are worried that Mr. Trump will make a deal with Mr. Putin that compromises European security as part of a wider pact.

Ahead of that meeting, Mr. Trump today arrived for his first official visit to Britain. It’s off to a contentious start, with the President challenging Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy and highlighting her political troubles, Paul Waldie writes. His four-day visit includes tea with the Queen.

Retiring Hydro One CEO can get $9-million compensation package, Globe analysis reveals

A day after Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt announced his immediate retirement and the board resigned en masse, a Globe analysis reveals a multimillion-dollar exit package. In addition to the $400,000 announced yesterday, Mr. Schmidt can get a cash payment of more than $8-million to compensate him for stock awards he’d otherwise lose, plus bonus and pension payments approaching an additional $1-million. Had he resigned rather than retired, he would have had to walk away from the company’s lucrative stock-based compensation plans, David Milstead writes. (for subscribers)

Mr. Schmidt was repeatedly a target for Premier Doug Ford during the Ontario election campaign. Mr. Ford promised at several campaign events to fire the utility chief he dubbed “$6-million man.”

If the departures are popular with voters unhappy about expensive electricity, Bay Street took a different view: Analysts are downgrading their outlook for Hydro One as shares were hit hard today. (for subscribers)

New plan to tackle gun violence in Toronto puts more officers on the street

Toronto Police will be boosting the ranks of front-line officers overnight throughout July and August to combat a surge of gun and gang violence. The plan involves an additional 200 officers being present between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. for the next eight weeks. Chief Mark Saunders announced the plan today at a press conference with Mayor John Tory, report Molly Hayes and Nadine Yousift. The increased police presence is expected to come through overtime shifts, and Mr. Tory confirmed that the city will be footing the $3-million bill. The death toll in the city’s wave of shootings this year reached 26 on July 8.

Ontario scraps rebates for buyers of electric vehicles

The Ontario government is eliminating rebates given to buyers of electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, a move that will delay the adoption of zero-emission vehicles that are considered a crucial part of the longer-term effort to fight climate change, Greg Keenan writes. The Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford said it made the move after cancelling the previous Liberal government’s cap-and-trade program, revenues from which financed incentives to purchasers of the vehicles. (For subscribers)

Separately, in its throne speech today, the new provincial government reiterated its commitment to end cap-and-trade, and move forward on lowering taxes, auditing public spending and making alcohol available in corner stores.

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Canada’s main stock index rose to its latest new record as gains in technology, industrial and financial stocks played down concerns of escalating U.S.-China trade war. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 150.10 points to 16,567.42. The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart, with the loonie trading at 75.95 U.S. cents.

U.S. stocks also climbed as top technology names hit record highs and industrials rebounded: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 225.45 points to 24,925.9, the S&P 500 gained 24.31 points to 2,798.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 107.31 points to 7,823.92.

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The list of Emmy Award nominees released today is rich with homegrown talent. Canadian actresses Tatiana Maslany and Sandra Oh are both up for best actress in a drama series, for Orphan Black and Killing Eve, respectively. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, hosted by the Toronto-born comedian, received a nod for outstanding variety talk series, and Ms. Bee is nominated for outstanding writing in a variety series.


Good sex-ed is a vaccine that protects all students

“We accept, as a society, something called ‘herd immunity.’ That is, we vaccinate our children against the outbreak of disease, recognizing that if enough of them are immunized it gives protection to the herd as a whole, including the kids who can’t get vaccinated for health reasons. I’d argue the same principle is at work here: When enough kids are taught about respect and consent and healthy relationships, when they’re given good and useful information that does not originate from a meme or some dodgy website or playground gossip, they’ll all be better off in the end. Unfortunately, they have to survive adults’ ignorance first.” - Elizabeth Renzetti (for subscribers)

We may already have passed peak Trump

“For the Republican establishment, this President’s usefulness may be on the wane. Yes, he helped deliver a tax cut that favours their wealthy supporters. And with his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court will have a conservative majority that could last a generation. But Mr. Trump’s excesses could damage Republican re-election prospects in November’s midterms and in 2020. The tariff wars are bad for business. The cruelty of his decision to separate the children of border-crossers from their parents ignited a firestorm of protest.” – John Ibbitson

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Redrawing the employment map – one telecommuter at a time

“Living in Vermont or New Brunswick or wherever while getting a paycheque from another locale is an idea that could benefit players on all sides. From the worker’s point of view, it could afford them a lower cost of living and perhaps a more peaceful life. From the state or province’s point of view, it would be even better. With new workers moving in, buying houses, shopping and paying taxes, revenues would go up. There is a lot to be said for this approach in places where health-care costs keep growing and the tax base is not.” – Linda Nazareth, economist and author (for subscribers)


Nothing ends vacation bliss faster than the dread of returning to an overwhelming amount of work. Try some of these tips from entrepreneurs and business leaders. Come back on a Wednesday or Thursday: Working only a few days before a weekend off can help you ease into work. Don’t go back to work the first day after vacation: But use that off time to lay out what you plan to accomplish when you return. Read the most recent e-mails first: Some messages are at the end of a chain, and the issue may have been resolved or you can more quickly get up to speed. (for subscribers)


How veganism went from niche diet to cultural staple

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“It’s significant that our collective perception of veganism has evolved: We think of it as something accessible and appealing, Julie Van Rosendaal writes. As what we eat becomes more entwined with our social consciousness, food choices are shifting toward personal and political statements we often broadcast to our friends, co-workers and social-media audiences. Those making the choice to eat plant-based meals, whether occasionally (hey, #MeatlessMonday) or all the time, are buoyed by blogs, Instagram accounts, cookbooks, YouTube channels, Netflix documentaries and an influx of menu offerings and plant-based products on store shelves. Going meat-free isn’t as challenging as it was for vegans of the eighties, when you had to seek out tahini and no one had heard of quinoa.”

First person: Why do so many people turn their noses up at e-readers?

As paper editions were to me before, e-books are to me now. They are what I am used to and comfortable with. That word, comfort, is a key one, William Wren writes. When that softcover book I ordered arrived, I discovered it was 700 pages of small print, an inch and a half thick, and weighed considerably more than my e-book reader. I read the book. I enjoyed it. But I couldn’t begin to describe all the various yoga moves I invented trying to hold it and read it comfortably. I also squinted the entire time.

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian and Jacob Lorinc. 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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