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Canada vows to hit back at U.S. if tariffs imposed on auto industry

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Ottawa plans to match the threatened U.S. auto tariffs of 25 per cent on imported vehicles and auto parts, with Canada’s deputy ambassador to the U.S. delivering a warning at a Commerce Department hearing in Washington that the federal government will respond in a “proportional manner.”

The Trump administration last month hit Canada, the U.S.’s largest commercial partner, with tariffs on steel and aluminum, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded by placing levies on a long list of American goods. Auto tariffs would likely send the economy into recession. One possible strategy that Canadian premiers are looking at to stem the rise of U.S. tariffs on Canadian goods is to speak directly to the American population through news shows, such as Fox News, to deliver the message that protectionism hurts both sides.

And according to a new study from Center for Automotive Research, U.S. auto tariffs of 25 per cent would send prices for cars soaring in the U.S., causing sales to fall by two million units and wiping out more than 700,000 jobs.

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Premiers pass on Ford and Moe’s climate fight with Ottawa

At the Council of the Federation conference for premiers, Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative Premier and Saskatchewan’s Premier found themselves coming up short when it came to finding allies that could help in building a legal case against the federal government’s plan to impose carbon pricing on provinces that don’t already have it.

Ford is scrapping the cap-and-trade system his predecessor introduced, and now wants to stop Ottawa from imposing a carbon tax on Ontario and other provinces that don’t want one.

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Ottawa recently passed legislation that would give the federal government power to impose a carbon tax on provinces and territories that fail to meet the minimum standards through their own carbon-pricing regime. All provinces and territories have until Sept. 1 to submit their climate plans to Ottawa, and so far British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have already adopted or announced plans that they expect will meet the federal threshold, while the Atlantic provinces are expected to announce their plans later this year.

Tilray Inc. becomes first cannabis grower to complete an IPO in the U.S.

Tilray Inc., one of Canada’s oldest and largest legal producers of medical cannabis, began weighing its options about how it should enter the stock market about 18 months ago. After the Nanaimo, B.C.-based company attended multiple meetings with many potential investors from both sides of the border, its hard work has finally paid off. On Thursday, Tilray became the first cannabis grower to complete an initial public offering as its stock is now listed on the Nasdaq.

At the open, the nine million shares being offered went for US$17 apiece, but by the close the shares had soared by 30 per cent and were going for US$22.39.

The marketing efforts that chief executive officer Brendan Kennedy clocked in ahead of Tilray’s IPO amounted to about 100 hours of air travel in the past month, going to meetings from Hong Kong to Edmonton. His efforts will not be soon forgotten, as the company raised US$153-million in its opening on the Nasdaq and is now valued to be worth US$1.6-billion. (for subscribers)

David Milstead writes about who’s getting rich off cannabis and how, despite dumping shares, many pot execs still hold sizable stakes in their companies. (for subscribers)

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Seniors have too much house. Millennials have too little. And a business model is born

A growing number of the country’s seniors are living in homes too big, while young Canadians squeeze into tiny apartments well outside their budget. And so the solution, sharing the living space already built, becomes a mutual benefit for both parties.

The concept of home-sharing – where the homeowner, usually a senior, offers reduced rent for a room in their home in exchange for small chores and companionship – is getting attention in small towns and cities across country, including a new pilot project in Toronto this summer.

The most successful home-sharing programs involve a step-by-step process that carefully matches homeowners and tenants, requiring funding for trained facilitators. This fall, a group of housing advocates in Nova Scotia plans to tour communities promoting options such as home-sharing, which would be welcome opportunity for Ontario seniors, as it is estimated that three-quarters of the province’s elderly live in houses too large for their needs.

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Costco launches online grocery delivery in Ontario

E-commerce for foods is a fast-growing segment of the retail industry, so it was no surprise when Costco announced on Wednesday that it would begin offering online grocery delivery for customers in the Greater Toronto Area.

