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Elmore goes the distance, returns as marathoner after lengthy break
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By LORI EWING
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B14

Malindi Elmore once ran with the weight of nagging injuries and frustratingly tough Olympic standards at a time track and field was struggling through one of its darkest doping eras. She runs more lightly these days.

The former 1,500-metre specialist, who walked away from track and field disheartened and unfulfilled in 2012, has reinvented herself as a marathon runner.

And what began as a whim has the 39-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., within striking distance of an Olympic berth next summer in Tokyo. She's still wrapping her head around her almost-accidental return to Canada's running scene.

"I feel like somebody who just likes to run, and run fast, more so than a professional athlete," Elmore said.

"But now I'm having to shift my focus back, because I realize I have this narrow opportunity to do something really cool again in sport. If I went back [to the Olympics], I think it would be the most incredible full circle I could have, after 16 years of a lot of highs and a lot of lows - and then just somehow to have it come together would be amazing."

Elmore raced the 1,500 at the 2004 Athens Olympics, missing the semi-finals by one spot. Either injuries or missed qualifying standards would keep her out of the next two Olympics.

She's now a mom of two boys and owns a business in event planning and coaching. She's an accomplished triathlete - only three Canadian women in history have topped her Ironman time of 8 hours 57 minutes 22 seconds, set in 2016 in Arizona, in her debut at the lung-busting 140.6-mile distance.

Last September, Elmore and husband Graham Hood, a twotime Olympian on the track, were out for a run. Her youngest son was three months old and she wasn't keen on giving 25 hours a week to triathlon training.

"I said, 'I feel like I need some sort of goal or structure with what I'm doing,' because I feel better with my training geared toward something, I don't really like exercising for the sake of exercising.

"I said 'Ah, maybe a marathon.' He said 'That's a great idea, Let's go find you one.' " Hood wrote her training program.

"Turns out he wrote a pretty good program," Elmore said.

She made her marathon debut in Houston in January, running 2:32.15 to finish seventh.

Moving up in distance to the marathon can be a huge physical and psychological hurdle. But Elmore was moving down from the Ironman. The marathon would be six hours shorter.

"Definitely the mentality [from triathlon] helps, the mindset," Elmore said.

She never hit the marathon's proverbial wall.

"I actually felt better in my last 10K than my middle 10Ks," she said. "I just started to get excited about the fact that I was feeling good and things were still going well, and I could start to pick up the pace a little bit and be competitive over the last 10K as people started to fall off the pace.

"I left the race feeling there was a lot more in the tank."

The Olympic qualifying process has been rewritten and is now more convoluted. The women's marathon standard is 2:29.30. Rachel Cliff of Vancouver achieved the standard in March, when she ran a Canadian-record 2:26.56.

Elmore, whose marathon debut was the third-fastest by a Canadian this year, could also qualify with a top-five finish in a Gold Label race such as the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. She announced last week she'll race in the Oct. 20 event.

She could also qualify by being in the top 80 in the world rankings, with each country allowed three runners in the rankings.

Tough Olympic standards cost Elmore a trip to the 2012 Games.

She won the national championships, but was just shy of the qualifying time.

It'd been a similar story four years earlier for the Beijing Games. She was rounding back into health after a stress fracture in her foot cost her the better part of two seasons, but narrowly missed the standard.

Athletics Canada used to set A-plus standards that were tougher than the standards set by the International Association of Athletics. They were based on performance potential against a global field full of dopers.

Two weeks before the Beijing Olympics, nine women were suspended for doping violations.

The Olympic 1,500 field went from having three rounds of heats to two, because the number of entrants was decimated.

The crackdown on doping has seemingly benefited Canada. The team won zero track and field medals in 2004, one in 2008 and then six in 2016 in Rio.

Canadian athletes now need only to meet the IAAF standards to qualify.

"I honestly think that now that Athletics Canada is selecting Canadians on IAAF standards and not their own elevated criteria, it allows people to achieve the standards and not be burnt out doing it," Elmore said.

She said qualify for Tokyo or not, she'll be happy. These days, the joy is in the process of running more than the results.

"If the results come, that's great. For such a long time, the results had to be X, Y, Z in order for me to do everything and there was more stress involved, and now it's just a bonus. It's like the cherry on top," Elmore said.

Associated Graphic

Former 1,500-metre specialist Malindi Elmore's marathon debut was the third-fastest by a Canadian this year.

JEFF MCINTOSH/ THE CANADIAN PRESS


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PRINT EDITION
England wins Cricket World Cup at home against New Zealand
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By STEVE DOUGLAS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B11

LONDON -- England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in extraordinary circumstances on Sunday, beating New Zealand by a tiebreaker of boundaries scored after the final was tied after regulation play and again following the first Super Over in the tournament's 44-year history.

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler ran out Martin Guptill off the last ball of the Super Over as the New Zealand opener scrambled back for a second run that would have earned the Black Caps their first world title.

Both teams scored 241 after the regulation 50 overs per side, with England hitting 14 off the last over - including a six made up of two runs followed by an accidental four deflected off the bat of the diving Ben Stokes - to tie New Zealand's 241-8.

That meant the World Cup's first-ever Super Over, which fans watched with hands around their heads and with a rule explainer required on the big screens inside the home of cricket.

Stokes and Buttler were England's first designated batsmen and they struck 15 - including two fours - off six balls delivered by Trent Boult.

New Zealand pair Jimmy Neesham and Guptill also struck 15 off Jofra Archer, but England won courtesy of a superior boundary count - 22 to 14 - in regulation play.

While New Zealand has lost two straight finals, the country that invented cricket has finally become its world champion. England had previously lost three finals, including one at Lord's.

After Buttler collected Jason Roy's throw from deep midwicket and removed the bails with his left hand, England's players erupted in celebration - but still had an agonizing wait before the decision was confirmed by the TV umpire.

"OUT," read the message on the big screen after Guptill was shown to be a yard (metre) out of the crease.

Buttler threw his glove into the sky and was soon mobbed by some teammates. Roy was carried on another's shoulders.

Archer ran off on his own, sliding on his chest across the Lord's turf.

There were heroes everywhere in blue shirts, not the least Buttler, whose clean catch and grab ultimately won England one of the most dramatic finishes of a match in any sport. Buttler also struck a defining 59 off 60 balls in a 110-run partnership with Stokes as England recovered from a perilous position of 86-4 chasing 242.

And what about Stokes, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and playing almost a year after he was cleared by a court of affray in the wake of a street brawl on a night out in September, 2017.

He struck a match-high 84 not out that included two extraordinary sixes in the final over of regulation play - possibly the most remarkable over in the sport's long history.

Needing 15 to win, England had two dot balls before Stokes smashed the ball high toward long-on. Boult took a catch, but fell backward and trod onto the boundary cushion before he had time to release the ball. A six was awarded, and England required nine off three balls.

If that wasn't dramatic enough, check out what happened next. Stokes slogged the ball into the leg side and set off to run two.

As he sprinted back to the striker's end, he dived and stretched his bat out in a desperate bid to reach the crease - only for the ball, thrown in by Guptill, to strike Stokes's bat and deflect all the way to the boundary edge in front of the Lord's pavilion.

Confusion reigned, but England had just scored six runs - two ran, along with a four. Three required off two balls.

Stokes was still on strike and he pushed the ball down the ground, setting off again for a two to ensure he kept the strike.

Adil Rashid was running to the non-striker's end and was easily run out, but Stokes had the strike and England had an extra run.

In an almost exact replica of that next-to-last delivery, Stokes toed a yorker out to long-on and again attempted to run two. This time it was Mark Wood ran out at the non-striker's end, but again England collected the single to take the match to the Super Over - a tiebreaker some in the ground might not even have heard of.

After a 10-minute break, Stokes and Buttler came back out and hit 3, 1, 4, 1, 2 and 4 between them.

The Black Caps had to score more than England, but couldn't.

Humiliated in a group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup, England ripped up its ODI game and started all over again with a new coach, a new director of cricket and a new mindset.

Four years later, they are on top of the world.

Associated Graphic

England's Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett celebrate winning the Cricket World Cup in the tournament's first Super Over.

PETER CZIBORRA/ ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS


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U.S. women's team showered in praise, confetti during New York World Cup victory parade
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By ALI SWENSON
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B13

NEW YORK -- Adoring fans packed New York's Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday amid a blizzard of confetti to praise the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national soccer team as athletic leaders on the field - and as advocates for pay equity off it.

Crowds chanted "USA! USA!" and workers sounded air horns from a construction site as the hour-long parade moved up a stretch of lower Broadway that has long played host to tickertape parades for world leaders, veterans and hometown sports stars.

Co-captain Megan Rapinoe and her teammates shared a float with Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro. Rapinoe struck her now-famous victory pose, took a swig of Champagne and handed the bottle to a fan. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher held the World Cup trophy aloft.

Aly Hoover, 12, of Glen Ridge, N.J., stood at the sidelines with a poster of the face of Alex Morgan, another team star. "I just want to be like them," she said.

Garret Prather brought his newborn son "to celebrate how the American women made us proud on and off the field."

The team sealed its second consecutive tournament win by beating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday. It will be awarded US$4-million for winning the World Cup from FIFA, international soccer's governing body. The men's French team received US$38-million for winning last year.

The U.S. women's team has sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination. The federation will give the women bonuses about five times smaller than what the men would have earned for winning the World Cup. The case is currently in mediation.

Kate Lane, who watched the parade, called the pay gap "massive" for the soccer players and "across the board" for most women.

"Especially in male-dominated professions," said Lane, of Limerick, Ireland.

"Women put just as much commitment into their work as their male counterparts."

She's hopeful the younger generation is soaking up the message from the women's team, noting a girl about seven years old wearing an "Equal Pay" T-shirt.

Earlier on Wednesday, team members joined New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, as he signed a bill that expands gender pay equality in the state. He said women's soccer players should be paid the same as male players.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would bar federal funding for the men's 2026 World Cup until the U.S.

Soccer Federation provides equal pay to the women's and men's teams.

At a City Hall rally after the parade, de Blasio, also a Democrat, honoured the team with symbolic keys to the city, saying it "brought us together" and "showed us so much to make us hopeful."

After chants for "Equal pay!" from the crowd, Cordeiro said women "deserve fair and equitable pay. And together, I believe we can get this done."

At the rally, Rapinoe noted the diversity of the team: "We have pink hair and purple hair, we have tattoos and dreadlocks, we got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls."

The parade is named for the strands of ticker tape that used to be showered down from nearby office buildings. The tape has since been replaced with paper confetti, which drifted down from office buildings throughout Wednesday's parade, along with documents and spreadsheets folded into paper airplanes.

The city's Department of Sanitation said it has assigned 350 workers to clean up after the parade, with trucks, backpack blowers and brooms at their disposal.

The team had already started celebrating its record fourth Women's World Cup title before Wednesday's festivities, however. After touching down at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, players shared a toast and sang Queen's We Are the Champions.

Team members appeared on ABC's Good Morning America in Times Square on Tuesday to show off their trophy and answer questions from cheering children.

Rapinoe, the outspoken star who won the awards for the tournament's best player and top scorer, also appeared on CNN and MSNBC later on Tuesday.

Rapinoe told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Republican President Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" is "harking back to an era that wasn't great for everyone. It might've been great for a few people."

Rapinoe told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that Trump had yet to invite the women's soccer team to the White House.

Trump had tweeted that he would invite the team, win or lose. Rapinoe has said she wouldn't be going to the White House. The team has accepted an invitation to visit Congress.


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Italy's Viviani sprints to win first Tour stage of his career
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Track specialist attains a modicum of redemption after being stripped of a victory at his home race, the Giro d'Italia
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By SAMUEL PETREQUIN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B15

NANCY, FRANCE -- Elia Viviani had left the Giro d'Italia utterly disappointed.

Two months later, the Italian rider left bitterness and his sprinting rivals in his wake to claim his first career stage win in the Tour de France after storming a bunch sprint on Tuesday with an impressive display of power and speed.

The 30-year-old track specialist, arguably the fastest man in the peloton this season, had left his home race emptyhanded in May under controversial circumstances.

Viviani, who has now posted stage wins at all three Grand Tours, was stripped of a victory in Italy after the race jury ruled he had irregularly changed his line and blocked an opponent in the sprint.

There was no such hiccup on the finish line in the eastern city of Nancy, France, and Viviani was clearly the best.

The 2016 omnium Olympic champion was ideally set up by the DeceuninckQuick Step lead-out train in the finale and made the most of the slight uphill finish to prevail. Viviani edged Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan, claiming the fourth stage of the three-week race.

"It means a lot. Probably, I can't believe it. It was a big goal of the year," said Viviani, who dedicated his win to his fiancée and parents.

Team EF Education First rider Michael Woods of Ottawa was 64th in the stage, but moved up one spot to 10th over all.

Hugo Houle of Sainte-Perpétue, Que., who rides for Astana, was 126th in Stage 4 and 84th over all.

The 213.5-kilometre flat route from Reims to Nancy did not pose any major difficulty, and was a perfect opportunity for sprinters to get a stage win a day after Viviani's teammate Julian Alaphilippe seized the yellow jersey with a solo effort.

"My father and mother were on the finish line today, they were set to leave yesterday but finally decided to stay because the stage was for sprinters," Viviani said.

Alaphilippe, the first Frenchman to wear yellow in five years, kept the overall lead, with no change at the top of the overall standings. Both men hugged warmly after their team produced a second straight stage win.

"I just need to thank the team, they were really unbelievable," Viviani said.

The Italian speedster might soon be racing without his favourite teammates, however, amid reports he might join Cofidis next season as the French outfit seeks to replace its top sprinter.

Viviani said he has yet to make up his mind and that his Tour campaign will determine his future.

After Alaphilippe led the DeceuninckQuick Step train to the front, Max Richeze and Michael Morkov set a very fast tempo to launch Viviani's final acceleration. Kristoff opened up the sprint in the final stretch, but could not hold off Viviani on the left side of the road.

Alaphilippe was cheered throughout the stage. After several dozen fans greeted him at his team hotel in the morning, supporters lining streets across the small villages of eastern France wildly cheered him on, shouting "Loulou, Loulou!" - the Frenchman's nickname.

Alaphilippe enjoyed a day free of pressure, well protected in the main pack by teammates, and then played a role in the final sprint to launch Viviani's final effort.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas and other main contenders enjoyed a calm day, too, just making sure they rode at the front to avoid crashes or splits. Thomas and his Ineos teammate Egan Bernal remained seventh and sixth, respectively, in the overall standings.

Under bright sunshine in Reims, three riders attacked from the off.

On long stretches of flat roads, Yoann Offredo, Frederik Backaert and Michael Schr built a lead that never exceeded 3 minutes 40 seconds as the peloton kept them on a leash before sprinters' teams organized the pursuit and sped up the pace.

The trio was eventually caught with 17 km left in the small Côte de Maron climb, leaving the spotlight on the fastest men of the peloton.

Associated Graphic

Joy washes over Elia Viviani of Italy as he crosses the finish line at the end of the Tour de France's fourth stage between Reims and Nancy, France, on Tuesday. Viviani is arguably the fastest man in the peloton at this year's Tour.

JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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Cup win raises issues of pay equity, again
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By ROB HARRIS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B10

LYON, FRANCE -- A Women's World Cup stirred by heated debates on politics, pay and technology saw the narratives fused in Sunday's final by the undisputed and outspoken star of the tournament: Megan Rapinoe.

By opening the scoring with a penalty awarded after a video review, Rapinoe claimed a sixth goal and - thanks to three assists and playing fewer minutes - finished as the Golden Boot winner of the most-watched FIFA women's tournament.

Winning the top player prize provided the pink-haired captain renowned for her individuality and activism with a platform for both, after the Americans completed their title defence with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands.

The forward got to collect her scoring trophy before the main prize was handed out in Lyon, and revel in the adulation.

But only after the introduction of French President Emmanuel Macron and FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino for the on-field trophy presentation was followed by boos and chants of "equal pay" - thousands taking up Rapinoe's campaign for more equitable prize money from the World Cup organizers and compensation from the U.S. federation.

"A little public shame never hurt anyone," Rapinoe said with a winners' medal around her neck.

"So I am down with it."

Not down with a visit to the White House, Rapinoe's rejection of a post-tournament visit was delivered publicly in a video that emerged during the World Cup.

"Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!" U.S. President Donald Trump responded in tweet that lit up the tournament. "Finish the job!"

When the job was finished Sunday, thanks to Rose Lavelle also scoring, only congratulations came from Mr. Trump - for the entire team.

"Great and exciting play," he tweeted. "America is proud of you all!"

In the hours before the Americans won a record fourth World Cup, Rapinoe found an advocate for the pursuit of greater pay equality in the French president.

"We need to go progressively toward that," Macron said.

That is undermined by the prize money for the men's World Cup in 2022, jumping to US$440million while the women's teams will only split US$60-million in 2023.

This time, it is only half that.

Victory gave the Americans US$4-million - double the amount earned four years ago - as part of a US$30-million prize pot, but lagging the US$38-million earned by France for lifting the men's trophy last July in Moscow.

On the eve of the final, sitting in the same news conference position occupied by Infantino a day earlier, Rapinoe rebuked the head of soccer's governing body for disrespecting women as the prizemoney gulf widens with the winners of the men's World Cups.

Rapinoe chose not to confront Infantino on the field.

"There was a wry smile, for sure," she said. "He knows. He did say we'll have a conversation or something. I said, 'I'd love to.' " What has been less of a success were FIFA's efforts at attracting fans to some games.

FIFA knows it has to do more to raise attendance. The sellout crowd of 58,000 on Sunday was a rarity.

In a month when FIFA challenged the world to "Dare to Shine," efforts were dimmed by marketing mishaps around ticket promotions that saw swathes of empty seats in stadiums.

While the United States, Canada and Mexico were picked last year as joint hosts of the 2026 men's World Cup, FIFA has yet to pick the destination for its next women's showpiece in four years and the decision could be delayed again.

In a sign of soaring interest in the women's game, FIFA already has nine countries interested in hosting in 2023: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea.

Rapinoe hopes players aren't still fighting over pay by then.

"Everyone's is kind of asking what's next and what we want to come of all this," she said. "It's to stop having the conversation about equal pay, are we worth it, the investment piece. ... It's time to kind of sit down with everyone and really get to work."


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Redblacks pivot Davis eager to show former team how far he's come
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By LISA WALLACE
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B11

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Dominique Davis says he learned a lot during his first two CFL seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He has the opportunity to show just how much on Friday night when he starts against his former team for the first time.

Davis and the Redblacks will kick off Week 4 of the season when they play host to the Blue Bombers in a battle of undefeated teams. The Blue Bombers are looking to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2014, whereas the Redblacks have yet to accomplish the feat since joining the league back in 2014.

"It's going to be fun," Davis said. "I know most of the guys on offence, some of the guys on defence, but this is my first time being a starter playing against my old team. It's family outside the lines, but inside the lines things are different."

Davis is in his first year as the Redblacks' starter after spending last season as a backup for Trevor Harris, who left for Edmonton as a free agent. While he's making the most of his opportunity in Ottawa, he's thankful to the Bombers for giving him his start.

"That whole organization taught me everything I know now," Davis said. "Ottawa's been doing a great job of keeping me sharp on that stuff, but I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for [Winnipeg offensive co-ordinator Paul] LaPolice, [quarterback coach] Buck Pierce and [head coach Mike] O'Shea."

The Redblacks offence will have a tough challenge, as Winnipeg has allowed just one offensive touchdown in two games this season. And Ottawa is coming off a bye week, which hasn't always worked well in its favour.

The Redblacks have a 4-7 record after a week off.

With that in mind, Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell chose to mix things up a little bit.

"I made an emphasis this week to come back a few days early and had some practices to just get switched back to football, we didn't even talk about Winnipeg," Campbell said.

"It was just about us getting back in the groove of football and then transition on into more of a normal week for the Winnipeg practice and hopefully that pays off for us."

The Bombers will be without middle linebacker Adam Bighill as he was moved to the one-game injured list. It's a significant loss for Winnipeg, leaving Kyrie Wilson with big shoes to fill.

As stingy as the Bombers have been defensively, they also have some offensive weapons. Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead scored two touchdowns and totalled 155 yards in the Bombers 28-21 win over Edmonton last week.

Associated Graphic

First-year starter Dominique Davis and the undefeated Ottawa Redblacks have their sights set on the franchise's first-ever 3-0 start as they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday.

JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Sharp, Chun share Marathon Classic lead at 64
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B12

SYLVANIA, OHIO -- Alena Sharp of Hamilton and Youngin Chun of South Korea shared the Marathon Classic lead at seven-under 64 on Thursday, a stroke ahead of Stacy Lewis and three others at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

The 38-year-old Sharp, winless on the LPGA Tour, had eight birdies and a bogey.

"I played really well right from the first tee shot," Sharp said. "I felt really calm this morning coming into this event. I always love playing here. I have great housing." The 19-year-old Chun, who is also seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, posted a bogey-free round.

"I didn't know I shot 64 today," Chun said. "The funniest thing I finish par on the 18 and then I saw the leaderboard and there is a seven-under and I was like, 'Who is that?' I asked my dad. 'I think I shot six, right?' He said, 'No, you're seven.' So it was me."

Lewis won the last of her 12 LPGA Tour titles in 2017. She was born in nearby Toledo, Ohio, and has an endorsement deal with Marathon Oil.

"It was awesome," Lewis said.

"The biggest thing is I hit 18 greens today. I've been working on the ball-striking a lot, so just really nice to see some results.

Got a few putts to fall there on our last few holes."

The Texan had seven birdies and a bogey.

"It's a golf course I'm not necessarily 100-per-cent comfortable on," Lewis said. "I just had some really good golf shots today. Had some easy tap-in birdies. I haven't done that in the long time, in general."

Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Jenny Haglund matched Lewis at 65.

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., (67) is four under, Calgary's Jaclyn Lee (69) came in two under and Anne-Catherine Tanguay of Quebec City shot an even-par 71.

Lexi Thompson was at 66 with U.S. Women's Open champion Jeongeun Lee, Carlota Ciganda and Clariss Guce.

DIAZ SHOOTS 62 TO TAKE JOHN DEERE CLASSIC LEAD SILVIS, ILL. Roberto Diaz shot a nine-under 62 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic.

Playing in the final group of the day off the first tee, the 32year-old Mexican player birdied four of the first holes, eagled the par-five 10th and birdied three of the last five in the bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. He took the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-three 16th.

Diaz is winless on the PGA Tour.

Adam Long and Russell Henley were two strokes back.

Martin Laird was another stroke back at 65 with Ryan Palmer, Andrew Landry, Vaughn Taylor, Zack Sucher and Ryan Blaum.


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Guerrero Jr. edged by Alonso in Home Run Derby
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By TOM WITHERS
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B13

CLEVELAND -- Mets rookie Pete Alonso has a million-dollar swing. New York's newest slugger outlasted a worn-down Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

in the final round of the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday night to win US$1-million - nearly double his 2019 salary.

Alonso somehow had enough to edge Guerrero, who hit 91 homers but ran out of gas in the last round following an epic semi-final matchup against Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.

Needing 23 homers to beat Guerrero, Alonso connected for a homer to left-centre before flipping his bat high into the air and hugging his pitcher, cousin Derek Morgan. Alonso was then swarmed by the NL All-Stars who were treated to a power display unlike any in the event's history.

"This was surreal," said Alonso, who makes the major-league minimum of US$555,000 this season.

With one of baseball's most fearsome swings, Guerrero figured to be a force but there was no way of predicting he'd hit 91 homers - 74 more than his dad's entire total 12 years ago. But Alonso was up to the challenge, and shocked Guerrero, who had electrified a crowd of 36,199 fans.

Guerrero defeated Pederson in a semifinal that required three extra swing(ings) and will go down in derby lore.

They were tied 29-29 after their fourminute round and then again following a 60-second session. Guerrero and Pederson then each homered once when given three swings, forcing another best-of-three round.

Guerrero hit two, screaming at his second shot, which barely cleared the 19-foot wall in left. Pederson couldn't match up, hitting a grounder on his final cut before both players shared an exhausted embrace near home plate.

Associated Graphic

Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a record 91 home runs over the three rounds of Monday's Home Run Derby, including an incredible 40 in an epic second-round win over Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, left.

KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS


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MURRAY, BARRETT TAPPED FOR TEAM CANADA'S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP CAMP; WIGGINS LEFT OUT
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B11

TORONTO Nick Nurse is going to prepare Canada's men's basketball team for a long haul.

A group of 29 players - including 17 NBAers - was invited to Canada's training camp on Tuesday ahead of the FIBA World Cup. The Canadians will play a pair of exhibition games in Toronto and Winnipeg and five more games in Australia before travelling to China for the international tournament that will be held from Aug.

31 to Sept. 15.

Nurse, fresh off of an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors, wants Canada to be in the final.

"It's a talented group of guys. If these guys can jell, we can go as far as we want to go," Nurse said.

Rowan Barrett, Canada Basketball's general manager of men's high-performance teams, said depth will be one of the critical components of his roster. Canada had the second-most players in the NBA to start the 2018 season behind the United States.

Jamal Murray is the biggest name invited to play for Canada at the tournament.

He averaged 18.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for Denver this past season, guiding the upstart Nuggets to within a game of the Western Conference final. The 22-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., agreed to a five-year, US$170-million contract extension with Denver on July 1, the richest deal for a Canadian player in NBA history.

RJ Barrett, who was drafted third over all by the New York Knicks this summer, is also on the list of invitees.

The son of Rowan Barrett and godson of Canadian basketball legend Steve Nash, the younger Barrett averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Duke University last season.

Other notables include Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and Miami Heat centre Kelly Olynyk.

Former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins was not invited to the camp. He averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. THE CANADIAN PRESS


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CANADA THUMPS HONG KONG 78-26 AT WORLD RUGBY U20 TROPHY IN BRAZIL
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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B12

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, BRAZIL Captain Will Percillier scored four tries and Lachlan Kratz added three more as Canada thumped Hong Kong 78-26 on Wednesday to record its first win at the second-tier World Rugby U20 Trophy.

The Canadians previously lost 26-25 to Tonga and 49-21 to Portugal at the eight-country competition. Hong Kong lost 59-27 to Portugal and 64-12 to Tonga.

The Canadian starting 15 featured three Carson cousins: David (hooker), Frank (second row) and Nick (No. 8).

A fourth cousin, Jack, started on the bench.

Frank, Nick and David Carson scored tries with Brock Webster and David Richard adding singles for Canada, which led 38-14 at the half. Percillier kicked six conversions, Quinn Ngawati booted two and Thomas Isherwood one.

The tournament winner will take Scotland's place in the elite World U20 Championship.

Canada will play for fifth position in its final game on July 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS


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THE LONG ROAD BACK
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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page S1

Canadian Robert Wickens was a rising star in IndyCar racing, until he suffered near-fatal injuries during an event at Pocono Raceway last summer. In the year since, with the support of his fiancée, he has shown a remarkable drive toward a new finish line, working to repair his shattered body, determined to walk, and race, again. Grant Robertson and David Goldman have the story S6

Associated Graphic

After suffering injuries including a broken spine and neck in a 2018 crash, Robert Wickens is set to guide the warm-up lap at Honda Indy Toronto.

DAVID GOLDMAN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


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Apartment-rental startup Sonder raises $210-million
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By STEFANIE MAROTTA
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B2

A Montreal-founded startup offering an alternative to Airbnb and traditional hotels has raised US$210-million in financing and now plans to open a second headquarters in Canada, three years after it moved to San Francisco.

With the funding, fast-growing Sonder Canada Inc. - which in 2019 has surpassed US$200-million in revenue year-to-date - reached a valuation of more than US$1-billion, achieving a milestone for tech startups called "unicorn" status. In its latest round of financing, the company - which rents out hotel-style apartments - attracted new investors including Fidelity Investments Inc., Valor Equity Partners, Atreides Capital, A-Rod Corp. and Tao Capital Partners, reaching well above initial goal of US$125million. In the next few weeks, some developers partnering with Sonder will add an additional US$15-million in investment, the company said.

Sonder's entrance into the unicorn club - a rare badge for a firm founded in Canada - comes seven years after its 26-year-old chief executive Francis Davidson started the business while studying economics and philosophy at McGill University. To make extra money, he rented out apartments on behalf of other students who had left for the summer. Three years into his venture, Mr. Davidson reached $1-million in revenue, dropped out of school and raised $5-million in seed money. He transitioned away from student accommodation and started working with real estate companies. He moved the company to San Francisco in 2016 to tap into the area's extensive talent pool and funding opportunities.

Now with his sights set on an expansion in Canada, Mr. Davidson expects Sonder to reach US$400-million in revenue by the end of the year - four times its revenue in 2018.

Beyond returning to his roots, Mr. Davidson said a Canadian headquarters would allow Sonder to take advantage of the country's growing technology market.

With more than 140 of its 900 employees located in Canada, Sonder is still evaluating locations, Mr. Davidson said in a phone interview. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are all on the list as possibles to host its expanding team of engineers and senior executives.

In its Canadian expansion, Sonder plans to open 75 units in downtown Toronto within the next few months in three buildings that the company calls apartment-style hotels. In Vancouver, it has leased 102 units and plans to launch them in early 2020.

"Canada has such a trajectory and momentum and it's the obvious choice in my view," Mr. Davidson said. "You know the stories about the Bay area and how absurd the housing market has become. San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world and that's reflected in the salaries as well and the competitive war for talent. It would be unsustainable for us to continue to grow here."

Sonder leases apartments in neighbourhoods where hotels are not able to operate and stocks the rooms with comforts that - for an Airbnb host, for example - often vary, such as a standard mattress and a fully stocked kitchen. While the task of refurbishing an apartment with upscale furniture and art is capital-intensive, Sonder finds cost efficiencies by forgoing amenities such as room service and gyms, and integrates technology such as keyless entry, a digital concierge and food delivery apps.

It offers 6,500 units in more than 20 cities in the United States, Canada and Europe - up from 2,200 spaces last year. That number could more than double to 13,500 by the end of the year, Mr.

Davidson said.

That's a long way from the company's early stages when Matt Roberts, who led the investment in the accommodation startup for the Business Development Bank of Canada in 2015, was advised by other venture capitalists not to invest.

Mr. Roberts continued to invest in Sonder after becoming a partner with Toronto-based VC firm ScaleUP Ventures. He estimates that his investment has grown 40 to 50 times.

Despite that early hesitation by investors, Mr. Roberts notes that Canadian firms have been involved in every round of fundraising at Sonder. That's a marked departure from the initial fundraising efforts of homegrown tech darlings Shopify Inc.

and Lightspeed POS Inc.; neither one had any Canadian investors involved in their series A funding rounds.

Now that the company hit the billion-dollar mark, new investors are opting in, especially those that specialize in the hotel and accommodation space.

