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Canada Morning Update: Canada ready to give way on dairy for NAFTA deal; B.C. to sue opioid makers for health-care expenses of overdose crisis

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Canada ready to make concessions on dairy to secure NAFTA deal

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Ottawa is ready to make concessions to the Trump administration on Canada’s protected dairy market in a bid to save a key NAFTA dispute-settlement system, preserve safeguards for cultural industries and avert tougher pharmaceutical patent protections. It may not be enough, and if Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland fails to reach a deal this week, U.S. President Donald Trump would have to decide whether to keep negotiating or make good on his threats to bring down auto tariffs and shred NAFTA. (for subscribers)

On Monday, Trump announced that his administration had reached an agreement with Mexico in negotiating the North American free-trade agreement, with top Trump advisers warning that it could see Canada left out of the revised deal. (For subscribers)

Public Affairs columnist Lawrence Martin writes that what happened in the recent U.S.-Mexico NAFTA double-cross puts Ottawa on the defensive, even though it should have anticipated this deal after Trump warned nearly six weeks ago that he might very well negotiate a separate trade pact with each country.

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Revoke Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship, human-rights lawyer Cotler urges

International human-rights lawyer and former Liberal cabinet minister Irwin Cotler is calling on the government to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship amid mounting criticism of Myanmar’s de facto leader for her failure to prevent the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. Cotler’s condemnation comes after a report from a United Nations fact-finding mission released on Monday said that some of Myanmar’s most senior military officials should be investigated and prosecuted for “gross human rights violations.” Cotler went on to argue that the report proves that Ms. Suu Kyi, who was faulted in the report for not using her “moral authority” to prevent the violence, does not belong in the exclusive group of only six honorary Canadian citizens, which includes Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and the Dalai Lama.

“It speaks volumes that the most meaningful consequence to befall the murderers in Myanmar’s military leadership to date has been the deletion of their Facebook accounts," writes a Globe editorial. “What is required is a concerted effort to launch international criminal proceedings against those named by the UN, perhaps through the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

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B.C. to sue opioid makers for health-care expenses of overdose crisis

The British Columbia government will sue opioid manufacturers including Purdue Pharma in an effort to recoup health-care costs associated with an overdose crisis that has swept the country and killed thousands.

Attorney-General David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy are expected to announce the lawsuit on Wednesday. The legal action is the first of its kind by a government in Canada. Until now, victims have attempted to seek restitution on their own, filing a class-action lawsuit against Purdue’s Canadian operation that led to a proposed $20-million settlement, with $2-million going to the provinces and territories and no admission of guilt. Nearly 4,000 Canadians died as a result of opioids in 2017, a 34-per-cent jump from the previous year.

The federal government confirms plan to study a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada

As Canada’s new Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair is prioritizing options to explore a ban on handguns and assault weapons. The news was announced through a mandate letter issued by the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday and it comes just a month after the cabinet shuffle that established this new ministry. Mr. Blair will be tasked with supporting Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale on the passage of Bill C-71 (the Liberals’ gun-control bill), but his work will also include “an examination of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians.” City councils in both Montreal and Toronto have called on Ottawa to implement a ban on handguns and assault weapons, citing previous mass shootings in both cities – including a shooting last year at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead, and a shooting spree along Toronto’s Danforth Avenue on July 22 that killed an 18-year-old and a 10-year-old girl.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Retired Supreme Court justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé's biography uncovers secret history of court

It’s an explosive moment from the secret history of a court whose power to shape the country has grown in the decades since the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into being. The moment when Claire L’Heureux-Dubé was publicly blamed – by a judge from Alberta’s highest court – for the high male suicide rate in Quebec, came just after a case that, almost two decades later, defines consent in sexual-assault law. And it spoke volumes about the beleaguered feelings of a trailblazing judge – the second woman ever on the Supreme Court of Canada – who became known for defending the rights of women, gay and lesbian people, and refugees.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks subdued

Global stocks faltered on Wednesday as optimism over a U.S.-Mexico trade deal faded with investors anxious about Canada’s acquiescence and eyeing a deadline for the next round of China-U.S. tariffs next week. Tokyo’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng each gained 0.2 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.1 and 0.6 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was below 77.5 US cents. Oil prices steadied, supported by news of a fall in Iranian crude supplies as U.S. sanctions deter buyers, but held back by evidence of a rise in U.S. inventories.

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Ontario’s dated sex-ed plan is a lesson in homophobia

Sexual health isn’t only about condoms and gonorrhea. It’s about being a confident, secure human being who can have thriving relationships. A 2011 school survey found 64 per cent of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school; 21 per cent reported physical harassment or assault because of their sexual orientation. – Blair Bigham, a resident emergency physician in Hamilton

Why Germany’s far-right is finding its home in Saxony

The goal of the far-right has been achieved: They wanted to show who controls the streets of Saxony and who dominates the discourse. And what could be better evidence of this than families marching alongside neo-Nazis with children repeating their slogans? Matthias Kolb, editor for Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich, and an Arthur F. Burns fellow

Auger-Aliassime forced to retire match with health concern, advancing Shapovalov at U.S. Open

Early on, Denis Shapovalov was the one who looked most brittle. He spent much of the first set staring forlornly at either his box or his racquet – as if the stick was to blame. Upon losing the second set, he Incredible Hulk’d his T-shirt, ripping it from the neck down. – Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

With both WestJet and Air Canada announcing that they plan to hike their baggage fees from $25 to $30 for one checked bag and $50 (up from $30) for a second bag, you can bet your bottom dollar that more people will be opting to travel with just carry-on. To make this switch, however, you’ll have to become a more decisive and frugal packer, bringing with you only items that you’ll actually need rather than what you think you’ll need. Here, we share some tips on how to become this kind of traveller so you can pack carry-on only for your entire family.

MOMENT IN TIME

Aug. 29, 1920: They couldn’t have known it at the time, but the birth of Charles and Addie Parker’s only son, Charlie, would become a pivotal moment in music history. Born in Kansas City at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, Charlie Parker grew up in a town known for its booming jazz scene. He picked up the saxophone at age 11, and performed in downtown clubs in his teens. His fast tempos and wide-ranging solos defied the classical conventions of jazz, awed traditionalists and paved the way for a whole new genre: Bebop. At 19, Parker moved to New York. His unique style drew the attention of novelists, such as Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg, establishing his music as a defining sound of the beat generation. But Parker’s demons caught up to him. He struggled with depression and developed a heroin addiction. When he moved to California, where heroin was harder to find at the time, he turned to alcohol. When he died in 1955, of pneumonia and an irreversibly damaged liver, the coroner mistook his 34-year-old body to be nearly 60 years old. But while his life came to a tragic end, his musical legacy lives on. – Jacob Lorinc

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