The move follows other large Canadian companies that have already begun the scramble to break in to the competitive e-commerce market. Galen Weston, chief executive at Loblaw, said the company plans to “blanket” Canada in grocery e-commerce service by the end of the year, while Walmart Canada Corp., has also dived into the grocery-delivery market across the country.

Costco will begin by offering non-perishable items in its online grocery shopping service, including some food items, health and beauty aids, vitamins and supplements. All orders in the beginning phase are to arrive within two days, and free shipping will be offered on orders of more than $75.


Stocks mixed

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The Chinese yuan slid to its lowest in more than a year on Friday, further undermining global sentiment and stoking worries Beijing’s currency management could be the next flash point in a trade dispute with the United States. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.3 per cent, though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite popped 2.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX were each up 0.1 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET, while the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.1 per cent. The Canadian dollar was at about 75.5 US cents. Crude prices rose, but were still set for a weekly drop on concerns about oversupply and the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil users.


Ford is not Trump. Ontario’s opposition would be wise to lower the outrage

Everyone should calm down. If the frequently noxious Donald Trump has taught us anything, it’s that hysterics over absolutely everything dulls our ability to summon outrage at the truly outrageous. - Andrew MacDougall, former director of communications to Stephen Harper

The only way out of Nicaragua’s violent crisis rests in Daniel Ortega’s hands

While a national dialogue is underway to resolve the crisis, the only way out of the impasse is for Mr. Ortega to call elections or step down. The Nicaraguan government must fully abide by the recommendations set out by an independent Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). - Robert Muggah, co-founder of Igarapé Institute and SecDev Group

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In cabinet shuffle, Trudeau deviates from the diversity script

While Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle adheres to the gender-parity principle the Prime Minister implemented in 2015, it was hard not to notice the parade of men called on to clean up the messes others could not. By drawing attention to the diversity of his cabinet in 2015, he automatically forces us to take note when he deviates from his own script. - Konrad Yakabuski (for subscribers)


Barry Hertz argues Unfriended: Dark Web, starring Colin Woodell, is equal parts funny, terrifying and revolting (three out of four stars)

Brad Wheeler says Under the Tree is a gloriously grim Icelandic drama (3.5 stars)

Kate Taylor says Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, this even-more bizarre sequel to an already bizarre original, is ridiculous, but lots of fun, too. (2.5 stars)

Brad Wheeler writes that Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher, is a tenderly made first feature by Bo Burnham (3.5 stars)


Legend has it that Irish monks introduced the art of whisky distilling to the Isle of Islay because three key ingredients – peat, spring water and barley – are found in abundance on the island. And so when you do choose to book your trip to the Scottish island, you’d be wise to treat it like sipping a fine single-malt, and not rush it. Adam Bisby recommends setting a week aside, booking your Jaguar of choice, and allowing yourself a chance to roar around the southern-most of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Even if you’re not a Scotch drinker, Bisby says Islay offers historically satisfying self-guided tours of the distilleries, luxury hotels, upscale restaurants and compelling natural sites that line a scenic driving route.


The Civil Marriage Act, which received Royal Assent on this day in 2005, opened marriage nationwide to gay and lesbian couples, making Canada just the fourth country in the world where same-sex weddings were legal. Polls suggested Canadians were evenly divided on the issue – and emotionally invested. Ralph Klein, then the premier of Alberta, declared it to be a “sad day for the majority of Albertans who believe in the traditional definition of marriage” – Alberta was one of just two provinces where same-sex marriages were not already being performed. But senators erupted in applause after passing the bill by a vote of 47 to 21. The Globe and Mail declared in an editorial that “to deny homosexuals the blessing of marriage was not only cruel but stupid.” And Paul Martin, who was the prime minister, said Canada is a nation of minorities and “in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don’t cherry-pick rights.” Eleven years later, the census found 24,370 wedded gay couples in Canada. And three quarters of Canadians taking part in a survey last year agreed it is “great” that lesbians and gays can marry.

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