The company has one of the highest growth rates of any Canadian technology company, according to Chris Arsenault, managing partner of iNovia Capital, which led two rounds of financing for Luxury Retreats, a Montreal-based high-end vacation rental startup that was eventually purchased by Airbnb in 2017.

At the time that iNovia was fundraising for Luxury, it had heard of Sonder but opted not to invest, Mr. Arsenault said. Since its nascent stages, Sonder has been using data to inform how and where it launches new units, considering potential relationships with real estate companies and local regulations. Coupled with Sonder's focus on technology aimed at enhancing the customer's experience, Mr. Arsenault said its business model "cracked the nut."


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Canadian aims to leave mark on global financial system
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As first homegrown secretary-general of Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Carolyn Rogers will watch for 'future risks' in tech, cybersecurity
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By JAMES BRADSHAW
  
  

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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B2

When Carolyn Rogers joined Canada's banking regulator in the fall of 2016, she was thrust into the final stages of an international effort to change the rules for banks.

The Basel III accord - a package of standards that forced banks to carry more capital and limit the risks they take - began as a response to the global financial crisis of 2008. It took years of negotiations to complete, and now Ms. Rogers is getting another chance to put her stamp on that project. She arrives in Switzerland this August as the first Canadian secretary-general of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), with a mandate to ensure those rules are put into practice.

There is "no question" that the Basel III accord "has made the global financial [system] stronger," she said: Banks are better prepared today to withstand severe downturns than they were a decade ago.

But the momentum in favour of dramatic regulatory change coming out of the crisis has slowed as "people's memories waned a bit," she said. Even as the current economic cycle grows long in the tooth, regulators are still working to put in motion the reforms they won in the aftermath of the crisis.

"That was a long project and I kind of came in at the end of the fourth quarter," Ms. Rogers said in an interview from Ottawa, where she spent three years as assistant superintendent of the regulation sector for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), after six years at the helm of British Columbia's financial regulator. "Like any big project, the last few steps are sometimes the hardest."

Formed in 1974, the Basel Committee is a standard-setter for international banking regulation that gained prominence after the 2008 financial crisis, with 45 members drawn from central banks and financial regulators in 28 jurisdictions. In her new role as secretary-general, which she starts in August for an initial three-year term, Ms. Rogers will lead the secretariat - the staff body that supports the committee.

Ms. Rogers credits the reputation for soundness that OSFI and Canada carry in financial circles with helping her to be the first Canadian to win the job. She is also only the second woman to be named secretary-general in the committee's 45-year history.

"I'm proud of that as well. I would love to see more women in the senior ranks of our industry," she said. "It's coming, but it's slow."

Ms. Rogers, 49, is no stranger to Basel, Switzerland's thirdmost-populous city after Zurich and Geneva: She has represented OSFI on the Basel Committee, making 15 trips to the city over three years. During the latest visit two weeks ago, she had lunch with Pablo Hernandez de Cos, the governor of Spain's central bank, who was named chairman of the BCBS in May. "He and I haven't had a lot of time together yet," Ms. Rogers said, but they will work closely together to "chart the next set of priorities" for the committee.

Implementing the last pieces of Basel III, which were agreed to in December of 2017, remains job No. 1. But Ms. Rogers plans to pay close attention to "future risks" that include rapidly changing technologies that are redefining the "fundamental business model of banking," such as cybersecurity threats, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.

Ms. Rogers has grappled with many of the same issues as one of OSFI's most senior officials. She was deeply involved in crafting major policy changes, including a revamp of the "B-20 rule on mortgage underwriting to add a controversial stress test on uninsured mortgages, starting in 2018.

The test was designed to curb risky lending amid red-hot housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto, but has made it harder for some borrowers to qualify for loans.

The stress test has drawn more attention, both criticism and praise, than any other OSFI regulation in recent memory - Ms.

Rogers says that it is alone in having its own hashtag. Mortgage professionals and the occasional bank economist have called for the test to be adjusted, relaxed or scrapped altogether, but Ms. Rogers said the rule "continues to do what we intended it to do," ensuring borrowers have a cushion to fall back on in times of hardship.

"Do I see [the stress test] as a temporary thing?" she said. "Absolutely not."

Of late, OSFI also raised the minimum levels of capital Canadian banks are required to hold, hiking a "domestic stability buffer" twice in six months, while warning of "elevated" risks posed by high household and corporate debt.

Ultimately, Ms. Rogers knows the Basel Committee's success will be measured by its vigilance, because the fixes crafted after the last crisis won't prevent the next one.

"Complacency is a regulator's worst enemy," Ms. Rogers said.

"And so, we're not necessarily all a bunch of cynics or pessimists, but our job is to think about the risks and to think about the vulnerabilities."


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Dow, S&P 500 reach new highs, but Canadian markets stay on the low side
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Declines in pot stocks, with CannTrust seeing a string of dips, weigh on Bay Street as U.S. indexes hit milestones
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B3

A turbulent day on Wall Street ended in the record books Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 27,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit another all-time high.

The milestones came on a day when the S&P 500 briefly moved above 3,000 for the second straight day before an early rally lost some of its momentum.

In Canada, another day of declines in cannabis stocks kept Bay Street slightly in negative territory, with CannTrust Holdings Inc. continuing a string of declines since it disclosed some production was done in unlicensed growing rooms. The stock lost another 1.9 per cent Thursday as The Globe and Mail reported allegations that the company hid thousands of cannabis plants behind temporary walls in order to stage misleading photographs of an unlicensed growing room that were sent to Health Canada.

U.S. stocks have been trending higher for much of the week as investors have grown more confident that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates for the first time in a decade as soon as the end of this month.

"Sure, 27,000 is just a number and in the whole scope of things isn't meaningful," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial. "What it is though is a reminder for all investors that this bull market has ignored all the scary headlines for years and the dual benefit of fiscal and monetary policy could mean it has a lot longer to go than most expect." Stocks rose from the get-go Thursday as investors looked ahead to Fed chairman Jerome Powell testifying before a Congressional committee for the second straight day.

Mr. Powell stressed that the Fed is prepared to cut interest rates to support the economy, raising hopes that the first reduction in its key policy rate in a decade could happen later this month.

He noted that "uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook."

New government data released Thursday showed consumer prices rose in June from a year earlier. The bump in inflation wasn't expected to give the Fed reason to reconsider whether it should lower rates, if necessary. Inflation has remained muted through much of the economy's 10-year expansion, which Powell has said cited as a justification for potentially lowering rates.

The early rally weakened by early afternoon after bond yields spiked in the wake of weak demand at an auction for 30-year Treasurys. That pulled bond prices lower, driving the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 2.14 per cent from 2.06 per cent late Wednesday, a big move. Bonds yields also rose in Canada.

The surge in bond yields marked a reversal from recent weeks, when many investors funnelled money into bonds and other less-risky assets amid growing anxiety over the U.S. trade conflicts and signs of a slowing global economy.

Pharmaceutical makers dropped after the White House scrapped a plan to overhaul a system of rebates those companies pay to insurers and distributors. Merck & Co. dropped 4.5 per cent.

The move gave drugstore chains and health insurers a boost, however. Cigna surged 9.2 per cent, CVS Health gained 4.7 per cent, UnitedHealth climbed 5.5 per cent and Anthem rose 5.5 per cent.

Corporate earnings will keep investors busy starting next week, when S&P 500 companies begin reporting results for the April-June quarter.

Companies have been lowering expectations for how much profit they made in the quarter. Wall Street now projects that overall S&P 500 company earnings for the quarter fell 2.6 per cent from a year earlier, according to FactSet. As recently as the end of March, earnings were forecast to be down only 0.5 per cent.

This could be the first time in three years that S&P 500 companies report a back-toback decline in overall earnings.

"The bars for earnings have been set sufficiently low to keep expectations in check," said Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group. "We will hear lots about the impact of tariffs, but not much else."

The S&P 500 rose 6.84 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,999.91. The index set three straight record highs last week.

The Dow gained 227.88 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 27,088.08. The Nasdaq composite gave up an early gain, sliding 6.49 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 8,196.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 7.13 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 1,557.92.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 35.39 points at 16,527.90.


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Frustrated energy executives take stock at the Calgary Stampede
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By DEVIKA KRISHNA KUMAR, ROD NICKEL, NIA WILLIAMS
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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page B3

CALGARY -- Frustration is palpable among Canadian energy executives who have flocked to the annual Calgary Stampede celebrations in Canada's oil capital this week, even though a recent pipeline approval gives them something to celebrate amid the rodeo competitions, corporate parties and pancake breakfasts.

The federal government's approval of the Trans Mountain expansion last month was a boost for the battered industry. On top of that, crude oil prices have stabilized, an aggressively pro-energy party has come to power in Alberta and overall production in the country is around five million barrels a day - making Canada the world's fourthlargest producer.

Yet, millions of barrels of crude remain in storage because of stubborn delays in pipeline expansion caused by legal challenges from environmental and Indigenous groups. The transportation problems have forced the Alberta government to curtail crude production to prop up Canadian oil prices, which trade at a discount to U.S.

barrels. Foreign investment in Canada's energy industry is down sharply and unemployment remains stubbornly high.

All this has dampened the mood at Stampede, the Canadian energy industry's biggest party, a 10-day extravaganza of drinking, western dress-up and networking in tents lined with straw bales.

"The unpredictability of getting pipelines built has kept capital out of Canada and it's not getting any better," RS Energy analyst Samir Kayande said in a phone interview.

Canadian energy companies rely on pipelines to get crude from Alberta to markets. Canadian energy capital investment in 2019 is forecast to be $37-billion, less than half its 2014 level of $81-billion. Many foreign oil companies have exited Canada, leaving the industry largely in the hands of domestic producers.

For some, this could be an opportunity - but only if market access is worked out.

"Canada is on sale. The question is whether this is a temporary sale or a permanent loss," Rob Dionne, vice-president at fund manager Scheer, Rowlett & Associates, referring to low valuations of Canadian companies.

In the Wildhorse Saloon Stampede tent, pitched on a parking lot in downtown Calgary, the atmosphere was quieter than in past years, according to one oil trader at a corporate event on Monday night, even as hundreds of revellers in cowboy hats and plaid shirts filled the dance floor.

High unemployment in the industry put a noticeable damper on festivities, the trader said, with Repsol SA the latest foreign firm to cut jobs.

Many feel if Alberta could increase market access by building more pipelines, producers could unlock billions more barrels of bitumen and boom times would return to Canada, home to the world's third-largest oil reserves.

TC Energy's Keystone XL, Enbridge Inc.'s Line 3 and the Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain expansion have all been delayed for years by legal and regulatory challenges. Enbridge's existing Line 5 pipeline is also facing legal challenges in Michigan over its underwater crossing in the Great Lakes.

"The really important thing in the short to medium term is getting these development pipeline projects completed and in service," Cenovus Energy chief executive Alex Pourbaix said on the sidelines of a conference held here this week.

"If all of those projects go, this industry probably has a significant runway before we have to worry about market access again."

The key word is "if." One Calgary-based source at a major Canadian midstream company noted he was in junior high when Keystone XL was first proposed, so he is skeptical about the recent Trans Mountain approval.

The Trans Mountain expansion will triple pipeline capacity to the Pacific coast, but supporters are braced for legal challenges after a previous government approval was overturned.

The industry is accustomed to having its hopes raised and dashed, making investors gun-shy about Canada. Those who do invest focus on big oil sands companies while smaller companies get ignored, said Laura Lau, senior portfolio manager with Brompton Group.

Investors want construction to start on Trans Mountain and progress on the Royal Dutch Shell-led LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia, Ms. Lau added.

Still, the outlook for the Canadian oil sector is better now than it was in late 2018, when well-organized environmental activists helped overturn the original Trans Mountain approval and oil production outpaced pipeline capacity, pushing the discount on Canadian oil to record levels surpassing US$50 a barrel.

The Alberta government curtailments, announced late last year, helped margins for struggling local producers but until transportation improves, Canadian crude prices will be squeezed.

Since December, oil prices have strengthened and Western Canadian crude inventories have shrunk modestly to just more than 30 million barrels, from around 35 million last year.


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Alberta energy watchdog faces shortfall
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Regulator prepares for budget cuts and layoffs amid industry-wide downturn that has reduced its revenues
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By JEFF LEWIS
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B1

Alberta's energy watchdog is bracing for budget cuts and layoffs in an overhaul that underscores renewed concern about the energy industry's financial health.

The cutbacks follow multiple investigations into the Alberta Energy Regulator's (AER) former chief executive and comes as it struggles with fallout from the industry-wide downturn, including a glut of defunct oil and gas wells.

AER interim CEO Gordon Lambert told staff in a June 24 e-mail that shifts in global oil markets mean some companies can no longer afford levies that support the regulator's operating budget.

Fees are based on a variety of factors including the AER's revenue requirement, the previous year's production volumes and the number of wells and operators in the province.

The AER oversees major oilsands plants and pipelines in the province and had a budget of around $252-million in the last fiscal year.

Although funded by industry, the budget is set and approved by the provincial government.

The magnitude of the cuts was not immediately known, but a source with direct knowledge of the organization's finances said it is currently operating with an interim budget of about $150-million and that staff reductions are likely.

The person was granted anonymity by The Globe and Mail to discuss private deliberations.

Top executives at the AER are working closely with Premier Jason Kenney's government "to address the challenges posed by the current fiscal situation," Mr. Lambert wrote in the internal e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe. The final outcome of the budgeting process will not be known until September or October, he added.

"The AER, along with all levels of government, need to find new ways of operating.

Innovative leadership is required across the organization to manage in 'new normal' circumstances where oil and gas revenues are considerably reduced," he wrote.

"As a result, we are examining a range of business models aimed at building a sustainable future state for the AER and our employees."

It is unclear at this time whether the province would top up the regulator's budget.

Scores of energy firms have collapsed in recent years, leaving behind thousands of oil and gas wells with no legal owner. Trident Exploration Corp. in April became the latest energy producer to shut down operations. It walked away after handing custody of 4,700 wells to the regulator.

Earlier this month, the United Conservative Party government stepped in with $23-million in emergency tax relief to head off further bankruptcies of struggling natural gas producers.

The AER is also embroiled in investigations launched by Alberta Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler, Public Interest Commissioner Marianne Ryan and Auditor-General Doug Wylie into a consultancy run by its former CEO, Jim Ellis.

He led the AER for five years but resigned abruptly last fall amid allegations that he diverted public resources and money for a startup nonprofit.

Spokeswoman Cara Tobin said the AER would seek additional funding after the provincial budget is released but is reviewing options now in anticipation of cuts.

"While we are undertaking this work on the assumption that we will face a budget reduction, it is too early to speculate about details such as staffing levels at this time," she said in a statement.

Mr. Kenney pledged during the spring election campaign to fire the AER board in response to industry criticisms over lengthy delays to major projects and new drilling permits. However, much of the board remains intact.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage's office did not respond by deadline Tuesday.

In May, Mr. Kenney appointed a panel led by former Saskatchewan NDP finance minister Janice MacKinnon to assess the province's finances ahead of a fall budget.

A report is expected by mid-August.


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Barrick venture awarded $5.8-billion, but Pakistan might not pay
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B1

The World Bank has ordered Pakistan to pay Barrick Gold Corp.

and Chile's Antofagasta PLC US$5.8-billion in damages stemming from a long-running international arbitration dispute over mine rights for a massive copper gold project.

The dispute dates back to 2011, when the Balochistan province in Pakistan rejected efforts by a joint venture (JV) operated by Barrick and Antofagasta to secure a mining lease for the project at Reko Diq. The JV, called Tethyan Copper Company Pty Ltd., appealed the decision and launched an arbitration claim against the government of Pakistan.

The award from the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the arbitration case comprises US$4.1-billion, made up of the fair market value of the project at the time, and accumulated interest of US$1.75billion.

Despite the windfall ruling from the ICSID, shares in Barrick fell by 0.93 per cent on Monday to close at $21.31 apiece on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as doubts arose over the willingness and ability of Pakistan to pay the bill.

Kerry Smith, mining analyst with Haywood Securities Inc., said in an interview that considering Pakistan's shaky finances and a domestic political scene rife with corruption, he'd be "very surprised if Barrick and Antofagasta got a penny."

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a US$6-billion bailout package to Pakistan as it grapples with yet another fiscal crisis.

The language of the news releases from both Barrick and Antofagasta suggests neither expects to be paid in full.

Barrick and Antofagasta both indicated a willingness to come to a "negotiated settlement" with Pakistan.

In its own release, the Office of the Attorney-General for Pakistan expressed "disappointment" over the ruling, but welcomed the commitment by Barrick and Antofagasta to "work towards a mutually beneficial solution that works for both sides."

Barrick and Antofagasta assert that the site of Reko Diq contains one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper gold, with a projected mine life of more than 50 years. However, getting the project off the ground would require a capital expenditure of US$3.3-billion.

The joint venture had already spent US$220-million in development costs before Pakistan halted the project, including the completion of a detailed technical report outlining the geology and economics.

Mr. Smith said that even if Pakistan doesn't pay a cent, it may eventually extend an olive branch by granting the mining lease to the joint venture, and perhaps guarantee title on the property in perpetuity.

Regardless of the outcome, the huge expense of building at Reko Diq and the inherent difficulties of operating in Pakistan, including poor infrastructure and nearconstant military tension with India, make it unlikely that Barrick and Antofagasta would develop it at this stage - even if the lease is granted.

A copper gold project is a deposit that contains mainly copper, but also some gold.

Barrick and Antofagasta will likely hold the project as an option to develop if the price of copper rises. Unlike gold bullion, which has rallied in recent months, copper has drifted this year as trade wars have raged and worries persist over the health of the global economy.

While Barrick is predominantly a gold-focused miner, it operates a number of copper mines.

The company diversified into copper with the $7.3-billion purchase of Equinox Minerals Ltd. in 2011.

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Barrick Gold and Chile's Antofagasta have already spent US$220-million developing the Reko Diq site in Pakistan, which the two assert contains one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper gold.


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EU launches antitrust probe of Amazon's use of merchant data
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By FOO YUN CHEE
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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B1

BRUSSELS -- Amazon's use of merchants' data triggered an EU antitrust investigation on Wednesday, as regulatory concerns mount around the world on how tech giants exploit customer information to reinforce their market power.

U.S. tech firms Amazon, Google and Facebook have been in the regulatory spotlight as antitrust enforcers examine how they use data to shut out rivals. Some U.S. politicians and even one of Facebook's co-founders have called for them to be broken up.

The European Commission has been seeking feedback from retailers and manufacturers since September into Amazon's dual role as a marketplace for merchants and as a competitor, after complaints from traders about Amazon's practices.

The commission said its investigation would look into Amazon's data agreements with marketplace sellers and how the online retailer uses those data to choose which seller is selected to provide a product once a consumer clicks "buy." European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who can fine companies up to 10 per cent of their global turnover and force them to change their business practices, said the issue was crucial as increasing numbers of Europeans shop online.

"E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behaviour," she said.

Amazon said it would co-operate fully with the EU investigation. The company reached a deal with Germany's antitrust authority on Wednesday to overhaul its terms of service for third-party merchants.

Under Amazon's terms of service for Europe set out on its website, merchants grant Amazon "royalty-free" rights to use their materials, such as technology, trademarks, content and product information.

The Commission may take a tougher approach this time to set a precedent for other platforms providing a marketplace whilst competing with their own products, said Ioannis Lianos, professor of global competition law and public policy at University College London.

"I think the Commission will want to give a strong message because it's one of the first cases to bring this issue," Mr. Lianos said. "My feeling is that the Commission's interest is not to settle but to take an infringement decision to lay down the law clearly and set a precedent."

In Washington, the U.S.

Federal Trade Commission is contemplating investigations of Amazon and Facebook while the Justice Department is looking at Apple and Google.

In Congress on Tuesday, Representative David Cicilline, chair of the judiciary committee's antitrust subcommittee, pressed Nate Sutton, an associate general counsel at Amazon, about whether the online retailer used data about independent sellers on its platform to develop products to sell, thus competing against its own sellers.

Mr. Sutton argued that the data were used solely to know what to offer customers. "The algorithms are optimized to what customers want to buy regardless of the seller," he said.

This would not be Amazon's first run-in with the Commission. Two years ago, it was told to pay back taxes of about 250-million ($366million) to Luxembourg because of illegal tax benefits.

That same year, it settled with the regulator over its distribution deals with e-book publishers in Europe.

AMAZON.COM (AMZN) CLOSE: US$1,992.03 DOWN US$17.87

Associated Graphic

The European Commission will investigate Amazon over its use of customer information. The probe will look into Amazon's data agreements with sellers and how the online retailer uses those data to choose which seller is selected.

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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Mad magazine to leave newsstands in August after 67-year run
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By RACHEL LERMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B2

BURBANK, CALIF. -- Mad, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from "Weird Al" Yankovic to the writers of The Simpsons, will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really.

The illustrated humour magazine - instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman - will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers.

But after its fall issue, it will just reprint previously published material.

The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year.

DC, the division of Warner Brothers that publishes the magazine, said Mad will pull from nostalgic cartoons and parodies published over the magazine's 67-year run.

As Alfred would say, "What, me worry?" Worry not, for Mad has more than 550 issues packed full of political parodies and edgy humour to pull from.

The magazine set itself apart as a cultural beacon for decades with its unabashed tendency to make fun of anything and push conventional boundaries. One of Mad's best-known comic series, Spy vs. Spy, featured two spies with beak-like faces and big eyes - costumes that are still regularly worn on Halloween.

It even seemingly parodied fellow popular magazine Playboy, with its Fold-In feature that appeared in nearly every issue. But instead of featuring scantily-clad models, the Fold-In printed - what else? - another joke.

DC will keep publishing Mad special collections and books.

Illustrators and comedians, including one-time guest editor Mr.Yankovic, mourned the magazine's effective closing.

"It's pretty much the reason I turned out weird," he wrote on Twitter.

Josh Weinstein, a writer and producer of The Simpsons - which has referenced Mad many times - thanked the magazine on Twitter for its inspiring effect on eras of comedy.

"There was a moment in so many of our childhoods where you were the greatest thing ever," he wrote.

Comedian Harry Shearer, the voice of several characters on The Simpsons, cracked on Twitter: "An American institution has closed.

And who wants to live in an institution?" When U.S. President Donald Trump referred to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Alfred, while insisting he wouldn't be fit to serve as president, the 37-year-old candidate said he had to Google the reference.

"I guess it's just a generational thing," Mr. Buttigieg told Politico.

"I didn't get the reference."

Cartoonist Evan Dorkin, who worked for Mad, wrote on Twitter that the magazine was long a source of happiness and inspiration for him.

"I hope we provided some smiles to some readers of the past 12 yrs," he wrote.

The magazine changed as its circumstances did, he wrote, including when the magazine began printing advertisements in 2001 and when it moved from New York to Burbank, Calif., at the end of 2017. That move warped Mad's identity, Mr. Dorkin said.

Mad was long a venue for comic artists and cartoonists to grow artistically and shape national conversation. Well-known names such as Al Jaffee, Harvey Kurtzman and Mort Drucker were associated with the magazine for decades.

Associated Graphic

Mad magazine set itself apart as a cultural beacon for decades with its unabashed tendency to make fun of anything and push conventional boundaries.

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS/ASSOCIATED PRESS


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LARGE U.S. LENDERS TOP PROFIT EXPECTATIONS
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B2

Three big U.S. banks reported strong earnings on Tuesday, even as warning signs emerged that the playing field is beginning to tilt against the financial industry.

While the biggest risk ahead is that lower interest rates will put pressure on banks' bottom lines in the coming months, the squeeze is already beginning.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. both reported drops in net interest margins as they paid more for deposits.

JPMorgan lowered its outlook for net interest income to "about [US]$57.5-billion" in 2019 from the US$58-plus billion it estimated in February.

On Monday, Citigroup Inc.

similarly reported a decline in net interest margin.

JPMorgan shares ended trading in New York on Tuesday at US$115.12, up 1.1 per cent; Wells Fargo closed at US$45.30, down 3 per cent; and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. finished at US$215.52, up roughly 1.9 per cent.

Trading volumes have dropped at large U.S. banks as a titfor-tat tariff war between Beijing and Washington has kept investors on edge. A flattening of the Treasury yield curve and rising bets for a U.S. interest-rate cut have also challenged banks' ability to boost revenues.

Investors worry that if the U.S.

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates in July, it could put pressure on margins at banks, which have benefited recently from higher rates. JPMorgan now expects as many as three rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, chief financial officer Jennifer Piepszak said.

JPMorgan's net income surged 16 per cent to US$9.65-billion as a tax gain and higher net interest income overshadowed lower activity on its trading desks.

Excluding that tax gain, it earned US$2.59 a share. Net revenue rose 4 per cent to US$29.57-billion.

Analysts expected earnings of US$2.51 a share and revenue of US$28.90-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

At Wells Fargo, meanwhile, net income applicable to common stock rose to US$5.85-billion , or US$1.30 a share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $4.79-billion, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of US$1.15 a share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Goldman Sachs's fixed-income business suffered another disappointing quarter with net revenues falling by 13 per cent, affected by interest rate products and currencies.

The bank's net earnings applicable to common shareholders fell 6 per cent to US$2.20-billion in the quarter. Earnings per share fell to US$5.81 from US$5.98 a year earlier. Total net revenue fell 2 per cent to US$9.46-billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of US$4.89 a share on revenue of US$8.83-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


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American extends 737 Max groundings to November
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Top airline's continuing cancellation affects more than 100 daily flights, with some analysts predicting further delays ahead
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By TRACY RUCINSKI
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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B2

American Airlines Group Inc.

said Sunday it is extending for a fourth time cancellations of about 115 daily flights into early November because of the continuing grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets.

The airline's decision was expected after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which must reapprove the jets for flight following two fatal crashes, last month uncovered a new flaw that Boeing estimates will take until at least September to fix.

"American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 Max, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in co-ordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year," the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

American, the world's largest airline and the second-largest 737 Max operator in the United States, most recently had planned to keep the Max, which it used on most flights between New York's LaGuardia airport and Miami, off its schedule through Sept. 3.

It has been substituting other aircraft for its busiest flights while cancelling others and temporarily suspending direct flights between Oakland, Calif., and DallasFort Worth. Some analysts have said they do not expect the 737 Max jets to fly again before the end of the year.

American, with 24 of the aircraft and dozens more on order, is scheduling without the 737 Max through Nov. 2.

Among other U.S. Max carriers, Southwest Airlines Co. has removed the aircraft from its scheduling through Oct. 1, and United Airlines Holdings until Nov. 3.

Southwest is the world's largest Max operator.

The 737 Max, which had been Boeing's fastest-selling aircraft thanks to its fuel-efficient engines and longer range, was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after takeoff, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.

Boeing hopes a software upgrade and new pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering a system called MCAS, which was activated in both the planes before they crashed.

American, which is also grappling with cancellations related to a labour dispute with its mechanics, is due to report secondquarter results later this month, with an expected rise in unit revenue as capacity constraints mean its planes are flying fuller. However, the airline cut its annual profit forecast in April, blaming an estimated US$350-million hit from the Max groundings.

American Airlines' chief executive, Doug Parker, has been among the most vocal supporters of the Max aircraft, saying on June 12 that it was "highly likely" flights would resume by mid-August.

Associated Graphic

With a fleet of 24, American Airlines is the second-largest 737 Max operator in the United States.

JOE RAEDLE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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Pagenaud holds off Dixon, finishes first at Indy Toronto
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Driver took his third title of the season by leading wire-to-wire through the bumpy streets around Exhibition Place
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By LORI EWING
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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B11

TORONTO -- Seven weeks ago, Simon Pagenaud was racing to victory on the wide-open speedway of the Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, he captured the Honda Indy Toronto title, manoeuvring through the tricky hairpin turns on Toronto's notoriously bumpy road course.

If it takes a complete driver to capture the IndyCar Series title, Pagenaud proved in Toronto he has the full package.

The 35-year-old Frenchman led wire to wire on the streets around Exhibition Place to capture his first title in Toronto and third of the season, cranking up the IndyCar championship fight with six races to go.

"Never count me out. That's all I can say," said Pagenaud, who trails series leader Josef Newgarden by 39 points. "We won the biggest race in the world [Indy 500].

We just won an awesome race. It's a long championship. You've got to build it. It's going to be a great fight in the end."

Bring it on, Pagenaud said. He welcomes the pressure.

"I do very well under pressure. It just drives me," he said. "I love it because that's when you have to extract more out of yourself. There's no other way to go. You can't turn back. It's just time to go for me right now. It's championship time."

Pagenaud was forced to save fuel over the last couple of laps while holding off defending-champion Scott Dixon. But Will Power crashed to cause a caution on the final lap, allowing Pagenaud to cruise to the finish.

Dixon, who's said he will need off-season surgery for a nagging elbow injury, was second, and Alexander Rossi was third. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., who started 14th on the grid, finished sixth.

Sunday's victory on the 11-turn, 2.89kilometre road course couldn't have been more different than Pagenaud's Indy 500 win.

"What's really cool about IndyCar is the different tracks," he said. "Indy, the Speedway, is so different to Indy Toronto, it's pretty much big opposites. You're going through streets, you're braking really hard, you're sliding [in Toronto]. In Indy, you've got to be really smooth, doing 240 miles per hour [386 kilometres an hour]. Here, we have the slowest corner on the calendar with the hairpin in Turn 3.

"That's the beauty of IndyCar. That's what I love."

Pagenaud and his Team Penske Chevrolet had been the class of the field all week, earning the pole after recording the fastest lap in a pair of practice sessions.

His fast driving continued on Sunday.

Pagenaud led by as many as eight seconds.

On Lap 35, and with a 6.04-second lead on the field, he told his team "I'm just cruising, really."

But Dixon, a five-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time winner in Toronto, roared back and cut the gap to about a half-second with 18 laps to go.

"My really only [passing] option was probably on the first corner," Dixon said. "[Pagenaud] overshot, I had a pretty good run on the inside. He started to back out, I bailed out of it, braked. I think it was just really hard to get close to cars today."

Takuma Sato was running a great race in fifth place when flames shot up from his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda on Lap 67.

Pagenaud's win came fittingly on Bastille Day, France's national holiday.

"Being able to win for France, after winning Indianapolis, it's been a special year," he said. "I'm very proud to fly the French flag here in a cousin country, which is Canada.

"I guess the French guy [Julian Alaphilippe] is leading the Tour de France today on the bike. I felt like I had to do the same.

Super proud." Hinchcliffe made the biggest move of the day, from 14th to sixth.

"With the race playing out the way it did, there wasn't a lot of strategy to be had with tires, with fuel," the Canadian said.

"There were really no notable cautions to bunch the field back up. We didn't really have any help today. We had to kind of do it on the racetrack."

