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It’s election day in Ontario

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Ontarians are headed to the polls in an election that marks a pivotal moment for the province. The Progressive Conservatives and NDP appear tied in the latest polls with the Liberals trailing. Liberal Kathleen Wynne, Doug Ford of the Progressive Conservatives and Andrea Horwath of the NDP have made their final pre-election pushes, and what happens next is anyone’s guess: The race is more volatile than polls suggest.

The campaign trail has been marred by an assortment of controversies, and has been nothing if not uneventful. Gary Mason asks: What has happened to this once great province? While Ontario was once known for its stable and dependable leaders, he writes, it now looks as though the province has lost its way.

But, regardless of your faith in the competing parties, you should really go out and vote. Marcus Gee explains why here. For a comprehensive look at the candidates and their platforms, read our election guide.

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Trump will ‘talk tough’ on trade at the G7, says his adviser

U.S. President Donald Trump is standing his ground in the trade-and-tariffs dispute with Canada and other U.S. allies, even while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders urge him to reconsider. On Wednesday, the President’s top adviser Larry Kudlow warned that Trump will stick to his guns, but that he considers the dispute nothing more than “a family quarrel.” In a more bizarre exchange between the two countries’ leaders via phone call, the President raised a 204-year-old grievance - the capture of Washington during the war of 1812 - as a reason he considers Canada to be a threat to the United States. (For subscribers)

A Quebec judge tossed insider-trading charges against the former CEO of Amaya

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In a setback for Quebec’s securities watchdog, a judge dismissed the insider trading case against online gambling mogul David Baazov and two associates mid-trial, because of mistakes made by the regulator. The charges were in regards to repeated failures by the regulator to properly disclose documentation to the defence. (For subscribers)

Many Canadian universities are slipping in world rankings

All but five of the 26 universities that appear in this year’s QS World University Rankings, released Wednesday, saw their research production decline relative to that of other institutions around the world. This is because, while Canada’s university researchers are generating more scholarship than ever, the productivity of some of their global peers is improving even faster, leading to declines in global rankings for many Canadian schools.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

A mysterious illness that hit diplomats in Cuba has surfaced in China

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A crisis over a mysterious ailment sickening U.S. diplomats and their families has widened as the State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from China on Wednesday. The ailment began in Cuba and recently appeared in China. U.S. officials have raised suspicions about whether other countries, perhaps China or Russia, might be to blame.

MORNING MARKETS

Risk appetite returns as world markets hit three-week high

World stocks hit a three-week high on Thursday and the euro and German Bund yields also rose as investors priced in a potentially earlier-than-expected wind-down of stimulus from the European Central Bank. MSCI’s index of world stocks rose 0.3 per cent to its highest since May 14, helped by Asian shares which climbed to an 11-week high overnight.In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was off by 0.11 per cent just before 5:30 a.m. Germany’s DAX was up 0.27 per cent and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.45 per cent. Wall Street futures pointed to a higher start in North America. Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate were both positive. The Canadian dollar was trading down slightly at 77.21 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Boycott the NFL. You’ll thank me later

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“The President of the United States, who thinks his own daughter is a hottie and who stated that grabbing women by their crotches is acceptable, indeed laudatory, male behaviour, has the unmitigated gall to ‘disinvite’ the Philadelphia Eagles football team, winners of the Super Bowl, from a White House celebration. The stated reason for this absurdly childish about-face: Some of the Eagles did not conform to his own notion of what counts as nationalistic obeisance.“ - Mark Kingwell, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto

If Canada wants to help the poor, it needs a new way of measuring poverty

“Having a clearly defined poverty line enables a government to set targets, such as reducing the prevalence of measured poverty by 50 per cent over the next decade. This kind of target enables a government to focus its policy agenda on the interventions and program changes most likely to be effective in meeting the target. It further allows Canadians to monitor the government’s progress toward meeting its target.” - Michael Wolfson, expert adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca

Who votes - and where - will decide Ontario’s election

“Who votes, and where they vote, will decide who governs Ontario. It is hardly a groundbreaking theory, but one that is commonly forgotten. Will Ontario voters stay on the couch or will they take a more active role in setting the course for their province and, indeed, the country in the year ahead?” - Mike McDonald, former chief of staff to ex-B.C. premier Christy Clark

LIVING BETTER

How to run away to California as a middle-aged parent

Running away as a parent is no easy task, but with the right planning and timing, it can be done. Heather Greenwood Davis offers a number of tips for planning a well-earned break from your kids.

MOMENT IN TIME

Graceland opens to the public

Many of them had camped out overnight, and on the morning of June 7 they filed through the estate’s famous iron gates, hand-wrought with images of musical notes and guitar players. That day, 3,000 Elvis Presley fans paid $5 to be the first to visit Graceland, the mansion where the King had lived, partied, occasionally shot at television sets and was found dead on a bathroom floor in 1977 at the age of 42. Moving through the “gaudy Southern mansion,” as Reuters described it, fans saw the trophy building, with its gold records and costumes, the living room’s stained-glass peacocks, and the “meditation gardens,” where Elvis was buried. Most of all, perhaps, they wanted to see the Jungle Room, complete with waterfall, green shag carpets and a tiki bar, where Elvis and his Memphis Mafia retired for long nights of revelry. Paul Simon made a pilgrimage to Graceland in song, and Bruce Springsteen actually leaped over the wall in 1976. But in 1957, it was just a nice, colonnaded mansion in the Memphis suburbs that Elvis, then 22, bought for his parents for $102,500. Today 600,000 people a year visit Graceland, and it lives on in dreams. - Elizabeth Renzetti

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