Three of Canada’s cabinet ministers are heading to Mexico to ensure the two nations maintain a united front against the Trump administration in contentious NAFTA negotiations. The trip — which includes Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and new International Trade Minister Jim Carr — comes as Mexico prepares for a change in government following an election earlier this month.
The ministers’ immediate goal is to take the measure of newly elected leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and plot strategy, before heading to Washington for one-on-one talks with the U.S. later this week.
Formal negotiations broke down in May, with auto manufacturing rules and the U.S. demand for a sunset clause emerging as major areas of disagreement. President Donald Trump has recently raised the possibility of striking an agreement with Mexico separately from Canada.
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The federal government says it’s prepared to consider Toronto’s proposal to ban handguns in the city, but Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale cautions such a change would be complex. Toronto Mayor John Tory has questioned why anyone in the city needs a handgun following the mass shooting over the weekend in which two people were killed, in addition to the gunman, and 13 were injured.
The growing dispute between Ontario and Ottawa over the cost of resettling asylum seekers is escalating, with the province promising to send the the federal government a $200-million bill. Premier Doug Ford has made the influx of refugee claimants a key area of complaint against the federal government.
Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is facing a tough re-election battle from competitors who are questioning his commitment to deliver results on Indigenous sovereignty. The AFN election will take place today in Vancouver and each of the chiefs of Canada’s more than 600 First Nations, or proxies on their behalf, are eligible to cast ballots.
One of the most divisive issues up for debate at the AFN convention is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with many First Nations in B.C. opposing the project and others, notably in Alberta, viewing it as key to their economic survival.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper plans to doorknock for the United Conservative Party in next spring’s Alberta election.
Mary Ng, the new Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, says her focus will be on helping Canadian businesses look beyond the U.S. market for trading opportunities by leveraging new trade deals with the European Union (CETA) and Pacific countries (CPTPP).
Charges for the possession of cannabis decreased by around 22 per cent last year, according to data from Statistics Canada. The figure dropped to 13,768 from nearly 18,000 in 2016 and 26,000 in 2013. The use of recreational cannabis is expected to be legal in Canada on Oct. 17.
In the wake of the Toronto shooting, Ontario says part of the $1.9-billion in funding for mental health over the next decade will go toward police initiatives. The decision came after Premier Doug Ford met with federal Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says the new Progressive Conservative government will conduct a review on supervised safe injection sites to see if they “have merit.” Such sites saved nearly 4,000 lives across the country in 2017, according to health officials.
Ontario’s financial accountability officer will examine the Tories’ decision to cancel the province’s cap-and-trade program to determine how much it will ultimately cost, at the request of the opposition NDP.
Six Indigenous child and family services agencies in Manitoba are talking the provincial government to court, accusing the government of illegally clawing back more than $255-million in funding that had been earmarked for kids in care.
The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon has the inside story of how Canada helped lead the charge to rescue the White Helmets, the humanitarian group of Syrian volunteers who helped civilian victims in rebel-held areas after attacks. Much of the credit, sources say, goes to Robin Wettlaufer, Canada’s special envoy to Syria, as well as Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Peter MacDougall, Canada’s ambassador to Jordan.
U.S. President Donald Trump says that American farmers will be given $12-billion in aid to address the shocks of the U.S. trade wars. Some of Mr. Trump’s Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill were critical of his plan because it is in response to retaliatory tariffs by Canada, the European Union, China and others that came as a result of tariffs first levied by the U.S. States with Republican representatives and large agricultural outputs were specifically targeted by retaliatory tariffs. Mr. Trump also tweeted that tariffs “are the greatest” and threatened further levies on U.S. trading partners ahead of negotiations with European Union officials in Washington.
Israel’s Defence Forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet that crossed into the Golan Heights, a strategic area controlled by Israel since the Six-day War in 1967. A UN armistice demilitarized much of the area in 1974, but Israel fears that Syrian government forces may defy that agreement as they regain ground once held by rebels, with the support of Russia.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not be welcome” to visit Capitol Hill or address Congress if he accepts the U.S. president’s invitation, Republican leaders said.
Andrew Hammond (The Globe and Mail) on Trump and the European Union: “While he has concerns with Europe’s low levels of defence spending vis-a-vis Washington, it is on the economic front that the Brussels-based club is the deepest source of frustration for him with its large goods surplus with the United States.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on the Democrats: “The wrath is gaining momentum and given Mr. Trump’s unchanging propensities, given his destiny as a dynamiter, it will continue to build. The risk is that it could grow to the point where the Democrats’ traditional party structure will implode as it did with what is now on the heels of the Tea rebels, a Grand Old sham of a Party.”
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on gun laws: “Ottawa must address this shifting landscape. It appears there are more registered handguns than ever in Canada, and a lucrative and growing black market for their resale.”
Denise Balkissoon (The Globe and Mail) on violence: “Targeting urban violence isn’t easy. Many approaches and solutions have to come into play, but reducing access to guns supports them all.”
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the Senate’s spending: “The honour-based system has failed too often in the recent past for the Senate to expand it now. Senators are showing an indifference to public perception when they ought to be showing contrition.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Trump’s trade war: “His message that the United States ‘has been taken advantage of for too long’ resonates on the factory floor. That’s why all the expert opinion, pressure from Congress or pleas from U.S. business groups will not persuade Mr. Trump to back down.” (for subscribers)