The Toronto race hasn't seen a Canadian winner since hometown favourite Paul Tracy stood atop the podium in 2003. Tracy also won in 1993.

Robert Wickens of Guelph, Ont., led an emotional parade lap in a car equipped with hand controls.

It was his first time driving since he suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash last August. His fiancée, Karli Woods, rode in the passenger seat.

The Exhibition Place crowd erupted in a roar when Wickens hit the throttle and the pair took off for their lap.

"You could hear the cheers every corner of the racetrack, even from inside the car," said Hinchcliffe, Wickens's teammate and close friend.

"Awesome to see him back on track, home crowd, awesome to see the support he's had."

Wickens also gave the start command, saying: "Future drivers of mine, start your engines!" - a nod to potentially owning his own team one day.

Associated Graphic

Simon Pagenaud of France leads the pack on his way to taking first place at Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday. The French driver trails series leader Josef Newgarden by 39 points.

MARK BLINCH/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Devils aim to build a team to Hall's specifications
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As much off-season work as GM Shero has done to improve the roster, the 2018 MVP's decision to stick around will depend on wins
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By STEPHEN WHYNO
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B13

After the New Jersey Devils acquired P.K. Subban, Taylor Hall texted Ray Shero a green check mark.

"Like, 'Check that box off,' " Shero said. "I guess that's good."

The Devils have a much longer checklist to complete to persuade Hall to re-sign and not leave as a free agent next summer. There is no rush from either side on negotiating an extension for the 2018 NHL MVP, and as much off-season work as Shero has done to improve the roster, the process will likely take into next season for Hall to see if New Jersey is actually a place he wants to be for the long term.

"You want to play on the best team possible, and I've played nine seasons in the NHL and only won one playoff game," Hall said.

"You want to be on a team that's not only a playoff contender, but a Stanley Cup contender every year because I only have so many more years left in this league and so many more chances to win a Stanley Cup. It hasn't even come close yet. I kind of want to make up for lost time, but at the same time want to be smart with everything that's going on."

New Jersey traded for a toppairing defenceman in Subban, won the draft lottery to select centre Jack Hughes first over all and signed winger Wayne Simmonds.

"This is a team that's [trending] up, getting better and better," Simmonds said. "They've added some pieces including myself this off-season. Obviously P.K. and Jack Hughes. There's a lot of young talent. Definitely really excited to be part of it."

After a disappointing season - Hall missed half of it with a knee injury and New Jersey finished third to last in the league - Shero understood the all-star winger wanted more talent around him.

"Obviously some of the things that we've done prove that we want to improve the hockey team not just for Taylor Hall but for our team," Shero said.

"My job is to obviously build the best team I can for the short and long term, and also when it comes to dealing with players and relationships to sit down with them and explain to them as to what we're doing and I want them to be aware of it."

When Shero asked Hall what he thought of Subban before making the move to get the 2013 Norris Trophy winner he received a resounding vote of confidence.

Even before New Jersey signed Simmonds, Hall gave the Devils' upgrades a thumbs up.

"I've always liked it in New Jersey. That's never changed," Hall said. "I think it adds to the talent level, the skill level of our team, and as a player in the off-season that's what you want to see. It's exciting. We're going to have more than a couple new faces next year. It's important that we have a good start and all that stuff. Just injecting some new blood into the team is going to be really good."

No single player is more important to the Devils' success than Hall, who carried them into the playoffs two seasons ago with 93 points and whose injury derailed any hopes of contending in 201819. The 27-year-old who spent his first six NHL seasons in Edmonton doesn't want to commit until he thinks the mix in New Jersey could be enough to win a championship.

Maybe that's why Hall talked well before the start of the regular season about the Devils getting off to a hot start. Winning on the ice is more important than winning the off-season when it comes to Hall's future.

"It's a big decision for Taylor," Shero said. "It's a big decision for the team here. Both sides need the information to have a real fruitful dialogue that's meaningful, and that's been the relationship we've had with Taylor since Day 1, so that hasn't changed."

Subban said the Devils "have to get [Hall] signed" because he's a go-to player. Based on the US$81.5-million, seven-year contract the cross-river rival New York Rangers just gave winger Artemi Panarin, it's realistically to think Hall could command US$10-million or more a season no matter where he signs.

In-depth negotiations are yet to come, even though money shouldn't be an impediment to the Devils locking up Hall for the remainder of his prime and more.

"We're both on the same page and both groups have been on the same page," Shero said. "I don't have the crystal ball as to when or how or what the story will be, but I think we'll know it when we get to it."

Associated Graphic

Left winger Taylor Hall, seen celebrating a goal in December, remains the crucial factor in the Devils' long-term success, even with the off-season additions of P.K. Subban and top draft pick Jack Hughes.

JULIO CORTEZ/AP


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Players hope World Cup success gets the ball rolling on equality
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For many teams, the theme of this year's tournament wasn't just about money - it was about increasing support globally for the women's game
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By ANNE M. PETERSON
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B14

LYON, FRANCE -- As the U.S. players celebrated their Women's World Cup title by dancing on the field, a chant rose from the crowd in Lyon, France: "Equal pay! Equal pay!"

It was a fitting tribute after the team's month-long march to a fourth overall title in the sport's premier tournament, where equity emerged as a main theme. The Americans were out front because of their lawsuit back home seeking to be paid as much as their counterparts on the men's national team.

But it wasn't just about pay equity at this World Cup. Players hope the attention they've received in France translates to greater support for the women's game - and women in general.

"We, as all players, every player at the World Cup, put on the most incredible show that you could ever ask for. We can't do anything more to impress more, to be better ambassadors, to take on more, to play better," U.S. star Megan Rapinoe said.

"It's time to move that conversation to the next step."

Even the hosts, eliminated by the United States in the quarter-finals, believed the focus on the tournament - with its record-breaking television ratings - could lead to a greater victory in terms of player development and resources.

"I think we achieved something and I'm proud to have shown France that football can also be played by women, and that's a first victory. I think it will help for the future, but I can't guarantee it," French forward Eugénie Le Sommer said. "To have won over the public is a good thing, but we shouldn't just be satisfied with that."

For others, it's just getting what they've been promised.

The Nigerian team staged a brief sit-in at its hotel after it was eliminated from the tournament because players had not been paid their bonuses and allowances. Some were owed money from as far back as 2016.

In soccer-crazy Argentina, the women's team barely registers in the shadow of the men's team. But the Argentinian women earned their first-ever World Cup point at the tournament with a scoreless draw with Japan in the group stage. Argentina had been outscored 33-2 in its six previous games.

A movement for equality pushed Argentina's soccer association into giving professional status to the national women's league earlier this year. The fight for recognition has coincided with the country's feminist movement taking to the streets with marches against violence and inequality.

Jamaica coach Hue Menzies was blunt about the influence he hoped the Reggae Girlz would have back home: "We want to make an impact socially." FIFA itself came under fire during the tournament for the imbalance of prize money between the men's and women's World Cups.

The Americans earned US$4-million for winning the World Cup - double the amount earned four years ago - as part of a US$30-million prize pool. But that's far less than the US$38-million earned by France for lifting the men's trophy last July in Moscow.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised to double the prize money to US$60million for the next Women's World Cup in 2023, but it will still lag far behind the US$440-million that will be paid out at the men's 2022 tournament in Qatar.

FIFA's cash reserves at the end of 2018 stood at US$2.74-billion.

Soccer's governing body also was criticized for scheduling the Women's World Cup final on the same day as the Gold Cup final in the United States and the Copa America final in Brazil.

A day before the final, Rapinoe suggested FIFA doesn't truly care about the women's game.

"If you really care, are you letting the gap grow? Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you're not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you're not," Rapinoe said. "That's what I mean about the level of care, you need attention and detail and the best minds that we have in the women's game, helping it grow every single day."

Associated Graphic

Trophy in hand, Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women's national soccer team, greets fans on Monday after the team returned to New York after winning the Women's World Cup final over the Netherlands on Sunday.

COREY SIPKIN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


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Divers McKay, Benfeito secure Tokyo spots
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Canadians finish third and fourth, respectively, in the 10-metre platform semi-final at the world aquatics championships
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B11

GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA -- Divers Caeli McKay and Meaghan Benfeito have secured two spots for Canada in the women's 10metre platform event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

McKay finished third in the semi-final on Tuesday at the world aquatics championships, while Benfeito was fourth. The top 12 advanced to the final and secured Olympic quota spots for their respective countries.

McKay, from Calgary, had 356.70 points, while Montreal's Benfeito notched 340.60.

"Today was a very positive day for me. One of my main goals was to show my strength as an individual diver," McKay said.

China's Yuxi Chen (407.95 points) and Wei Lu (370.85) were first and second, respectively.

The final is scheduled for Wednesday.

The pair finished fourth and missed qualifying for an Olympic spot by 0.81 points in Sunday's synchro competition. Only the top three finishers in synchro events are accepted for Tokyo 2020.

"After my synchro event, I wanted to come back strong and open a spot for my country at the Olympics. I am very proud to have done that," MacKay said. "I am pleased with my performance and I know what I need to improve for tomorrow's final."

Benfeito has won three Olympic bronze medals in her career.

McKay won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"Semis were a little bit rough.

The last dives weren't exactly how I wanted them to be, but the goal was to make the final to open the spot for the Olympics and that's what we did," Benfeito said. "Obviously, we're going to take it up a notch tomorrow for the final."

Elsewhere, China's golden run continued when it won the mixed-team event diving final.

Lin Shan and Yang Jian won with a total of 416.65 points and didn't face a strong challenge on their way to victory.

It was China's first gold in the mixed-team event - involving three- and 10-metre dives - since it was introduced at the world swimming championships in 2015.

"I only knew I would compete in this event one week ago," said Yang, men's 10-metre platform bronze medalist in Budapest two years ago. "We did not have time to train together. The most important thing was to show our best in the competition."

Three-time youth Olympic champion Lin was scared of the competition when she was young, "but I am not any more."

"I tried to adjust my breath and told myself to relax. It was my first world title and also first for China in this event, I was proud of that," Lin said.

Russian pair Yulia Timoshinina and Sergey Nazin took silver with 390.05, followed by Andrew Capobianco and Katrina Young of the United States with 357.60.

The best result for China until Tuesday in the mixed-team event was a bronze medal in 2015 by Chen Ruolin and Xie Siyi.

THE CANADIAN PRESS, WITH REPORTS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Associated Graphic

'Semis were a little bit rough,' said Olympian Meaghan Benfeito, who finished fourth in the 10-metre platform with a score of 340.60 on Tuesday in Gwangju, South Korea. 'But the goal was to make the final to open the spot for the Olympics and that's what we did,' she added.

LEE JIN-MAN/AP


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Hamilton left vexed as British Grand Prix clashes with cricket, tennis finals
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By ROB HARRIS
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B11

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND -- In a season of often mundane racing, the one time Lewis Hamilton can hope to grab the attention of home Formula One fans is the British Grand Prix.

On Sunday, that will be a whole lot harder.

Down in London, England's cricketers will be contesting their first men's World Cup final in 27 years.

And taking place at the same time near the British capital will be the men's final at Wimbledon.

Hamilton, the reigning Formula One champion and current championship leader, is not happy he has to share the limelight with so many other sports.

With the trio of big events, the clashes are proving even more problematic than last Sunday, when three soccer finals were played on three continents in different time slots: the Women's World Cup in France, the Copa America in Brazil and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.

"I don't understand why the organizers put the race on the same day as all these other big events," Hamilton said Thursday at Silverstone, discussing the Cricket World Cup and Wimbledon finals. "I hope in future they [don't]. This is such a special weekend it needs the focus of the whole country. People will be switching between channels on Sunday not knowing what to watch."

Channel Four, the free channel showing the British Grand Prix, landed late rights to show England play New Zealand and will squeeze the racing around coverage of the cricket final. During Hamilton's bid for a record sixth home race win, cricket coverage will switch to a secondary channel.

"I come here to raise the flag and do the country proud," Hamilton said. "It's such a privilege to be here. The British Grand Prix is the most special of the year. The sheer magnitude of it, how many people come here. It's a special weekend, there's excitement, adrenalin.

"My whole family is coming this weekend, so it's that one weekend where it's the most special because your closest support surround you. I've had some spectacular races here."

In the last race in Austria two weeks ago, Hamilton started fourth and lost time to replace the front wing of his Mercedes after 31 laps. He finished fifth.

"We're here to improve this weekend as a team," Hamilton said. "The last one was difficult for us. I think it will be close."

What is certain is that Hamilton will have more chances to win at Silverstone in the future. Organizers struck a new deal this week to continue the race on the central England circuit through 2024.

"It feels like a long way away. Who knows if I will still be here then?" said the 34-year-old Hamilton, who is under contract at Mercedes until 2020. "If I'm not, if I stop racing, then I won't be here in any other capacity."


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Groenewegen sprints to victory in Stage 7 of Tour
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By SAMUEL PETREQUIN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page S5

CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, FRANCE -- Dylan Groenewegen won the longest stage of the Tour de France in a sprint as Giulio Ciccone kept the yellow jersey on Friday.

The Dutch sprinter edged Australian rival Caleb Ewan and former world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia to claim his fourth career stage win of the Tour.

Squeezed between the crossing of the Vosges and Massif Central mountains, the 230-kilometre trek took the peloton from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône in central-east France.

A Tour rookie, Ciccone seized the yellow jersey on Thursday following a long breakaway during the race's first mountain stage.

After a final technical hairpin bend, Stage 7 featured a 1.6km path to the finish that gave pure sprinters a perfect opportunity to shine.

Ottawa's Michael Woods remained in ninth place over all after finishing 27th in Friday's stage. Hugo Houle of of SaintePerpétue, Que., moved up five spots to 108th over all after finishing 55th in Stage 7.

Italian sprinter Elia Viviani was led out by his teammates, but lacked speed as he dropped out of contention. It was then a tight battle between Groenewegen and Ewan, with the former winning by just a few centimetres.

Victory felt sweeter for Groenewegen, after he was caught in a crash near the finish on the Tour's opening day in Belgium last week.

After a day of hardship in the Vosges that culminated with the brutal ascent to the Planches des Belles Filles, most of the riders needed a break and the peloton rode at a pedestrian pace. On the outskirts of the eastern city of Belfort, nobody moved when breakaway specialists Yoann Offredo and Stéphane Rossetto made a move.

On the Tour's longest day, some riders were caught napping. American Tejay van Garderen and Mike Teunissen, the Dutch rider who wore the yellow jersey earlier, both hit the tarmac soon after the start, close to a road divider. Van Garderen was attended by three of his teammates and eventually got back on his bike, his face bloodied and his jersey ripped.

Nicolas Roche soldiered on, too, after he fell onto his machine on a long section of flat road.

Offredo and Rossetto could not make the most of the peloton's apathy, though, failing to build a big enough gap to prevent sprinters' teams from reining them in about 12 km from the finish. As the pace sped up in the final kilometres, there were splits in the main pack, with overall contenders Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin getting dropped. It was nothing more than a scare as the duo easily joined up with the favourites well before the final sprint.


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Australia's Tomic fined for 'appalling' lack of effort in Tuesday loss to Tsonga
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By TOBY DAVIS
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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B10

LONDON -- Australia's Bernard Tomic was fined £45,000 (approximately $74,000) for not playing to "required professional standards" after he put in minimal effort during a 58-minute, first-round thrashing by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon, organizers said on Thursday.

Fans looked bemused as the 26-year-old world No. 96 lost Tuesday's match 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 - a performance described as "appalling" and "embarrassing" on social media.

"It is the opinion of the referee that the performance of Bernard Tomic in his first-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did not meet the required professional standards, and therefore he has been fined the maximum amount of £45,000, which will be deducted from prize money," organizers said in a statement.

With first-round losers at Wimbledon receiving £45,000, Tomic exited the tournament empty-handed after his latest run-in with the All England Club's authorities.

The Australian was fined more than £11,000 (approximately $18,000) in 2017 after admitting he faked an injury during a firstround loss to Mischa Zverev, saying later he was "bored" with Wimbledon.

When asked to sum up his performance on Tuesday, Tomic said: "I played pretty bad." Asked to elaborate, he said: "I just played terrible." He found a surprising ally, however, in Tsonga, who said after his second-round win over Ricardas Berankis on Thursday that he sympathized with the Australian.

"That's touchy. Because you never - they will do that with him and not with others? And I think it's a little bit too much," Tsonga told reporters.

American Sloane Stephens expressed her surprise, too, saying she was not "100 per cent" on board with tournaments deciding on a player's effort levels, calling it a "slippery slope."

"When you start doing that and being the judge of what happens and how people earn a living, that's when it gets a little tricky," she said.

It is not the first time Tomic has been in trouble for not trying. He was nicknamed "Tomic the Tank Engine" after accusations he "tanked" - or failed to try his best - in a loss to Andy Roddick at the 2012 U.S. Open.

The Australian also broke the record for the quickest loss at a Masters-level tournament on the ATP Tour after being crushed 6-0, 6-1, in 28 minutes by Finn Jarkko Nieminen in Miami in 2014.

Tomic, who was once hailed as being among the game's brightest emerging talents, has now lost in the first round of his past three Grand Slams, exiting the French Open in May with a straight-sets defeat in a match lasting 82 minutes.


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Daly out of British Open, can use cart on PGA Tour
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By DOUG FERGUSON
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B13

John Daly is free to ride a cart during the week of the British Open - just not at Royal Portrush.

Daly's manager said on Tuesday that he is likely to play the Barbasol Championship next week in Kentucky, and the twotime major champion with osteoarthritis in his right knee already has been granted a cart to use in the PGA Tour event.

Andy Pazder, the chief tournaments and competition officer for the PGA Tour, said Daly was approved late last year to use a cart through 2019 at PGA Tour events and PGA Tour Champions events that require walking.

Daly, who has not played a regular PGA Tour event since The Greenbrier last summer, is also contemplating the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nev., the next week.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) announced Tuesday that Daly had withdrawn from the British Open "due to a medical condition."

The nature of that condition - be it his arthritic knee or a spider bite - was not entirely clear.

Daly has been dealing with arthritis in his knee and he says he also was diagnosed as diabetic. That led him to request a cart for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the PGA of America approved after Daly submitted the required medical information.

The R&A rejected his request for a cart on the weekend, saying it felt walking was an integral part of the tournament. "We must also ensure, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field," it said.

Pulling out of the British Open, however, might also be linked to a social-media post from Daly on Sunday.

In a Twitter note that he described as "My life chapter 84k," Daly says he was on vacation in England last week when he was bitten by a spider without realizing it. He was taken to an emergency room on Friday and brought straight into surgery to remove a major infection in his abdominal area. He says he was also treated for early sepsis from a brown recluse bite.

Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 at Crooked Stick, making him exempt for as long as he wants. He won the British Open at St. Andrews in 1995, and is exempt for that major through 2031 when he is 65.


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Former Canadian rugby international Cudmore tapped to lead youth Pacific Pride Academy
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By NEIL DAVIDSON
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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B12

Former Canadian international Jamie Cudmore has been named head coach of the Pacific Pride Academy, a national high-performance program for young Canadian men's rugby talent.

The 40-year-old native of Squamish, B.C., represented Canada at four World Cups from 2003 to 2015 and remains one of Canada's best-known rugby names around the world.

The hard-nosed lock forward played overseas for Llandovery and Llanelli in Wales and FC Grenoble, ASM Clermont Auvergne and Oyonnax in France.

He retired as a player in 2017, working on his coaching skills and speaking out about concussion awareness.

The 6-foot-5, 257-pounder, who won 43 caps for Canada, is a graduate of the original Pride academy based out of Victoria that participated in the BC Rugby Premier League in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

The newly reformed Pacific Pride Academy will run approximately 10 months a year out of Rugby Canada Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, B.C.

It will field a team in the 201920 B.C. Rugby Men's Premier League season starting in September.

"Jamie's passion for the game and success as a professional player, and more recently as a coach, makes him a perfect fit to lead the program," Dustin Hopkins, Rugby Canada's managing director of rugby operations, said in a statement.


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'We want to be hired': People with disabilities an overlooked pool of talent
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Data show Canadians with disabilities are less likely to have a job despite millions of willing candidates
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By ANNA SHARRATT
Special to The Globe and Mail
  
  

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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B3

At Wanda's Pie in the Sky bakery and café in Toronto's Kensington Market, owners Wanda and David Beaver work to create a sense of comfort and belonging for their customers - and staff. It's why the owners have a policy to hire workers with disabilities, incorporating both hospitality and inclusion into the business.

Ms. Beaver recently hired Francie Munoz, who has Down syndrome, to work in the café parttime. "She comes a couple of times a week and peels apples, folds boxes," Ms. Beaver says. "We pay her minimum wage. She is very happy here."

At a time when it's challenging to find employees, small businesses often consider hiring people with disabilities. However, many falsely believe that the steps in doing so are time-consuming and complicated - with uncertain outcomes.

With numerous agencies assisting in the recruitment and skill-matching process for people with disabilities, a large number of qualified candidates seeking work, and government funding available for businesses that hire workers with disabilities, small businesses can often find staff who will meet their needs.

John Rae, first vice-chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, says there's a large pool of candidates in Canada, with just more than 2.1 million people aged 25 to 64, or 11 per cent of the population, reporting a mental or physical disability in 2012, according to Statistics Canada.

Still, Canadians with disabilities are lagging in employment compared with people without disabilities. In 2011, the employment rate of Canadians aged 25 to 64 with disabilities was 49 per cent compared with 79 per cent for Canadians without a disability, according to Statistics Canada.

"We are the most underemployed segment of Canada's population," says Mr. Rae, who is legally blind. "We want to be hired and given the opportunity to contribute and progress."

Meanwhile, a Business Development Bank of Canada survey of Canadian small- and mediumsized businesses says nearly 40 per cent are having trouble hiring new employees because of labour shortages. "We do not expect labour shortages to get better for at least a decade," states the report, which suggests employers consider "underused segments of the labour force," including new immigrants as well as people with disabilities.

"They don't consider us as able," Mr. Rae says of some employers. "But it's not the reality."

There are several agencies focused on identifying suitable candidates with disabilities and matching them with small businesses. An example is EmployAbilities in Edmonton, a nonprofit that provides skill development, education and employment services to adults and young people with medical issues, whether mental or physical.

Jon Garland, the employment development supervisor for EmployAbilities, says one of the agency's objectives is to educate businesses about the value employees with disabilities can bring.

"Persons with disabilities have demonstrated that they tend to stay with employers that value their contributions and embrace them as part of the overall team," Mr. Garland says.

In addition to being productive team members, he says these employees can also offer guidance for businesses seeking to expand to new markets serving people with physical or mental impairments.

Examples include providing feedback on modifying products to ensure they can be used by clients with disabilities or ensuring that clients with a physical or mental impairment are able to receive a product or service during delivery.

The feedback from small businesses that have hired people with disabilities has been positive: According to a Bank of Montreal survey, 77 per cent of smallbusiness owners who hired someone with a disability reported that these employees either met or exceeded their expectations.

EmployAbilities offers programs that enable employers to hire employees with disabilities on a trial basis, at 25 hours a week for a period of 10 weeks. The skills of the employee are matched to the job they'll be doing, and employers are offered a wage subsidy during that period.

Other agencies such as the Ontario Disability Employment Network can also offer staffing solutions, ensuring there is a good fit for the employee and business.

There are also provincial subsidies to help companies cover some of the costs associated with hiring a person with disabilities.

In Ontario, for example, small businesses can receive provincial grants covering up to half of an employee's wages up to a maximum of $13,500 for three to nine months. Or they can receive up to $20,000 to offset salary and specialized training of employees for up to 12 weeks. There is also the option to have 90 per cent of assistive devices and specialized training covered, up to a maximum of $3,000 an application, according to MentorWorks Ltd., a private team of government funding planners based in Guelph, Ont.

But Mr. Rae says that many employers are intimidated by hiring employees with disabilities. Common concerns are that humanrights legislation prevents them from asking questions about a person's disability, or the business believes it will be saddled with costly accommodations, such as building ramps or reconfiguring a workspace, if the disability is more severe than initially described.

If a small business has created a welcoming environment, has policies around inclusion and articulates an eagerness to accommodate, Mr. Rae says candidates will be more forthcoming about their needs. "There needs to be a willingness [on the employer's part] to make accommodations," he says.

Once the need for a specific accommodation has been identified, the employer also needs to have some flexibility. People with disabilities may have to have their workload adjusted or be given more time to complete a task.

Many agencies can provide toolkits to help companies handle these issues.

Mr. Rae says many employees with disabilities require fewer accommodations than employers anticipate, adding that many have spent years finding ways to surpass their own physical and mental limitations. "We develop our own strategies and workarounds - and after all, an employer wants an adaptable person," he says.

When Ms. Munoz was first hired at Wanda's Pie in the Sky bakery, colleagues observed what tasks she was comfortable doing and which ones she couldn't complete. With that understanding, she was assigned jobs she could work on at her own pace, in an environment where she felt comfortable.

"She's in front of customers, which she likes," Ms. Beaver says.

"We've found a happy medium.

You want to make someone useful in the business."

Another employee with cognitive delay, Nancy Sevigny, has taken on an increasing number of tasks in her 22 years at the bakery.

"She's part of our family," Ms. Beaver says.

Associated Graphic

Wanda Beaver, left, co-owner of Wanda's Pie in the Sky, sits with Francie Munoz, who has Down syndrome. Ms. Beaver says her company has a policy to hire workers with disabilities.


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Teachers names international investing head as next CEO
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By DAVID MILSTEAD
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B1

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan tapped its head of international investing to be its next leader, signalling that the $191-billion fund plans to expand its global portfolio.

Jo Taylor, who has spent most of his 35-year investment career in Britain, will become Teachers' top executive on Jan. 1 after current CEO Ron Mock retires. He will be just the fourth CEO in its 30-year history.

Mr. Taylor joined Teachers in 2012 to lead Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. The fund elevated him to his current position in August, 2018; he is responsible for the expansion of Teachers' international operations and has oversight of all of its investments in Europe and Asia.

"Jo's appointment really is an acknowledgment that for a plan the size of ours to deliver on its mission, international investing is critical," Mr. Mock said Tuesday in an interview with The Globe and Mail. "And Jo has done that all of his life, coming out of the world of private equity, being in charge of our international operations. He was an obvious strong candidate out of a long list of candidates that we had."

Mr. Mock declined to say how many finalists Teachers considered, and how many were external candidates. In each of the pension plan's CEO changes, it has promoted from within, choosing Jim Leech in 2007 to replace Claude Lamoureux and Mr.

Mock in 2013 to follow Mr. Leech. The fund says that just 44 per cent of its $191-billion in assets are Canadian, with the majority of international investments spread across more than 50 countries. Teachers administers the pensions of the province of Ontario's 327,000 active and retired teachers.

An electrical engineer by training, Mr. Mock worked at investment dealer Burns Fry Ltd. and founded his own trading company, which collapsed in 2000 after a trader took unauthorized positions. Mr. Mock has been at Teachers since 2001, heading the fixed-income portfolio before rising to CEO on Jan. 1, 2014.

Teachers declined to reveal the men's ages Tuesday. Public records show Mr. Mock is 66, and past news articles suggest Mr. Taylor turns 58 this year.

Mr. Mock said Mr. Taylor "knows investing, and he's lived through many cycles of investing.

We're not predicting any market issues at this point in time, but sometime going forward, it's nice to have somebody who's lived through some rough cycles at the helm, and Jo definitely covers that box. And besides, he's just one hell of an amazing person."

During Mr. Mock's first five years, Teachers' fund returned an annual average of 8 per cent, net of investment costs. Teachers says those returns added $14.2billion to assets above and beyond its policy benchmark returns. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec returned 8.4 per cent over the five-year period, and OMERS returned 8.1 per cent, net of costs.

Mr. Taylor spent more than two decades with 3i Group PLC, an international private equity and infrastructure investor, where he held a number of senior roles including CEO of its U.S. subsidiary. He holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, awarded in 1984, and a bachelor's degree from London University, awarded in 1982, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Teachers has three offices outside Canada, in New York, London and Hong Kong. The Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System, with $97-billion in assets at the end of 2018, has 11 international offices, while the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, with $392-billion in assets at March 31, has seven.

"We're making great progress about being a more international business, building our capabilities as well as being a more differentiated and definitive business in each of those markets that we choose to operate in," Mr. Taylor said.

"I would say a region where we'd certainly like to be evolving and enhancing our activities and our presence would be in Asia, because we see that as an area of opportunity," Mr. Taylor said.

"And let's not forget about the fact we've got a really fabulous footprint here in North America, as well as in Europe ... sometimes you chase what you don't have rather deepen your success in where you're doing really well.

And I think we need to try and do both."

Mr. Mock noted Mr. Taylor's past leadership roles, including "running international operations through multiple time zones," and his board service at multiple companies during his private-equity career. "His experience is exemplary."

In 2018, Mr. Mock made $5.6million in salary, bonus, an award from Teachers' long-term incentive plan, and an increase in the value of his pension. Mr. Taylor made $2.85-million.


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Deutsche Bank to cut 18,000 jobs, spend $10.9-billion in major overhaul
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By TOM SIMS, HANS SEIDENSTUECKER
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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B1

FRANKFURT -- Deutsche Bank is to axe vast swathes of its trading desks in one of the biggest overhauls to an investment bank since the aftermath of the financial crisis, in a restructuring that will see 18,000 jobs go and cost 7.4-billion ($10.9-billion).

The plan represents a major retreat from investment banking by Deutsche Bank, which for years had tried to compete as a major force on Wall Street.

As part of the overhaul, the bank will scrap its global equities business, scale back its investment bank and also cut some of its fixed income operations, an area traditionally regarded as one of its strengths.

The bank will set up a new so-called "bad bank" to wind down unwanted assets, with a value of 74-billion ($109-billion) of risk-weighted assets.

The depth of the restructuring shows that Deutsche is coming to terms with its failure to keep pace with Wall Street's big hitters such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs.

The cuts were foreshadowed on Friday, when the head of Deutsche's investment bank, Garth Ritchie, agreed to step down.

Chief executive officer Christian Sewing, who now aims to focus on the bank's more stable revenue streams, said it was the most fundamental transformation of the bank in decades. "This is a restart," he said.

"We are creating a bank that will be more profitable, leaner, more innovative and more resilient," he wrote to staff.

Mr. Sewing will now represent the investment bank on the board instead of Mr.

Ritchie, a shift that illustrates the investment-banking divisions's waning influence.

The CEO had flagged an extensive restructuring in May when he promised shareholders "tough cutbacks" to the investment bank. This followed Deutsche's failure to reach a merger agreement with rival Commerzbank.

Some investors were cautious about the turnaround plan.

Michael Huenseler, head of credit portfolio management at Assenagon Asset Management, said a lot had to go right for the plan to be successful. "The margin for error is ... low," he said.

