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Canada Morning Update: Ford and the notwithstanding clause; NAFTA talks continue

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These are the top stories:

Ford defies court, vows to override council-cuts ruling

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Only hours after Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba declared the Ontario government's law to reduce the size of Toronto council unconstitutional, Premier Doug Ford announced he will use the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to overrule the judge’s decision. Mr. Ford said he will recall the legislature on Wednesday for an emergency session to debate the government's intention to use the notwithstanding clause, which would be unprecedented for an Ontario government. The Premier’s announcement comes only six weeks before Toronto voters head to the polls in a municipal election. The Premier said he will also appeal the ruling, which he called unacceptable interference in provincial authority.

As The Globe's Justin Giovannetti and Jeff Gray report, the notwithstanding clause is a seldom-used part of the constitution that allows government legislation to override some parts of the Charter for up to five years. To use it, Mr. Ford's government would have to pass a new version of the law that includes a reference to the clause.

Justice Belobaba ruled the law cutting Toronto’s council in half violates the rights to free expression and to elect effective representation.

More reading:

The Globe editorial board weighed in on the original bad law, the worse ruling and Doug Ford’s tantrum to top them both.

Also, The Globe’s Justice Writer Sean Fine explains the ins and outs of the controversial, seldom-used notwithstanding clause.

And Marcus Gee argues that by invoking the notwithstanding clause, Doug Ford is challenging the rule of law itself. "Ours is a government of laws not of men. Even the strongest mandate from voters doesn’t make our leaders all-powerful. They are subject to the law like anyone else. It’s a shame – no, a scandal – that the Premier of the country’s most populous province doesn’t understand that."

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NAFTA talks resume Tuesday despite deadlocks

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will return to Washington today for another round of NAFTA talks. Canada and the United States are deadlocked over Canada’s insistence on preserving a key dispute-resolution chapter of the accord. It’s unclear how long the talks are scheduled for and whether Ms. Freeland will pause negotiations to attend the governing Liberal Party’s caucus retreat in Saskatoon on Wednesday and Thursday. Canada and the United States have been negotiating since Aug. 28 after Washington unveiled a proposed North American free-trade deal with Mexico and pressed Canada to sign on or be left out, reports Steven Chase and Alexandra Posadzki. The United States is seeking to water down or eliminate Chapter 19, which provides for binding arbitration decisions to settle disputes. It also wants significant new access to Canada’s sheltered dairy industry and seeks the relaxing of foreign ownership restrictions on Canadian media companies.

More reading:

Campbell Clark mulls what a bad NAFTA deal might look like. "The answer depends in large part on how you read the threat. If there’s no deal, U.S. President Donald Trump might tear up the existing North American free-trade agreement. But the more fearsome danger comes from punishing tariffs – Mr. Trump has already imposed them on steel and aluminum and warned he’ll adopt new ones on cars that will be the 'ruination' of Canada’s economy."

Police announce arrest in killing of 13-year-old in B.C. park

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Police in Burnaby, B.C., have arrested a man in the killing of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen. The teen’s body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park in July, 2017. Police said the man charged with first-degree murder in Marrisa’s death arrived in Canada last year as a Syrian refugee. The officer overseeing the investigation, Superintendent Donna Richardson, described the case as isolated, and said it should not reflect on others, a position echoed by refugee advocates.

Ibrahim Ali, 28, had not been known to police and did not have a criminal record, Supt. Richardson said. He came to the police’s attention about two weeks ago, but police would not disclose what led investigators to Mr. Ali because the matter is before the courts.

Trump administration weighs sanctions against Chinese officials over internment camps for Uyghurs

The Trump administration is considering sanctions against Chinese senior officials and companies to punish Beijing’s detention of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs and other minority Muslims in large internment camps, according to current and former U.S. officials. The New York Times reports the economic penalties would be one of the first times the Trump administration has taken action against China because of human rights violations. U.S. officials are also seeking to limit American sales of surveillance technology that Chinese security agencies and companies are using to monitor Uyghurs throughout northwest China.

