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Canada Morning Update: U.S. labour, business groups defend Canada’s place in NAFTA; Federal experts warned heritage minister that Chagall painting should not leave Canada

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These are the top stories:

U.S. labour, business groups defend Canada’s place in NAFTA

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After missing U.S. President Trump’s deadline for a NAFTA deal on Friday, the United States and Canada are set to return to the bargaining table in Washington on Wednesday. The talks will resume after the President returned to his campaign-trail rhetoric on Saturday, calling NAFTA “one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made,” and tweeting that there is “no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal.” He also warned, “Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely and we will be far better off,” knowing full well that Canada’s strongest leverage point in the discussions will be Congress, which can refuse to pass an overhauled NAFTA that only includes Mexico and the U.S.

Members of Congress, including Republicans, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have already weighed in against Mr. Trump’s assertion that the bilateral pact with Mexico could supplant the North American free-trade agreement. On Sunday, the U.S. labour movement – one of the trade pact’s longest-standing critics – insisted Canada must stay in the deal.

Derek Burney, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. from 1989 to 1993, writes that Canada must take a lesson from the history books and remain strong in its stance on NAFTA against schoolyard-bully tactics. “Brian Mulroney stood firm on this issue in 1987 and the results more than vindicate his bold decision. The Trudeau government should also hold firm against Mr. Trump.” (For subscribers)

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Federal experts warned heritage minister that Chagall painting should not leave Canada

In a newly disclosed letter dated April 5, Sharilyn Ingram, the chair of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB), wrote to the then-heritage minister that she and her colleagues were concerned by the government’s decision to let the National Gallery of Canada ship a multimillion-dollar Marc Chagall painting out of the country to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York. The CCPERB hears appeals for denied export permits, but because the 1929 Chagall canvas The Eiffel Tower was approved for export on its initial application, the case never came up for an official review. The board’s letter, however, suggests it might have blocked the export of the painting. Although the Chagall sale was later called off, the decision by the Ottawa institution was met with strong public outcry and it reveals an obscure part of government cultural policy that has continued to have major ramifications in the art world this year.

U.S. Senator John McCain laid to rest

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On Saturday, a memorial service for the late Senator John McCain turned into a clear rebuke of President Donald Trump’s divisive politics as McCain’s daughter, two former presidents and political dignitaries used their tributes to call for a return to civility. Standing near McCain’s flag-draped casket and with Trump’s daughter among the audience at Washington National Cathedral, Meghan McCain delivered a strongly worded rebuke against the uninvited President without mentioning his name. “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said. A private memorial service was held on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy’s chapel followed by a procession to the burial site on a grassy hill within view of the Severn River. David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writes how McCain’s funeral mourned more than the end of “one epic life.”

“The question of the day is whether, or how soon, the political battles of the time overtake the continental-wide memorials for a man who was welcomed back to freedom from captivity in the Vietnam era by Richard Nixon.”

Expert says Health Canada’s cannabis education campaign is ‘more nuanced’

You can probably recall the health campaigns of the past that warned of the harmful effects of drugs. The ads, usually targeted at teens, would end with a narrator advising an abstinence-based approach of just don’t do it. But now that the federal government has decided to legalize marijuana, Health Canada has undertaken new strategies to try and land on teens’ screens and in the places they hang out. “Inevitably, that communication and education is going to be more nuanced and subtle,” said David Hammond, a professor in the school of public health at the University of Waterloo. This would mean that public-education campaigns on cannabis would rely more on adopting a harm-reduction approach, focusing on messages that point out the circumstances where the drug should be avoided instead of saying to not consume it.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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A UBC professor researched ancient oral traditions to create a new language for the film Alpha

Christine Schreyer’s latest concept language has distinctly human origins. The B.C. anthropology professor, who specializes in linguistic anthropology, researched the phonetic sounds of several ancient languages to create Beama for the film Alpha, the story of a young man separated from his tribe who befriends a lone wolf, set 20,000 years ago. She said the film’s director, Albert Hughes, preferred more melodic-sounding languages, so Beama emphasized vowel sounds, rather than consonant-heavy words. Schreyer has created new languages for other Hollywood films, such as Man of Steel and Power Rangers.

MORNING MARKETS

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

When will there be good news?

I’m convinced that these stories are compelling not just because they’re positive, but because they’re different. In the current environment, a few stories hog all the oxygen and then burn hotter when they’re fanned by social-media outrage. Outrage is satisfying, momentarily, but ultimately empty if it results in nothing greater than itself. – Elizabeth Renzetti

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Can Bernier disrupt in 2019? Look to history

If Mr. Bernier’s platform focuses on curtailing illegal immigration and opposing what he calls “extreme multiculturalism,” he could very well do more damage to the federal Liberals in Quebec than to the [Conservative Party of Canada] (which does not require many, if any, seats from Quebec to win a majority). There is also an ideological, conviction-based dimension to what Mr. Bernier represents that may extend beyond Quebec, and if it does, may further undermine support for whatever positions and parties are most supported by Canada’s political elites. – Preston Manning, founder of the Manning Centre, and the former leader of the Reform Party of Canada

Is China’s Belt and Road plan a debt trap?

There is a real danger of leaders of developing countries accepting substantial development loans for large projects that help themselves, their relatives and friends, rather than the people. Then when these leaders lose power, successor governments are stuck with the task of financing the loans. – Frank Ching, a Hong-Kong based journalist

LIVING BETTER

The Globe’s guide to TIFF 2018 movies

Roll out the red carpet because Canada’s largest film festival kicks off Thursday. However, with 255 features to choose from this year, even movie buffs may not know where to start. Do you want to know which flicks to line up for, which to catch later and which to skip? Check out The Globe’s interactive TIFF guide.

MOMENT IN TIME

Did you make any regrettable fashion choices in the 1970s or 80s? This man did not. Italian fashion legend Giorgio Armani established his eponymous brand – now empire – in 1975. Vogue critic Sarah Mower describes him as “a god to the army of American executive women in the 1980s,” and for good reason: He brought the pantsuit to women’s wear, with elegant, men’s-wear-inspired business jackets and trousers that offered both fashion and function. His designer wares arrived in Toronto in 1978, with the opening of a boutique in high-brow Hazelton Lanes (now known as Yorkville Village). In town from Italy for the opening of the original Armani boutique, he was photographed in 1978 by Steve Patriquen for The Globe and Mail putting the finishing touches on one model’s look – “a boa on a padded silk dress sheltered by a gilded shearing jacket.” – Jacqueline Houston

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