Soon after becoming CEO last year, Mr. Sewing started to cut jobs and promised to bring staffing "well below" 90,000. There were media reports from Reuters and others that Deutsche Bank could cut as many as 20,000 jobs - more than one in five of its 91,500 employees. In the event, the bank said it would reduce headcount to 74,000 by 2022.

Deutsche Bank gave no geographic breakdown for the job cuts. The equities business is focused largely in New York and London. A person with direct knowledge of the matter said job cuts would be distributed around the world, including in Germany.

Stephan Szukalski, head of the DBV union, told Reuters that the measures were in the right direction, echoing the sentiment of the Verdi labour union.

"This could be a real new beginning for Deutsche Bank," said Mr. Szukalski, who also sits on the bank's supervisory board.

The board met on Sunday to agree the proposed changes, one of the biggest announcements of job cuts at a major investment bank since 2011 when HSBC said it would axe 30,000 jobs.

Deutsche said it expects a 2.8billion ($4-billion) net loss in the second quarter as a result of restructuring charges and loss for the full year. Deutsche will have been in the red for four out of the last five years. Its shares fell to a record low last month.

Founded in 1870, Deutsche has long been a major source of finance and advice for German companies seeking to expand abroad or raise money through bond or equity markets, a role which had tacit backing from successive governments in Berlin.

Big cuts to its investment bank could make it harder for the bank to fulfil this role and would mark a reversal of a decades-long expansion that began with its purchase of Morgan Grenfell in London in 1989 and continued a decade later by a takeover of Bankers Trust in the United States.

The investment bank generates about half of Deutsche's revenue but is also a volatile business. Revenue at the division was forecast to fall to 12.4-billion ($18.2-billion) this year, down more than 30 per cent from 2015.


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Facebook can't be trusted with cryptocurrency, U.S. lawmakers say
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By PETE SCHROEDER, KATIE PAUL
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B1

WASHINGTON -- Democratic and Republican lawmakers said on Tuesday that Facebook Inc.'s history of what they described as untrustworthiness should stand in the way of it launching a digital currency, labelling the plan "delusional" and "crazy" at a Senate hearing.

Facebook is fighting to get Washington onside after it shocked regulators and lawmakers with its announcement on June 18 that it was aiming to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020. Since then, the social-media company has faced criticism from policy-makers and financial watchdogs who fear widespread adoption of the digital currency by Facebook's 2.38 billion users could upend the financial system.

"Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn't deserve our trust," Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member of the Senate banking committee, said in his opening remarks. "We'd be crazy to give them a chance to let them experiment with people's bank accounts."

Mr. Brown added during questioning that he thought it was "delusional" to think individuals would trust the social-media company with their "hard-earned" money.

Before announcing its Libra plans, Facebook was already facing a backlash over mishandling user data and not doing enough to prevent Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

David Marcus, the company's top executive overseeing the project, testified on issues ranging from how Libra could affect global monetary policy to how customer data will be handled.

He received a frosty welcome from Democratic lawmakers and several Republicans, who shared many of the same concerns.

"I don't trust you guys," Republican Senator Martha McSally said. "Instead of cleaning up your house, you are launching into a new business model."

Mr. Marcus, who was president of PayPal from 2012-14, tried to assuage concerns by promising that Facebook will not begin offering Libra until regulatory issues are addressed.

"We know we need to take the time to get this right," Mr. Marcus, who is also going to testify before the House financial services committee on Wednesday, told lawmakers.

Lawmakers raised a range of concerns, including about how the company plans to prevent money laundering, how consumers' data and funds will be protected and how the Geneva-based association created to run the system will be regulated.

"I know we have to earn people's trust for a very long period of time," Mr. Marcus said when asked whether consumers could trust Facebook not to share their payment information.

The social-media company has pledged that its payments subsidiary, called Calibra, will only share customer data with Facebook and external third parties if it has consent, or in "limited cases," where it is necessary.

Critics have expressed anger that the company would advance such a potentially groundbreaking project so far without extensive input from policy-makers, especially when the company was already in the spotlight over privacy issues.

One former employee said the company tried to keep the project under wraps, even internally. Staff who were not involved knew little about it, not even that it was operating under the name Libra.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement, the company began reaching out formally to key regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

But two people with knowledge of the discussions said the conversations remained vague, with key details of the project discussed only on a theoretical level.

On Tuesday, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Jay Clayton said on the sidelines of a Washington event that he had not discussed the Libra project with Facebook since its announcement but would welcome more information.

Some lawmakers have been frustrated by the lack of clarity from Facebook before and since June 18, three congressional sources said. One Democratic aide described the company's contacts with lawmakers as "inept and entitled."

Facebook has said that it announced the project in its early stages to get feedback from stakeholders, a point Mr. Marcus reiterated at the hearing on Tuesday.


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Acacia faces Tanzanian roadblock as Barrick bid set to expire
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By NIALL MCGEE
  
  

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B1

Acacia Mining PLC is facing a new threat to its African gold-mining operations, as it pushes for a higher takeover offer from parent company Barrick Gold Corp.

In a statement on Wednesday, Acacia said that Tanzania's environment regulator has ordered it to close the tailings management facility at its North Mara mine by Saturday morning, citing a "failure to contain and prevent seepage."

The directive threatens to cripple production at the mine, which accounted for about two-thirds of Acacia's gold output last year.

The development isn't coming entirely out of the blue. In May, Acacia was fined for environmental breaches at North Mara, and in January, Tanzania told Acacia it must completely rebuild and redesign the facility.

Acacia said it has "never received any supporting reports, findings or technical data" from the environmental regulator to back up its allegations.

The imminent shutdown marks a new low in the already poor relationship between Acacia and Tanzania, and puts the company in a weakened state as Toronto-based Barrick circles with a takeover offer.

In May, Barrick said it was willing to pay US$285-million in stock for the 36.1 per cent of Acacia it doesn't already own, or about 9 per cent below the market value for the company at the time. Barrick, which owns 63.9 per cent of Acacia, has until Friday to table a formal takeover offer or walk away.

A number of Acacia's minority shareholders have slammed Barrick's proposal for Acacia as opportunistic. But chief executive Mark Bristow has repeatedly said he has no intention of increasing the offer.

John Ing, analyst with Maison Placements, said that as much as he understands the push for a higher offer, with no one else bidding, and the bad blood in Tanzania, Acacia may have no choice but to accept what's on the table.

"Never let the sun set on a good bid," Mr.Ing said, referring to a well-known trader's adage: Sometimes it's better to opt for the sure thing in a takeover scenario, because the alternative may be worse.

In 2017, the Tanzanian government accused Acacia of US$200-billion in tax fraud and banned it from exporting gold concentrate. Tanzania has refused, for the most part, to even engage with Acacia in talks to end the dispute. Barrick, as Acacia's biggest shareholder, instead has been negotiating on its behalf. Last year, three current or former Acacia employees were charged with criminal money-laundering offences and imprisoned without chance of bail.

If Barrick and Acacia are unable to reach agreement on terms of a takeover, Acacia will start international arbitration proceedings to try to end the tax dispute with Tanzania. The first hearing is scheduled for Monday, but Acacia has requested that it be postponed as Barrick continues to engage in talks with the Tanzanian government.

The only sure thing about arbitration is it's a slow process. Earlier this week, Barrick itself won a multibillion-dollar payout in a long-running dispute with Pakistan over a mining lease, but it took seven years to reach a conclusion and some observers say Barrick won't actually get paid in the end due to Pakistan's dire finances.

Andrew Kaip, analyst with BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., says that Acacia should strike a deal with Barrick, especially considering Mr. Bristow has an agreement in place to end the fracas if Acacia acquiesces.

"A lot of the problems would go away with this deal," Mr. Kaip said in an interview.

On two separate occasions, Barrick has announced tentative agreements that would have seen Acacia pay a US$300-million penalty to Tanzania to end the dispute, but neither pact got over the finishing line.

In May, Barrick said that Tanzania won't sign any accord as long as Acacia remains as a counterparty.

BARRICK GOLD (ABX) CLOSE: $21.83, UP 80¢


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Danish partner quarantines more CannTrust products
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Stenocare says five batches of its inventory are from growing rooms that did not have government approval
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By ARMINA LIGAYA
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B2

TORONTO -- CannTrust Holdings Inc.'s Danish partner has quarantined more medical pot products linked to illegal cultivation at the Canadian cannabis company's greenhouse and warned of possible shortages in Denmark as a result.

Stenocare said Thursday that, contrary to the initial information it got from the licensed producer, it has now received documentation that shows that five batches of the Danish company's inventory originated in growing rooms that did not have government approval.

"As a result of the new information, all products delivered from Stenocare relating to the batches in question will be put in quarantine, which means that they will be isolated and blocked from being sold until the Canadian health authorities, Health Canada and the Danish Medicines Agency have concluded in the matter," the company said in a statement.

Stenocare, which caters to medical cannabis patients, added that "most, yet not all" of the CannTrust products in its inventory and that it has supplied to the Danish market since June 10 are linked to the unlicensed cannabis cultivation.

It was a reversal of Stenocare's comments earlier this week when it said only one "very small" batch was connected to the unlicensed growing, which Health Canada continues to investigate.

CannTrust announced a joint venture with Stenocare that saw it receive a 25-per-cent equity stake in the Danish company in March, 2018, and made its first shipment of cannabis oil to Denmark in September, 2018.

The Canadian cannabis company said Monday it had been notified by Health Canada that the regulator had discovered unlicensed cultivation at its Ontario greenhouse between October, 2018, and March, 2019, before the five rooms received the appropriate licences in April, 2019.

It said as a result, Health Canada put on hold roughly 5,200 kilograms of CannTrust products from that facility, and the licensed producer put a voluntary hold on an additional 7,500 kg of pot products which were also linked.

CannTrust's chief executive Peter Aceto has said this represents the "majority" of its inventory and warned of potential shortages ahead, but said the company continues to grow and sell cannabis products.

CannTrust was not immediately available to comment on Thursday. Mr. Aceto said on Monday that "mistakes" were made but CannTrust is working to get back into compliance with Health Canada and is conducting a thorough review to determine what transpired.

Stenocare said it was in close dialogue with the Danish Medicines Agency, which regulates medicinal products in the country, about the matter.

"The most likely consequences from this new situation is that there will be a temporary shortage of medical cannabis products to the Danish market," the company said in a statement. "This will have negative financial consequences to Stenocare irrespective of the fact that CannTrust is contractually committed to deliver fully licensed and approved products."

Stenocare's wider quarantine comes one day after authorities in Alberta and Ontario pulled or put on hold CannTrust's products until Health Canada completes its investigation.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Authority on Wednesday said it was placing the affected lots of CannTrust's products on hold as a precautionary measure.

The decision affects online product available through AlbertaCannabis.org and AGLC distribution.

"It is at the discretion of privately licensed Alberta retailers to work in consultation with CannTrust and Health Canada to determine whether they will continue to sell existing inventory, should they have affected products," said Heather Holmen, an AGLC spokeswoman, in an emailed statement.

Earlier Wednesday, the Ontario Cannabis Store said it had removed certain CannTrust products from its online store and distribution to physical outlets.

CANNTRUST (TRST) CLOSE: $4.04, DOWN 8¢

Associated Graphic

Both the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Authority and the Ontario Cannabis Store have taken measures to block the sale of CannTrust products after it was revealed Health Canada discovered unlicensed cultivation at the marijuana company's Ontario greenhouse.

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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CannTrust probe, sector woes hurt push for U.S. pot legalization, experts say
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By ANDREW WILLIS
  
  

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B1

Health Canada's investigation into CannTrust Holdings Inc. and other coming-of-age issues in the domestic cannabis industry are becoming roadblocks to legalization of recreational marijuana in the U.S. market, according to industry experts, jeopardizing the growth plans at many Canadian companies.

Vaughan, Ont.-based CannTrust, which lists its shares on New York and Toronto stock exchanges, halted all cannabis sales last week after revealing federal investigators are probing the company for producing marijuana at unlicensed facilities. Analysts predict the company will face significant sanctions, potentially including cancellation of its cannabis production licences.

"We believe Health Canada must come down hard on CannTrust if it wants to maintain any credibility," said analyst Greg McLeish of Mackie Research Capital Corp. as he terminated coverage of the company in a report on Monday.

CannTrust's shares rose 19 per cent on Monday to close at $3.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company has three facilities in Canada and sold US$170-million of shares at US$5.50 each in May, working with Wall Street investment banks, then moved into the U.S. market in June by acquiring farmland in California.

CannTrust's regulatory issues, along with short-seller attacks on Aphria Inc. and supply problems that have plagued Canadian retailers since the federal Liberals legalized recreational cannabis last October, are now colouring the U.S. debate over legal marijuana, according to New York-based investment bank Cowen Inc.

At a conference Monday that followed the U.S. House of Representatives' first-ever hearings on cannabis legalization last week, Jaret Seiberg of Cowen said Canada is considered a political pioneer in the sector. The Washington-based financial services policy analyst said problems in the country's nine-month-old cannabis market, including the Health Canada investigation into CannTrust, are closely followed by U.S. policy-makers. "The more problems there are north of the border, the more it complicates the issue of legalization in the U.S.," he said.

Canadian analysts are also pumping the brakes on U.S. legalization in the wake of last week's hearings at the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security subcommittee. Echelon Wealth Partners analyst Matthew Pallotta said Friday in a report: "Serious questions remain on how to best pursue reform, and whether there is sufficient support in the Republicancontrolled Senate to advance cannabis policy."

While U.S. federal restrictions on recreational cannabis are expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future, analysts expect more states to legalize marijuana, if only for the potential tax revenue. Cowen's analysts said in a report: "Unlike the federal government, states cannot run deficits.

With poor state finances, governors are looking for revenue wherever they can find it."

Canada's major cannabis companies and U.S. marijuana businesses that list their stock on a Canadian exchange have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to U.S. expansion strategies, in part on the expectation that Washington will eventually legalize marijuana.

Last week, Toronto-based Green Growth Brands Inc. agreed to acquired U.S. cannabis retailer Moxie for US$310-million, snapping up 250 stores in five states. Green Growth also sells cannabis products in the United States through a partnership with Designer Brands Inc., the parent company of DSW shoe stores (NYSE: DBI) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

In May, Canopy Growth Corp., Canada's largest cannabis company, paid US$300million up front for the right to buy a leading U.S. player in the sector, Acreage Holdings Inc., once cannabis production and sale become federally legal in the U.S.

Acreage operates in 20 states, with 87 dispensaries and 22 cultivation sites. Canopy's aggressive growth strategy and largerthan-expected financial losses prompted controlling shareholder Constellation Brands Inc. to terminate Canopy co-chief executive officer and co-founder Bruce Linton this month.


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Location, location: House prices projected to climb in Canada's east, slump in west by end of this year
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By JANET MCFARLAND
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B1

A new housing forecast shows a geographic divide in Canada's real estate market, with home prices expected to decline across cities in Western Canada by the end of 2019, but show growth in major centres from Ontario eastward.

A forecast released Wednesday by Royal LePage predicts a modest 0.4-per-cent increase nationally in home prices by year end compared with 2018. But within the national figures, there will be wide regional variation.

In Greater Vancouver, for example, Royal LePage predicts a 5.5-per-cent price decline as the city's real estate market continues to languish, while booming Montreal is expected to lead home price growth in Canada this year, with a forecast increase of 4.5 per cent.

Royal LePage chief executive officer Phil Soper said regional economic weakness is continuing to depress housing markets in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while the Vancouver area is facing the fallout of major housing policy changes, including an increased foreign-buyers tax and a new tax targeting out-of-province owners whose homes are largely vacant.

Mr. Soper said the extreme run-up in prices in Vancouver between 2014 and 2017 also meant home prices in the region "overshot" during that period, leaving a lot of room for continuing correction in the market.

"It really got ahead of itself," he said.

"You were seeing 20- or 30-per-cent per annum price increases on the huge base price of a detached home in that region."

Calgary and Edmonton are expected to see prices fall by 3.6 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, this year, while Royal LePage forecasts a 4.9-per-cent drop in home prices in Regina by the end of the year.

But as housing markets continue to sag in Western provinces, Royal LePage predicts price growth in the eastern half of the country, with strong economies and increasing buyer demand in markets such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax more than offsetting the impact of tougher mortgage-stress-test rules.

In the Greater Toronto Area, for example, Royal LePage forecasts prices will climb by 1.4 per cent by the end of the year compared with 2018. Ottawa is expected to surpass that level, with prices climbing 1.6 per cent.

Mr. Soper said Royal LePage had previously forecast an improvement in the GTA market in the first quarter of 2019, but the recovery was delayed and sales did not begin to climb until the second quarter of the year, which has tempered the Toronto forecast for the full year.

Montreal was the opposite, with Royal LePage initially predicting a softening in the market this year. Instead, Mr. Soper said the firm has revised its forecast higher because the housing market has continued to boom.

The region's strong economy and housing affordability has been a big part of the price growth, he said. Montreal did not have the price run-up over the prior decade that occurred in Vancouver and Southern Ontario, which means homes are still a third the price of those in Vancouver. It makes ownership appealing as professionals move into the city, Mr. Soper said.

"For a world-class city of the size and importance of Montreal in economic and political terms, it's one of the world's great bargains in real estate," he said.


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Union, civil-society members quit federal advisory panel
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Representatives from labour, NGOs say adviser on corporate accountability does not have the teeth to ensure Canadian companies conducting business abroad do so responsibly
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By TERRY PEDWELL
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page B2

OTTAWA -- Citing an erosion of trust, civil-society and labour representatives have resigned from a panel set up to advise the federal government on ensuring Canadian firms operating abroad are accountable for how they conduct themselves.

The 14 members withdrew from the "multistakeholder advisory body on responsible business conduct" on Thursday, complaining a newly created adviser on corporate accountability lacks the teeth to ensure companies conducting business outside Canada do so in a responsible manner.

The government announced in January, 2018, the creation of a Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise (CORE), saying the office would be given the tools to conduct credible, independent investigations.

The ombudsperson's powers were to include the ability to summon witnesses and compel documents.

But civil-society leaders say the appointment in April of this year of a special adviser to the International Trade Minister instead, without giving that adviser proper investigative powers, backtracked on the pledge.

And because of that, organizations operating under the umbrella Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability said they lost faith in the ability of the advisory body to function as originally envisioned.

Amnesty International Canada secretarygeneral Alex Neve said he was pleased to be vice-chair of the advisory body when it was established. "It was because of assurances that the CORE would have independence and real investigatory powers that we stood alongside the government in January, 2018, and we promoted the announcement both nationally and internationally," Mr. Neve said. "The Government of Canada's decision to backtrack on those promises ... has led me to lose confidence. I will no longer be able to continue in this role."

Emily Dwyer with the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability also questioned how civil-society groups can be assured that actions will be taken in changing laws and policies when the government appears to have bowed to industry pressure.

"Without independence and investigatory powers, the CORE amounts to nothing more than a broken promise," she said.

A spokesman for International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr expressed regret over the departures from the panel but said the government is making progress in promoting responsible business conduct and is looking forward to the ombudsperson's office being up and running by fall.

"We're grateful for the time and service of these members in advising the minister and in helping to lay the groundwork for the Canadian Ombudsperson on Responsible Enterprise," said an e-mail from Michael Jones, Mr.Carr's director of communications.

"We're disappointed in their decision to leave the advisory body," the statement said.

"While consensus on these issues remains elusive, dialogue between civil society and industry is critical to progress and walking away from that dialogue is a step backwards and regrettable."

The mining sector has been a particular target of groups demanding greater oversight of activities of Canadian companies operating abroad.

Indigenous groups in South America and Africa have complained in recent years of violence and human-rights abuses connected to resource projects carried out by Canadiancontrolled companies, which sparked calls for greater accountability.


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Wigginton looks to make his mark on Raptors' Summer League roster
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VanVleet, Siakam inspire Nova Scotian, who joins more than a dozen Canadians at the NBA's annual showcase in Las Vegas
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By LORI EWING
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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B11

Lindell Wigginton was with his family at home in Dartmouth watching as 60 names, including six Canadians, were called in last month's NBA draft. His wasn't among them.

But the 21-year-old tried not to sweat it. He feels he's been overlooked for much of his career.

This was no different.

And by the time Wigginton woke up the next morning, he'd been added to the Toronto Raptors' roster for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

"It was a lot of emotions, but I knew coming into it that it could go either way: I could be drafted or be undrafted, I knew what it was," Wigginton said shortly after landing in Las Vegas on Wednesday. "I know I'm going to work hard and I'm going to be the best I can be, so it really didn't matter to me about being drafted. I know what I can do on the floor and I know what I can bring to a team.

"It was a lot of emotions, but at the end of the day it just matters about being in the right situation. I think with the Raptors, I'm in the right situation right now."

Wigginton, who declared for the draft after his sophomore season at Iowa State, joins more than a dozen Canadians playing in the NBA's annual summer showcase in Las Vegas, which tips off Saturday and includes 95 games culminating in the July 15 championship game.

Plenty of eyes will be on No. 3 draft pick RJ Barrett of Mississauga, who'll battle Duke teammate and this year's top draft pick Zion Williamson when Barrett's New York Knicks play Williamson's New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Barrett headlined a record six Canadians selected in the draft, and they'll all be in Vegas.

But there's at least a half dozen more Canadians like Wigginton who are hoping for a shot.

"I'm more excited [than nervous], just to show everybody what they missed out on," said Wigginton, who played alongside Barrett when Canada won gold two years ago at the U19 World Cup. "I think I have been overlooked throughout my whole career, I always have a chip on my shoulder, and whoever I go up against I'm always trying to be the best on the floor."

Wigginton can soak up inspiration from players such as Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who developed his "Bet on Yourself" brand after being snubbed in the 2016 NBA draft. Three years later, the Raptors backup point guard played a huge role in Toronto's historic NBA championship run.

"Most definitely, I look at that a lot," Wigginton said. "It's a lot of G League guys who were playing in the Finals, guys like Fred came in and stepped up, and Pascal [Siakam], they did what they had to do. It's a lot of motivation.

"They just got their opportunity at the right time and I think Toronto is a great organization ... so it would be great to be in that same situation, and get an opportunity at playing."

Wigginton says he has a bit of scrappy guards VanVleet and Kyle Lowry in him.

"I'm athletic and I bring a lot to the table on both ends of the floor, just as a leader and my work ethic ... bring whatever I can to the team, and just a young guy coming in trying to soak everything up and trying to be the best he can be," he said.

While two Nova Scotians have been drafted in the NBA - Will Njoku, by Indiana in the second round in 1994, and Richie Spears, in the fifth round by St. Louis in 1966 - none have ever actually played in the league.

"I take pride in that ... to earn a contract to play in the NBA, it would be amazing," Wigginton said. "And it's not all about the basketball, it's about showing kids where I'm from that they can make it if they strive to work hard. I want to be a big inspiration to everybody back home.

I'm going to work my butt off and do whatever I can do to earn a contract."

Duane Notice of Woodbridge, Ont., is making his Summer League debut for the Raptors after coming off a season with the team's G League affiliate Raptors 905.

"For me, I'm just excited to be here, mainly because I want to be able to showcase my talent in front of everybody, but at the same time I'm just happy for the opportunity and I want to be able to network," the 24-year-old said. "Just being here and seeing a whole bunch of players that I either looked up to or played against in college, and seeing coaches ... it's a good opportunity for me to network and kind of just brand myself and promote myself, so that's what I'm excited about."

Notice takes pride in his defence, and with the 905s he was often matched up against opponents' best players. He was also one of the team's top long-range shooters, shooting 38.9 per cent from three-point range.

"That's kind of like my calling card. ... I'm a three-and-D guy, but at the same time always growing up I thought to myself you can't control if you make or miss shots sometimes, but you can control your effort on defence," he said. "People say it's a skill but for me it's effort, and every team I've played on they've gravitated toward putting me on the best player. This past season, I've guarded players who were 6-8, 6-9 and I'm only 6-3.

"I know that if I'm not able to make shots, or if I'm not making the right plays on offence, I know I can control one thing and that's my defence."

Like Wigginton, Notice is motivated by the success of G League stars including Montreal's Chris Boucher, and fellow former 905ers Alphonzo McKinnie (now with Golden State) and Delon Wright (Memphis).

"All those guys that came from the 905s and went to the Raptors or went on to other things, they laid the foundation down, kind of like a blueprint of what we have to do when we're in the G League," Notice said.

All 30 NBA teams, plus both the Chinese and Croatian national teams, will play in the Vegas Summer League. Each team plays four preliminary games.

The top eight after those are seeded in the championship tournament, while the others play a consolation game.

Associated Graphic

Lindell Wigginton of Dartmouth declared for the NBA draft this year after his sophomore season at Iowa State. While he was not one of the record six Canadians to have their names called, he was later added to the Toronto Raptors' Summer League roster the morning after the draft.

JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES


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Jennings's Redblacks aim to ground Bombers
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Winnipeg, the CFL's last remaining unbeaten team, has been winning on cruise control of late
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By DAN RALPH
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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B14

Jonathon Jennings will get his shot at knocking the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from their lofty perch.

Jennings will start Friday night when Ottawa (2-2) visits Winnipeg (4-0). The Blue Bombers are the CFL's lone unbeaten team and handed the Redblacks their first loss of the year, a 29-14 decision on July 5 at TD Place.

Jennings has a 22-22 record as a CFL starter but is 1-5 all-time against Winnipeg.

Ottawa has dropped two straight after last week's 36-19 home loss to the Montreal Alouettes. The Bombers were on cruise control against Toronto last week, downing the struggling Argonauts 48-21 on Friday night.

Dominique Davis started Ottawa's first four games of the season, but will miss Friday's contest with an unspecified injury.

He boasts a 66-per-cent completion percentage with 1,132 yards, however, has more than twice as many interceptions (seven) as TD strikes (three).

Davis has also rushed for 76 yards and five TDs on 15 carries (5.1-yard average).

The start will be Jennings's first with Ottawa. He joined the Redblacks as a free agent after four seasons with B.C.

In 2016, Jennings threw for 5,226 yards and 27 TDs - both career highs - with the Lions.

Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward - the CFL's top rookie and specialteams player last year - has made 61 straight field goals. This season, he leads the league in average length of field goal at 35 yards but during his streak he's averaged 31.7 yards.

Lucky Whitehead opened the Bombers win over Toronto with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 104 yards for the touchdown. Quarterback Matt Nichols finished a tidy 18-of-24 passing for 209 yards and three touchdowns while Winnipeg native Andrew Harris ran for 116 yards on 14 carries and caught a Nichols TD strike.

Winnipeg's offence leads the CFL in offensive points (33 a game) and passing touchdowns (11), is tied with Hamilton for most offensive touchdowns (16) and second over all in points (34.5), touchdowns (17) and rushing (147.8 yards a game).

Nichols has a league-best 10 TD strikes while Harris has run for 378 yards and sports a gaudy average of 6.5 yards a carry.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg's defence is the league's stingiest in points allowed (19.8), offensive points (16.3), touchdowns (six), rushing TDs (none), offensive points (four) and rushing yards (48.3 a game).

The unit has also forced a CFLbest 18 turnovers, not exactly good news for an Ottawa squad that's committed 11 turnovers, second-most in the league. The Redblacks are ranked fifth in offensive points (25.5 a game), but have scored just nine TDs and eight offensive touchdowns (both tied for second-last over all).

Nichols was 16-of-20 passing for 262 yards and a TD in Winnipeg's earlier win over Ottawa.

But he left the game in the second half after failing to slide at the end of a run.

Harris ran for 80 yards on 18 carries that night while Nic Demski had four catches for 105 yards and a TD. Davis finished 21-of-36 passing for 234 yards with two picks as Winnipeg held Ottawa to 24 yards rushing on eight carries.

Over all, Winnipeg outgained Ottawa 453-258 while holding the ball for slightly more than 39 minutes. The Bombers also ran for 149 yards.

The most recent time the Bombers started a season 5-0 was in 1960, when they went 10-0 and finished 14-2 before losing in the West final to Edmonton.

Pick: Winnipeg TORONTO ARGONAUTS VS. CALGARY STAMPEDERS (THURSDAY NIGHT) In Calgary, the Stampeders (2-2) look to rebound after last weekend's 30-23 road loss in Hamilton. Nick Arbuckle was 24-of-40 passing for 368 yards in his second CFL start but failed to throw any touchdowns. Two of the Ticats' touchdowns came on special teams while the Stamps' Ka'Deem Carey registered one of his two TDs on a blocked punt.

Derel Walker had nine catches for 188 yards and two TDs against Winnipeg for Toronto (0-4), which has dropped 10 straight games at McMahon Stadium.

Pick: Calgary EDMONTON VS. MONTREAL ALOUETTES (SATURDAY AFTERNOON) At home in Montreal, the Alouettes (2-2) will shift the focus back to football after the firing of general manager Kavis Reed. Vernon Adams Jr. had a career-best 327 passing yards and two TDs against Ottawa while scoring two touchdowns. William Stanback ran for 100 yards after a 203-yard performance two weeks ago against Hamilton. Edmonton (3-1) beat Montreal 32-25 at Commonwealth Stadium on June 14. Trevor Harris is 483 passing yards shy of becoming the 36th player to hit the 20,000yard plateau and hasn't thrown an interception in his past 218 pass attempts.

Pick: Edmonton BC LIONS VS. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS (SATURDAY NIGHT) In Regina, Saskatchewan (1-3) has had plenty of time to ponder its most recent game, a 37-10 home loss to Calgary on July 6.

Linebacker Solomon Elimimian faces his former squad while receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, another former Lion, is hoping to make his Riders debut. They made a combined 234 career starts for the Lions. It's been a miserable season for B.C. (1-4), which lost 33-6 last weekend to Edmonton. Mike Reilly threw for 157 yards and an interception but is 8-6 against the Riders. Trouble is, the Lions have allowed a league-leading 17 sacks.

Pick: Saskatchewan Last week: 3-1 Over all: 12-7

Associated Graphic

Quarterback Jonothan Jennings, far right, will get the start for the Ottawa Redblacks over Domonique Davis on Friday as they seek to dethrone the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Jennings is a .500 starter in the CFL with 22 wins and 22 losses, but is 1-5 all-time against the Bombers.

JUSTIN TANG/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Footloose Nationals groove their way into the NL wild-card race
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By STEPHEN WHYNO
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B12

WASHINGTON -- Seven weeks ago, the Washington Nationals didn't have much to dance about.

They were 12 games below .500 with the fourthworst record in baseball. They weren't giving ace Max Scherzer and Co. enough run support and the bullpen was a ticking time bomb to another deflating loss.

"Any way we could lose a game, we found a way to do it," first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "Then you go to New York and get swept, lose four games in a row, you feel like you're at rock bottom."

