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Canada Morning Update: Leftist is victor in Mexican vote; Canada, U.S. dig in for long trade fight

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These are the top stories:

Mexico elected leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

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Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed a landslide victory in Mexico’s presidential election, after what he called a “historic day.”

Lopez Obrador’s win puts a leftist leader at the helm of Latin America’s second largest economy for the first time in decades, a prospect that has filled millions of Mexicans with hope — and the nation’s elites with trepidation.

The outcome represents a clear rejection of the status quo in the nation, which for the past quarter century has been defined by a centrist vision and an embrace of globalization that many Mexicans feel has not served them.

Experts say part of Lopez Obrador’s appeal is a different approach from the other candidates – many Mexican voters are seeking a dramatic break from the past. For the past two decades, the country’s two main political parties have campaigned on similar platforms of economic liberalization and a militarized response to crime and violence. Lopez Obrador is the only candidate talking about the country’s problems in a substantively different way. He campaigned on a narrative of social change, including increased pensions for the elderly, educational grants for Mexico’s youth and additional support for farmers.

Mexico’s peso also firmed sharply after exit polls showed Lopez Obrador’s win, as widely expected by financial markets.

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Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are digging in for long trade fight over NAFTA

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The U.S.-Canada trade battle lives on, and likely for a good while still. U.S. President Donald Trump announced Sunday he will not sign a new North American free-trade agreement ahead of the midterm elections in November. Trump also repeated his threat to impose 20-per-cent tariffs on automobiles and said recent tariffs on steel and aluminum imports gave a boost to the U.S. economy.

As $16.6-billion in Canadian countermeasures against the American steel and aluminum tariffs came into effect on July 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to continue offering support for Canadian workers caught in the crosshairs of the Canada-U.S. trade battle. Last week, the federal government announced up to $2-billion in financial aid to companies affected by recent U.S. tariffs on their exports.

But the trade war is still becoming all too real for some Canadians. A manufacturing company, Tenaris, laid off 40 workers in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Sunday after U.S. steel tariffs. Tenaris says a 25-per-cent tariff on steel and a 10-per-cent tariff on aluminum has created an “unsustainable” market to serve its U.S. customers.

To catch up on the NAFTA saga so far, read our guide to trade, the talks and Trump.

Parents separated from their children by Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy ask: ‘Will I ever see my child again?’

The U.S. President’s family separation policy has unleashed a reign of chaos and confusion around the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Tamsin McMahon reports that parents being released from custody must navigate a maze of bureaucratic red tape to locate their children, on top of the uncertainty of their own asylum cases. Adults have been held under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, while children are being handled by the Department of Health and Human Services. By most accounts, the two agencies don’t communicate with each other.

Several parents interviewed by The Globe and Mail say that being detained or separated from their children was a better alternative to the risks they faced back at home in countries that have been rocked by gang violence, corruption and poverty. Others say they would have never tried to migrate to the United States had they known the government would take their children. Their responses reflect the varied reasons why families are coming to the United States, pointing to the complexity of trying to stem the flow.

Tavares signing marks an end to the Toronto Maple Leafs rebuild – and the beginning of a championship opportunity

Last night, the most desirable free agent in the NHL chose the Toronto Maple Leafs. About an hour after the signing window opened at noon, the club announced 27-year-old John Tavares had agreed to a seven-year deal worth US$77-million.

No hockey player with his bonafides – a hall-of-fame talent, in the midst of his prime, with the choice to go anywhere he likes – has ever picked this city and this organization, writes Cathal Kelly. That’s because Toronto has plenty of two things players hate – civic pressure and Canadian taxes.

If the Leafs win a Cup in the next couple of years – and that is now the one and only organizational goal – Tavares will probably get most of the credit. If they don’t, he will absolutely get most of the blame. However it turns out, Tavares has already gone in the space of a few hours from famous to all-caps FAMOUS. He’s traded the certainty of a nice, quiet life for a chance at becoming a legend.

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Banff ditched big-bang Canada Day fireworks to protect wildlife

This Canada Day, Banff, Alta., swapped fireworks for a quieter pyrotechnics display (like you might see at a rock concert), so as not to terrify the thousands of animals, wild and domestic, that live in the area. Whether it’s birds, deer, horses, or otherwise, there’s evidence that traditional fireworks displays aren’t good for animals.

Low-noise fireworks are also gaining popularity elsewhere – the Calgary zoo switched in 2012. Tesco, a British supermarket chain, reported sales doubling as far back as 2009. Further, quiet fireworks are actually more colourful. Forest critters would say that’s a win-win for everyone.


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Can one of the nicest places in the world – Canada – survive what’s to come?

“In the coming months, all of this will be tested, from without and within. The question is whether the Canada we know will survive that test. The biggest challenges are at the border. This year, like last year, thousands of people are crossing into Canada from the United States illegally and claiming asylum. Montreal and Toronto have both run out of room to house them, and the busiest months may lie ahead.” – John Ibbitson

What Ontario’s changes to OHIP+ tell us about the future of national pharmacare

“There are two principal philosophical camps: One holds that pharmacare should provide first-dollar coverage for all medically necessary prescription drugs for all Canadians; the other argues that public pharmacare should fill in the gaps by providing public coverage to those who do not have private coverage. So far, the public debate has been dominated by the “first-dollar coverage” camp. But there’s a new sheriff in town in Ontario and a distinctly more conservative take on what pharmacare should look like.“ – André Picard

Liberals rally round the flag for a long trade war

“The retaliatory tariffs on steel, aluminum, and items from tablecloths to toilet paper, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told us, were levied more in sadness than in anger. There was an appeal to national solidarity as she announced there’d be $2-billion in federal support for workers and businesse who suffer from U.S. duties. The Canada Day weekend message to stick together was a signal that the government thinks this trade war will last a while. And on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump told us that’s exactly what we can expect.” – Campbell Clark

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Is British Columbia the corruption capital of Canada?

“Is British Columbia the most corrupt province in the country? If there was any doubt before, I think it’s been safely removed now. Former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German’s report into money laundering in the province’s casinos is ground-breaking but also deeply disturbing. It confirms why people are losing faith in the ability of public institutions to safeguard our interests. There has rightly been much talk and focus on the former Liberal government and its failure to address a crime epidemic that many sources warned them about. Less attention has been trained on the police and their ineffectiveness in this sorry drama.” – Gary Mason


The skinny on ‘healthy’ ice creams

Who doesn’t love sinking into the couch with a yummy pint of ice cream – summer or not? Healthy ice cream, then, seems like a no brainer. With brands, such as Halo Top, Artic Zero, and more, hitting supermarket freezers, many ice cream aficionados are happy to taste-test lower calorie alternatives. Leslie Beck examines the options from a nutritionist’s perspective. But if there’s one take away: binging a whole pint of frozen dessert in one sitting isn’t mindful eating. Go one scoop at a time.

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