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Ryerson University and MLSE to announce ‘Future of Sport Lab’

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto's Ryerson University are joining forces to launch a think tank called the “Future of Sport Lab” (FSL). As Rachel Brady reports, the think tank would be one of the first of its kind in North America and is meant to create a sports-business ecosystem, which would bring together industry leaders, tech startups, faculty and students to discover and foster new businesses and technologies. The goals are wide-ranging and could include anything from improving player performances or the fans' experience. The first of many initiatives will be an incubator for tech startups. It will be open to entrepreneurs from across Canada who have an innovative product or service that could help MLSE or one of its many teams – which include the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, Argonauts and their various minor-league affiliates.


Markets slip

Hopes of a U.K.-EU deal over Brexit kept the British pound near five-week highs on Tuesday, helping lighten the mood in Europe despite the ongoing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. But markets were sinking for the most part. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.3 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.7 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite shed 0.2 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.2 and 0.7 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was at about 76 US cents.


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Why are the Swedes so disgruntled?

"Ten years ago, Swedes were proud of their status as the most humanitarian, refugee-friendly country on the planet. Polite society and the mainstream media avoided any criticism of immigration policy or problems, for fear of being called racist. And so, as in other countries throughout Europe, when popular unrest broke out over immigration, the elites were caught flat-footed." — Margaret Wente

Decriminalization is one powerful force to ease the overdose crisis

"But by taking decriminalization off the table, the federal government is tying one hand behind its back, making the implementation of other solutions unnecessarily complicated." — André Picard

Only Parliament can fix Canada’s pipeline impasse

"What has happened to Trans Mountain is not surprising. This is the third time in 12 years that the Federal Court has blocked a major pipeline proposal on grounds of insufficient consultation, following the Mackenzie Valley natural-gas pipeline in 2006 and the Northern Gateway oil pipeline in 2016. In each case, the proposal was backed by many First Nations and Métis organizations, but a small number of First Nations (six, in the case of Trans Mountain) was able to get a court to rule that some phase of consultation had been inadequate." — Tom Flanagan is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute

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What to do about a friend who never picks up the tab?

David Eddie tackles the burning question of how to handle a mooch. A reader writes: I have a friend I've helped through hard times, including often taking him out to eat. This friend now has a full-time job but still calls and says, “Are you going out tonight?” If I say yes, he rides the bus and comes there. I usually pick up the tab – and, since he has no car, offer a ride home. This is becoming a once or twice a week thing and is getting expensive. Somehow I will have to stop it. I am not supporting a child here. How do I stop this selfish behaviour without ruining a friendship?


Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose hits a line drive, Sept.11,1985, to break Ty Cobb's all-time hit record. Rose's hitting accomplishments were acknowledged as one of baseball's ten greatest moments. (AP Photo/File)


Pete Rose eclipses Ty Cobb’s hits record

In Cincinnati on this day in 1985, Reds player-manager Pete Rose hit a first-inning single against the San Diego Padres to shallow left field, surpassing Ty Cobb’s record – the 4,192nd hit of Rose’s 23-year career. Instead of cruising into the bag, he took a huge turn at first. They didn’t call him Charlie Hustle because he was fast, but because he was always looking for the extra base. After a moment, he rubbed at his eyes. Rose would say later, “The only other time I remember crying was when my father died.” Baseball was in a bad way then, mired in a string of drug scandals. Dave Parker, the player waiting in the batter’s box while Rose took his ovation, had just returned from testifying in a trial. Rose’s accomplishment was supposed to be the balm for that, a connection back to the national pastime’s good old days. That feeling would linger another five years, until Rose was accused of gambling on baseball – including his own team – while he was a manager. Rose, the most consistently effective hitter in the history of the game, is now ineligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Cathal Kelly

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Editor’s note: (Sept. 11, 2018) An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland as Ms. Freeman on second reference.
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