Since waking up at rock bottom on May 24, the Nationals have gone a major-league-best 28-11 to vault into playoff contention. With its combination of power hitting, stellar starting pitching and some dance parties in the dugout, Washington can legitimately think about playing into October and challenging the Atlanta Braves for National League East supremacy.

"We know the guys in this clubhouse are very talented," Scherzer said. "When we can go out there and play our best baseball and play mistake-free baseball, we're a tough team and we can compete with anybody in this league."

Scherzer and fellow starters Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are at the centre of this renaissance. They are the only three teammates in National League history to each post 125 strikeouts before the all-star break, and Scherzer is 7-0 with a 0.48 ERA in his past nine starts dating to mid-May.

No. 4 starter Anibal Sanchez is 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA since returning from the injured list, and the rotation has been good enough to limit the innings a shaky bullpen needs to throw.

"When you can ask your starting pitching to give you seven innings every outing, that's incredible," manager Dave Martinez said. "They've done it all year. You're just seeing the benefits now because the whole team's playing really well. It's been incredible."

Even more incredible is the Nationals' home run hitting. They have gone yard in 21 consecutive games, the longest streak in franchise history and the longest active in the majors.

Each time a player hits a home run, it's all eyes on the dugout since midseason signing Gerardo Parra started a tradition of dances to celebrate the occasion.

Last weekend, catcher Kurt Suzuki flossed and all-star Anthony Rendon did a little jig with Parra before hugging him.

"I'm happy every day," Parra said. "The people right now just enjoy the moment."

It was difficult to enjoy too many moments in May, when Washington seemingly couldn't do anything right. After missing the playoffs last season, it looked like another long slog until Game 162.

Martinez harped on the message of winning the next game rather than worrying about the hole his team needed to dig out of. Winning three of four against the bottom-feeding Miami Marlins and sweeping a two-game series at Atlanta began the turnaround.

"Everybody had a hand in why we were making mistakes and not playing winning baseball," Scherzer said. "We started playing better baseball, really cleaned up our act all the way around. Once we started clicking and started getting going, we eliminated a lot of the mistakes and errors and just made the other team beat us."

The Nationals hold a National League wild-card spot coming out of the all-star break but are still six games back of firstplace Atlanta. Seven of their next nine games are against the Braves or old friend Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies, but players believe the adversity they faced early on can only help them now.

"I love how we overcame a lot of things the first month and a half. ... We knew things had to turn and we made it happen," second baseman Brian Dozier said. "It's still going to be a test, but at the same time we're playing really good baseball."

With this success, don't expect the Nationals' dance party to stop. Even though he won't get involved because, "I don't hit home runs," Martinez doesn't mind his players having a little fun in the confines of their dugout because it's not designed to show up any opponents.

If anything, it's a sign of a team that didn't let a lot of losing tear it apart and believes it has the rhythm to keep this winning roll going.

"One thing I know about this team is that they've stuck together through the bad times, even now through the good times," Martinez said. "They've been the same group since Day 1. The chemistry's always been there. Now all of a sudden, we're starting to play well and you can see them - they're having fun. They really enjoy what they're doing and they're out there having fun."


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England heads to Cricket World Cup final
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Tournament host routs rival Australia to face New Zealand Sunday and ensure there will be a first-time winner of the tournament
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By STEVE DOUGLAS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B11

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, -- The first flew over long-on. The second went straight down the ground, too, off the very next ball.

Jason Roy made it a hat trick of sixes with the best of the lot, almost sending the white ball out of Edgbaston.

England powered into a first Cricket World Cup final in 27 years - and did it in some style.

Showing no nerves chasing the biggest prize in the sport, the tournament host trounced defending five-time champion and archrival Australia by eight wickets on Thursday to ensure there will be a first-time winner of the World Cup.

New Zealand awaits in the final at Lord's on Sunday.

Roy led the way in a one-sided second semi-final, the opener living up to his billing as the showman of the team by smashing 85 off 65 balls as England hunted down a target of 224 to win in 32.1 overs. An extraordinary knock included five sixes - three in a row off Steve Smith, sending him out of the attack after one over - and nine fours.

England captain Eoin Morgan has demanded his team maintain the attacking, ultra-positive outlook it has adopted in soaring to the top of the ODI rankings over the past World Cup cycle, and his players didn't let him down in what, for some, was the biggest game of their lives.

"We had a bit of a day out," Morgan said. "It's cool when it happens like that."

It was almost the perfect day for England after losing the toss, with Australia soundly beaten in every aspect.

"All in all," Australia captain Aaron Finch said, "we were totally outplayed."

Australia was 14-3 after 6.1 overs, Finch departing to a golden duck off the seventh ball of the innings, opener David Warner - the team's top scorer in this tournament with 647 runs - caught behind for 9 and then World Cup debutant Peter Handscomb out for 4.

Finch said the opening 30 minutes were where the game was won and lost, even if Smith and Alex Carey repaired the early damage with a fourth-wicket stand of 103 to help the Australians drag themselves to 223 all out.

Smith made 88 and Carey soldiered on for 46 after being struck on the helmet by a rising delivery from Jofra Archer on 4, playing the rest of his innings with his head bandaged and blood spilling from his chin.

Chris Woakes had 3-20 in eight overs, just about eclipsing the figures of fellow strike-bowler Archer, 2-32 off 10 overs.

New Zealand managed to successfully defend 239-8 against India in the first semi-final, another signal of the pressure even the biggest teams feel under in knockout cricket.

It didn't show on England.

Roy and fellow opener Jonny Bairstow put on a century stand in the fourth straight match they have played together, sending Australia's bowlers to all parts of Edgbaston in an exhibition of strokeplay.

Roy flicked paceman Mitchell Starc for six behind square, smacked Nathan Lyon for another six off the spinner's first ball, then reversed-swept Lyon for four. Then came that solitary over from Smith, which Roy treated with disdain. Edgbaston officials said it was the first time a batsman had found the top tier of the Pavilion End in an international match.

It was an angry Roy who departed short of his century, given out caught behind down the legside off Pat Cummins when replays showed he didn't touch the ball. But the damage was done by then, with England 147-2 and on course for the final.

Bairstow had already been dismissed for 34, leaving Morgan (45) and Joe Root (49) to see England home as home fans serenaded the team with songs ranging from Sweet Caroline to Cricket's Coming Home, changing the sport in a well-known chant from football. With two runs needed and rain arriving, Morgan flat-batted a four as England moved to 226-2 and sealed victory. Fireworks exploded over the ground.

While Australia failed to win a World Cup semi-final for the first time in eight attempts, England won a World Cup knockout game for the first time since 1992.

There's a new order in ODI cricket, with England almost reinventing the game over the past four years with world-record totals and its expansive style of play.

Only New Zealand stands in the way of England completing the turnaround from ODI nohopers to world champions on Sunday.

Associated Graphic

England captain Eoin Morgan and teammate Joe Root celebrate after beating Australia by 18 runs during their Cricket World Cup semi-final in Birmingham, England, on Thursday.

RUI VIEIRA/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


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A veteran of the Tottenham-Arsenal rivalry, Montreal's Sagna is no stranger to derby games
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By KELSEY PATTERSON
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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page S5

MONTREAL -- Bacary Sagna knows a thing or two about high-pressure derby games.

The former Arsenal defender played more than a dozen matches against North London archrival Tottenham Hotspur during his time in the English Premier League.

Now the veteran defender is preparing for one of Major League Soccer's most heated rivalries as the Montreal Impact (99-3) play host to Toronto FC (68-5) on Saturday, with both teams looking to jump-start the second half of their seasons.

"We know what this means for the fans, for the organization," said Sagna, who played for Arsenal from 2007 to 2014. "Now that I'm here, I feel like a true Montrealer, so of course I want to win.

We know this is a very important game.

"You can feel the pressure. Our rivals are coming here. The stadium might be full, sold out. We know people expect a lot from that game. They expect a win. So we're going to try to deliver that win."

There will be very few empty seats at Saputo Stadium for the first meeting of the season between Montreal and Toronto as both Eastern-Conference clubs look to get back in the win column.

The Reds have won only once in their past 11 games (1-6-4) - seven points from a possible 33 - and have slipped into seventh in the East. Toronto is five points behind the sixth-place New York Red Bulls.

The Impact, meanwhile, have dropped two games in a row in MLS and are coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw against York 9, which plays in the lower-tier Canadian Premier League, in the Canadian Championship on Wednesday.

Last week, Montreal squandered an early lead en route to a 3-2 home loss against Minnesota United FC - their seventh straight league game without a clean sheet.

"It's time for us to start winning games," said Impact defender Jukka Raitala before training on Friday. "Individually we have to be more focused. We've played good games but we've made mistakes that have cost us. We have to work together and have a good work effort.

"This is a special game [on Saturday]. We want to win, that's clear. We have to show it from the first minute."

Toronto will look very different from the team that lost 2-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy last week.

Americans Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Omar Gonzalez are back after losing the Gold Cup final against Mexico. Due to the international tournament, Gonzalez has yet to play with TFC since signing with the club last month.

Canada's Ashtone Morgan, Toronto's longest-tenured player, was already back from the Gold Cup but did not come off the bench in the loss to L.A. He is expected to play a part in Saturday's derby match.

And with the opening of the secondary transfer window, the Reds have been busy this week.

Toronto signed 22-year-old Venezuelan winger Erickson Gallardo and acquired 27-year-old striker Patrick Mullins from Columbus for homegrown talent Jordan Hamilton.

The influx of players could give TFC a much-needed boost on both sides of the ball as the playoff race intensifies in the East.

"It's a little bit awkward because you have a lot of people coming in," Toronto coach Greg Vanney told the team's website this week. "For us, it's people coming back together, some new faces. You're reintroducing everybody to each other.

"It becomes a little less about the rivalry, and more about our progression to move forward. If it were three weeks down the road, we would be more focused on the energy of the rivalry because everybody would be in more of a flow than we probably are in the moment."

Those additions should help create more chances for all-star midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, who leads Toronto with seven goals and eight assists in his debut season. The Spaniard has been directly involved in half of Toronto FC's 30 goals this season.

"He's become a very important asset to that team," said Sagna of Pozuelo. "He's adapted extremely well to Toronto's team. We're aware of the danger he poses.

He's a very good player, but there are good players on every team.

It's up to us not to let him take control of the game."


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Rookie narrowly takes 3M Open with eagle
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Hadwin finishes as the top Canadian, hitting 12-of-14 fairways en route to fourth place
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By DAVE CAMPBELL
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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B9

BLAINE, MINN. -- Matthew Wolff made a 26foot putt from the fringe for an eagle on the final hole to win the 3M Open at 21under par on Sunday, beating Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau by one stroke in a tense finish to the first-time PGA Tour event.

The 20-year-old Wolff struck his second shot on the 573-yard, par-five hole from the fairway to the far left of the green where it landed just a few feet away from a bunker. He sank the dramatic putt in front of a packed 18th gallery at the TPC Twin Cities, before waiting to watch Morikawa just miss his eagle attempt from 22 feet.

When the ball rolled on the left edge and about three feet too long, Morikawa winced as Wolff hugged his caddie in celebration of the US$1.152-million prize and his tour card just six weeks after winning the NCAA individual title with Oklahoma State.

"I'm really not an emotional guy, but tears came to my eyes," Wolff said.

DeChambeau, playing directly in front of the Morikawa-Wolff pair, had just finished his upand-down afternoon with an eagle to take the short-lived lead at 20 under. The lively crowd, which went five rows deep behind the ropes near the final green, roared when DeChambeau crushed his second shot 204 yards from the intermediate rough onto the green within six feet of the pin. The world's eighth-ranked player sank that putt for one of the seven eagles on 18 during the final round in yet more humid, wind-free conditions. DeChambeau, who had two of his three bogeys in the tournament on Sunday, figured he was headed for a playoff as he walked off.

"I had no idea he would make that putt," DeChambeau said, adding, "It's so competitive now.

Anyone can win on any week. It's absolutely impressive."

Canadian Adam Hadwin was fourth at 18 under. The Abbotsford, B.C., native hit 12-of-14 fairways in a round that included five birdies and a bogey.

Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., (67) and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., (69) were 14 under, while Abbotford's Nick Taylor (68) and Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., (70) were 10 under. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., (71) was seven under and Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., (72) came in five under.

Playing in just his third tournament as a professional, all on sponsor exemptions, Wolff successfully fended off a steely finish by Morikawa, who also turned pro this summer after leaving Cal. The 22-year-old Morikawa, whose putt for birdie on the 17th hole barely horseshoed out, flashed Wolff a warm smile as the two embraced on the green.

The pair of newbies shared the lead with DeChambeau after the third round at 15 under.

"The way we were playing today, it was going to go in. One of us was going to drop one in," Morikawa said.

Carlos Ortiz finished in a tie for fifth with Wyndham Clark at 17 under after using seven birdies, including three of the past four holes, to shoot a 64. Ortiz, a native of Mexico still seeking his first tournament victory as a pro, had missed the cut in seven of his previous 10 events.

FENG BIRDIES FINAL HOLE FOR ONE-SHOT WIN ON LPGA TOUR ONEIDA, WIS.

Shanshan Feng hit a 7-iron to three feet for a birdie on the final hole Sunday to close with a nine-under 63 and a oneshot victory over Ariya Jutanugarn in the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. Feng won for the first time since November, 2017.

Jutanugarn had a three-shot lead on the back nine until a bogey on the par-five 15th and a strong finish from Feng, who had three birdies in a four-hole stretch. Jutanugarn hit her approach to two feet for birdie on the 18th for a 64 to catch Feng, until the 29-yearold from China delivered the winning shot. Feng finished at 29-under 259, two shots short of the LPGA record that Kim Seiyoung set last year at the Thornberry Creek at Oneida course.

Associated Graphic

Canadian Adam Hadwin finished fourth with 18 under at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minn., on Sunday.

BRUCE KLUCKHOHN/USA TODAY SPORTS


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Tiger-Cats linebacker Lawrence loses appeal of two-game suspension
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B11

TORONTO -- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be without linebacker Simoni Lawrence for two games.

Arbitrator William Kaplan rejected Lawrence's appeal Tuesday of the two-game suspension levied against him last month by the CFL. The ruling came a week after Lawrence, the league and CFL Player's Association (CFLPA) all met with Kaplan to discuss the ban.

In his report, Kaplan said the CFL's original suspension was appropriate.

"Ultimately, the evidence leads one to the conclusion that it was a dangerous and reckless play and that the two-game suspension must stand," he wrote.

The decision was somewhat surprising. The expectation was the suspension would be reduced to just one game shortly after the CFLPA announced it was grieving the original ban on Lawrence's behalf.

But now a precedent has been set that such a penalty can be imposed upon a player such as Lawrence, who had no previous record of CFL discipline.

Predictably, the league was pleased with Kaplan's ruling.

"Dangerous and reckless play must be disciplined, not simply for the sake of punishment, but to deter such play in the future," the CFL said in a statement. "We all need to take and support strong action to promote and protect player health and safety."

There was no immediate comment from either the CFLPA or the Tiger-Cats.

The CFL suspended Lawrence for two games after he hit quarterback Zach Collaros in the head as Collaros was sliding at the end of a run during Hamilton's seasonopening 23-17 home win over Saskatchewan on June 13. Lawrence received a 25-yard roughing-thepasser penalty on the play.

Collaros didn't return and went on the six-game injured list shortly afterward. A repentant Lawrence said he didn't mean to hurt his former teammate, and the CFLPA's grievance of the suspension June 19 allowed Lawrence to continue playing until Kaplan's decision came down.

Kaplan said while he believes Lawrence didn't intend to injure Collaros, he didn't buy the player's contention that the contact was unavoidable. In the report, Kaplan added Collaros suffered a concussion as a result of the hit.

"Had the contact been unavoidable, the outcome of this case would, undoubtedly, have been different," Kaplan said. "The evidence establishes that Lawrence had enough time to see the slide and to appropriately respond: after all, two of his teammates - No. 4 (defensive back Richard Leonard) and No. 22 (linebacker Justin Tuggle) - who were no further away did just that.

"The evidence demonstrates that Collaros was well into his slide. This was no fake slide. Lawrence's evidence about going limp and trying to avoid a hit is not supported by the videotapes. Indeed there is no evidence of any effort to avoid the hit.

"Moreover, I also conclude that he knew the rule. He is a professional football player with years of experience in the game. He admitted to knowing the rule in the prediscipline hearing. The rule itself is unambiguous."

Kaplan also didn't buy Lawrence's contention he regretted the incident, saying the linebacker engaged in trash talk and made a crude comment toward Collaros as the quarterback was leaving the field.

Lawrence will be eligible to return to the Ticats lineup on Aug.

10 when they play host to the BC Lions at Tim Hortons Field.

Associated Graphic

'Had the contact been unavoidable, the outcome of this case would, undoubtedly, have been different,' arbitrator William Kaplan wrote in his ruling on the Lawrence suspension.

PETER POWER/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Tour rookie van Aert wins 10th stage, Alaphilippe stays in yellow
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By JOHN LEICESTER, SAMUEL PETRIQUIN
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B12

ALBI, FRANCE -- Tour de France rookie Wout van Aert won a sprint to the line while Julian Alaphilippe kept the yellow jersey after contenders got trapped in an echelon in the final kilometres of Stage 10 on Monday.

A day before the first rest day, crosswinds caused the peloton to stretch and break up during the final 35 kilometres of the 217.5-km trek from Saint-Flour to Albi in southwestern France.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas reached the finish line in the main pack, but Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and other favourites were caught off guard and lost time.

Pinot was in a group including Rigoberto Uran, Jakob Fuglsang and Richie Porte that lost 1 minute 40 seconds.

The peloton split into three groups on a long, but narrow section of road opened to the wind when Alaphilippe's Deceuninck Quick Step teammates sped up the pace at the front to close the gap to six breakaway riders.

The fugitives were brought in with 25 km left before Thomas's Ineos teammates, working well with Alaphilippe's team, pushed harder in an impressive display of collective strength.

"I couldn't think of anything better," Thomas said. "It's especially good on a day like today when you never expect it.

"It was just a positioning error from them and they lose a minute and a half. That's how it goes."

Pinot used an expletive to describe his day.

"What do you want me to say?

There's nothing to say," he said, looking absolutely disgusted.

Thomas moved to second place over all, 1:12 behind Alaphilippe, with teammate Egan Bernal in third place, four seconds further back.

A three-time cyclo-cross world champion, van Aert is riding his first Grand Tour after claiming two stage wins - a sprint and a time trial - at the prestigious Critérium du Dauphiné in June.

"The last 70 kilometres were very nervous," van Aert said after edging Italian rider Elia Viviani by just a few inches. Australian Caleb Ewan ended third.

Van Aert surged from the left in the last stretch and resisted Viviani's comeback by throwing his bike at the line.

The up-and-coming Belgian said he got the okay from his team bosses to race for the win because his team leaders were in the group behind. But even then, he didn't expect to beat recognized sprinters such as Viviani and Peter Sagan in a photo finish by inches.

"It's crazy," he said.

Alaphilippe said he and his teammates were thinking only about placing Viviani for the sprint when they accelerated, not deliberately trying to hurt Pinot.

Ottawa's Michael Woods was 43rd over all after finishing 101st in Monday's stage, and Hugo Houle of Sainte-Perpétue, Que., was 113th over all after finishing 129th in Stage 10.


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Raonic falls to Pella in fourth round at Wimbledon
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Canadian unable to keep up with the Argentine during his first five-set match since last summer's U.S. Open
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B13

LONDON -- Three years ago in the fourth round at Wimbledon, Canadian Milos Raonic came back from a two-sets-to-none deficit for the first time in his career to beat Belgium's David Goffin in five sets.

On Monday, Raonic found himself on the losing side of a strikingly similar scenario when he was defeated after leading two sets to none in the fourth round at Wimbledon by Argentina's Guido Pella. It's the first time in his career that Raonic has lost a match after winning the first two sets.

The 28-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., bowed out 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 8-6 to Pella, a player seven months older than Raonic who, in 12 years as a pro, had never advanced beyond the third round of any Grand Slam tournament. Now he's in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Raonic said he simply ran out of gas.

"I wasn't efficient and wasn't able to play the way I needed to," said Raonic, who fired 33 aces among his 80 winners and won 74-of-110 points at the net.

As the match went on, Pella found his range and started landing his returns at Raonic's feet far more often. The resulting volleys were difficult ones, and Raonic couldn't make enough of them.

It had to have helped that Pella faced - and defeated - another big server in the previous round in No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Raonic had neither the energy nor the inclination to try to hold firm at the baseline with a clay-court player happy to engage in long rallies. And he was struggling to win points at the net. So his options were limited. Despite his physical woes, Raonic still had every chance to win. He served for the match in the third set, but was broken. And in the fifth set, he saved three match points. But the Canadian couldn't save the fourth.

"I was serving significantly slower as the match went on," Raonic said. "I just didn't have that push in my legs to serve with the same sort of conviction and to keep him guessing."

This was the first five-set match Raonic had played since the U.S. Open last summer, and only his second since he defeated Alexander Zverev in the fourth round at the All England Club a year ago.

He wouldn't ascribe the lack of endurance to the lack of match play because of his back injury.

Associated Graphic

Milos Raonic of Canada returns against Argentina's Guido Pella during their game at Wimbledon on Monday. Raonic had every chance to win, but still lacked the energy and inclination to hold firm at the baseline.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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Jays homer twice, but fail to top Yankees
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By ADRY TORRES
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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B10

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge was near the batter's box for a pretty good view of Gio Urshela's nifty slide at the plate to give the New York Yankees the goahead run in the fifth inning.

The Yankees slugger is sure the club wouldn't have one of the best records in the majors if it wasn't for the contributions from a player considered to be a utility player coming into this season.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched six strong innings, Urshela had two hits and drove in two runs, and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday.

"We wouldn't be in first place without Gio," said Judge after New York improved to 59-32 this season and 20-6 against the American League East since May 19.

"The changes he's made in the off-season, the adjustments he's made, the work he's put in, it's finally showing and paying off."

Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Urshela's play on both sides of the field ever since he plugged the 27-year-old across his infield to cover for his other injured starters.

He found out that Urshela's base-running isn't too shabby either.

"It's a really special slide he put on," Boone said.

Tanaka (6-5) allowed two runs, four hits and struck out five without issuing a walk for the AL-East leading Yankees. The righty, who had three no-decisions in his past three starts, won for the first time since tossing a shutout over Tampa Bay on June 17.

Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances.

The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Urshela's two-run single to left field off Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (510). Stroman, a New York native, started for the first time since June 29 after being sidelined with a left pectoral cramp. He gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking two.

Tanaka was cruising through the first four innings before the Blue Jays tied the game at 2-2 on solo homers in the fifth. Randal Grichuk led off the inning by driving Tanaka's fastball over the right-centre field fence. It was his 16th homer of the season.

After Tanaka struck out Danny Jansen and got Teoscar Hernandez to fly out, Eric Sogard cleared the short porch in right field for his 10th home run.

Urshela led off the bottom half of the inning with an infield single and his athleticism took over when he put the Yankees back ahead on a heads-up play when he scored on Stroman's two-out wild pitch with Judge at the plate.


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Rising homer count puts baseballs, MLB under a microscope
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By RONALD BLUE
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B13

CLEVELAND -- Faced with a record onslaught of home runs that has convinced many pitchers that baseballs are juiced, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says the sport has been unable to find any changes in the manufacturing process.

A May, 2018, report to the league by professors specializing in physics, mechanical engineering, statistics and mathematics concluded there was less drag on the ball, causing more home runs. MLB still has not figured out why, and Manfred denied accusations by American League all-star starter Justin Verlander and other pitchers that baseballs have deliberately been altered.

"Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball," Manfred told the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday. "The biggest flaw in that logic is that baseball somehow wants more home runs. If you sat in an owners' meeting and listened to people talk about the way our game is being played, that is not the sentiment among the owners for whom I work. There is no desire on the part of ownership to increase the number of home runs in the game."

Batters have hit 3,691 homers in 1,345 games, on pace for 6,668 over the full season. That would be 19 per cent more than last year's 5,558, and 9 per cent more than the record 6,105 hit in 2017, topping the steroid-era high mark of 5,693 in 2000.

"Pitchers have raised issues about particularly the tackiness and the seams on the baseball, and we do believe that those could be issues that are related to the performance of the ball and we're trying to get our hands around," Manfred said.

He firmly rejected claims that MLB changed the ball to spark offence.

"Manipulation of the baseball is a great conspiracy theory," Manfred said.

Union head Tony Clark, a former all-star first baseman, said some of his members have sent balls to the players' association office.

"The ball suddenly changed and I don't know why," Clark said. "With something that seems to have changed as dramatically as it has, where does that put guys?" Clark and Verlander have questioned whether MLB has more input into the ball since Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc., its manufacturer, was purchased last year by Seidler Equity Partners. Peter Seidler, the San Diego Padres general partner, has chief oversight of all activities of Seidler Equity Partners. In addition, Manfred said MLB acquired a minority stake in Rawlings as part of the purchase.

6,668 Batters are on pace to hit 6,668 home runs over the full major-league season and exceed the record of 5,693, set in 2000 during the steroid era.


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The future is plastics: Murray Edwards, Li Ka-Shing add to oil patch holdings as others flee
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By ANDREW WILLIS
  
  

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B1

In one of the great contrarian investments of our time, billionaires such as Murray Edwards and Li Ka-Shing are pouring money into Alberta's oil sands.

While foreign energy companies were selling their oil sands holdings and investors were purging domestic energy stocks from their portfolios, Mr. Edwards's Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) and Li family-controlled Husky Energy Inc. have increased their stakes in the region.

As part of a massive shift in ownership that has seen more than $37billion of oil sands assets change hands, CNRL dropped $16.5-billion to acquire properties from Devon Energy Corp. and Shell Canada Ltd., while Husky spent US$435-million on a heavy oil refinery last summer.

Both companies are expected to keep investing.

Why the show of faith from Mr.Edwards and the Li clan? As Dustin Hoffman's character was told in the film The Graduate, in one word, plastics.

Research from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other non-partisan groups shows that "petrochemicals are the fastest growing source of oil consumption, and we believe this is not well known among the investment community," said energy analyst Phil Skolnick at Canadian investment bank Eight Capital in a recent report.

When it comes to demand for what Alberta produces, the IEA's studies show countries such as China and India will look to petrochemicals produced from heavy oil as a source of everything from fertilizer to packaging, digital devices, car parts and clothing.

Globally, at least 12 major oil refineries will come on stream in the next six years, according to Mr. Skolnick's research, with the capacity to process 4.5 million barrels of oil each day, including 2.4 million barrels of heavy oil, an Alberta specialty.

This new demand will come at a time when traditional energy suppliers such as Venezuela and Iran face significant headwinds to production. Venezuela's economy is collapsing and Iran faces geopolitical headwinds from its adversaries, including the United States.

Mr. Skolnick said: "There is a major fundamental shift happening, whereby the refining industry is moving away from maximizing production of transportation fuels to maximizing production of higher margin petrochemicals."

Soaring demand for plastics is moving refineries into the centre of the climate-change debate, with the industry moving to deal with the issues that come with increasing consumption of heavy oil and other fossil fuels. Last October, the IEA tabled what it called an "ambitious but achievable pathway to reduce the environmental impacts of petrochemicals," a series of measures that would cut air pollutants from chemicals production by 90 per cent over the next three decades, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent and halve ocean-bound plastic waste.

In releasing the report, IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: "Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends."

It's currently fashionable to hate CNRL, Husky, Cenovus Energy Inc. and the other Canadian players that now control Alberta's oil sands. These companies sell every barrel of oil they produce at a significant discount to the price that rival producers receive for lighter grades of oil.

There has been a long and difficult battle over plans to build new North American pipelines.

And increasing awareness of climate change is shifting consumer sentiment away from gasolinefuelled cars and single-use plastics, trends seen as curtailing future demand for oil.

Against this backdrop, it's understandable that most investors, retail and institutional, are underweight energy stocks. Their recent experience has been unpleasant. An exchange-traded fund that tracks the S&P/TSX capped energy index, which has a lot of exposure to oil sands companies, has lost more than half of its value in five years.

The contrarian thesis, quietly embraced by Mr. Edwards and the Hong Kong-based Li family, is that over the long term, global demand for heavy oil will increase, supply will tighten and many of the problems facing Canada's producers can be solved. Mr. Skolnick expects an increasing amount of Alberta oil to be transported by rail, which will help shrink the difference between the price paid to Alberta producers and those in other regions.

The bullish case for the Alberta oil sands grows stronger if the federal government moves ahead with the long-delayed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The best-case scenario is the controversial project will be finished by 2022.

Coming close to that schedule means Trans Mountain could be moving oil to Asian customers just as China becomes the world leader in refinery capacity, an event that's expected in 2024, when the country finishes a complex on its northeastern coast that rivals anything on the Gulf of Mexico.

Eight Capital, a Toronto-based firm led by chief executive David Morrison, thinks that development will benefit investors who load up on oil sands stocks such as Cenovus, CNRL and MEG Energy Corp., which turned down a takeover offer from Husky in January.

Mr. Skolnick said: "Given the expected impact and sustainability of petrochemical-related oil demand, we believe this is a theme that could garner the interest of generalist investors." In other words, people will wake up to trends that a pair of billionaires realized years ago.


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Canada's buoyant job market is out of step with the economy and due for a drop
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By DAVID PARKINSON
  
  

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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B1

At the Bank of Canada's quarterly economic-update press conference last week, a reporter asked the bank's second-in-command, senior deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins, if the central bank was worried about Canada's job market.

It might seem an odd thing to worry about. Employment rose by nearly a quarter-million jobs in the first six months of the year. Jobs have increased in eight of the past 10 months.

Unemployment is hovering near fourdecade lows.

But the issue for the questioner wasn't whether the job market is strong - it undeniably is - but why it is so strong. With this kind of job growth, you'd expect to see an economy that is booming; it's not.

Over the last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year, the country added 280,000 jobs while the economy barely grew at all.

If there isn't economic growth to support all that hiring, is the job market floating on hot air - and, maybe, doomed for a fall?

"The labour market is very healthy," Ms. Wilkins responded. "What companies have on their minds is that they need to hire to be ready for the growth they tell us they expect to see. I think that, from a business-planning point of view, you can imagine that's part of what's going on, and how you would square the circle."

Perhaps. Employment isn't historically much of a leading indicator of future economic activity, although it has been known on occasion to anticipate an economic upswing. But while the economy did bounce back in the just-ended second quarter (the Bank of Canada estimates that gross domestic product grew at a 2.3per-cent annualized pace), the central bank predicted last week that growth will moderate again in the second half of the year, to the 1.5-per-cent range. For the full year, the bank forecasts growth of just 1.3 per cent - which would make it the second-slowest year since the Great Recession.

