These are the top stories:
Killers not criminally responsible should never be let out, Ford says
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Thursday that someone will be held responsible for the disappearance of a patient from a Toronto mental-health facility and that some people detained after being found not criminally responsible for violent acts should never be released.
Mr. Ford sent a letter to Toronto Police Services Board chair Andrew Pringle on Thursday asking why the public was not immediately notified when Mr. Cong went missing on July 3 and about the potential risk posed to public safety. The police did not publicly release details of the case until July 14 and say they did not realize he left the country until July 16, nearly two weeks after he failed to return to the facility. Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders announced Thursday that the force will be conducting two investigations – a full review into Mr. Cong’s disappearance and an internal department review.
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Health experts denounce Andrew Scheer’s comments on Canada’s Food Guide as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘disingenuous’
At a meeting with the Dairy Farmers of Canada earlier this week, Mr. Scheer criticized the new Canada’s Food Guide, and pledged that, if elected, he would review recent changes including the reduced emphasis on meat and dairy.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor responded immediately on Wednesday, accusing the Conservative Leader of “spreading lies.” And by Thursday, some of Canada’s leading experts on nutrition and health policy – many of whom had helped shape the new guide – also condemned Mr. Scheer’s remarks.
“It’s irresponsible of him,” said Mary L’Abbé, director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Nutrition Policy for Chronic Disease Prevention.
York Regional Police nab nine suspected members of powerful Mafia clan
Ontario’s York Region police said Thursday they had arrested nine suspected Italian Mafia members allegedly involved in illegal gambling and laundering more than $70-million in Toronto-area casinos, seizing $35-million in assets, including five Ferraris.
Over three days, police raided 48 cafés, businesses and residences connected to the group, nabbing the alleged boss, Angelo Figliomeni, and eight other suspects on a raft of accusations, including money laundering, defrauding the government and participating in an organized crime group.
Tensions rise after Trump announces U.S. downed Iranian drone
The U.S. military downed an Iranian drone Thursday in what President Donald Trump called an act of self-defence against hostilities in the Strait of Hormuz. Officials said the relatively small drone came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer, a U.S. amphibious assault ship in the strait. It was not known whether the drone was armed, but a Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said that it had “closed within a threatening range” before being shot down over international waters.
At the same time, Iran’s chief diplomat offered a modest road map for easing tensions with the United States. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran appeared to brush off Trump’s broadside. “The drone issue is being investigated, but based on the latest news I have from Tehran, we have no information about losing a drone,” he told reporters at the United Nations.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Kawhi Leonard faces Nike countersuit over ‘Klaw’ logo: After Leonard launched a lawsuit aimed at the shoe and apparel conglomerate last month, claiming the company is taking credit for creating the logo that appeared on his Nike-endorsed apparel, Nike returned serve by filing a countersuit against Leonard, according to multiple reports.
Canada’s mortgage stress tests just got a little easier: The interest rate used in Canada’s mortgage stress tests has fallen for the first time since 2016, making it slightly easier to become a homeowner.
As citizen groups push for interurban rail line’s revival, Vancouver transit authority resists: Metro Vancouver has a traffic crisis, but TransLink (the transportation authority for Metro Vancouver) cites the legal difficulty in negotiating with private companies that currently use the track for freight.
Oakland police pass Masai Ujiri case to District Attorney’s office, which will decide whether charge will be laid: The DA’s office has asked the police to conduct additional investigations, said spokeswoman Teresa Drenick, and has not yet made a decision on whether to charge the Toronto Raptors president with any crime.
Trudeau toughens stand against Trump’s ‘unacceptable’ comments on U.S. congresswoman: “I want everyone in Canada to know these comments are completely unacceptable and should not be allowed or encouraged in Canada,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Affordable rental housing is nearly nonexistent for minimum-wage workers, report finds: Out of 36 metropolitan areas, 23 had zero neighbourhoods where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage could afford the average one-bedroom rental rate.
U.S. stock futures were sharply higher early Friday as fresh comments from a top Federal Reserve official cemented expectations of a rate cut at the end of the month and strong earnings pushed Microsoft Corp. shares to record levels. World markets also caught an updraft on the comments with shares in Europe opening firmly in the black. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.1 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 0.8 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.2 and 0.3 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. The Canadian dollar was above 76.5 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
The battle for the elusive middle-class vote
Gary Mason: “This is Mr. Trudeau’s cross to bear as the incumbent. While the middle-class tax cut and child benefit were no doubt welcomed, elections are a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition.”
Canada is ignoring its own hemisphere
Craig Damian Smith: “Six days after Refugee Day, the world was confronted with another image of a dead migrant child, this time closer to home in the Rio Grande at Texas. Yet, the senseless death of Oscar Martinez Ramirez and his daughter, Valeria, has generated more anger at U.S. President Donald Trump than discussion about Canada’s options.” Smith is the associate director of the Global Migration Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and a research affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Password managers might be more necessary now than ever before. Passwords were manageable 20 years ago, when we frequented a small number of websites at most and few or none of them involved money. Today, many of us have half our lives online: bank and investment accounts, social media, subscriptions and accounts at online stores, various utilities and the Canada Revenue Agency. A specialist in fraud investigations is suggesting we use password managers to help us organize our lives online, instead of risking using the auto-fill setting on our computers. Read more from Rob Carrick about the risk of poor password management, and how to keep yourself safer.
MOMENT IN TIME
July 19, 1903
The Tour de France – a cycling race that circumnavigates the country – was started in 1903 by a newly formed daily sports newspaper, L’Auto, to increase circulation. Which it did. The newspaper, the predecessor of L’Equipe, is gone, but the world’s most famous road race carries on. Sixty cyclists (including 49 Frenchmen) started the inaugural race on July 1. The distance of 2,428 kilometres featured only six fairly flat stages. Easier pedalling than the mountainous 21-stage, 3,480-kilometre route of the 2019 iteration? Think again. The first stage, an arduous 467 kilometres, was taken by Frenchman Maurice Garin, riding day and night, in almost 18 hours. As overall leader, he was given a green armband (today, it’s a yellow jersey). But those long stages took their toll. Only 21 riders finished, some of them a couple of days after Garin crossed the finish line to the cheers of 20,000 Parisiens. Garin’s margin of victory was an astonishing 2 hours 49 minutes, still the largest in history. Garin won 6,125 francs, with which he bought a gas station. He won the 1904 Tour, too, but was disqualified for cheating. He retired and worked at his gas station the rest of his life. Philip King