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Evening Update: Trump warns of ‘devastating’ taxes on Canadian cars amid NAFTA talks; Canada sheds jobs while U.S. employment surges

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Trump warns of ‘devastating’ taxes on Canadian cars

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U.S. President Donald Trump said today he does not want to hurt Canada’s economy but also warned that if he imposes taxes on cars it would be “devastating” for this country. Trump spoke to reporters on Air Force One while Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland was meeting in Washington with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They have been trying to reach a deal that would allow Canada to remain in a North American trade bloc with the U.S. and Mexico.

After a two-hour meeting, Freeland told reporters that “you could say at this very intense point that we are really in a continuous negotiation.” She did not say whether talks would continue later today or next week.

Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to Trump, said in a TV interview this morning that U.S. access to Canada’s protected dairy market is the single issue holding up the negotiations.

"The bad news," Barrie McKenna writes, "is that the concessions Ottawa appears ready to make to salvage NAFTA could deliver a lethal blow to supply management over the longer term, particularly in the dairy industry." (for subscribers)

A tale of two jobs reports: U.S. employment surges while Canada sheds positions

The economy lost 51,600 jobs last month, driving the unemployment rate up to 6 per cent, Statistics Canada says. The drop was fuelled by a loss of 92,000 part-time positions, but full-time jobs rose by 40,400. The surprising numbers − an increase of 5,000 jobs had been expected − led the loonie lower against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, U.S. job growth accelerated in August, with non-farm payrolls surging by 201,000 jobs, boosted by hiring at construction sites, wholesalers and professional and business services, the U.S. Labor Department said. Wages notched their largest annual increase in more than nine years. (for subscribers)

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CAQ government would expel immigrants in Quebec who fail to learn French within three years

Language politics surfaced on the Quebec campaign trail today as the Leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec promised that his government would force new immigrants to leave the province if they don’t learn French within three years. After two weeks of campaigning nearly devoid of language talk, François Legault said new immigrants would be given a temporary permit upon entry and then have three years to take language courses and pass a basic French-language test.

Watchdogs to crack down on how companies report financial results

Canadian securities regulators are moving to crack down on inconsistent disclosure practices that they say are leaving investors in the dark. The Canadian Securities Administrators organization has published new proposed regulations for the use of financial measures that don’t adhere to generally accepted accounting principles, often referred to as “non-GAAP” measures. The proposed rules, which are subject to a 90-day comment period that ends on Dec. 5, would give regulators stronger enforcement tools, making it easier to take regulatory action. (Alexandra Posadzki and David Milstead, for subscribers)

Ottawa probes Huawei equipment for security threats

The Canadian government has publicly acknowledged it has been conducting security tests since 2013 on telecommunication equipment sold in Canada by Chinese giant Huawei, a company the United States and Australia regard as a potential tool for state-sponsored cyberspying. Under pressure from the United States to ban Huawei from supplying equipment in Canada for new wireless cellular networks known as 5G, Ottawa has said safeguards are in place to prevent security breaches by the Chinese telecom firm. Until now, the government had refused to say how it is protecting Canadians in light of a law that requires China's companies to “support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work" when requested by the Beijing government. (Robert Fife and Steven Chase)

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MARKET WATCH

World share indexes limped toward their worst week in almost six months today and trading was volatile as investors weighed solid economic data against expectations for interest rate hikes and escalating U.S.-China trade tensions.

The good-news U.S. jobs report is cementing expectations for a third U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike for the year in late September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.33 points to 25,916.54, the S&P 500 lost 6.37 points to end at 2,871.68 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.19 points to 7,902.54.

Canada’s main stock index finished flat on Friday after on the surprise decline in jobs in August and as trade and tariff worries continued to weigh. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 10.67 points at 16,090.27.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

Drake apologized to moviegoers at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday after he bailed at the last minute on his opening-night event, but offered little explanation. He had been scheduled to introduce Monsters and Men, a film in which he is credited as executive producer. Instead, in a brief video introduction, he offered: “Unfortunately, I’m on tour right now.” That didn't sit well with some fans for a number of reasons: He pulled out of the event with only a few hours notice, while his tour schedule had been set for months. And it’s the second time in the past month that Drake has cancelled on Toronto. In August, he pulled out of his first tour date in the city “due to scheduling commitments,” showing up instead in Chicago, and has yet to announce a new date for ticket holders.