That hardly looks like a year that can sustain this flurry of hiring.

Unless employers are foreseeing an economic surge that has eluded the predictive powers of the Bank of Canada, the job market may soon get pushed back to reality.

Unless, of course, there is some other explanation for this unusual disconnect between employment growth and economic growth. And it is unusual. Jobs and economic growth isn't a one-way relationship, it's more of a virtuous circle. Not only does a stronger economy fuel job creation, but that job growth in turn feeds economic activity, as more workers produce more goods and services, and consumers have more wages to spend.

You expect the two of them to feed off each other, to grow together. When they don't, you have to wonder if something else is going on.

One factor that may be at play is the elevated sense of risk and uncertainty that the business community continues to confront, most notably on the trade front. With businesses uncertain about the future reliability of their key markets, many companies continue to resist making capital investments to expand their capacity. Given that many industries are operating near full capacity, it would appear that many businesses have opted to invest in more labour to meet their capacity needs, viewing it as a lower-risk option than investing more heavily in capital.

That not only helps to explain the elevated levels of hiring, but the relatively modest corresponding economic boost - there's a shortage of capital investment contributing to the equation.

Labour shortages may also be behind businesses' appetite for hiring. Historically, low unemployment has meant slim pickings for workers in many industries, especially higher-skilled workers. It may be that businesses are securing skilled workers before they actually need them, rather than running the risk that those skill sets simply won't be available when their needs become pressing. But if you're hiring workers for whom you don't have enough productive work, they aren't going to add a lot to output.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal recently raised an intriguing theory about the growth versus jobs disconnect. In a research report this month, Mr. Tal noted that even as Canada's employment has surged this year, the "employment quality" has declined. He said the composition of job creation over the past 12 months has tilted toward lowpaying sectors of the labour market, while higher-paying industries have actually hired very little.

The thin labour supply might be a key reason for this - the pool of workers still available is tilted toward the lower-skilled, lower-paid end. Nevertheless, the lower-end jobs that are dominating the hiring are not the kind of value-adding, productivity-enhancing positions that contribute strongly to economic growth - particularly at the current relatively late stages of the economic expansion.

"It appears those new jobs do not add much to the nation's overall productive capacity," Mr.Tal wrote. "We need relatively more workers to generate the same increase in income."

Associated Graphic

Carolyn Wilkins


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Canada's auto sales continue to sputter even as broader economy speeds ahead
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By STEFANIE MAROTTA
  
  

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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B1

The jobs market had a strong first half and wages are rising, but there's still a soft spot in the Canadian economy: Auto sales.

Canadian vehicles sales dropped more than 5 per cent in the first six months of 2019, including a 7.2-per cent-dip in June. That was the 16th straight month in which sales declined, the slump happening despite a spring pickup in economic growth.

After hitting a record high of slightly more than two million sales in 2017, the Canadian auto sector began cooling in 2018 amid global trade concerns and sinking oil prices, said Bank of Nova Scotia analyst Rebekah Young. With Canadians facing higher interest rates and record levels of household debt, some consumers are apprehensive about committing to large purchases like cars.

"There's been a huge toll on confidence as a result of this uncertain environment," Ms. Young said. "With the cost of financing, we've coming out of a cycle where it's become more expensive and that's a drag on 2019."

While sales have declined across all regions, the slowdown is hitting western provinces the hardest. The region posted a 7-per-cent decline in sales this year through May, as its weakened commodity-driven economy weighs on consumer spending.

Dealerships in Alberta, where a discount on heavy oil prices has hurt the provincial economy, have noticed customers expressing concerns over job security and reluctance to carry more debt. Alberta's unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent is higher than the national average of 5.5 per cent.

"[Customers] are all about budget.

They don't want a vehicle loan," said Jordan Burke, a sales manager at the West Edmonton Hyundai dealership.

"They're also worried about job losses because they were working in the oil field and they have since lost that job."

While the overall Canadian economy posted its best start to a year since 2010 in job creation, and wages increased for the seventh consecutive month, this year's auto sales are expected to drop to 1.94 million units from 1.98 million last year, according to data from Scotiabank. Ms. Young said that Canada's high debt-toincome ratio, which is nearing record levels, will largely contribute to the continuing decline.

"Household debt levels are still high in Canada," she said. "When interest rates were increasing at the end of 2018, the cost of borrowing for households to buy things like autos increased versus a year ago."

The drop in activity at Canadian dealerships mirrors global trends. Worldwide, vehicle sales were down about 7 per cent in the first five months of the year, says Scotiabank. U.S. annual sales increased marginally in 2018, to 17.2 million units, but are expected to fall to 16.8 million this year, according to a recent forecast published by the bank, because of a slowing economy and policy uncertainty as the Federal Reserve considers dropping interest rates.

Home-price pressures in Toronto and Vancouver have also affected Canadian sales. In British Columbia and Ontario, the stress test-induced drop in real estate activity affected consumer need for vehicles, according to a report from TD Economics.

"For British Columbia and Ontario, the sharp slowdown in housing activity last year cut into auto demand," said TD senior economist Thomas Feltmate in a note. "Home price growth also slowed drastically in B.C. and outright declined in Ontario, diminishing the wealth effects that supported sales in more recent years."

To attract customers, Mr. Burke said, dealerships such as West Edmonton Hyundai have introduced leasing deals with no down payment - a move he said his company rarely makes. "A lot of consumers are concerned about interest rates. With a lease, they can be tied to a vehicle for a few years, and they haven't made a big commitment to buying a vehicle," he said, adding that more customers have been asking about leasing options than in the past.

Changing consumer sentiment toward vehicles could have a longer-term effect on auto sales. With young people and families increasingly moving into urban areas, more people are trying to delay car ownership, or forego it altogether.

When lawyer Teresa Yang moved to Ottawa from Toronto in May, she did not plan on purchasing a car even though she planned to live in a residential area with sparse transit access. But when she realized that her commute to work would require an hour-long bike ride, she opted to lease her first car to avoid the commitment of purchasing one.

"I wouldn't have a car if I didn't need it just to get to work, because the other options just don't exist. I never thought I'd ever be a person who would get a car," Ms. Yang said, adding that she would likely drop the lease if she were to have access to a subway or a more efficient public bus.

This trend is currently being offset by a larger population of older people who are continuing to drive later in life, according to Ms.

Young.


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The answer to low-inflation riddle could be found in low-income households
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By DAVID PARKINSON
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B1

Probably the most confounding puzzle of the post-financial-crisis economic recovery, in Canada and elsewhere, has been the persistent shortage of inflation. But there has been no shortage of attempts by economists to explain the phenomenon.

Maybe it's the impact of emerging technologies and artificial intelligence. Maybe it's a consequence of trade liberalization. Perhaps the growth of online shopping is to blame, as consumers can instantly secure the lowest price.

It could be that the aging of advanced-economy populations has applied the brakes to consumption. Or maybe income inequality is a contributor, as middle-class spending power has stalled. Or, as some experts suggest, it could be that years of slow-growth inflation has simply lowered consumers' inflation expectations - inflation is slower because everyone now expects it to be slower.

Now, researchers at Toronto's C.D. Howe Institute have added to the mix their own possible explanation: It depends on who's doing the inflating.

In a new study released Tuesday, authors Jeremy Kronick and Farah Omran argue that a key clue in the inflation riddle has been the breadth of economic growth at various stages in the postcrisis recovery. When inflation has been surprisingly tepid despite solid economic expansion, it has been when the growth has been concentrated in only a handful of sectors, while others have languished.

Further, the researchers say in these slowinflation periods, the sectors that have remained weak have tended to be those where lower-income Canadians spend more of their income - such as utilities and housing and food. Since lower-income households typically spend more of their disposable income than high-income households, the weakness in these sectors has amplified the dampening effect on inflation.

In some ways, the findings are no big surprise. Economists at the Bank of Canada (and elsewhere) have always been aware that inflation tied to narrowly based economic growth tends to be unsustainable across the broader economy.

Additionally, that a wise central banker should look through single outlier sectors that temporarily distort the inflation numbers.

The Bank of Canada has even become more sophisticated in this regard over the past couple of years, having introduced three new gauges of so-called "core inflation" in an effort to filter out distortions around the edges of consumer inflation and bring the underlying inflationary pressures common to the entire economy into sharper focus.

It's also why income growth has also been such a key indicator of inflationary pressures for the Bank of Canada in the postcrisis cycle.

Broad-based growth - and an economy closing in on full capacity not just in a few sectors, but across the breadth of the economy - typically fuels broad-based income growth, which both feeds into consumer demand and motivates producers to pass their rising costs on to consumers, thus stimulating inflation.

Still, the C.D. Howe research may provide some useful direction for analysis of inflationary pressures as central bankers try to gauge interest-rate policy over the relatively near term. Consider, for example, what Canada's current inflation picture is telling the Bank of Canada as it prepares for its next rate decision on Wednesday.

Canada's inflation rate surged in May to 2.4 per cent - putting it substantially above the Bank of Canada's long-standing target of 2 per cent.

The bank's three core measures are more muted, indicating that some narrow, temporary forces are at work, but they nevertheless averaged an above-target 2.1 per cent.

The breadth of the price gains is solid, though not overwhelming: All eight major components are up year-over-year, but only half of them are growing above the 2-per-cent target. But the strongest yearover-year price gains are in food, transportation and shelter - all of which are sectors in which lower earners are more sensitive.

The May inflation report supports what the Bank of Canada has been saying - that relatively broad-based growth has resumed after a lull, and that the economy is approaching full capacity.

While the bank has its reservations about risks in the outlook - such as the U.S.-China trade dispute and the possibility of slowing U.S. growth - the inflation picture certainly suggests that the Bank of Canada is in no need of a rate cut any time soon, despite expectations that its U.S. counterpart is nearing a cut of its own.

In the bigger picture, the findings also speak to the postcrisis concerns about income inequality - specifically, that the wealthier extremes of the population have disproportionately benefited from the recovery.

Statistics Canada data show that from 2012 to 2015, real (inflation-adjusted) incomes of the top 0.1 per cent of income earners in Canada rose by 17 per cent, while real incomes of the bottom 90 per cent of earners rose just 2.2 per cent.

The C.D. Howe research supports arguments that more broadly based income growth may lead to a healthier economy - with stronger growth and, correspondingly, sustainable, healthier inflation.


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Aimia names new directors, setting up fight with key investor
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Former Aeroplan owner adds two board members as Mittleman presses for diversification
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By TIM KILADZE
  
  

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B1

A fight is brewing between some Aimia Inc.

directors and its largest shareholder over who will determine the company's future, nearly one year after it agreed to sell the Aeroplan loyalty program to a group led by Air Canada.

Aimia said Monday it has added two new directors with a financial background, Dieter Jentsch and Fred Mifflin, bringing the size of the board to eight. The move was a surprise because the company held its annual meeting less than three weeks ago, on June 28; those meetings are the formal venue for electing directors, and it is rare to make appointments so soon after one.

The appointment of the new directors is seen as an effort to push back against the influence of Aimia's largest shareholder, New York-based investment firm Mittleman Brothers, which owns 23 per cent. Mittleman was granted two seats as part of its activist campaign in 2018, and one of its partners said recently the firm is putting together its own slate of directors to be nominated to the board. The fund declined to comment.

June's annual meeting was marred by allegations that the chairman shut down questions from unhappy investors. Shareholders used their votes to register their dissent: Three of the six directors received less than 63 per cent of the shares voted. That's a low number for a board election in corporate Canada, where it is common for directors to receive more than 90 per cent support from shareholders.

A major source of tension is how the company should proceed now that it has sold its major asset and has more than $475million in cash and short-term investments available. In public remarks last week, Chris Mittleman of Mittleman Brothers said he is frustrated with management and the board. In a television interview, he said Aimia should pursue acquisitions outside the loyalty rewards market - a strategy that is directly at odds with management's current plans - and said his fund was putting together its own list of directors.

He added that the fund only supported a number of the directors nominated at Aimia's annual meeting in June because it was bound by a standstill agreement signed in 2018, when Mittleman became Aimia's major shareholder and orchestrated its own board upheaval and management shakeup. That agreement expired July 1.

The fight also suggests that a rift has developed between Aimia's chief executive officer, Jeremy Rabe, and Mittleman, even though the fund installed Mr.

Rabe as CEO in May, 2018.

At the time, Air Canada had decided to pull out as Aeroplan's lead partner, and Aimia was in distress. Mr. Rabe has a career in the loyalty rewards industry, and Mittleman hoped he could turn Aeroplan around. (Air Canada later had a change of heart and made a hostile bid for Aeroplan in July, 2018, which succeeded.)

Aimia did not respond to questions about a clash between Mittleman and the company's board or its CEO, but in an e-mail, a spokesperson said the two new appointees have "stellar reputations in the business community" and "substantial expertise, particularly around capital allocation."

Mr. Jentsch most recently served as the head of global banking and markets at Bank of Nova Scotia before retiring in 2018. Mr.Mifflin is currently a vice-chair and partner at boutique investment bank Blair Franklin Capital Partners and was previously an executive in corporate and investment banking at Bank of Montreal.

In the e-mail, Aimia also noted that the appointments are "the result of a deliberate, rigorous and successful process carried out in compliance with good corporate governance practices. We previously publicly stated our commitment to continuously refresh and re-align the board with the company's new strategic direction as a loyalty and travel-focused consolidator."

Aimia has been in limbo for almost a full year since agreeing to sell Aeroplan to Air Canada last August for $516-million. Initially, Mittleman Brothers came out against the sale and argued that Air Canada would have to pay a hefty price, but it acquiesced a month after the hostile bid was made public.

Three months later, Air Canada announced a partnership with Toronto-Dominion Bank that saw TD agree to pay the airline $1-billion to remain the plan's lead credit-card partner.

The sale closed in December, but Aimia has made little progress in developing or articulating a strategy for life after Aeroplan, which used to contribute about 80 per cent of its operating earnings.

Aimia shares closed at $3.89 Monday, down 54 per cent from the day before Air Canada announced in 2017 that it was pulling out as Aeroplan's lead partner.


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LOSING A SLICE OF THE PIE
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Delivery apps offer consumers a greater selection of food choices, cutting into North American pizza chain sales
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By MEGAN DEVLIN
  
  

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B1

Sales are slowing at several North American pizzeria chains as customers gain access to a widening array of foods available at their fingertips through delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Foodora and Skip the Dishes.

Andrew Waddington, senior consultant with fsStrategy Inc., said pizza's long-held advantage as a fast, cheap and convenient food for delivery is eroding.

"Growing up in my house, it was pizza, Swiss Chalet or Chinese food. Those were your options," he said. "But with Uber and other delivering options, the convenient and the fast bit has been spread around many different types of competitors."

The latest sign of trouble for pizza retailers emerged on Tuesday, when industry titan Domino's Pizza Inc. reported same-store sales that fell short of expectations, sending the Michigan-based pizza giant's share price tumbling nearly 8.7 per cent to close on the New York Stock Exchange at US$246.54.

Domino's international stores, including about 500 in Canada, reported 2.4-per-cent same-store sales growth in the second quarter of 2019. A year ago, sales growth was 4 per cent. Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands Inc., in May reported flat same-store sales growth in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter of 2018.

The pain is also being felt north of the border. Canada's biggest pizza chain, Pizza Pizza, has seen negative same-store sales growth for seven consecutive quarters since September, 2017.

Stock prices for Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp., the publicly traded company that owns the rights to the Pizza Pizza logo and licenses it to restaurants in exchange for a percentage of sales, have plunged in recent years. Shares closed at $9.83 on Tuesday on the TSX, down from an all-time high of $18 in May, 2017.

Pizza Pizza did not respond to a request for comment.

Digital disruption isn't the only challenge facing pizza chains. Labour costs are on the rise as provinces increase their minimum wage.

And chains selling pizza have always operated in a highly competitive market segment, Mr. Waddington said. Since the product is cheap to make, a lot of players are "fighting for that same dollar."

Now, they're fighting with new types of cuisine for home delivery, too.

"I don't think people are leaving pizza because of price," he said. "You'd be hardpressed to get that same calorie-to-dollar value. ... We're seeing people willing to pay ... to get something that's different."

While many delivery apps also offer customers another way to order pizza from popular chains, those potential gains are likely being offset by rising competition.

"Pizza is perhaps being outshone by fast-food chains ... who are a little more aggressive with food delivery apps," said Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

But make no mistake, many pizzas are still being sold in Canada and around the world. Euromonitor International pegged the annual global pizza market as being worth US$134-billion in 2018. And there are new markets with an appetite for the cheesy tomato pies, with Euromonitor flagging Pakistan as the world's fastest-growing retail market for pizza.

Domenic Primucci, president of Pizza Nova Take Out Ltd., a privately held Canadian pizza chain with nearly 150 stores across Ontario, acknowledged that his industry is seeing new challenges in rising costs for labour and rent, as well as from a wave of fresh competitors in the form of apps.

Still, he said, pizza holds a key advantage: customer sentiment.

"When you order pizza, you're sharing," Mr. Primucci said. "When people get together and share a product, it makes them happy. It really touches that connection of people."

"Pizza will survive," Mr. Charlebois added.

DOMINO'S PIZZA (DPZ) CLOSE: US$246.54, DOWN US$23.38 PIZZA PIZZA (PZA) CLOSE: $9.83, DOWN 5¢

Associated Graphic

Canada's Pizza Pizza has seen negative same-store sales growth for seven consecutive quarters since September, 2017.

ANDREJ IVANOV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Shares of Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp. have struggled in recent years, closing on Tuesday at $9.83, a sharp drop from their $18 peak in May, 2017.

ANDREJ IVANOV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Thursday, July 18, 2019
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U.S. software firm Aspen adds AI strength with purchase of Montreal startup Mnubo
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By SEAN SILCOFF
  
  

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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page B2

U.S. software firm Aspen Technology Inc. has bought Montreal internet-of-things startup Mnubo Inc. for $102-million and will build a global artificial-intelligence hub in the city around the purchased company's 60-odd employees.

Frédéric Bastien, co-founder and chief executive of Mnubo, said the company was "very excited" to be able to continue developing AI and industrial internet of things (IoT) under the Aspen umbrella.

The acquisition was one of two announced on Friday by Aspen, a publicly traded provider of asset-optimization software based in Bedford, Mass., that generated US$148-million in its fiscal third quarter and US$61.6-million in net income. Aspen also bought Britain-based software firm Sabisu Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

Adding Mnubo will help the U.S. company accelerate its move to offer next-generation tools for its industrial customers that use AI and machine learning, Aspen said in a news release. Mnubo's AI-driven IoT expertise, Sabisu's visualization and Aspen's "deep domain expertise" will help its customers drive greater value from their data, according to Aspen CEO Antonio Pietri.

"It's a very good outcome," said Whitney Rockley, managing partner of Mnubo's early backer McRock Capital, a Toronto-based venture-capital fund that specializes in IoT firms. "They've been able to demonstrate their analytics platform is relevant to a number of different customers" in a range of industries. "Now, they get to turbocharge the platform with a customer base and join a market-maker and really commercialize this and take it to a whole other level." Aspen bought another McRock-financed company, New Brunswick-based RtTech Software Inc., early last year and met Mnubo management through the venture-capital firm.

The deal comes about 18 months after German insurance giant Munich Re Group led a $16.5-million investment in Mnubo.

The Montreal company was founded in 2012 and established itself by collecting data from networked sensors mounted on industrial machines and analyzing it using AI. It's a crowded market that is expected to keep growing at a brisk rate. Global spending on IoT technology is estimated at US$745-billion this year, a 15.6-percent increase from 2018, and is forecast to climb to more than US$1-trillion by 2022, according to market intelligence firm International Data Corp.

Despite the growing global interest, few IoT startups have reached billion-dollar valuations and have typically sold out to technology, industrial or agriculture giants for hundreds of millions of dollars. Those include last year's purchase of Calgary-based IoT firm Pure Technologies Ltd. for $509-million by U.S. watertechnology firm Xylem Inc., General Electric Co.'s 2016 purchase of Vancouver-based Bit Stew Systems Inc. for US$153-million and Siemens AG's 2012 takeover of publicly traded RuggedCom Inc. of Concord, Ont., for $440-million.

Mnubo's large enterprise customers include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment maker Johnson Controls International PLC, Hitachi Air Conditioning, Japanese smart-home-appliance maker Its Communications Inc. and agriculture supplier Grain Systems Inc. Its platform gathers data sent from sensors on its customers' products and machines and learns from patterns over time to predict, for example, when machines will require maintenance, how to make soil-irrigation systems more effective or when home-alarm customers should be contacted to ensure they renew the service.

The sale marks the second consecutive successful outcome for Mnubo's Mr. Bastien and several members of his management team. In 2010, they sold their data management firm Blueslice Networks Inc. for US$35-million to a U.S. telecom company that was later taken over by Oracle Corp. Mr. Bastien and his three Mnubo co-founders stayed on for a couple of years with Oracle and then won a multiyear, multimillion-dollar research contract from the Silicon Valley giant after leaving in 2012. The contract enabled them to self-fund the development of their software platform until they raised $6-million in venture funding from Montreal-based White Star Capital and McRock in 2015.

With reports from Jeff Jones ASPEN TECHNOLOGY (AZPN) CLOSE: US$132.63, DOWN 24 US CENTS


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Canada, U.S. are finally moving closer
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By IAN MCGUGAN
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B1

The Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve have taken different paths over the past year and a half, with the Fed raising rates more aggressively than its Canadian counterpart.

That period is now over. Interest rates in the two countries are likely to move closer together over the coming months as U.S.

growth slows and Canada picks up speed. Policy-makers in both countries are sounding many of the same notes.

The Bank of Canada's monetary policy statement on Wednesday warned that trade conflicts are taking their toll on global trade. U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell made much the same point in his semi-annual testimony to Congress, also on Wednesday.

To be sure, the near-simultaneous statements on both sides of the border also pointed to the near-term differences between the Canadian and U.S. perspectives. Mr. Powell's remarks underlined the uncertainties facing the U.S. economy. His testimony strongly supported the case for the quarter-percentage-point cut that markets are expecting at the Fed's meeting at the end of July.

In contrast, the Bank of Canada left its key rate unchanged and appeared in no rush to cut rates.

It predicted a rebound in Canadian growth, from 1.3 per cent this year to 1.9 per cent in 2020 and 2 per cent in 2021 on the back of strong consumer spending, expanding exports and a modest recovery in housing activity.

Regardless of the difference in tone between the two central banks, the end results are likely to be similar from an interestrate perspective.

If futures markets are right, the key Fed funds rate in the United States and the policy rate in Canada are likely to converge by the end of this year, as the Fed cuts rates while the Bank of Canada stands pat.

At the moment, the key U.S.

rate stands at 2.5 per cent and its Canadian counterpart at 1.75 per cent. But the futures market sees both the Fed funds rate and the Canadian policy rate hovering around 1.75 per cent by the end of December.

History shows that the two countries have rarely diverged for long on monetary policy.

Outside of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Bank of Canada maintained significantly higher rates than the U.S., key rates in both countries have typically been similar.

Growth has also tended to follow the same ups and downs on both sides of the border. The past couple of years have been an exception, with a booming U.S. economy outpacing that of its Canadian neighbour.

However, the Bank of Canada expects that discrepancy to soon fade. It says U.S. growth will fall back to 1.7 per cent in 2020 and 1.6 per cent in 2021, slightly below its forecast for Canadian growth.

This pattern would restore the close link between the two countries' performance. Investors, though, may not want to assume the two countries will always move together. In some ways, their economies are now more different than they have ever been.

One key contrast is in household debt. U.S. consumers substantially reduced their debt loads after the 2008 financial crisis and collapse of the U.S. housing bubble.

In contrast, Canadian households continued to borrow with abandon, driving their borrowing to unprecedented highs versus their disposable incomes and propelling home prices higher.

Canadians are now spending record portions of their paycheques on debt payments.

Everything being equal, this suggests interest rate shifts are likely to have a greater effect in Canada than in the U.S. If trade tensions grow, and the global economy slows more than expected, the Bank of Canada may have little choice but to join the rate-cutting trend, despite concerns this might fan inflation by reducing the value of the loonie and increasing import prices.

"We continue to expect the Bank to cut interest rates in October," Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note Wednesday.He expects a couple of additional rate cuts to follow.


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Major shareholder accuses Aimia of reneging on vow to shrink board
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By TIM KILADZE
  
  

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B1

Aimia Inc.'s largest shareholder is firing back at the loyalty-rewards company after two new directors were appointed, setting up a public clash between the New Yorkbased fund and the company's leadership.

Mittleman Brothers LLC, which owns 23 per cent of the company, denounced the secrecy around the appointments and accused Aimia of backtracking on its promise to shrink the board's size.

In a statement, the fund said its nominee to the board was only given notice of the proposed appointments on Sunday, hours before the early Monday meeting at which the two nominees were appointed.

Mittleman is upset in part because the directors were appointed less than three weeks after the annual general meeting, typically when shareholders would decide on the composition of a board.

The fund also noted that in May, one month before Aimia's annual general meeting, the company said it was slashing the size of the board to six directors, down from nine a year prior, in order to "rightsize and realign the board of directors with the company's strategic direction."

Mittleman said it is hard to reconcile that goal with the recent appointments.

"Given its recent actions, Aimia's board - including its two new appointees - should not assume support from Mittleman," the fund said.

The public fight has erupted nearly one year after Aimia agreed to sell its crown jewel, the Aeroplan loyalty program, to a group led by Air Canada.

It also follows a contentious annual meeting in June, which was followed by allegations that the chairman shut down questions from unhappy investors.

Shareholders voted in large numbers against the board. Three of the six director nominees received less than 63 per cent of the shares voted. That's a low number for a board election in corporate Canada, where directors often receive more than 90-per-cent support.

On Monday, less than three weeks after that vote, Aimia announced it was adding two new directors, Dieter Jentsch and Fred Mifflin, bringing the board to eight. Annual meetings are the formal venues for electing directors, and it is rare to make appointments so soon after one.

A major source of tension between Mittleman and Aimia is the question of how the company should proceed now that it has sold its major asset and has more than $475-million in cash and short-term investments on the balance sheet. Chris Mittleman said in a television interview last week that Aimia should pursue acquisitions outside of the loyalty-rewards market - a strategy that conflicts with management's current plans.

He said the fund only supported a number of the directors nominated at Aimia's annual meeting in June because it was bound by a standstill agreement signed in 2018, when Mittleman became Aimia's biggest shareholder. That agreement expired July 1 and Mr.

Mittleman said the firm is putting together its own slate of directors to be nominated to the board.

The escalating fight also points to a rift between the investment firm and Aimia's chief executive officer, Jeremy Rabe, even though the fund pushed for Mr. Rabe to be hired in May, 2018.

At the time, Air Canada had decided to pull out as Aeroplan's lead partner, and Aimia was in distress. Mr. Rabe has a career in the loyalty-rewards industry, and Mittleman hoped he could turn Aeroplan around. Air Canada later had a change of heart and made a bid for Aeroplan in July of 2018, which succeeded.

Aimia has been in limbo for almost a full year since agreeing to sell Aeroplan to Air Canada last August for $516-million. The sale closed in December, but Aimia has made little progress in articulating a strategy for life after Aeroplan, which used to contribute about 80 per cent of its operating earnings.

Aimia shares climbed slightly to $3.99 early Tuesday, but remain down more than 50 per cent from the day before Air Canada announced in 2017 that it was pulling out as Aeroplan's lead partner.

AIMIA (AIM) CLOSE: $3.99, UP 10¢


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Boeing shuffles management, names new head of grounded 737 Max program
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By ERIC M. JOHNSON, TIM HEPHER
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B1

SEATTLE PARIS -- Boeing Co. has reassigned the head of its next airplane project to run the troubled 737 program, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Thursday, as the grounding of its 737 Max in the wake of two accidents commands the U.S. plane maker's full attention.

Kevin McAllister, chief executive of Boeing's commercial airplanes division, stressed in the memo that the so-called new mid-market airplane (NMA) project would remain as a program.

But the management shakeup marks a shift in the U.S. plane maker's immediate focus towards getting its bestselling 737 Max, the jet that was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people in the span of five months, back in the air and generating cash.

Boeing's 737 program manager, Eric Lindblad, will retire in a matter of weeks after roughly 12 months on the job, Mr. McAllister told employees in the memo. Mr. Lindblad, a respected engineer who had also run the 777X wide-body program, has been with Boeing for about 34 years and had mentioned retiring last year, Mr. McAllister said.

Taking Mr. Lindblad's place as the lead of the 737 program and the Renton, Wash., factory will be Mark Jenks, who has been leading Boeing's potential new mid-market airplane project, Mr. McAllister said.

Mr. Jenks faces daunting challenges, including untangling a backlog of undelivered planes, getting production back on course for planned output increases and finishing development of the 737 Max 10, the largest Boeing single-aisle jet, sources said.

The stakes are high as the 737 is the backbone of Boeing's profits and must generate cash for new projects such as the NMA.

Described as a "quiet, get-on-and-do-it" engineer, Mr. Jenks spent half of his 36-year Boeing career on the 787 and an earlier alternative that was never launched, the Sonic Cruiser.

Boeing has been running its 737 supply chain at different speeds to keep it "hot" or ready to resume full-rate production as soon as possible after the crisis ends, posing logistical problems last seen on such a scale when the 787 Dreamliner was ramping up.

Mike Sinnett, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of product development and future airplane development, will assume the role of vicepresident for NMA in addition to his current role, the memo said. Mr. Sinnett, who originally led preliminary work on the NMA, has been seen a figurehead of the program.

"Let me be clear - the NMA team will continue to operate as a programme, and I am looking forward to Mike's leadership in this important effort," Mr. McAllister said in the memo.

Mr. McAllister is choosing two of Boeing's most high-profile engineers. Mr. Jenks is among those credited with turning around the 787 Dreamliner program, and his appointment on the NMA was seen as key to putting the potential twin-aisle aircraft on a path to a rapid launch. But sources say the launch of the NMA has been delayed by the 737 Max crisis. The program, if it goes ahead, will most likely not be launched before spring or summer of next year, the sources said.

It was the second management reshuffle in four months. In March, Boeing said John Hamilton, formerly both vice-president and chief engineer in Boeing's Commercial Airplanes division, will focus solely on the role of chief engineer. At the same time, Boeing said Lynne Hopper - who previously led Test & Evaluation in Boeing's Engineering, Test & Technology group - had been named vice-president of engineering for Commercial Airplanes.

Associated Graphic

Grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft are seen parked in Seattle on July 1.

LINDSEY WASSON/REUTERS


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Leonard heads to L.A., Butler to Miami after weekend of free-agency deals
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By TIM REYNOLDS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B9

Toronto said farewell to Kawhi Leonard. Miami said hello to Jimmy Butler. The Lakers finally have Anthony Davis.

