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Canada Morning Update: Doug Ford opposes handgun ban, pledges $25-million for police and courts

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Saudi Arabia says it won’t disrupt oil sales to Canada

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Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister says the diplomatic rift with Canada won’t disrupt the kingdom’s oil sales to Canadian customers, showing that there are limits to the retaliation Riyadh is willing to mete out in the dispute over Western criticism of the kingdom’s human-rights practices.

Canada’s consumption of Saudi oil is relatively small. It brought in 15 per cent of its oil imports from the kingdom in 2017, according to Statistics Canada. For the first six months of 2018, Canada imported an average of 121,415 barrels a day from Saudi Arabia, the National Energy board said.

So far, Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada’s ambassador; frozen new trade and investment in this country; begun the withdrawal of 16,000 Riyadh-funded students, as well as medical patients; announced a suspension of Saudi Arabian Airlines flights to Toronto; and stopped buying barley and wheat from Canada. The Saudis have also reportedly instructed their central bank and state pension funds to sell off Canadian assets.

As Doug Saunders writes, the Saudi attack on Canada is a major political gift to the liberals.

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Doug Ford opposes handgun ban, pledges $25-million for police and courts

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he opposes a handgun ban in Toronto because it would penalize legal gun owners, but vowed to help tackle gun violence in the city by pledging $25-million over four years for police and the courts.

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Following the Danforth shooting, Toronto city council voted to ask the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in the city and sought a similar ban on the sale of ammunition from the province.

Ruling out new funding for community programs aimed at reducing violence, Mr. Ford said the province would send $18-million to the Toronto police to buy new digital and investigative tools, while allocating $7.6-million to staff each of Toronto’s courthouses with a legal team dedicated to denying bail to people accused of gun crimes.

Mexico and US make progress on removing NAFTA auto roadblocks

The Mexican government is closing in on an agreement with the Trump administration to raise wages in the auto sector and push more manufacturing jobs to the U.S. – a major breakthrough in the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement.

It is still unclear when Canada will return to the table. The U.S. has not invited Canadian officials to participate in the most recent round of negotiations – in part because the talks have focused on issues that primarily concern the U.S. and Mexico.

About one in seven men who consume marijuana admit driving after getting high: StatsCan

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About one in seven cannabis users said they had recently gotten behind the wheel after consuming the drug, according to a survey by Statistics Canada that reveals lax attitudes toward drug-impaired driving as the country prepares for legalization.

Statistics Canada’s National Cannabis Survey results from the first half of this year, released on Thursday, show boys and men were nearly two times more likely to report driving within two hours of using marijuana than girls and women, although both appeared to be driving after consuming marijuana at greater rates than driving while drunk. Five per cent said they had accepted a ride from a driver who had consumed the drug in the previous two hours.

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Family of Colten Boushie files lawsuit against RCMP, Gerald Stanley

The family of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm in August 2016, has filed lawsuits against the RCMP and the farmer who was acquitted in the killing. The claim against Mr. Stanley, filed in a Saskatoon court, argues that the farmer caused Mr. Boushie’s death through negligence, recklessness or by an intentional act.

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Markets tumble

A plummeting Turkish lira sent ripples through global equities and emerging markets on Friday, as rising fears of a wider fallout sent investors scurrying for the safety of assets such as the yen and U.S. government bonds. Tokyo’s Nikkei tumbled 1.33 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.84 per cent at about 6 a.m. ET. The Shanghai Composite was flat. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.75 per cent, Germany’s DAX 1.69 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 1.24 per cent. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was at 76.34 US cents. Oil prices steadied as concerns that a global trade dispute will slow economic growth and demand for fuel were balanced by U.S. sanctions against Iran that look set to tighten supply.


Wildfires will only get worse unless we learn how to live with them

“As wildfire will remain a recurring feature in our lives, we have to learn to live with it. To live with it, we must understand it. We have to change our view of fire. It is not the enemy but just a natural process, one that has historically helped maintain many vegetated ecosystems. However, it is at times uncontrollable by even our modern technologies.” -Mike Wotton and Mike Flannigan

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Britain’s friends have a duty to intervene on Brexit

“The June, 2016, referendum did not provide a legitimate mandate for Brexit. As Conservative MP Anna Soubry recently said passionately in the House of Commons, “Nobody voted Leave to be poorer, and nobody voted Leave on the basis that somebody with a gold-plated pension and inherited wealth would take their job away from them.” In short: Leave voters were hoodwinked and the Leave victory was tainted.” -Robert Patman and David Welch

Take heart Canadians, Donald Trump is losing

“The vote in the Ohio district showed the Democrats making gains in the suburbs, and the Republican support more isolated in rural areas. It showed that college-educated whites are turning away from the Republican Party. It showed independents moving to the Democrats in substantial numbers. It showed not just in Ohio but by way of the turnout in nomination fights in other states on Tuesday that Democrats are far more amped up to get out and vote than in 2016.” -Lawrence Martin


How do I successfully buy and grill fish?

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It’s an age-old question - or, at least, since the advent of barbeque. Thankfully, Lucy Waverman has the answers. Your fish should have a clear eye. A cloudy or sunken eye means the fish is past its best-before date. If you press the fish with your finger, the flesh should jump back. If it feels spongy, sideline it. The underside of the gills should be bright red or pink. If brownish, the fish has been out of the water for too long.


Trick coffee cups, driving cars without an engine and elevators that move side-to-side instead of up-and-down are just some of the hallmark gags from the United States' first hidden camera TV show. The show’s catchphrase “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera,” was based off a radio show with a similar name (Smile! You’re on Candid Microphone). Both the radio and TV versions were produced and hosted by Allen Funt (seen here in 1965), who later relinquished the reins to his son, Peter. The show aired for more than 50 years with the merry prankster enlisting celebrities such as Muhammad Ali and Dolly Parton to help move a joke along and perfectly deliver a laugh each time. The series premiered on ABC in 1948, and then switched to NBC in the fall of 1949. Over the years, it would move into syndication and run as network TV specials, ending its run airing on CBS in 2004. Candid Camera made a comeback in 2014 for one season on U.S. cable with Peter Funt and Mayim Bialik as hosts. It didn’t last, but the show’s “reality TV” format changed television forever. -Johanna Chisholm

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