TALKING POINTS

A decade after the 2008 crash, we’re repeating its mistakes

"Over the next couple of days, the world economy ground to a halt, some of the mightiest financial institutions of the United States and Europe went bankrupt, markets crashed like never before and economic output and employment fell into a decline that wouldn’t recover for half a decade; its after-effects are still shaping our lives today. The terrifying aftermath of 2008 should have taught us some lasting lessons. Yet, as Columbia University economic historian Adam Tooze writes in his monumental history of 2008 and its after-effects, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, most of those lessons are being ignored."Doug Saunders

Kavanaugh protests are America at its best

"If there’s any time to stand up and yell, it’s now. The yelling will likely be fruitless, since the Republicans have the votes to confirm Mr. Kavanaugh. But it will serve to galvanize women to fight for reproductive rights at the state level, and to advocate for women on the margins who will be the most harmed by the overturning of Roe. They are the ones who won’t be able to travel for an abortion, to find child care, to afford time off work. The protesters are yelling for them, and what sounds like caterwauling to a bunch of senators sounds quite musical to the rest of us." - Elizabeth Renzetti (for subscribers)

The time has come to ban cellphones in the classroom

"The argument some parents make that kids should be linked to their phones at all times is terribly misguided. Many teachers, meantime, are frankly tired of fighting this fight and have given up. Others have decided it takes too much of their energy to police. But teachers and school administrators should develop some spine. When did we decide to let kids and their parents run the classroom?" - Gary Mason

Do the men of #MeToo deserve to be forgiven?

"For the vast majority of men found guilty of a sexual offence, even after serving a criminal sentence, they will never fully regain their lives, no matter how much they repent. Whether or not you believe these men should be forgiven, we should at least acknowledge the double standard that’s been created. We should be consistent in our narratives regarding whether sexual abusers – celebrity or otherwise – can be reformed, instead of willingly giving preferential treatment to a select lucky few." - Debra Soh, who writes about the science and politics of sex

LIVING BETTER

One day, a food is heralded a “superfood” and the next day, it’s considered a “poison.” That's currently the case with coconut oil, Leslie Beck writes. Evidence suggests it's neither. Despite all the hype, there’s scant evidence to support its many health claims. Health organizations do take issue with its high saturated-fat content. But saturated fat isn’t the whole story when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease − it's the overall quality of your diet that matters the most.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

How personal shopping is being taken to luxurious extremes

Cabine is personal shopping taken to the max. Named after the French term for in-house couture models, Cabine offers by-appointment-only shopping, mostly done a season in advance. Clients purchase from lookbooks, runway images and showroom snapshots. The process is more like buying a car than clothes, where lots of discussion and decision-making is done prior to placing the order to reduce the chance of returns. When the merchandise arrives, fittings are an opportunity to socialize and celebrate.

But don’t bother ringing the doorbell at 30 Hazelton Ave. in Toronto’s plush Yorkville shopping neighbourhood. Similar to private banking and members-only clubs, shopping at Cabine is by invitation only. The boutique is part of a new wave of fashion retail: luxury personal shopping built on relationships, not algorithms and predictive analytics.

I’m a teacher, but I’m worried my son won’t get the education he needs

"The focus of the education system has shifted toward a standardized curriculum – where teachers teach from the same curriculum, mark to the same standards, use the same texts and share tests and quizzes. A one-size-fits-all approach to learning in the 21st century! As it stands, the system is more focused on conformity than it is encouraging diversity, more focused on test scores than encouraging critical-thinking skills. At a time where the old definitions of gender, sexual identity, work, marriage, ethnicity and family makeup have disintegrated, schools are struggling to keep up." - Anthony Carnovale

Evening Update is written by 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.

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