Free agency became real Saturday.

The four-team trade that sent Butler to the Heat - with a new US$142-million, four-year contract - was one of the first big moves to get done once the league's off-season moratorium ended. But many of the other massive moves, such as Leonard's signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and the trade to have Paul George join him, remained in the paperwork stage.

Butler acknowledged that his long-time friend, fellow former Marquette star and now-retired Heat guard Dwyane Wade "may have had a little bit of something to do with" his move to Miami.

"I don't think anybody can take over the role that Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. had for this organization and for the game of basketball here," Butler said when asked about taking over as a leader in Miami. "I'm just fortunate and blessed enough to be able to call him a friend, mentor, role model.

He's done so much for me."

There was no real worry about pending transactions around the league: Some deals, including a few that got agreed upon very quickly when the negotiating window opened on June 30, simply needed to be slotted in a certain order to make the NBA's money rules work. Others could get done as soon as the NBA said the new league year was officially underway at 12:01 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.

"I think it's going to be a really exciting season," said Portland's Damian Lillard, who wasn't a free agent and won't be for a long time after signing a US$196-million, four-year extension that could keep him with the Trail Blazers until 2025. "Obviously, it's exciting to see players change teams. You know people love that."

Not all people. Not always.

Toronto awoke to the news Saturday that two starters from this past season's NBA champion Raptors - Leonard and Danny Green - were moving on. Leonard picked the Clippers and will sign a US$142-million, four-year deal, and George will be joining him in a massive trade that will send Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and five draft picks to Oklahoma City in a blockbuster deal that shook up both conferences.

Green is joining the Lakers on a two-year deal.

"Teams are making moves to win now and that's obvious," said Heat forward Meyers Leonard, who left Portland and is part of the four-team Butler deal. "The Clippers, for example, they're in 'win-now' mode. They played well last year in the playoffs. They go and get Kawhi and PG and all these other players. OKC has to be thinking, 'Okay, we just got a ton of draft picks.' So, people are positioning themselves in different ways."

The Clippers and Thunder couldn't talk about their deal until it was finalized.

The Raptors didn't have to adhere to such rules.

"On behalf of the Raptors, I say a very heartfelt thank you to Kawhi and to Danny, and we send them and their families nothing but good wishes," Raptors president Masai Ujiri said. "As an organization, the Raptors will focus on the future and continue our pursuit of a second championship."

Davis wasn't a free agent, but the Lakers' move to get him surely played a role in plenty of other moves during free agency.

The Lakers' trade for Davis got done Saturday night, and it cost L.A. a ransom. Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De'Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, a first-round pick swap and cash went to the Pelicans - and then the Lakers had to send Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner and a future second-rounder to Washington.

The Wizards sent cash to the Pelicans.

"Anthony Davis is arguably the most dominant all-around young player in today's NBA," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said. "Anthony represents everything we stand for, with his unwavering commitment to excellence both as a person and an athlete."

The sign-and-trade that will have Kevin Durant leaving Golden State for Brooklyn as well as Kyrie Irving's signing with the Nets were both still pending Saturday night. Golden State's deal to keep Klay Thompson around at nearly US$190-million for five years also wasn't immediately announced, although there would seem to be little rush there.

Boston completed a sign-andtrade with Charlotte, a deal to send all-star Kemba Walker (four years, US$141-million) to the Celtics and Terry Rozier (three years, US$58-million) to the Hornets.

"Kemba has excelled in this league for many years while consistently playing at a level among the NBA's elite," Celtics president Danny Ainge said.

Davis was back for the second straight night at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas alongside James and Lakers guard Kyle Kuzma. James chatted for a couple minutes with Clippers consultant and NBA legend Jerry West - before the Lakers and Clippers met in a summer matchup.

Also at summer league were a trio of young Atlanta stars - Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Trae Young.

"I'm super excited," Young said when asked about the moves across the league. "Some of the trades and where people are landing at is just kind of different. It's kind of a surprise a little bit, but it's good [because] now the league is even more wide open."

Butler left Philadelphia via a sign-and-trade for Miami, with Josh Richardson leaving the Heat for Philadelphia. Hassan Whiteside left the Heat for Portland as part of that deal, while Moe Harkless left the Blazers for the Clippers in another part of the same massive trade.

"Jimmy's leadership, tenacity, professionalism, defensive disposition and his ability to create his own shot will improve our roster immediately," Heat president Pat Riley said.

Butler said Wade told him for years that Miami was the right fit for him.

Among the other deals that got done: Free-agent forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, according to multiple reports. Hollis-Jefferson spent his first four seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. He became a free agent last month when Brooklyn declined to make him a qualifying offer.

Brooklyn completed the signing of centre DeAndre Jordan. "As a veteran centre with All-NBA and All-Defensive Team honours on his résumé, DeAndre will provide us with the type of defensive mindset, toughness and leadership that are needed to compete at the highest levels of the NBA," Nets general manager Sean Marks said.

The Phoenix Suns have traded Josh Jackson and De'Anthony Melton to the Memphis Grizzlies for guards Jevon Carter and Kyle Korver.

Phoenix also parted with a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2021 second-round selection in Sunday's deal.

The Lakers added DeMarcus Cousins and Quinn Cook, and kept Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee.

Orlando completed the signings of its top two free agents, Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross.

Indiana's sign-and-trade acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon from Milwaukee was completed.

"Having started on the team with the best record in the NBA last year, we value the leadership he'll bring to our team, as well as his great ability to play multiple positions," Pacers Kevin Pritchard said.

Forward Davis Bertans has been traded to the Washington Wizards by San Antonio, as part of a three-team deal that allowed the Spurs to acquire DeMarre Carroll from the Brooklyn Nets.

Associated Graphic

Raptors starters Kawhi Leonard, above, and Danny Green have signed with separate LA. teams.

BEN MARGOT/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


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Officiating snafu only sweetens England's Cricket World Cup win
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By CATHAL KELLY
  
  

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B11

BELFAST

Everyone is coming around to the idea that Sunday's Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand was the greatest match of all time.

Once that's done, they can decide whether it was turned by the greatest officiating error in cricket history.

Start to finish, the whole encounter was unusual. First, England won, which never happens.

How it won was also a wonder. In the final moments, England needed nine runs from three deliveries in order to tie it. That's a tough ask.

The English batsman, Ben Stokes, knocked a hard-hit line drive in the vicinity of a New Zealand fielder. Under normal circumstances, Stokes and his batting partner would not have attempted two passes between the wickets. The risk of being thrown out was too great. But given the situation, they pushed their luck.

A barrelling Stokes leapt headfirst toward the wicket as the throw came in. His bat was held out in front of him.

The ball hit the bat and caromed toward the boundary ringing the ground. There was no question of this being done on purpose. Stokes's back was turned to the throw as it came in.

At this point, the elaborate courtesy of cricket comes into play. Stokes had taken an unfair advantage, however inadvertently. In replays, you can see him rise to his feet with his hands held out pleadingly, already seeking forgiveness.

By rule, the error is on the thrower. But the batsman knows he has done wrong. He could continue running, but the shame would mark him forever. So neither Stokes nor his partner, Adil Rashid, budged.

However, since the ball was not stopped before it struck the boundary, a penalty was automatically assessed. Four runs for the error and two for the runs themselves, for a total of six (the equivalent score of cricket's version of the home run).

England went on to tie the game. It won in what's called a super over. Cue national hysteria.

The joy in victory was made sweeter by the bizarro nature of the comeback. For the first time since 1966, sporting fortune had shone on England.

Perhaps more so than it had initially thought.

On Monday, here comes galactic party-pooper Simon Taufel.

Taufel, an Australian, is widely considered the best umpire of the most recent era.

According to Taufel, a critical oversight was made. Despite his leap, Stokes had not yet crossed the line when the ball arrived, and so had not technically scored. Instant replay was conclusive in this regard.

By cricket standards (and, as you can probably tell from the above, I am no expert), this is apparently an extraordinary chain of events. It gets you into some Talmudic interpretation of the laws of the game.

I could quote the relevant rule here, but if you are not a deep adherent, it would make about as much sense to you as a Sanskrit mortgage application.

Add in that all this interpretation had to be done in real time, on the sport's brightest stage, whilst under crushing pressure to get it right. That's precisely when things tend to go wrong.

Understandable then, that the officials got it wrong. No one else noticed either. Not until Taufel weighed in on Monday.

"It was a clear mistake," he told an Australian Fox affiliate. "[England] should have been awarded five runs, not six."

As they say around the tea cart at Lord's Cricket Ground of a Sunday: Oh dear.

There are two ways of looking at this.

There is the sports nut way - rules is rules; this trophy is besmirched; decent people wouldn't touch it with gloves on; England ought to apologize; the umpires should be sacked, never allowed to work again and forced to wander the Earth until they die.

Then there is the real-life way.

In theory, sports are a wonderful fantasyland in which merit trumps all else. The most gifted and hardest working win in the end. The scoreboard does not lie.

But, y'know, of course it does.

Not in terms of whole numbers, but in the sense of conveying the essence of what happened.

For all their talk to the contrary, sports cannot but be bound by the base considerations of human existence. People cheat, they lie and they get things horribly wrong. Sometimes all three at once. Just like the people you know (or are) do.

That's why we like sports. Because they are normal life, only more. The morality is amplified and simplified - my side (Good) versus your side (Evil). There are clear rules bounding this fight, rules we often don't have in our day to day (which is why most of us are so confused all the time).

The role of the officials in this Manichaean battle is not to get things right (booooring), but every once in a while to get things wrong. That's where chaos exists, tilting momentum away from good and toward evil, or vice versa.

This happens nightly in games that do not matter and we discuss it far more than the games themselves. Because great feats are foreign to us plebes, but great screwups we know about. We have many strong opinions on people who get things wrong for a living.

But on this stage? At this point? Turning this result? This isn't an error. It's the Mardi Gras of debating points. They'll be talking about this in the cricket world until the sun explodes.

In the full context of his remarks, the delightful troublemaker at the heart of this gave us the way out.

While pointing out the mistake, Taufel also said the officials at the match were not to blame, considering they did not get the benefit of replay.

And who knows what would have happened in those last two deliveries had England needed four instead of three? And what might then have happened at any point after that? If you undo that call, you put yourself in butterflies-and-hurricanes territory.

Now we'll have to see if anybody kicks up a fuss. Given that cricket is the last true, stiff-upperlip game being played, that's doubtful.

The real-life way is best. Let us concede that matters were affected by history's least blameworthy, most game-changing refereeing gaffe. And then move on.

For me, this twist only adds to the lustre of the occasion. Because now that final didn't just contain within it most of what makes sport great. It held it all.

Associated Graphic

English batsman Ben Stokes dives forward to make his ground and score a now-controversial six runs in the Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Sunday.

ALASTAIR GRANT/AP


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FIVE MINUTES TO SHOWTIME
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A million people a year visit the Calgary Stampede. Every day, often several times a day, performers rush to get ready to face the crowds. Photojournalist Todd Korol goes behind the scenes to look at the time-consuming and time-honoured traditions of 'The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth'
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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page S2

CALGARY -- Satori Slipchuk sits on a set of steps just off the main rodeo stage at the Calgary Stampede. Slowly, with her brass mellophone tucked under her arms, she runs an ice cube back and forth across her lips. It's not hot outside, but the 17-year-old is seeking relief from playing her instrument non-stop. Out of the eyes of the public, Slipchuck starts to prepare for another show. It's five minutes to showtime.

Behind-the-scene images play out every hour and every day across the Calgary Stampede, billed as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" and now in its 107th year. If there was ever a place where the famous stage phrase was appropriate, this would be the place.

The Stampede, which ends Sunday, has hundreds of shows and performances by a variety of performers for the more than one million people who walk through the gates every year in Calgary.

Flint Rasmussen is perhaps the world's most famous rodeo clown in the sport of bull riding.

He performs all over North America and is a yearly fixture at the Stampede. Backstage in a small locker room, with a "bull fighters" sign hung on the door, Rasmussen pulls out face makeup and starts the transformation into a rodeo clown.

"After 20 years of doing this, it's still a thrill, every day," Rasmussen says. "The Stampede is the one event you don't have to explain to people what or where you are going. When you say 'Stampede,' everyone knows."

Once Rasmussen enters his dressing room, routine comes into play. A Canadian flag is stuck under his right eye and a U.S. flag under his left. Makeup is applied in the same steps, time and time again. He sits in the same place, dresses the same way and puts on his microphone. After a final check, he enters the arena right before showtime.

"I always walk into the arena from the chutes, and there is always a little pause as I look around. I understand where I am.

There are few places better than here."

Miss Rodeo Canada, Jaden Holle, sprays a little hairspray on the long brunette curls tucked under her white cowboy hat, adorned with a crown. The 25year-old started to get ready at home, several hours early. But a little alone time right before meeting people is always welcome.

Holle does hundreds of appearances a year as Miss Rodeo Canada, but the Stampede holds a special place for her, as she was also a Stampede Princess the year before.

Being Miss Rodeo Canada comes with the responsibility of presenting yourself in a certain way, and five minutes to showtime applies to Holle multiple times a day.

"I think it's a great honour to represent rodeo, and to do it here at the Stampede, which is known all over the world. For me, it's being an ambassador for the sport of rodeo, but more importantly being a role model for young people and to promote our Western Culture that I love," Holle said.

Bareback bronc rider Ty Taypotat scrolls through music on his phone. He sits at the end of a long bench in a room filled with cowboys all getting ready to compete, all looking for that elusive $100,000 winning cheque from the Stampede. Stories fly off the walls as cowboys talk about horses and bulls they have drawn to ride.

But as the time ticks closer to his entrance, Taypotat gets quiet and pulls out a roll of white tape.

Slowly, methodically, he starts to tape his left arm, an arm with a bicep as large as a junior steer rider's waist. Starting at the wrist, he works the roll of tape tight, one of approximately 150,000 yards of tape rodeo cowboys will use in Canada this season.

Away from the screaming fans and crashing gates, Taypotat is focused on the horse he has drawn, Yipee Kibitz, and is lost in the arm-taping routine performed before every ride. The power of a bronc can rip a man's arm right out its socket, and Taypotat's arm is now finished, looking like a white cast. He slips his shirt on and smiles.

"It's go time."

Associated Graphic

Seeking a brief reprieve, mellophone player Satori Slipchuk ices her lips before taking the stage to play at the rodeo during the Calgary Stampede.

With a Canadian-flag sticker under his right eye and an American flag under the left, rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen applies his makeup before a performance last Saturday. A 20-year veteran of the Stampede, Rasmussen's preparation has become routine.

Angie Gallego from Peru and friends fix their regalia before marching in the Stampede parade. For Gallego and participants from other countries, the procession offers an opportunity to showcase their culture for Western Canada and the world.

Gail Cummings rolls up a Canadian flag for a ranch girl before the rodeo's grand entry. Cummings has been involved in the Stampede since the mid-1980s. Starting out riding in the rodeo as a ranch girl, she now runs the team.

DJ Smith from Piikani Nation paints one of the race horses for the Indian relay race during the Stampede on Monday. For the Blackwater and the Piikani, the paint tells a story. The white spots are hail and the long white and pink lines represent lightning. The Indian relay races involve one rider racing bareback around the track and changing horses twice.

Bareback bronc rider Ty Taypotat wraps his arm in tape before the rodeo. Taypotat comes from a rodeo family. His father Curtis was a tie-down roper and his grandfather Louis, the long-standing chief of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation, helped start the Prairie Indian Rodeo Association and used to compete in the rodeo himself.

Miss Rodeo Canada Jaden Holle touches up her lip gloss ahead of another performance. Holle starts her preparations at home a few hours before arriving.

Flint Lucas of Claresholm, Alta., gets ready to show his Percheron horse in the men's cart horse show.


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After horse deaths, Stampede to review chuckwagon races
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By MARTY KLINKENBERG
  
  

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – Page B9

Rocked by the deaths of six horses last week, the Calgary Stampede has agreed to a fresh assessment of the safety of chuckwagon racing.

Warren Connell, the Stampede's chief executive officer, said Tuesday that the organization examines each of its rodeo disciplines each year, but on this occasion chuckwagons will be more heavily scrutinized.

"The biggest difference is that we are undertaking a thorough review of everything," Connell said. "We are going to look at all of the practices associated with the Rangeland Derby. We don't have any preconceived notions of what the outcome will be. We are open to absolutely everything that comes out of it."

Three chuckwagon horses were euthanized after they sustained injuries during Sunday night's final round of the Rangeland Derby. Two were put down after being hurt during preliminary events earlier in the week and one died from a heart attack. A handful more were injured.

"Our whole organization is pretty much deeply saddened," Connell said.

The sport has long been opposed by animal-rights groups that believe it too dangerous. Stampede officials made modifications to the track following an incident in 2007 in which three horses died and a driver was hospitalized.

Four died in 2009, six in 2010 and four were euthanized in 2015 after suffering leg injuries.

Races are contested with chuckwagon teams of drivers and horses completing a figure eight around two barrels and then dashing in close quarters down a half-mile track. The sport's history can be traced back to the Stampede in 1923. Each race typically involves three or four teams and begins with outriders tossing two tent poles and a barrel representing a camp stove into the back of each wagon.

There are two major racing circuits with events mostly in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The prize money offered for chuckwagon racing at the Stampede this year was $1.45-million, by far the most in the sport. The Rangeland Derby is staged over nine days and draws sellout crowds of 20,000 people each night.

Connell called the chuckwagon races "part of the fabric" of the Stampede, but said it "clearly needs a review" after the deaths of six horses.

"Like with every sport, we have people who support it and others that don't," he said. "The Stampede is committed deeply to the safety of the animals and it is embedded in the culture of our organization.

"We try to control the variables to the best of our ability, but despite our best efforts there is an element of unpredictability and injuries can occur.

"It is a reality."

The Stampede's Chuckwagon Safety Commission, formed 12 years ago, took the step of disqualifying a driver from the Rangeland Derby for the first time last week as the result of a safety infraction during Thursday's races.

Chad Harden was also fined $10,000 for causing an accident that race judges and the safety commission deemed avoidable. Officials found that Harden impeded a wagon driven by Danny Ringuette, which in turn caused it to collide with a team of horses driven by Evan Salmond. One of Salmond's horses died and three were injured.

Harden was also ordered to pay $10,000 to Salmond for the cost of the horse that died. Harden is currently banned from competing again at the Stampede, although there is possibly a route for him to be reinstated.

Salmond, a 38-year-old from Hudson Bay, Sask., also had three horses die as a result of Sunday night's incident. According to a news release issued by the Stampede, his right lead horse sustained a fractured left hind cannon bone while running. As a result of that, two other horses on the team sustained injuries. Veterinarians examined all three immediately on the track and found there was no option for treatment.

Salmond, who has raced for six years within the World Professional Chuckwagon Association, declined to be interviewed for this story. He said he was deeply grieving the deaths of all four horses.

The Calgary Police Service said any investigation into animal cruelty would have to show criminal intent and thus did not consider pursuing charges in any of the horses' deaths.

In an e-mail, Brad Nichols, the senior manager in charge of animal cruelty investigations for the Calgary Humane Society, said each death was assessed on a case-by-case basis.

He found that the incident involving Harden warranted a preliminary investigation because it was caused by driver interference. After consulting with the Crown Prosecutor, however, he said it was decided not to pursue charges because even the provoked incident likely did not contravene Alberta's Animal Protection Act.

The Calgary Humane Society has previously asked the Stampede to stop high-risk rodeo and chuckwagon events, Nichols said.

Ed Wittchen, the president of the Alberta-based World Professional Chuckwagon Association, said consultation has begun between his organization and Stampede officials.

"I am sure that Calgary will be sitting down with us to discuss if there are things we could prevent," Wittchen said.

Dennis Ringuette, the head of the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association, likewise expects to participate in a safety review. The drivers for the Rangeland Derby are drawn from both circuits. There are fewer than 100 chuckwagon drivers in Canada.

"Perhaps there are a few things that can be done," Ringuette, who is based in Saskatchewan, said. "We always welcome the discussion."

Associated Graphic

The president of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association says talks have begun with Stampede officials on race safety.

JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Trade deadline looms as MLB begins second half
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With the Yankees and Dodgers clear standouts and waivers a thing of the past, teams face some tough choices before July's end
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By JAY COHEN
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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B12

CHICAGO -- Francisco Lindor and Cleveland, looking up at Nelson Cruz and the surprising Minnesota Twins. Matt Chapman and the Oakland Athletics, trying to run down Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros. Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals, chasing Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves.

Baseball ramps up again this weekend, and a handful of contenders have a lot of work to do.

Five of the majors' six divisions feature deficits of at least 51/2 games as play resumes after the All-Star Game, in which the American League beat the National League 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Life is pretty good for two iconic franchises, with Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers in control of the NL West again and Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees looking down on the rest of the AL East despite a rash of injuries.

"This team is capable of some great things," Yankees pitcher James Paxton said. "You've got some really talented players here, guys with a lot of drive, great leadership. We're set up really well to make a good run the second half here as well."

The one exception at the moment is the crazy NL Central, where the Chicago Cubs have a 41/2-game advantage - over lastplace Cincinnati. Yup, that's right, it's just 41/2 games from top to bottom, with Christian Yelich and Milwaukee a half-game back of Javier Baez and the inconsistent Cubbies.

"Nobody really wants to run away with it," Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong said. "That gives us confidence as a group to think that we can run away with it."

It sets up for some very tough decisions ahead of the trade deadline after trade waivers were eliminated in the off-season, meaning no player can be traded after July 31 through the end of the regular season.

Players who clear outright waivers can still be claimed and will be eligible for the postseason if they are in the organization before Sept. 1.

Buying or selling will be one tricky call for several teams, all the way to the final days of July.

The hard deadline also could affect the prices for some of the top players on the market, possibilities such as San Francisco pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith, Toronto righthander Marcus Stroman and Detroit lefty Matthew Boyd.

"I know something could happen, but I don't take a peek at what people are saying," Smith said. "There's so much out there, and you don't know what's true."

Cleveland could inject some drama into the AL Central as soon as this weekend, when Minnesota comes to town for a three-game series. The Indians hit the all-star break with the majors' longest active win streak at six in a row, improving to 21-6 since June 1 and moving within 51/2 games of the division-leading Twins.

"In the beginning, it seemed like we were good. Then, all of a sudden in May, we had that stretch where we weren't playing as good as we wanted to play," Lindor said. "But right now, we continue to play the game right and we're enjoying it, we're all having fun. We all get along, we love each other, we back each other up. We're having a blast."

Washington is also having some fun again, moving into position to shake up the NL East after a terrible start to the season. Led by a resurgent Scherzer, the Nationals have won 15 of 19 to pull within six games of the division-leading Braves.

Washington plays Atlanta 14 times in the last half of the season, including seven games in July.

"When we can go out there and play our best baseball and play mistake-free baseball, we're a tough team and we can compete with anybody in this league," Scherzer said.

The Nationals have seven players with at least 11 homers, led by Anthony Rendon with 20.

But everyone is going deep these days.

Beginning with Thursday night's Astros-Rangers game in Arlington, Tex., the game's top sluggers resume their assault on an array of home run records.

Yelich leads the way with 31 so far, putting together an appropriate encore to his NL MVP performance a year ago.

The majors are on pace for 6,668 homers, which would smash the record 6,105 hit in 2017, and the real heat of the summer, when hits pick up, is only just beginning.

"Guys are working year in and year out on their swings," Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Bell said during the all-star break.

"We're just focused on trying to put a show on for you guys."

The show is on once again.

Associated Graphic

Trading players will be a tough call for some teams, right up to the deadline. This year's cutoff could affect the prices of some top players on the market, such as Toronto's Marcus Stroman.

JON BLACKER/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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'This is my town': Hinchcliffe eyes first-place finish at Indy Toronto
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By LORI EWING
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B11

TORONTO -- When it was James Hinchcliffe's turn to speak among the panel of IndyCar drivers at Thursday's opening news conference, emcee Michael Young jokingly skipped right past the Canadian.

"James Hinchcliffe, thanks for joining us. And now we meet Simon Pagenaud," Young said, tongue in cheek.

"You can say what you want man, this is my town," Hinchcliffe fired back with a laugh.

The good-natured jab was a highlight of an entertaining news conference and underlined Hinchcliffe's star status in Toronto. The 32-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has never won the Honda Indy Toronto. But he's the headliner just the same.

"It's always incredible to come back here to Toronto and get to race around basically my backyard," Hinchcliffe said. "This is the race that made me fall in love with IndyCar racing as a kid and made me want to be an IndyCar driver."

The IndyCar championship battle heats up on the streets of Toronto as the Series returns from a three-week hiatus.

Hinchcliffe has never won on his home track, but has been solid the past three seasons, with two third-place finishes, and no finish lower than fourth.

While Hinchcliffe is pulled every which way, from charity appearances to media interviews, when he arrives in town, the Canadian always feels privileged to be able to race in front of a home crowd.

"So many of the guys sitting up here don't get races in even their home country," Hinchcliffe said.

New Zealander Scott Dixon, who's won three times in Toronto including last season, said he feels somewhat at home.

"I guess it's the closest thing to a home race for me, being part of the Commonwealth," he said. "I'll take that. I don't get the cheers, obviously, that Hinch does."

Does Hinchcliffe feel more pressure racing at home?

"I think athletes put so much pressure on themselves to perform, so we could be in Toronto or Tahiti, I want to win the race," said Hinchcliffe, who's ninth in the IndyCar Series standings with five top-10 finishes. "What it really means here is the emotion behind it. If you have a bad day ontrack, it feels a lot worse. If you have a good day on-track, man, it feels a whole lot better, too."

Hinchcliffe has fond memories of watching the race that snakes around Toronto's Exhibition Place. His lifelong ties to the event certainly aren't lost on him.

"You stand there in pit lane and you look across Turn 9 and Turn 10 and see everybody, I remember being there as a kid, I grew up here, literally here, on these grounds, this was my favourite week of the year as a kid," he said.

"To come back and be on the other side of the fence is amazing."

Pagenaud, seated next to Hinchcliffe, took his turn to poke some fun at the Canadian on Thursday as well. The Frenchman wore a gold ring the size of an eyeball, a prize for winning the Indy 500 in May. The gaudy ring was tough to miss.

"It's very subtle," Hinchcliffe joked as Pagenaud flashed his ring at the Canadian.

"I'm just going to stick it in his face like that the whole day," Pagenaud laughed. "If you're not proud to wear this, then you've got a problem."

Pagenaud said Toronto's road course, which is notoriously bumpy, is one of his favourites.

"It's very difficult to get right, there's always a lot of action in the race, you never know who's going to win," said Pagenaud, who's third in the series' standings.

Dixon's three victories in Toronto included back-to-back wins in 2013. When Dixon was asked about the secret to his success in Toronto, Hinchcliffe pulled out an imaginary notepad and pretended to take notes.

"Yeah, tell us," Hinchcliffe grinned.

"It's a good question," said Dixon, who's fourth in the standings.

"It's [a track] that suits my driving style, it's quite short, it's quite aggressive."

Three days before the drivers go head to head in Sunday's race, they were asked about their obvious camaraderie.

"IndyCar is a big family," Hinchcliffe said. "At the end of the day, we're out there on the track, we're risking our lives, our lives are in each other's hands in a lot of ways. Yeah, you're going to have grudges, you're going to have bad days with certain guys. You're going to get into it with everybody at some point. But you have to be able to let that stuff go.

Associated Graphic

A mechanic works on a vehicle at the Honda Indy Toronto on Thursday. Canada's James Hinchcliffe says he has fond memories of watching the event at Exhibition Place.

ANDREW LAHODYNSKYJ/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Federer, Serena advance as Kerber falls
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Unheralded American Davis, who entered the tournament as a lucky loser, pulls off surprise upset of the women's defending champion
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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B10

LONDON -- Eight-time men's champion Roger Federer and seven-time women's champion Serena Williams moved into the third round at Wimbledon.

Defending women's champion Angelique Kerber went out in the second.

Federer advanced as expected on Thursday, beating wild-card entry Jay Clarke 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2 on No. 1 Court. Williams had a bit of a tougher time at the same stadium, needing to come back to beat Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

But unseeded American Lauren Davis pulled off the unexpected, defeating Kerber 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 on No. 2 Court.

"I told myself, 'You're strong, you can do it, you belong here,' " said Davis, who only entered the tournament as a lucky loser.

Kerber beat Williams in last year's final. Federer won his eighth title at the All England Club in 2017 and was eliminated in the quarter-finals last year.

Despite his pedigree at Wimbledon, Federer played his British opponent on the second-biggest court on the grounds instead of his usual spot on Centre Court.

Williams played her match with good friend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, watching from the stands. She had a chance to serve out the match at 5-2 in the third, but was broken. She made no mistakes on her second attempt, however, converting her first match point with an ace.

"I play best when I'm down sometimes," Williams said. "I'm just a fighter and never give up."

If the pressure is getting to Ashleigh Barty at Wimbledon, she's doing a great job of hiding it.

The top-ranked Australian came into the grass-court Grand Slam tournament after winning the French Open and a Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham, England. And she's now won two in a row at the All England Club to reach the third round and stretch her winning streak to 14 straight.

Barty beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-3, needing only 55 minutes on No. 2 Court to advance. And it could have been even quicker but she failed to serve out the match at 5-2 in the second set - the only time she was broken.

"Pretty sharp right from the start," the top-seeded Barty said.

"I was able to implement what I wanted to right away and put the pressure straight back on her."

Barty is playing her first tournament as No. 1, but has never been past the third round at Wimbledon. She will next face Harriet Dart, a British wild-card entry making her second appearance at Wimbledon.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, No. 9 Sloane Stephens and No. 15 Wang Qiang also advanced to third round.

Kvitova beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-2, Stephens defeated Wang Yafan 6-0, 6-2 and Wang ousted Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 6-2.

Sam Querrey, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2017, reached the third round in the men's draw.

The unseeded American defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Later, all eyes were on the marquee matchup between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios.

Nadal emerged from the tumult to beat Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) in a second-round Wimbledon match boasting all manner of dramatics, doses of animosity and delightful play.

Later, Andy Murray showed that his days of gracing Wimbledon show courts were not behind him as he returned to the All England Club in the men's doubles on Thursday and eased into the second round with French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Murray, who had a hip-resurfacing operation in February, having announced his probable retirement from the sport, has won 45 singles titles, including three Grand Slams, but the Scot is a relative novice in the doubles tournaments.

Without the hullabaloo that will accompany his mixed-doubles partnership with Serena Williams, which is scheduled to get under way on Friday, he and Herbert made a solid start to their campaign, beating Ugo Humbert and Marius Copil 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, WITH A REPORT FROM REUTERS

Associated Graphic

Above: Unseeded American Lauren Davis chases a shot from defending tournament champion Angelique Kerber of Germany during their second-round match at Wimbledon on Thursday in London. BEN CURTIS/AP

Left: True to form and expectations, Switzerland's Roger Federer advanced to the tournament's third round with a win over wild-card Jay Clarke.

