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Canada Morning Update: Doug Ford’s victory and what it means for Ontario

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These are the top stories:

Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party won a majority in the Ontario election. Here’s what you need to know

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  • The Ontario Liberals’ 15-year reign is over, with Doug Ford leading the PCs to a majority victory
  • The NDP will form the official opposition
  • Kathleen Wynne resigned as Liberal Leader
  • Green Leader Mike Schreiner picked up the party’s first ever seat
  • The seat totals are as follows: PCs 76, NDP 40, Liberals 7, Greens 1

What Ford’s victory means for businesses

“My friends, help is here,” Ford said in his victory speech. “Tonight, we have sent a clear message to the world, Ontario is open for business.” But while Ford campaigned on a vow to “cut the red tape,” he didn’t release a fully costed platform by the end of the election. Among his pledges: scrapping a plan to further raise the minimum wage as well as eliminating the cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse gases. The cannabis sector is showing cautious optimism about Ford’s tenure, which could see a less-regulated retail environment. And despite Ontario’s economic growth, the incoming PC government will have to tackle a number of big economic challenges, from the province’s debt to uncertainty over trade with the U.S. (for subscribers)

The Liberal tanking

The Liberals finished with just seven seats, one short of the eight needed for the official party status that results in extra funding in the legislature. Kathleen Wynne, who already conceded the election last weekend, used her speech to resign as party leader: “It is the right thing to do,” she said through tears. “There is another generation, and I am passing the torch to that generation.”

The NDP seat jump

While Andrea Horwath’s party didn’t emerge on top, they did more than double their seat count in the legislature from 18 to an expected 40. It’s the NDP’s strongest showing since Bob Rae’s win in the 1990 election.

Opinion and analysis

Marcus Gee says Ontarians are in for a wild ride: “Ford’s plans are sketchy, his temperament volatile. He is the wildest of wild cards. When he was right-hand man to his brother at Toronto city hall, he often out-Robbed Rob in his blustering and bullying. Nothing in his shallow, sloganeering performance during this election campaign suggests he has changed. Now, he is about to become premier of the country’s most-populous province. Premier Doug Ford. Let those words sink in for a bit. This promises to be a crazy ride.” (for subscribers)

Barrie McKenna argues Ontario has voted for more of what it doesn’t need – economic uncertainty: “Ford has offered no indication that he has a comprehensive plan to deal with the big threats hanging over the province’s economy, including chronic fiscal deficits, sluggish growth, uncompetitive electricity rates and an escalating tariff war with the U.S. that threatens its vital auto and steel industries. That lack of detail will compound the economic uncertainty as the province ushers in a Ford government.” (for subscribers)

Elizabeth Renzetti writes that a positive from the Wynne era was the government’s work to improve things for women: “There are legitimate concerns among people who work in women’s health and advocacy that this progress could be erased. The province is not guaranteed to move inexorably forward; backwards is a direction too. I wonder if Wynne will look more appealing in the rear-view mirror.” (for subscribers)

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World leaders are converging in Quebec for the G7 summit

The Group of Seven Summit begins today in Charlevoix, Quebec, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders intend to take a hard-line stance against U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade and tariff actions. Trump said he was looking forward to “good discussions” at the summit but, unlike his counterparts, is focused more on North Korea than on trade.

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Many of the leaders are also expected to endorse significant measures to protect leading liberal democracies, calling for the creation of a system that would help G7 countries better respond to incidents such as the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, Britain, earlier this year (for subscribers).

The Senate approved the cannabis legalization bill

Ottawa is a step closer to lifting Canada’s 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis, however the legislation to legalize the drug passed with nearly four dozen amendments, some of which the government might not accept. Most of the amendments are minor, but about a dozen of them are significant, including one to allow provinces to prohibit home cultivation of cannabis if they choose. The bill will now go back to the House of Commons, where the government can approve, reject or modify the changes.

Interest rates and mortgage regulations are curbing home prices, but debt is still a risk

An assessment released by the Bank of Canada suggests that higher interest rates and tougher mortgage regulations have successfully curbed lofty home prices in Canada. Nonetheless, the bank is warning that the vast size of outstanding debt continues to pose a key risk to the financial system. The bank also notes that it is still too early to gauge the full impact of tighter mortgage standards, the latest of which kicked in at the start of 2018.

