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Canada Morning Update: Ottawa to redraft broadcasting laws; Ford sued by late brother’s widow

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Ottawa wants to force foreign players such as Netflix and Facebook to fund Canadian content

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The federal government is looking to give itself new legal powers over online companies, taking aim at firms that are disrupting the traditional broadcasting sector (for subscribers). Ottawa is set to appoint a panel today that will be assigned to redraft the country’s broadcasting laws. The panel will also be asked to modernize the mandates of the CBC and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. The government wants the panel to ensure foreign players support the “creation, production and distribution of online content.” Ottawa continues to oppose an “approach that increases the cost of services to Canadians.”

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Rob Ford’s widow and children are suing Doug Ford

Renata Ford and her children have filed a lawsuit against Doug Ford, alleging that the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader was a negligent business manager who cost the late mayor’s family millions and deprived them of the money left behind to support them. The lawsuit claims that the Fords’ company, Deco Labels & Tags, lost more than $5-million over the past six years, and that the family’s fortune shrunk to less than $6-million as a result of Doug Ford and his brother Randy’s “ongoing liquidation of investments.” Doug Ford denied the allegations, writing in a statement that the claims “are completely false” and that he intends to refute them in court.

The lawsuit comes less than a week before Ontarians will vote in the provincial election, where most polls show that Doug Ford is likely to become the province’s next premier.

Here’s Adam Radwanski’s take: “Politics isn’t about perfectly litigated verdicts – especially when something both sensational and highly complex comes onto voters’ radars right before they head to the polls. And because of the many ways it could reflect on Ford, this 11th-hour surprise has the potential to be a breaking point for voters who have been struggling with how many warning signs they can look past.”

The lawsuit filed against Ford isn’t the PC Party’s only problem. On Monday, Toronto Police spokesperson Mark Pugash confirmed that the police department is investigating a PC candidate who allegedly sent out a threatening e-mail last week. Roshan Nallaratnam, a former police officer himself, claims that the e-mail is fake.

The Vancouver Police Department’s use of carding disproportionately targets Indigenous people

Sixteen per cent of those subjected to street checks last year were Indigenous people, despite the fact that they account for about 2 per cent of Vancouver’s population. And roughly 5 per cent of the checks were of black people, who make up about 1 per cent of the city’s population. The data, released by the force, drew condemnation from advocates who said the street-check system is an example of minorities being overpoliced. The police force denied its street checks were driven by race and said its focus is on crime. The issue of checks, or carding, has flared up in Ontario, with complaints about privacy violations and accusations that police were disproportionately targeting minorities.

Canada’s steel makers are urging Ottawa not to delay imposing retaliatory tariffs on U.S.

Canadian steel executives want Justin Trudeau to slap tariffs on U.S. steel imports right away instead of waiting until July 1. They’re also calling for the Prime Minister to set restrictions to prevent foreign steel from the U.S. market from being redirected to Canada. Donald Trump, meanwhile, continues to stoke trade-war tensions, this time turning his attention to Canada’s agricultural sector. The U.S. President said Canada’s “trade barriers” are hurting American farmers, an apparent reference to the supply-management system in place north of the border which places tariffs on dairy, eggs and poultry products (for subscribers).

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Trump says he has the power to pardon himself

On Monday, the U.S. President claimed to have an “absolute right” to pardon himself, suggesting that the procedures meant to prevent sitting presidents from abusing their power are merely norms rather than laws. His lawyers further asserted in a memo to special counsel Robert Mueller that it would be impossible for the President to have done anything wrong, in terms of obstructing justice, given that the President has ultimate control over the U.S. Justice Department and executive branch. Nonetheless, Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning to claim innocence, tweeting that he has “done nothing wrong.”


World markets markets fare well, Wall Street eyes stronger start

Global markets are generally faring well, with New York poised for a stronger open. Tokyo’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng each gained 0.3 per cent, with the Shanghai composite up 0.7 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.6 per cent by about 5:15 a.m. ET, while Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent. New York futures were also up. The Canadian dollar was below 77.5 US cents.

The Canadian dollar was below 77.5 US cents.

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Who deserves to win in Ontario? Nobody

“The irony of this bizarre election is that Ontario is not a wacky province. We are, generally speaking, a prudent, dull and middle-of-the-road sort of place. We don’t usually go in for separatists, socialists or right-wing rabble-rousers. It feels as if we got into this mess by accident. And in truth, we did.” - Margaret Wente

Immigrants make Canada the envy of the world

“We arrived in Winnipeg from the Netherlands in the late winter of 1948. I was seven years old, and had a lot to learn. How to speak English, how to play in the snow … and of course, how to skate. But what I wanted – most of all – was to learn about my new country. And so I read its books, sang its songs, attended plays at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and listened to shows on CBC Radio. And through its stories, I came to embrace Canada as my own.” - Peter Herrndorf, former president and CEO of the National Arts Centre

Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish

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“Canadians are left with the impression that President Donald Trump is an irrational buffoon who is shooting himself in the foot with his trade policies. In fact, contrary to common (and, apparently, Canadian political executive) sense, the U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Trump’s perspective. The extent of the punitive tariffs Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – by design.” - Christian Leuprecht and Roger Bradbury


How to sneak in a workout while your kids play at the park

With just a few moves, using your own body weight, you can sneak in a full-body workout while you’re supervising your kids on the sidelines. Stephanie Katona, founder of Toronto’s SKLPT Your Body personal training, suggests some exercises.


June 5, 1873: In a province dominated by business dynasties, Ganong Bros. was first. Before Irving or McCain made their marks on New Brunswick, brothers James and Gilbert (G.W.) Ganong opened a grocery store in the small border town of St. Stephen. Before long, they began making their own candy - and the rest is history. After 145 years and five generations as a family-owned and operated business, Canada’s oldest chocolate company remains a household name. There have been many accomplishments and innovations along the way: North America’s first chocolate nut bar in 1909 (the Pal-o-Mine came along 10 years later); the introduction of the heart-shaped chocolate box to Canada in 1930; the launch of an annual Chocolate Fest in 1984, cementing St. Stephen’s reputation as this country’s chocolate town. Perhaps most noteworthy, however, was the invention of the chicken bone by Ganong candy maker Frank Sparhawk in 1885. Pink and bone-shaped, hot-cinnamon flavoured with a chocolate centre, the iconic hard candy is not without controversy: A 2013 story in The Globe and Mail called them “polarizing” in the Maritimes. “Some love them, some hate them, but few are indifferent.“ - Jamie Ross

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