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Canada Morning Update: Migrants in limbo in Mexico; CannTrust halts sales amid probe; B.C. court quashes Victoria plastic-bag ban

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Migrants seeking asylum in the United States are being left in limbo in Mexico

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Reporting from Mexico, Tamsin McMahon writes of the more than 17,000 migrants who crossed the U.S. border to claim asylum only to be told they must return to Mexico to await their court proceedings, driven largely by an agreement signed between the two countries.

After President Donald Trump threatened severe tariffs on Mexico unless it stemmed the flow of migrants to the border, Mexican officials rushed to sign onto the arrangement. The influx of migrants into the U.S. this year has reached its highest in more than a decade as asylum seekers remain a hot-button political and humanitarian issue.

In the U.S., Sunday will see raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest thousands of members of families who are in the United States illegally, according to one former and two current Homeland Security officials. The operation, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, had been postponed, partly because of resistance among officials at his own immigration agency.

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CannTrust is halting sales of its cannabis products as a Health Canada probe casts uncertainty over its licence

Amid a Health Canada investigation into illegal growing activities, including the cultivation of thousands of kilograms of cannabis in unlicensed rooms, CannTrust Holdings has halted all sales and shipments.

The company faces serious questions about its future, including the possibility of losing its growing licence, as its stock continues to plummet – nearly 40 per cent since Monday.

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CannTrust also said that it has established a special committee composed of “independent members of [the] board of directors. The purpose of the special committee is to investigate this matter in its entirety.”

B.C.'s top court has quashed Victoria’s ban on plastic bags

The highest court in British Columbia struck down the city of Victoria’s bylaw banning single-use plastic bags on the basis that it was outside the city’s jurisdiction.

This decision puts similar bans, attempts to cut down on plastic waste, elsewhere in the province at risk.

The Canadian Plastic Bag Association, a national plastics industry lobby group that has previously challenged bans in other cities, including Toronto, filed a lawsuit after Victoria city council voted for the ban. Since last July, businesses in the B.C. city have been prohibited from offering or selling disposable plastic bags and required to charge customers for paper and reusable bags.

‘Buy America’ rules are pulling Bombardier to the United States

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Bombardier says that U.S. policies that force governments to buy certain products from American factories are harming their railcar factories in Canada.

Earlier this week, Bombardier announced it was cutting 550 jobs from its Thunder Bay plant – half of the work force at the factory – because contracts from its two major customers, Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission, are coming to an end.

These “Buy America” policies, which originate in the 1930s, serve to encourage Bombardier to shift production southward – raising the likelihood that the company will eventually serve the Canadian rail market primarily from factories in the United States.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Canada pledges $1-million for imprisoned journalists: At the end of an international conference on press freedom co-hosted with Britain, Canada committed money for imprisoned journalists but Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland acknowledged that there isn’t much that Western governments can do beyond advocacy.

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Returning disputed Oka land: Gregoire Gollin, a Quebec land developer, signed an agreement to return a parcel of pine forest at the heart of the Oka crisis 29 years ago. Gollin says he acted in the spirit of reconciliation in an agreement reached last month and plans to cede 60 hectares of forest to the local council as an ecological gift through a federal government program.

Freeland distances Ottawa from McCallum: After former Canadian ambassador to China John McCallum said that Beijing had to be careful punishing Canada further over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is distancing the Trudeau government from him. "Mr. McCallum does not speak for the government of Canada,” Freeland said.

Ford promises to improve appointment vetting: In the wake of a patronage scandal involving the premier’s former chief of staff, Dean French, Ford is moving to tighten the vetting of government appointments, but is light on the details. This follows the resignation of the chair of an Ontario justice committee after The Globe and Mail revealed his ties to French.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks mixed

World shares came within a whisker of posting their first weekly loss since May on Friday and the U.S. dollar was down for a third day running, as even a stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation print failed to shake bets on Federal Reserve interest rate cuts. Tokyo’s Nikkei was slightly higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat, and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.4 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 per cent, Germany’s DAX was little changed and the Paris CAC 40 was up 0.5 per cent at about 6:15 ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was 76.73 US cents.

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

What will Canada do to win a Security Council seat? Far too much

Doug Saunders: “If you ask Liberals why they’re bothering with this, they’ll point out that Canada has a long tradition of using Security Council seats to promote its values, that it’s important to have a stable liberal democracy on the body and that in the eighties and nineties, it used those seats to push for ending apartheid and banning conflict diamonds. But Canada didn’t prevail on those files because it was on the Security Council for a couple years … While its seat didn’t hurt, those wins were accomplished by old-fashioned one-on-one meetings between leaders.”

Justin Trudeau’s star recruit in Quebec is the real deal

Konrad Yakabuski: “In the language of party politics, Steven Guilbeault is what you call a catch. Quebec’s most prominent (and friendliest) environmentalist enjoys near celebrity status in his home province and has been courted for years by environment ministers seeking his imprimatur. Mr. Guilbeault has in turn played a savvy game of amassing his very own stockpile of political capital in preparation for the inevitable day when he would become a candidate himself. That day has come.”

Apollo 11: A Globe reporter’s childhood memory of the moonshot and why we shouldn’t go back

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Eric Reguly: “Watching the liftoff of Apollo 11 – the moonshot – was one of my earliest memories. But I wasn’t watching it on TV. I was at Cape Kennedy, in the spectator stands with my sisters and my mother, covering our ears, terrified as 7.7-million pounds of thrust from the mighty Saturn V rockets shook the earth and nearly deafened us ... For decades after the launch, I didn’t much think about the Apollo rockets. The last moonshot – Apollo 17 – was in 1972 and the whole project faded away, as if it never happened. I don’t think the moon program should be revived. Why? Partly because we have pressing concerns on Earth.”

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

TIFF 2019: Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Daniel Craig and ... the Joker? Our best guess on who’s coming to Toronto this year

What can audiences expect from TIFF 2019? Barry Hertz writes: “Very likely: more of the same. Which is to say a heady mix of glitzy premieres, awards-season wannabes and the best art-house cinema culled from the European film circuit. Oh, and the latest from that little disrupter called Netflix. While TIFF won’t begin revealing its 2019 programming until next week – organizers will announce this year’s opening-night film on July 18, with the gala and special presentation films revealed July 23 – it’s never too early to play a round of the film industry’s favourite game, Guess Who’s Coming to TIFF.”

MOMENT IN TIME

Prince Charles and Diana finalize divorce terms

(AP Photo/File)

The Associated Press

July 12, 1996: “Charles and Diana end the waiting: Divorce proceedings to begin,” a headline in The Globe and Mail announced on July 12, 1996. It marked the day Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, made final the terms of their divorce. Four years prior, then-U.K. prime minister John Major announced the separation in a televised speech from the House of Commons. ”This decision has been reached amicably,” he said, adding the pair agreed to raise their sons, William and Harry, together. In the summer of 1996, the Queen commanded the couple to put an end to the marriage, which Charles wanted, but Diana resisted, fearing a divorce would negatively affect the children. The split was the conclusion of what began with “the wedding of the century” – a lavish affair with 2,650 guests at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a horse-drawn carriage and a silk taffeta gown that cost £151,000. The marriage was defined by near-constant scrutiny, extramarital affairs (both parties) and coverage by a tabloid press happy to publish every detail. In the settlement, Diana lost her title, Her Royal Highness, keeping instead, Princess of Wales. Access to the Royal Family’s private jets, a Kensington Palace apartment and a lump-sum payment of £17-million went to Diana in the split. Jessie Willms

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