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Canada Morning Update: Winemaker Norman Hardie accused of sexual misconduct; pot prohibition ends

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These are the top stories:

Canadian winemaker Norman Hardie has been accused of sexual misconduct

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A Globe and Mail investigation reveals a wide-ranging pattern of alleged sexual advances and sexual harassment by Hardie, a major player in Canada’s food and wine industry. Hardie, 52, first made a name for himself as a sommelier at Toronto’s Four Seasons before eventually running his namesake winery in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. (Prince Charles and Justin Trudeau are among those who have stopped at the winery.)

Three women who spoke to The Globe described unwanted sexual contact by Hardie, including instances of groping or kissing while at the winery or industry events. Eighteen others described behaviour that could be characterized as sexual harassment. They described requests for sex, lewd comments and being deliberately exposed to pornography. Hardie denied many of the allegations, saying “I do not physically grab people or touch them against their will.” He apologized “to those who my behaviour negatively impacted.”

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Canada’s 95-year prohibition on cannabis is over

Parliament changed Canadian law last night to lift the 95-year-old ban on cannabis and free millions of adults to openly smoke, ingest or grow the drug without fear of a criminal record. The move also green-lights a legal, multibillion-dollar industry in Canada, which will join Uruguay as one of the few countries where cannabis is legal nationwide. Marijuana for recreational use is expected to go on sale in early or mid-September. In the meantime, the act will allow licensed producers to start shipping dried cannabis to approved retailers across the country and to set up mail delivery. (for subscribers)

Campbell Clark writes the bill’s passage is a political milestone for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that meant pushing back against the public’s self-contradictory hesitation and overcoming political inertia: “Most Canadians have been moving to this point for years. Mr. Trudeau’s government finally applied a little momentum to overcome the inertia.” (for subscribers)

For a deeper look back at Trudeau’s changing attitude on marijuana, read Daniel Leblanc’s analysis here (for subscribers).

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More than 100 asylum seekers are being held in a men’s prison in Oregon

Activists and immigration lawyers say many of them have been separated from their families and denied legal counsel and access to medical care. The men have been held at the prison since mid-May. They are said to have sought asylum at an official border crossing; White House officials said migrants claiming asylum at legal ports of entry wouldn’t be separated from their children.

The news comes as outrage continues to build over the White House’s “zero-tolerance” policy at the Mexican border. Twelve Republicans have called on President Donald Trump to put a halt to the practice until Congress passes immigration legislation. But Trump isn’t backing down, saying, “Those are the only two options: Totally open borders or criminal prosecution for law breaking.” Republicans are exploring two immigration bills, one of which would make it a criminal offence to overstay a visa and cut legal immigration by 25 per cent. The other would promise US$25-billion in future funds for Trump’s wall. Trump has said he’d sign either into law but it’s unclear whether either bill will garner enough support to pass.

B.C. fish farms will require Indigenous consent

The B.C. government is poised to give First Nations the right to veto fish farm tenures in their territories. The historic concession reaches beyond the traditional court-ordered requirement that Indigenous groups be consulted and accommodated on resource decisions on their lands.

The decision will affect the province’s aquaculture industry, although it will have four years to adapt before tenures are cancelled. Some companies are almost sure to be evicted because the farms are adamantly opposed by some – but not all – Indigenous groups. There are 116 marine finfish farms operating in British Columbia.

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Opioid-related deaths are soaring in British Columbia, Alberta

Nearly 4,000 people died as a result of opioids last year, a 34-per-cent jump from the close to 3,000 who died in 2016. The increase is most acute in B.C.: Deaths from illegal-drug overdoses (primarily opioids) jumped from 523 in 2015 to 974 in 2016 and then 1,399 in 2017. More than 90 per cent of the deaths nationwide were unintentional. And 72 per cent involved prescription and illicit fentanyl, up from 55 per cent in 2016.


World stocks rise as trade angst eases

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European stocks rose with U.S. futures, tracking gains in Asia, as the panic surrounding a potential global trade war showed signs of easing. Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar edged higher, the euro fell and oil rose. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE was up 1.15 per cent. Germany’s DAX gained 0.45 per cent and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.13 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended 1.24 per cent higher. Both the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite Index recovered some of the previous session’s losses, finishing up 0.77 per cent and 0.31 per cent respectively. The Canadian dollar was trading lower at 75.21 US cents.


Summer vacation – anywhere but the U.S.?

“It’s hard to know what to do as a Canadian watching the turmoil in our neighbour to the south, and choosing not to visit seems like an obvious answer. Not crossing the 49th parallel is an easy act of solidarity with the Latin-American families being torn apart, and not giving our money to a country actively hostile toward us seems like simple self-defence.” – Denise Balkissoon

What a World Cup star can teach the world about being Muslim

“To see Mr. Salah prostrate after every goal is refreshing, as he is oblivious to any negative perception of his gesture. He is Muslim and proud, without being in-your-face about it. He quietly worships at the local Liverpool mosque, which has led to an increase in attendance and the creation of an interfaith soccer league. He eschews alcohol and gives generously for the less fortunate in his home province of Tanta in Egypt. He is a role model for Muslim youth, by showing that hard work combined with simple adherence to the faith can lead to success and respect. His message is simple: Be proud of who you are, treat people well and give back to your community.” – Sheema Khan

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The carbon-tax debate is filled with dishonesty

“When B.C. introduced its carbon tax in 2008, it was offset by tax cuts elsewhere. Consequently, its effect on people’s wallets was insignificant. More recently, governments in B.C. have used some of the carbon-tax revenue to fund general spending. Studies have also shown carbon taxes have a negligible negative impact on the wider economy.That is what the leaders of conservative-minded parties and governments don’t want to tell people. They’d prefer to make the carbon tax as evil as possible because it’s good politics for them. It’s easy to demonize, even though there is broad consensus that putting a price on carbon is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” – Gary Mason


Peer-to-peer RV rental services offer a new way to camp in style

You’ve heard of Airbnb, but have you heard of Wheelestate or Outdoorsy? These peer-to-peer RV rental services let users enjoy camping without the burdens of ownership, while owners turn their parked assets into extra cash. From Airstream trailers to VW camper vans, this new twist on ride-sharing is for anyone looking to camp in style (and comfort) this summer.


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The Pingualuit Crater is discovered

June 20, 1943: It’s been described as a treasure, a riddle and the eighth wonder of the world. But first, it was a mysterious sighting from above. Pilots with the U.S. Army Air Force were on a routine weather flight in Canada when they spotted a startling formation below: A nearly perfect circular form punctured into the stark terrain of the northern Quebec tundra. It would take several expeditions, including one co-partnered by the Royal Ontario Museum and The Globe and Mail in 1950, before scientists posited an explanation. They said the formation was a crater gouged into the land when a meteorite crashed to Earth 1.4-million years ago, hitting the ground with the force of a four-megaton hydrogen bomb. It became the first meteorite crater to be officially recognized in Canada, a status that only increased its renown as a legendary site. The Inuit had long revered the site on the Ungava plateau, nicknaming it nunavingmi pikkuminartuq, or a place where one gets revitalized. Its crystalline waters remain among the purest in the world. Today, the Pingualuit Crater is the singular attraction of Quebec’s Pingualuit National Park. Anyone can behold its wonders, if they’re willing to venture to the otherworldly reaches of Quebec’s northern wilderness. – Ingrid Peritz

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