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Canada Morning Update: Tearful May steps down over Brexit failure; Raptors one win away from finals; another hitch in USMCA

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These are the top stories:

Emotional British PM Theresa May resigns over Brexit failure: ‘I have done everything I can’

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she will resign next month, ending nearly three years in office that will be defined by her inability to pull Britain out of the European Union.

In an emotional statement on Friday Ms. May said she will step down on June 7, clearing the way for the Conservative Party to select a new leader who will become Prime Minister. Ms. May expressed “deep regret” at her failure on Brexit, saying she had done all she could to win approval for a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

“I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal ... sadly I have not been able to do so,” she said. “I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.” As she teared up she added: “I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female Prime Minister, but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”

The Toronto Raptors can reach the NBA finals with a win this weekend

The Raptors are one victory away from their first trip to the finals after pulling off a 105-99 Game 5 road win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Kawhi Leonard quelled any injury concerns en route to a 35-point night, with 15 in the fourth quarter alone. Toronto got off to a slow start, trailing 16-4 early, but never let the game slip away.

The Raptors will take their 3-2 series lead back to Toronto for Game 6 on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Game 7, if needed, would be Monday in Milwaukee. The series winner will face Golden State Warriors, the reigning NBA champions.

Just joining the Raptors bandwagon? We’ve got you covered with this primer.

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Most Canadians support limiting access to handguns and assault weapons

A new Angus Reid survey found 64 per cent support further handgun limits, while 77 per cent were in favour of more measures on assault weapons – countering the results of a federal government survey that critics said was flawed.

The federal questionnaire found little support for limits. But The Globe spoke to one firearms enthusiast who acknowledged he used automation software to submit as many as 35,000 responses.

The Angus results come as Ottawa examines limits or bans on guns in the wake of last year’s Danforth shooting in Toronto.

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The stress test is helping prevent a potential financial crisis, the head of CMHC says

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The chief executive of the national housing agency says the tougher lending rules are a safeguard against a “debt-fuelled real estate boom.” Evan Siddall of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation warned that 10 years after the U.S. housing crash, “we have fallen into the ‘this time is different’ trap of complacency.”

Siddall said changes proposed by real estate industry groups would drive up home prices and lead to more borrowing by Canadians who are already heavily indebted. “My job is to advise you against this reckless myopia and protect our economy from potentially tragic consequences.”

Trump-Pelosi tensions are casting further doubt on USMCA ratification

“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi understands the deal. It’s too complicated,” the U.S. President said of the House Speaker at a White House news conference. His remarks came after Pelosi accused him of throwing a “tantrum” at a meeting and called for an “intervention” over his behaviour.

The attacks call into question the fate of the trade deal as the clock ticks toward the 2020 U.S. election. Democrats are demanding changes to toughen labour and environmental rules before proceeding with ratification. But it’s not clear how Republicans can reach a compromise since Canada and Mexico have said they won’t reopen the deal.

Progress appeared in sight after the U.S. dropped steel and aluminum tariffs last week; Ottawa plans to set its ratification process in motion as early as next week.

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China’s ambassador to Canada says it’s up to Ottawa to repair relations

Lu Shaye said relations are at a “freezing point” and that Canada should make amends by allowing Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to return to China, saying her situation is a “political issue.” Lu said he was “saddened” about the state of China-Canada relations, but made clear they won’t improve until Meng is free to leave Vancouver. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Meng’s case must be left to the courts. (for subscribers)

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, called Huawei a “very dangerous” company but said he might negotiate its ban from 5G networks as part of a China trade deal.

And as Huawei faces scrutiny, Finland-based Nokia is pitching itself in Canada as a security-focused alternative for 5G technology. Rogers plans to work with Sweden’s Ericsson on 5G, but BCE and Telus – both of whom worked with Huawei on 3G and 4G – have yet to decide on a 5G vendor. (for subscribers)

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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So much for an end to the Philippines garbage spat. A spokesperson for President Rodrigo Duterte said Canada’s plan to remove the 69 containers by the end of June isn’t fast enough, and that the Philippines will pay to ship it back to Canada by the end of next week. Ottawa already contracted a company to complete the task at a cost of $1.14-million.

A professor at the University of New Brunswick is under fire for views his colleagues say are “racist and without academic merit.” In a public letter, 35 academics at UNB said Ricardo Duchesne’s comments on multiculturalism and immigration are “an abuse of his status as a professor.” Duchesne rejected his colleagues’ criticism as a means to “close off any debate.” UNB said it is reviewing the allegations against a faculty member.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks rise

Global stocks edged higher on Friday and oil prices recovered from bruising falls, after U.S. President Donald Trump nurtured muted hopes of progress in U.S.-China talks while concerns over trade and the health of the world economy persisted. Tokyo lost out, the Nikkei shedding 0.2 per cent, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite eked out a small gain.In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.7 and 0.9 per cent by about 6:45 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was below 74.5 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

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Ottawa can easily fix sex discrimination in the Indian Act – but we’re still waiting

Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Sharon McIvor and Dawn Lavell-Harvard: “First Nations women know from personal experience that the harms of this discrimination are extreme, and there is a lot at stake. Thousands of descendants of First Nations women are excluded from membership, statutory benefits, treaty payments, belonging, identity and decision-making about the future of their nations – simply because their First Nations ancestor is female, not male.”

A singular moment for abortion rights in the U.S.

Rosemary Westwood: “The 2020 elections will be, in part, a referendum on abortion in America, a singular moment for the country to choose its fate after 46 years of bitter discord. There is only one way to ensure abortion access, for those who’d choose to: they need to take back the U.S. Senate, the White House and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.” Rosemary Westwood is a New Orleans-based journalist.

Modi’s big win has averted a nightmare scenario

Brahma Chellaney: “Faced with a choice between a stable, firm government and a possible retreat to political drift and paralysis, voters in the world’s largest democracy have returned Narendra Modi to power with a thumping majority. This reflects the desire of Indians for a dynamic, assertive leadership to help revitalize the country so that it stops punching below its weight.” Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author.

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

(Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

New movies out this weekend

Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart is the four-star feminist comedy teenage girls should plan their lives around.

If You Could Read My Mind offers an entertaining, if shallow, look at Gordon Lightfoot. (3 stars)

Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin is tolerable, except when Will Smith’s Genie pops up, at which point it’s pure nightmare fuel. (2.5 stars)

Subscribers can go here for a complete guide to new flicks in theatres and on Netflix.

MOMENT IN TIME

Queen Victoria is born

(The Press Association via AP)

The Press Association via AP

May 24, 1819: George III of England had 15 children. More than enough “heir and the spare” to continue the British royal family lineage. But succession is complicated. George III’s fourth son, Edward Duke of Kent, died shortly after his only daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, was born on this day in 1819. She became heir to the throne because the three uncles ahead of her in succession – George IV, Frederick Duke of York and William IV – had no legitimate children who survived. So when William IV died in 1837, Princess Victoria was next in line and became Queen at 18. At the time, it was said she represented a generation of confident and inquisitive people at home and abroad. A generation that greatly expanded Britain’s wealth and influence. Also during her era, she signed off on the official birth of the Dominion of Canada. In Victoria’s almost 64-year reign, the Empire reached the height of its worldwide control, so much so that the phrase “the sun never sets on the British Empire” was born. The Empire didn’t last. Neither did it collapse; it merely lost 1 per cent of market share each year for a hundred years. Queen Victoria would not have been amused. Philip King

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