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Morning Update newsletter:

RCMP, China strike deal to combat opioids

The RCMP and China’s Ministry of Public Security have recently struck an agreement to share intelligence aimed at stopping the flow of fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids into Canada. China is the No. 1 global source of fentanyl because that country’s chemical and pharmaceutical industries are loosely regulated and poorly monitored. Many pharmaceutical facilities also operate illegally, producing the dangerous drug and shipping it into North America.

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Trump urges Muslim leaders to combat extremism in Saudi speech

President Donald Trump sought to rally leaders from around the Muslim world on Sunday in a renewed campaign against extremism, rejecting the idea that the fight is a battle between religions even as he promised not to chastise them about human-rights violations in their own countries. While declaring terrorism to be a “battle between good and evil,” he said that it should be fought by “decent people” of all religions.

As Brexit angst fades, a tough reality looms ahead of Britain’s election

One year after a bitter referendum campaign over the EU, British voters head to the polls under very different circumstances. The decision to leave the EU has been largely accepted, but the challenges that lie ahead haven’t been fully appreciated. And some say that’s a problem because the country could be in for a shock once Britain begins to pull out.

Supreme Court offers rare glimpse into life of a top justice

Justice Russell Brown was Stephen Harper’s final appointee to the Supreme Court. From the prime minister’s perspective, he was a real find – a conservative libertarian, by his own description, willing to question foundational rulings from the early years of the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the Canadian legal community, that marked him as a rare right-wing skeptic. He also had the academic heft and the writing chops (as a blogger, he mocked Justin Trudeau as “unspeakably awful”). All in all, an unusual combination of brains and verve, and comfortably bilingual to boot.

Canada’s vacation property market feeling the heat

In regions near Canada’s hottest urban real-estate markets, demand for recreational properties – cottages, cabins, camps, or chalets – is starting to emulate that of their Monday-to-Friday neighbours. In Muskoka, north of Toronto, and Whistler, north of Vancouver, for instance, buyers are racing to lock down getaway properties or to downsize from their big-city homes for a leisurely retirement while prices are still in reach.

THE LOOKAHEAD

Bank of Canada rate change unlikely amid mixed signs

The Bank of Canada looks all but certain to stick with its cautious tune when it issues its latest interest-rate decision this week, as growing economic optimism should take a back seat to tepid inflation and worries on the housing and trade fronts. (for subscribers)

MORNING MARKETS

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Trump’s woes offer Canada a glimmer of hope on trade front

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may not be gloating, but the scandal engulfing Donald Trump is good news for Canada. The U.S. President has been Ottawa’s worst nightmare in recent months. He has angrily attacked Canadian dairy and lumber practices, threatened to rip up the North American free-trade agreement and rattled the business community with his “Buy American, Hire American” mantra. … [But] with Mr. Trump in the crosshairs of a U.S. Justice Department probe, the NAFTA renegotiation could be relegated to the slow track.” – Barrie McKenna (for subscribers)

We aren’t prepared to prevent violent extremism in Canada

“A devastating report by the Quebec Coroner’s Office into the death of violent extremist Martin Couture-Rouleau highlights how the mental health resources in that province failed to recognize and assist the young man suffering from a series of complex mental health, addiction and social issues. The report lays out in detail how his father desperately sought help for his radicalized son, but that the system was unable to cope with an individual suffering from these issues while also holding an extremist mindset. Tragically, Mr. Couture-Rouleau went on to kill Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent on Oct. 20, 2014.” – Stephanie Carvin

Trump, the Saudis and a very low bar

“It is difficult to remember a time in recent history when a political leader attracted so much attention for a speech with such low expectations. When Donald Trump spoke about Islam on Sunday in Saudi Arabia to a group of Muslim political leaders, he was in precisely that position. To say he didn’t disappoint isn’t a compliment – because those watching just hoped it wouldn’t be utterly offensive or stupid. Still, it wasn’t a speech that anyone will be citing in years to come as inspiring – except perhaps for Mr. Trump’s most die-hard fans. And even they may be unhappy.” – H.A. Hellyer

Trump and Saudi Arabia: Have we reached peak hypocrisy yet?

“It’s incredible how much money talks. Is there a single person out there who isn’t repulsed at the sight of Donald Trump signing off on a $110-billion dollar arms deal with Riyadh – as Saudi rockets continue to pound Yemenis into the brink of destruction and starvation for a third year in a row?” – Shenaz Kermalli

HEALTH PRIMER

Leslie Beck: Is gluten always to blame for digestive distress?

There are reasons beyond celiac disease for why eating wheat and wheat products can cause digestive upset. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, is certainly one culprit. But it’s not the only one. You shouldn’t cut gluten from your diet unless you know for sure that you need to. Doing so has potential risks – it could degrade the nutritional quality of your diet and, as recent research suggests, increase your health risk.

MOMENT IN TIME

D’Arcy McGee’s manifesto for Canada

May 22, 1867: In 1867, Thomas D’Arcy McGee was a cabinet minister in the legislative assembly of pre-Confederation Canada. He had lent his intellectual and oratorical weight to the creation of the new country, and in May he wrote an open letter to his Montreal constituents outlining his vision. It was reprinted on the front page of The Globe. McGee saw “public works on a large scale” as a key to Canada’s economic growth, noting the importance of past projects such as the Welland Canal and Montreal’s Victoria bridge. He favoured a standing army over a volunteer force, and pleaded for minority education rights. Over all, he saw the potential for a great nation with a population of 12 million by the start of the 20th century; one in which “sectional antagonisms” would dissolve “like the ice-shove in the St. Lawrence before the magic breath of spring.” McGee was assassinated in Ottawa less than a year later, and his timeline for Canada’s ambitions proved overoptimistic. – Richard Blackwell

Morning Update is written by Steven Proceviat.

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