The Supreme Court dodges big decisions on partisan redistricting

IN 2004, Justice Anthony Kennedy lamented that state legislators are “in the business of rigging elections” by drawing highly skewed electoral lines. If gerrymandering could be hemmed in by a “workable” standard for policing maps, he continued, “courts should be prepared to order relief”. Fourteen years later, on June 17th, in two cases lined up for the Supreme Court to do just that, the justices again demurred—this time unanimously. Challenges to extreme gerrymanders in Wisconsin and Maryland—one favouring Republicans, the other Democrats—faltered on technical grounds. The Wisconsin case, Gill v Whitford, ended in an anti-climatic fizzle: the plaintiffs lacked the requisite “standing” to sue, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, so… Read More

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Geoff Regan Rejects Tory Push For Emergency Debate On Canada-U.S. Trade

OTTAWA — The official Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons over the future of the Canada-U.S. trade — but Speaker Geoff Regan is having none of it. Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole says Canadians need to see their elected representatives addressing what is the biggest economic crisis in their lifetime. On July 1, Canada is set to impose retaliatory tariffs of $16.6 billion on U.S. products after President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on aluminum and steel, and has threatened more to come on automobiles. “Tariff imposition of this nature would be devastating for the auto industry in Ontario,” O’Toole said. “There has never… Read More

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No, Vancouver Doesn’t Have An Insanely Low Property Tax

Boy, this new Vancouver property tax increase — the charmingly named “school tax” — sure is causing a lot of commotion. It can be as little as a few hundred if your home is worth just over $3 million, but if you are lucky enough to own a $6-million house, you better find another $10,000 on top of your usual property tax, every year. Of course, you can defer the whole tax at a low interest rate and pay it when you sell, which is a pretty good deal, but some just don’t want more debt on their head after working hard to be mortgage free. Poor things. People suffering… Read More

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Trump and the Senate’s cold war over ZTE is about to turn hot

At this point, the battle lines over President Trump’s trade policies are pretty hardened: Trump and his White House team are the bomb-throwing nationalists, provoking conflicts with China as well as Western allies. Meanwhile, the old hands of the Washington establishment — often represented by the Senate — have emphasized global cooperation and trade. But on at least one issue, that script is about to get flipped. The question at hand is what to do about ZTE, a major Chinese telecommunication company and the fourth largest supplier of mobile phones here in America. You might remember when ZTE got itself in the news back in May: A White House investigation,… Read More

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Saputo Inc. Sides With U.S. In Dairy Supply Management Dispute

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 18 (Reuters) – Saputo Inc, one of Canada’s largest dairies, supports ending a domestic milk ingredient pricing system that has angered the United States, Chief Executive Lino Saputo Jr. said on Monday, showing a rare crack in solidarity among processors and the country’s sheltered dairy farmers. The Class 7 pricing agreement, struck in 2016 between Canadian dairy processors including Saputo and farmers, allowed processors to pay lower prices for domestic milk ingredients used to make cheese and yogurt, and to export the rest. “They want their cake and they want to eat it too,” Saputo Jr. said in an interview, referring to farmers. “Which doesn’t make sense.… Read More

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Trump threatens new tariffs on imports from China

On Monday, President Trump ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to find $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that could be subject to new tariffs. “China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” Trump said in a statement. “Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.” Trump has already ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for intellectual property theft, which China matched on U.S. exports. Trump said the new tariffs will go into effect if “China refuses to change its practices, and also… Read More

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