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Canada Morning Update: Hundreds of mourners gather in Toronto’s Greektown for shooting victims; EU, Trump reach deal on trade

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Hundreds of mourners gather in Toronto’s Greektown in vigil for shooting victims

A stretch of Toronto’s Danforth Avenue was packed with mourners as the community gathered for a candlelit vigil to honour 10-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto, who were killed in Sunday’s shooting.

Among those in attendance at Wednesday evening’s event were Toronto Mayor John Tory, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

Toronto’s police chief Mark Saunders said Wednesday there was no evidence to support a claim from the Islamic State terror group that it was behind the attack. The federal government also reiterated that there was no national security connection to the gunman.

EU reaches deal with Trump on trade, Mexico reaffirms trilateral commitment to NAFTA renegotiation

President Donald Trump and European leaders pulled back from the brink of a trade war over autos and agreed to open talks to resolve a dispute over steel, and to tear down trade barriers between the United States and the European Union.

Meanwhile, Mexican ministers countered Donald Trump’s recent assertion that the U.S. is getting closer to reaching a bilateral deal with Mexico, saying they consider a sunset clause a deal breaker and that they’re committed to a trilateral NAFTA agreement.

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Ontario introduces legislation to kill cap-and-trade

Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government tabled legislation to kill the province’s cap-and-trade program that levies a price on carbon emissions, and will pay virtually no compensation to companies that purchased emission allowances under the plan.

The cap-and-trade program – in which companies could buy and sell allowances with counterparts in Ontario, Quebec and California – was expected to set a price of roughly $25 per tonne in 2022.

Ottawa intends to find ways to return the revenues to families and businesses to offset the impact of the higher fuel bills, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne dies

Sergio Marchionne’s death on Wednesday in Switzerland came days after he stepped down officially as chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. The Italian-Canadian died from complications after shoulder surgery. Italian newspapers reported that he suffered an embolism during the surgery and sustained brain damage.

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As Greg Keenan writes, Marchionne was a visionary who restored Fiat to financial health. It was his personal style, candour and lack of fear in speaking his mind that made him stand out from other executives in the auto industry.

Air Canada unveils hostile bid to buy back Aeroplan

Thirteen years after spinning off Aeroplan, the popular Canadian loyalty rewards program, Air Canada has made a hostile bid to buy it back at a discounted price. The bid comes a year after Air Canada unveiled plans to launch its own program, prompting shares in Aimia Inc., the company that currently runs Areoplan, to plummet 63 per cent in a single day.

In the offer announced on Wednesday, Air Canada and its partners would assume a $2-billion outstanding liability on Aimia’s books for loyalty points that have not yet been redeemed.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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Scientists detect hidden body of water on Mars

For the first time, a team of European scientists is claiming evidence of a 20-kilometre-wide reservoir of water on Mars in the form of a saline lake – or possibly a giant mud puddle – buried deep under a glacier near the planet’s south pole. If confirmed, the discovery promises to reinvigorate efforts to detect life on Mars, and may ultimately reorient that quest toward the planet’s southern extremes.

MORNING MARKETS

Markets mixed

European stocks opened much higher on Thursday, pushing world stocks to new four-month highs after the European Union and the United States agreed to negotiate on trade, easing some of the fears of a transatlantic trade war. Tokyo’s Nikkei was down 0.12 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.48 per cent and the Shanghai Composite 0.74 per cent at about 5:45 a.m. ET. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was down slightly while Germany’s DAX was up 1.49 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 0.78 per cent. New York futures were mixed. The Canadian dollar was at 76.66 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Western Canada separatism is not real, but the grievances of its provinces are

“The anger over pipelines is premature. After all, the Liberals did nationalize the Trans Mountain project. If the government is able to construct the pipeline, despite opposition from the British Columbia government and from environmental and Indigenous protesters, then Alberta will have no cause to complain. If the government fails to build Trans Mountain, however, Alberta’s oil-dependent economy will have been let down by Ottawa, and people there will and should howl.” -John Ibbitson

How Toronto can curb gun violence

“Curtailing the local supply and demand for firearms is essential. Most Canadians agree: nearly 70 per cent of them think firearms should be banned from urban areas. Politicians are receptive to the idea. Toronto’s mayor has publicly questioned whether guns should be permitted within the city limits, and the federal government is floating proposals to ban handguns outright.” -Robert Muggah and Richard Florida

Conservative accusation of a ‘border crisis’ doesn’t wash

Yes, the Liberals have erred at times in their handling of the border issue. But the Conservatives lose credibility every time they exaggerate the scope of the problem, Mr. Trudeau’s complicity in it and the government’s purported inertia in sorting it out. -Globe editorial

LIVING BETTER

Travel etiquette in the digital age

While the never-ending torrent of travel tips and tricks might make us more efficient travelers, is the internet and modern technology making us any more enlightened or pleasant travellers? Chris Johns polled some globetrotting experts on how best to navigate the modern travel world and make the experience more pleasant for everyone.

MOMENT IN TIME

July 26, 1951: Curiouser and curiouser. That’s how some people would describe Walt Disney’s 1951 premiere of its animated film, Alice in Wonderland. The studio’s spin on Alice’s tumble down the rabbit hole initially bombed at the box office. Film critics and Lewis Carroll fans panned the film for “Americanizing” a British literary classic and despite the colourful, cartoonish charm of the Cheshire Cat’s loopy grin and the Mad Hatter’s clownish antics, lukewarm ticket sales forced Disney to write off a US$1-million loss on the US$3-million movie. Walt Disney himself called it a disappointment and said it lacked heart. After all, he added, “it’s terribly tough to transfer whimsy to the screen.” But he needed only to wait. Ahead of its time, Alice in Wonderland captured the imagination of a new generation in the 1960s and 70s, thanks to a drug-infused counterculture and, perhaps in part, to Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 psychedelic-rock epic White Rabbit. The movie’s trippy, kaleidoscope animation and storytelling style found new appreciation on college campuses across the United States and Disney’s 1951 flop became 1971’s sought-after film. Today, the studio’s Alice in Wonderland is a cult classic. -Amy O’Kruk

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