Canada is no longer training Kurdish troops amid the fight against the Islamic State

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The Canadian military’s top soldier, General Jon Vance, told reporters that Canada is no longer training Kurdish troops in Iraq, and is now committed to only training Iraqi government forces. The Kurds played a central role in helping arrest the advance of the Islamic State jihadis and driving them from Iraq, but the training was ceased when it was no longer seen to be of value in terms of the battle against the Islamic State.

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The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for first time in franchise history

The Washington Capitals defeated the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 of the series to win the Stanley Cup. The win marks the team’s first title in franchise history, and notably, captain Alex Ovechkin’s first cup as well.


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Stocks slip as central bank talk, trade, weigh on risk sentiment

World stocks slipped on Friday as expectations of trade tensions dominating this weekend’s summit of G7 countries, along with renewed talk of monetary tightening by major central banks, weighed on risk sentiment. The MSCI All-Country World index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down nearly half a percentage point in morning trading in Europe. Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.71 per cent around 5:30 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were also lower. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.56 per cent ending four straight sessions of advances. In commodities, Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were both negative. Wall Street futures, meanwhile, pointed to a lower start.The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.82 US cents.


Why nationalizing the Trans Mountain pipeline is undemocratic

A crisis needs to be serious, and the threat to the public good very clear, for a government to legitimately bypass normal democratic processes. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline nationalization clearly does not meet this threshold. As such, it represents a particularly undemocratic form of economic exceptionalism. -Jacqueline Best, professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa

Will Trudeau show the world what a feminist government truly looks like?

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“Few W7 participants are expecting G7 leaders to embrace a truly feminist agenda. But those who come from countries, including the U.S., where the backlash against women’s rights is strong, remain optimistic that Canada (and its feminist Prime Minister) will put its best feminist foot forward. So far, the only bold positions taken by Canada and our Prime Minister have to do with trade tariffs. The question now is this: Will Trudeau show the world what a feminist government truly looks like?” -Liz Bernstein, executive director of the Nobel Women’s initiative

Canada is failing to keep its amateur athletes safe

“We are an international laggard when it comes to shielding athletes from psychological, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. We have a patchwork of unevenly applied policies, the gaps in which are well known: A 2015 report by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport laid them bare in detail. That this hasn’t been fixed is inexcusable. Multiple models exist from which to seek inspiration, but ours should be based on criteria enumerated this week by Lorraine Lafrenière, head of the Coaching Association of Canada. They include training for coaches, team officials and volunteers, clear procedures spelling out the duty of care (especially where minors are involved) and creating independent officers who ensure oversight and handle complaints.” – Globe editorial


Big, bold red wines for the BBQ

Dusting off the grill in preparation for the summer? There are a number of delicious red wines to pair with the food you prepare. Beppi Crosariol suggests a range of options, from a South African wine to a strawberry-raspberry jam infused blend. Even better: they’re inexpensive.


First concert at SkyDome

June 8, 1989: Rod Stewart performed the first concert at the SkyDome, a behemoth Toronto facility with a retractable roof. But if all eyes were on the British pop singer with the scratchy voice and an infatuation with “hot legs,” all ears were tuned to the new venue itself. Due to a host of reflective surfaces, domed facilities had earned a reputation as a sound-engineer’s nightmare. And although efforts were made to soften the SkyDome’s sonics, all the acoustic razzle dazzle in the world would be wasted if visiting performers sidestepped their own responsibilities. Stewart, who performed within a 26,000-seat closed-roof “SkyTent,” didn’t get a chance to do a preshow sound check, resulting in a “less-than-impressive” sonic situation, according to a Globe and Mail music critic. When the International Opera Festival mounted Aida at the SkyDome later that year, the sound guru Alexander Yuill-Thornton described the venue as “a much more benevolent room” than others of its ilk. The festival had spent $1-million on its own sound system, though, which it adapted to the SkyDome. Built for Blue Jays, not ballads, the stadium now known as Rogers Centre still gets mixed reviews from concertgoers. – Brad Wheeler

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