TIM IRELAND/AP


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TFC stays hot with win over Red Bulls
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Altidore, Pozuelo and Morgan score as Toronto continues to find its feet after a poor first half to the season
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By NEIL DAVIDSON
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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B13

TORONTO -- Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo scored as Toronto FC continued its resurgence with a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in MLS play Wednesday.

The Red Bulls cut the lead to 2-1 through Tom Barlow in the 63rd minute and the momentum seemed to be shifting the visitor's way. But a mix-up between New York goalkeeper Luis Robles and a defender in the 72nd minute - with both trying to get to a probing Altidore pass - left substitute Ashtone Morgan with an open goal.

The Canadian fullback, in the right place at the right time, scored just his second goal in 123 regular-season outings.

The nine-year TFC veteran scored his only other in 2017.

The victory was another step in the right direction for a Toronto team (8-8-5) finding its feet after a poor first half to the season. While just 3-7-4 over its 14 previous matches, it has now only lost once in its past five outings (3-1-1).

A healthy roster and a few additions are helping turn the tide, as are timely goals and a fortified defence. Toronto, while still prone to some sloppiness, is showing a little swagger on the ball.

The Red Bulls (9-8-4) did not go down easy, however, with Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg making some big saves - some needed after loose TFC play.

New York outshot Toronto 11-6 (5-2 in shots on target) in the first half but found itself trailing 2-0. And the Red Bulls kept coming in the second half.

The announced crowd of 24,462 at BMO Field held its breath as Pozuelo went down in the 60th minute, his ankle bending at a painful angle after being kicked in the back of the leg by Derrick Etienne. The Spanish playmaker was promptly replaced but managed to walk off.

It was 25 degrees at kickoff, with the temperature said to feel like 34.

The home side came out firing on all cylinders and Altidore put Toronto ahead with a exquisite goal in the sixth minute.

The U.S. international, with his back to goal, managed to backheel a fine Tsubasa Endoh cross low off the goalpost past a diving Robles for a goal with a considerable degree of difficulty.

The goal, Altidore's seventh in 11 games this season, capped a 10-pass sequence that started with Westberg.

Pozuelo made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Kemar Lawrence brought down Richie Laryea in the penalty box. It was the Spaniard's ninth of the campaign.

Barlow scored after Etienne, having the better of Michael Bradley, fed the Red Bulls forward for an easy tap-in.

Barlow lost defender Laurent Ciman on the play.

Toronto, which started the evening holding down the seventh and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, is embarking on a key part of the schedule with eight straight games against East rivals after Saturday's visit by the Houston Dynamo.

New York came into the game 8-3-2 in its previous 13 outings and had lost just once in its past four games (2-1-1).

Both teams were coming off weekend derby victories, with Toronto winning 2-0 at Montreal and the Red Bulls edging visiting New York City FC 2-1.

Associated Graphic

TFC playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo falls to the BMO Field turf after being tripped up by New York Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr. on Wednesday. Pozuelo would later leave the match with an ankle injury after a tough challenge.

NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Like father, like son: Dad watches as Guerrero breaks derby record
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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B13

As Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put his impressive power on display during Monday night's home run derby, his Hall of Fame father was enjoying the show.

The elder Vladimir Guerrero, who won the 2007 version of the home run derby in San Francisco when his son was just eight years old, sent out a series of six tweets during the Monday night event in Cleveland, including one that read simply: "Big boy has power."

Quite the understatement.

The Blue Jays rookie hit a total of 91 homers over three rounds - needing three separate tiebreakers to get past Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson in the second - smashing the derby record in the process.

Guerrero Jr., who ultimately lost 23-22 in the final to New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso, beat Pederson 40-39 in the semifinals.

The two big swingers tied 29-29 in the initial four-minute round and 8-8 during 60 extra seconds. They each hit one during a three-swing tiebreaker and Guerrero Jr.

hit two in a second three-swing tiebreaker to finally win the round.

Guerrero Sr. responded to the tense second round by tweeting a GIF of Kermit the Frog biting his fingernails - no caption required.

When the derby was over, the former Montreal Expos star tweeted: "Great work son, I'm proud of you." He also shared a photo of his son from the derby on his Instagram account with the same caption.

Guerrero Sr. wasn't the only one to post his approval over Twitter on Monday night.

Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman, who was taking in the all-star festivities at Progressive Field and gave Guerrero Jr.

water bottles and Gatorade during his timeouts, called the spectacle "unreal."

"Beyond thankful I could witness in person," tweeted Stroman, who was named to his first all-star team, but won't pitch in Tuesday's game owing to an injury. "You're a legend young king! #VLADDYJR BlueJays."

Former Toronto outfielder Jesse Barfield, the first Blue Jays player to participate in a home run derby, also tweeted about Guerrero Jr. on Monday night.

"Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is unbelievable!!! WOW!!!" he said.

Barfield was the major-league leader in home runs with 40 in 1986, the same year he participated in the derby at Houston.

He belted out just two homers in that competition.

"I'm very excited about our future!" Barfield tweeted on Tuesday. "I know because we've been thru this also in the early 80s.

And it only gets better with experience.

And thank you Blue Jays fans for being patient and not giving up on these guys!"

Guerrero Jr. smashed out 29 home runs in the opening round of the derby against Oakland's Matt Chapman - breaking the old record of 28 set by Josh Hamilton in 2008. He reached 29 again in Round 2.

Guerrero's average home-run distance in Round 1 was 421.5 feet, with an average exit velocity of 168.6 kilometres an hour.

His third bomb was estimated at 476 feet.

Guerrero also hit the longest dinger of the night at 488 feet.

Associated Graphic

Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes a swing during the home run derby at Progressive Field on Monday in Cleveland. The rookie hit 29 home runs in the opening round, breaking the 2008 record, but lost the final to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

TONY DEJAK/AP


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An effervescent Alaphilippe takes Tour lead with Champagne win
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By JOHN LEICESTER
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B12

ÉPERNAY, FRANCE -- He was sweating, baked by the sun and burning through his energy reserves. But, under the intense pressure of being pursued by the chasing pack of riders at the Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe stayed as cool as a chilled glass of Champagne.

The French rider's sparkling and poised Stage 3 ride on Monday into Épernay, France - the Champagne town that exports bubbly worldwide - delivered the first stage victory for France at this Tour and the country's first yellow jersey since 2014, when Tony Gallopin held the race lead for one day.

The manner of Alaphilippe's win - surprising other pretenders for the stage victory with a devastating burst of speed on a sharp climb and then gritting his teeth as he rode solo to the finish - oozed what the French call "panache," or pure class.

He'd long targeted the stage, with its final section of sharp hills among the Champagne vineyards, as suiting his explosive strengths and executed his plan to perfection.

Cheered on by thick roadside crowds, Alaphilippe delivered the decisive blow on the Côte de Mutigny, the steepest of four notable hill climbs heading toward Épernay.

"I did exactly what I'd planned to do," he said. "When it works, you have to savour it."

Jumping out of the saddle to hammer on his pedals up the final part of the 12-per-cent incline, Alaphilippe caught other riders cold.

"A very strong attack. I was surprised," said Peter Sagan, the equally explosive Slovak who'd also been eyeing the stage.

But as the pack then reacted and laid chase, eating into his meagre lead of around half a minute, victory for Alaphilippe was by no means guaranteed.

Tongue lolling in the heat, the leader of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team kept his pursuers at bay for 16 long and lonely kilometres, speeding alone up Épernay's cobbled Champagne Avenue and heaving with sun-baked fans to the lung-busting uphill finish.

By the time he sped past a statue of Dom Pérignon, a monk who lent his name to James Bond's favourite brand of Champagne, it became clear Alaphilippe wouldn't be caught.

"Winning the stage in this manner is the most beautiful way to start this Tour," Alaphilippe said. "This opportunity offered itself up and I had to seize it."

He was overcome with emotion, barely able to speak through tears, at the prospect of slipping into the canary-yellow leader's jersey for the first time in his career. He took the race lead from Mike Teunissen, a Dutch sprinter who won it on Stage 1 and held it on Stage 2, but who wilted on Épernay's vineyard-covered hills.

It was Alaphilippe's first stage victory at this Tour and the third of his career. He also won two stages on the Tour last year.


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Regulator flagged Scotiabank's record-keeping at Puerto Rican unit
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By RITA TRICHUR
  
  

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Monday, July 8, 2019 – Page B1

Canada's banking regulator reprimanded Bank of Nova Scotia for inadequate record-keeping in its Puerto Rican operations, years before this country's thirdbiggest bank decided to sell its 109-yearold subsidiary at a loss.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) visited Scotiabank de Puerto Rico, the oldest foreign bank in the U.S. territory, to audit its commercial credit files in 2014, according to two people familiar with the matter. The sources were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about the regulator's review. This June, Scotiabank announced a deal to sell both its Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islands operations to Oriental Bank, as part of a broader risk-reduction strategy.

OSFI, which conducted its audit in three stages, determined that Scotiabank's documentation and background reviews of clients were unsatisfactory for its Puerto Rican commercial credit business, the sources said. The regulator found shortcomings in the subsidiary's internal controls because some of its files didn't match or were missing pertinent information, those people added. The bank's commercial-credit department provides business customers with loans and trade financing.

After its onsite examinations, OSFI sent a letter to Scotiabank's head office in Toronto outlining deficiencies in its Puerto Rican operations.

But OSFI's findings were disputed by the local banking watchdog in Puerto Rico, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), sparking a cross-jurisdictional conflict between Canadian and U.S. regulators, the sources said.

That regulatory clash was just one of a slew of challenges that Scotiabank faced while operating on the Caribbean island in recent years. Puerto Rico, which spiralled into a government debt crisis in 2015 and declared a form of bankruptcy in 2017, continues to struggle with fiscal reforms.

Compounding those problems, Puerto Rico is still rebuilding nearly two years after Hurricane Maria wiped out homes, businesses and basic infrastructure.

The island also remains rife with drug-trafficking and moneylaundering risks.

Scotiabank said on June 26 this year that it reached an agreement to sell its operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Oriental Bank, a subsidiary of OFG Bancorp. As a result, Scotiabank plans to record an after-tax loss of about $400million during its fiscal third quarter, an amount that could be reduced to $300-million to $360million after the deal closes.

Oriental Bank plans to expand the commercial-banking business in Puerto Rico after the acquisition, president, chief executive and vice-chairman Jose Rafael Fernandez told analysts on a June 27 conference call. A spokesman declined to comment on whether Oriental Bank was aware of OSFI's audit of Scotiabank's commercial operations in Puerto Rico.

"Scotiabank, as with all financial institutions, is subject to periodic reviews by its regulators, the contents of which are confidential in accordance with applicable regulations," spokesman Doug Johnson wrote in an emailed statement. "Scotiabank and its regulators maintain an open, transparent and ongoing relationship in all the jurisdictions in which we operate."

OSFI said it is prohibited from commenting on specific financial institutions, a view echoed by U.S. regulators. "The FDIC does not comment on open and operating banks," spokesman David Barr stated in an e-mail.

Although Canadian and U.S.

banking regulators share information with each other, turf wars do occur when banks seek growth outside their home markets. In this case, OSFI and the FDIC disagreed on how Scotiabank de Puerto Rico ought to maintain its commercial files, the sources said.

About half of the subsidiary's files were in Spanish, but OSFI failed to send properly trained staff who were proficient in that language, one of those people said.

"OSFI has the appropriate resources including the necessary language support to pursue its supervisory obligations," spokesman Gilbert Le Gras wrote in a statement.

"In addition, OSFI has productive working relationships with our regulatory peers around the globe, and before performing supervisory reviews in other jurisdictions OSFI informs host regulators and provides notice, timelines and scope for the review," Mr. Le Gras added. For its part, the FDIC declined to answer questions about its dispute with OSFI.

While the FDIC took the view that OSFI was being overly zealous during its review of Scotiabank de Puerto Rico, the Canadian regulator flagged a number of problems in its audit, the sources said.

For instance, OSFI found inconsistencies between banking files (documents prepared by staff in charge of client relationships) and the subsidiary's credit files (paperwork maintained by the credit department's staff). In some cases, the regulator found that banking staff had failed to share records with the credit department. As a result, the credit department had information gaps in its files.

OSFI takes such documentation discrepancies seriously because they can reveal problems with a bank's due diligence on credit decisions, its compliance with know-your-client rules and other potential weaknesses with internal controls designed to catch fraud, money laundering and mitigate other reputational risks.

As part of its assessment, OSFI scrutinized Scotiabank's own internal audit of its Puerto Rican operations, the sources said.

After completing its audit of Scotiabank de Puerto Rico, OSFI informed the bank that it would conduct a similar sweep of its commercial files in Mexico, the sources said. Scotiabank Mexico is the bank's largest foreign subsidiary.

In preparation for the regulator's visit, the bank spent about six months vetting its Mexican subsidiary's commercial files to ensure that they would be in pristine condition for OSFI, one of the people said. Both OSFI and Scotiabank declined comment on the Mexican audit.

Scotiabank's planned sale of its operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is part of CEO Brian Porter's broader strategy to remove risk from the bank, while increasing its focus on core international markets of Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

"Bank of Nova Scotia's announced exit from Puerto Rico benefits the Canadian bank's risk profile and capital position," Fitch Ratings wrote in a research note.

The proposed transaction marks the third time in about seven months that Scotiabank has announced divestitures in the Caribbean. In November, 2018, the bank announced plans to sell its insurance subsidiaries in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and a separate deal to sell its banking operations in nine other countries. Scotiabank said it made the decision to sell those assets because of "increasing regulatory complexity" and the associated compliance costs. The following month, Scotiabank announced the sale of its pension and insurance operations in the Dominican Republic.

Other Canadian banks have also reduced their exposure to the Caribbean in recent years. In 2014, Royal Bank of Canada sold its Jamaican operations at a loss.

RBC would later shutter its wealth-management business in the Caribbean owing to moneylaundering risks.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, meanwhile, tried but failed to jettison part of its stake in FirstCaribbean bank. Last year, CIBC nixed plans for an initial public offering of that subsidiary in the United States.


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Chevron seeks to revive Kitimat LNG with plans for electric plant
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By BRENT JANG
  
  

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Monday, July 15, 2019 – Page B1

VANCOUVER -- Chevron Corp. has submitted a revised plan to regulators to build a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from northern British Columbia, hoping to start construction by 2023.

California-based Chevron, through Chevron Canada Ltd., wants to revive the much-delayed Kitimat LNG project that it coowns with Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd. New designs for the export terminal promote electric-motor technology in a bid to comply with British Columbia's clampdown on carbon emissions.

Various owners have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into site preparation near Kitimat, but the project been stalled for the past couple of years. Chevron and Woodside are now pursuing "an all-electric plant powered by clean, renewable hydroelectricity from BC Hydro," Chevron regulatory manager Darcy Janko said in a letter last week to the B.C.

Environmental Assessment Office.

Mr. Janko said the electric drive "features an advanced compact module design, with lower LNG storage requirements."

In 2014, there were more than 20 B.C. LNG proposals vying to be the first out of the gates.

Despite much hype from the previous BC Liberal government, only the Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led LNG Canada consortium is constructing a terminal to export the fuel to Asia.

The Chevron-Woodside site is at Bish Cove, located on Haisla Nation reserve land near Kitimat.

LNG Canada's terminal is being built on a Kitimat industrial site that is located on the Haisla's traditional territory.

While the BC NDP government supports LNG Canada, the province has discouraged any new LNG projects in an effort to meet provincial climate targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Chevron-led Kitimat LNG, also known as KLNG, said in a 186page filing to B.C. and federal regulators that it would operate at a level below British Columbia's limit for "emissions intensity" of 0.16 carbon-dioxide equivalent tonnes for each tonne of LNG produced.

"The KLNG plant will outperform current best-in-class global LNG plants and the more stringent government of B.C.'s LNG intensity benchmark," according to the submission. "The KLNG expansion project will utilize electric-motor-drive technology for all liquefaction process and utility compressors, pumps and fans, and will purchase power from BC Hydro."

The filing said that Kitimat LNG staff made changes resulting in "substantial reductions in LNG unit costs, execution risk and emissions, and more effective utilization of the Bish Cove site." Chevron and Woodside plan to make a final investment decision in 2022-23, with the goal to complete construction of the first phase by 2029.

Shell-led LNG Canada will use natural gas in the liquefaction process in which high-efficiency General Electric LMS100 turbines supercool gas into liquid form, while relying on hydroelectricity for a supporting role, including auxiliary power.

LNG Canada is aiming for 0.15 carbon-dioxide equivalent tonnes for each tonne of LNG produced. Last month, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed that Ottawa will contribute $220-million toward the gas turbines through the Strategic Innovation Fund. LNG Canada plans to begin exports by early 2025.

Kitimat LNG originally targeted having an export capacity of 10 million tonnes a year of LNG.

The revised plan calls for the first phase to have a capacity of 12 million tonnes a year, followed by further expansion that would increase the total to 18 million tonnes a year.

The first phase would have two "trains," or separate LNG cooling processes, which turn natural gas into a liquid for eventual export. Each train is being designed to handle six million tonnes a year of LNG exports to Asia.

One small-scale B.C. proposal, Woodfibre LNG near Squamish, is considered by industry experts to be viable in the short term.

Woodfibre plans to export 2.1 million tonnes a year.

Kitimat LNG, which received an export licence from the National Energy Board in 2011, has gone through a series of ownership changes. In 2015, Woodside bought a 50-per-cent stake in the project from Houston-based Apache Corp.

The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office has requested to take the lead in the review of the expanded proposal, and co-ordinate with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), which must first determine whether a federal assessment is required.

If federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna approves the provincial regulator taking the lead, "British Columbia also commits to provide an assessment report and aboriginal consultation record," Kevin Jardine, associate deputy minister for the B.C. environmental office, said in a letter dated July 10 to CEAA president Ron Hallman.

Mr. Hallman and Ms. McKenna have not filed responses yet.

Kitimat LNG's proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline would transport natural gas from the Summit Lake area in the B.C. Interior to the export site at Bish Cove.

Part of Pacific Trail's route would go through the Wet'suwet'en Nation's unceded territory.

Seven Wet'suwet'en hereditary house chiefs have led a campaign to oppose TC Energy Corp.'s Coastal GasLink, which is being constructed to carry natural gas from northeast B.C. to LNG Canada's Kitimat site.

Those hereditary chiefs also oppose Pacific Trail, but Kitimat LNG said 16 elected band councils along the route support the pipeline venture.

Associated Graphic

Chevron and Woodside Petroleum plan to build their export terminal for liquefied natural gas at Bish Cove, above, which is located on Haisla Nation reserve land near Kitimat B.C.

AMBER BRACKEN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


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Foreign buyers retreat from Vancouver housing
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International purchases, real estate prices drop in spring of 2019, three years after B.C. introduced tax to cool market
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By BRENT JANG
  
  

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Page B1

VANCOUVER -- Foreign buying has dropped dramatically in the Vancouver region's real estate market three years after British Columbia introduced a tax that targets international purchases, a policy move that has helped drive down prices.

International buying of real estate decreased to 2.5 per cent of total residential sales in the Vancouver area in the March-to-May period of 2019, down from 13.2 per cent in the early summer of 2016, according to statistics compiled by the B.C. Finance Ministry.

In real numbers, only 261 sales involved foreign purchasers over March, April and May this year, compared with 1,974 over the 2016 period.

In August, 2016, the previous BC Liberal government introduced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in the Vancouver area.

The BC NDP government raised the foreign-buyers tax to 20 per cent in February, 2018, and also expanded the tax to other urban markets in the province.

The proportion of foreign buying in the region has gone from roughly one in every eight transactions before the tax, to one in every 60 this May.

"The market previously was not being kept afloat by local fundamentals but was rather being inflated due to outside sources of money from abroad," Josh Gordon, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Public Policy, said in an interview.

There has been a trend of international buyers avoiding B.C. over the past three years, but the retreat has been uneven. For example, purchases by people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents accounted for less than 2 per cent of total residential sales in September, 2016, but rose to 4.2 per cent in December, 2017, and ascended to 5 per cent in February, 2018, before resuming a downward pattern.

Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University's city program, said the latest statistics show the dramatic impact that public policy can have on the free market. "It isn't just about letting the mechanisms of the housing market play out," Mr. Yan said in an interview on Monday. "The foreignbuyers tax is an example of demand-side policy that was needed. You can see this as an abatement of foreign buyers."

Prices have fallen across the Vancouver region since mid-2018, but they tended to drop the sharpest in municipalities where there were elevated levels of foreign buying in the spring of 2016, Prof. Gordon said.

Industry observers say other provincial factors influencing the housing market include a crackdown on money laundering, taxes aimed at higher-end properties, as well as what the NDP government calls a "speculation and vacancy tax," which targets primarily out-of-province residents who don't rent out their homes.

The foreign-buyers tax came in effect in response to concerns about the role of international influences during the housing boom from mid-2013 to mid-2016.

Between January, 2018, and May, 2019, the percentage of foreign buying out of total sales in Metro Vancouver had a monthly low of 1.57 per cent in July, 2018, and the second-lowest at 1.62 per cent in May, 2019. Of the 3,521 total residential transactions that closed in the Vancouver region in May this year, only 57 involved foreign purchasers,.

Prof. Gordon said that Burnaby, Richmond, the City of Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver are among the municipalities where the ratio of housing prices to local incomes remains high, despite a decline in prices of nearly 10 per cent regionally over the past year.

Within Vancouver proper, foreign purchasers accounted for 22 of the 800 transactions in May, or 2.75 per cent of the city's total, according to data compiled by the B.C. Finance Ministry.

In the Vancouver region, 10,416 total residential transactions closed in March-toMay period this year, compared with a total of 14,978 in the months leading up to the new tax in 2016. "We're tackling the housing crisis and money laundering head-on to build a more sustainable economy that works for everyone," B.C. Finance Minister Carole James wrote on Twitter last week.

"I'll continue to watch the housing trends closely but am cautiously optimistic that the housing market is returning to balance."

The slowdown in housing sales in general has meant a reduction in taxes for government coffers. In May, revenue from the foreign-buyers tax tumbled to $6.5-million, down by half when compared with the $13-million collected in April.

Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union, said total residential purchases by domestic and foreign buyers could pick up later this year, but he expects prices to continue slipping before stabilizing in 2020.

On Jan. 1, 2018, Canada's banking regulator implemented a stress test, making it more difficult for buyers to qualify for mortgages. "The sales downturn is largely policy driven, reflecting the federal mortgage stress tests and various provincial measures," Mr. Yu said in a research note.

"Current unrest in Hong Kong marks a upside risk for the market, and could trigger a return of Hong Kong-Canadians, but this is not a certainty."

Associated Graphic

In Vancouver, international purchasers accounted for 22 of the 800 residential transactions in May, or 2.75 per cent of the city's total, according to data from the B.C. Finance Ministry.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Luxury home sellers shun MLS
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Number of exclusive listings grows in Greater Toronto Area after last year's court ruling that opened up public access to price data, Sotheby's Canada reports
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By JANET MCFARLAND
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B1

A growing number of high-end home sellers in Toronto are opting not to list through the public listing system after a court ruling last year that opened up public access to sale price data, according to real estate firm Sotheby's International Realty Canada.

In its latest luxury home sales report, Sotheby's said sales of homes worth more than $4-million and sold through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) system fell by 19 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area in the first six months of 2019, even as sales climbed at other price levels.

Don Kottick, chief executive officer of Sotheby's Canada, said he has not seen a slowdown in luxury sales, but has seen an increase in the number of sellers deciding not to list on MLS so they don't have to disclose the sale price.

Instead, they do an exclusive listing with a brokerage firm that promotes the property within its system, but does not list it on MLS, which keeps the sale price private.

While some other realtors said they have not seen the same pattern emerge yet, Mr. Kottick said he has seen more exclusive listings of all types of homes.

"It is prevalent in the [more than] $4million range, but it's starting to happen right across the market," Mr. Kottick said.

In a decision last August, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal in a dispute between the Toronto Real Estate Board and the federal Competition Bureau, ending seven years of legal battles.

The decision left in place a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that now allows companies to publish the sales prices of homes.

Since then, many real estate companies have begun to display sold prices for GTA properties on their websites, although viewers must have a free subscription and password to see the information.

The decision to stay off MLS means fewer potential buyers see a listed property, but Mr. Kottick said agents dealing in luxury properties know what is available for sale in their area and buyers still find the homes.

Jimmy Molloy, a Toronto realtor who specializes in luxury home sales with Chestnut Park Real Estate, said he has not had any clients balk at an MLS listing since the court decision, and believes an MLS listing is a "phenomenal" tool to reach buyers.

Instead, Mr. Molloy said he is seeing more luxury homes sell privately before they even get listed on MLS because there is a shortage of great luxury properties.

Agents who hear a "special" house is about to be listed hurry to get their buyers into it in advance.

"In some cases you can even have several agents and their buyers looking at the same property before it hits the market," he said.

Justine Deluce, a Toronto-based real estate agent for luxury homes, said she also hasn't seen more people bypassing MLS because of the court ruling.

She said some of her clients who forgo MLS are prominent people who do not want photos and information about their house made public, but are typically less concerned about revealing the final sales price.

Sotheby's latest luxury report shows the volume of GTA homes sold between $2million and $4-million climbed by 9 per cent in the first half of 2019, based on MLS data, while sales of homes from $1-million to $2-million climbed by 13 per cent.

Vancouver is seeing the opposite trend for luxury properties, with sales of homes priced more than $1-million falling by 33 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year, according to the Sotheby's report.

The condominium market was the main cause of the slump, with sales of condos priced more than $4-million plunging by 69 per cent, while the number of condo sales between $2-million and $4-million dropped by 56 per cent. Condo sales between $1-million and $2-million fell by 49 per cent.

Mr. Kottick said Vancouver's detached house market cooled considerably in 2018 while the condo sector remained comparatively stronger until this year. "There was almost a lag time, a delayed reaction, in the condo category," he said.

However, he said Sotheby's agents in Vancouver believe the market is stabilizing because more sellers are willing to list at realistic current price levels, which is even spurring bidding wars for some homes.

The strongest luxury market for condominiums this year has been in Montreal, where total sales of condo units more than $1-million climbed by 40 per cent in the first half of the year, the report shows.

The trend is driven by the increasing number of new high-end condominiums that were built in the past three years, providing a luxury condo inventory in Montreal that didn't previously exist, Mr. Kottick said.

Associated Graphic

Sotheby's reports MLS sales of homes worth more than $4-million fell 19 per cent in the GTA in the first six months of this year.

CHRISTOPHER KATSAROV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Sotheby's latest luxury report shows the volume of GTA homes sold between $2-million and $4-million rose by 9 per cent in the first half of 2019, based on MLS data, and sales of homes from $1-million to $2-million rose by 13 per cent.

CHRISTOPHER KATSAROV/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


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Southern Ontario housing heats up
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Canadian Real Estate Association says economy, strong job market behind rise in prices and sales in the region, as potential buyers look beyond the Toronto area for affordable homes
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By JANET MCFARLAND
  
  

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – Page B1

The Toronto region's resilient housing market helped fuel strong sales and price growth in markets across Southern Ontario in June as home buyers in the GTA looked for more affordable properties.

The region shook off policy changes meant to cool overheated housing markets, but sales continued to languish in many areas of Western Canada.

Economic and employment growth have provided a base of support for improving home sales from the Toronto region southward, including the Niagara area and the southwest through Kitchener, London and Windsor, according to new data from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

However, part of the boom is coming from Torontoarea buyers who continue to move further afield in search of affordability, a trend that accelerated this spring owing to a growing sentiment that the Greater Toronto Area housing market is not going to fall further and cheaper prices are no longer on the horizon.

"People call me and say, 'This is what our budget is' and that budget does not fit into the GTA," said Royal LePage real estate agent Shawn Zigelstein, who is based north of Toronto in Richmond Hill.

"But they really want to be close enough to the city, and some will commute an hour, or an hour and a half. So you're looking at places like Hamilton and St. Catharines and Guelph."

In Windsor-Essex, average home prices climbed 10.5 per cent in June as sales volumes rose 6 per cent compared with the same month last year, CREA reported, while prices in Kitchener-Waterloo climbed 9.3 per cent as sales rose 6 per cent. The Niagara region roared ahead in June, with prices soaring almost 12 per cent on a 13-per-cent jump in sales volumes.

Peter Meyer, who heads Royal LePage Triland Realty in London, Ont., said his region didn't have the downturn in 2017 and 2018 that hit the Toronto area, and has continued to draw buyers who cannot afford pricier markets such as Kitchener, Waterloo and Toronto.

While sales volumes slid 1.3 per cent in London and St. Thomas in June, prices rose 8.8 per cent compared with June last year.

Mr. Meyer said London is attracting both first-time buyers and retirees who are downsizing from Toronto but want to be near good hospitals.

"London has been an undervalued city as far as prices are concerned in Ontario," he said. "People are just realizing you get a lot of value for your dollar compared to other cities."

He said the low prices have also created a growing market for parents to buy investment properties in London for their children who are attending university in the city.

Christopher Alexander, senior vicepresident at Re/Max in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, said strong economic conditions and job growth are the cause of the stronger home sales in Southern Ontario, bringing buyers off the sidelines who had been waiting for prices to stabilize.

He said many would-be buyers also needed time to adapt to the new mortgage stress test introduced in January, 2018, which made it harder to qualify for a mortgage.

Some people had to improve their finances and save for a bigger down payment before they could buy, and it was a slower process than Canada has seen with prior regulatory changes adopted over the past decade.

"It usually takes several months for people to catch up on their saving or their equity so they can make purchases, but this time it took much longer because these measures were a lot more drastic," he said.

Mr. Zigelstein said many cities near Toronto have seen a lot of new home construction, which means there is also more supply for buyers who are willing to move further outside of Toronto. With a $400,000 budget, there is virtually nothing available in Toronto, Mr. Zigelstein said, but buyers moving farther outside the city can afford a detached house.

The average sale price in London and St.

Thomas was $370,674 in June, while prices averaged $304,116 in Windsor-Essex and $395,661 in the Niagara region.

In the GTA, by contrast, the average home of all types sold for $807,871 in June, a 3.1-per-cent increase compared with June last year as the volume of sales jumped by almost 10 per cent. Detached house prices averaged $1.02-million in the GTA in June and $1.33-million within the City of Toronto.

Across Canada broadly, CREA said home sales rose 0.3 per cent compared with June last year, while the average price rose 1.7 per cent.

However, the national trend contained extreme variations, with home prices continuing their slide in the Vancouver region and in Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the same time, prices have climbed in Southern Ontario, Ottawa and across many cities in Quebec.

CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said there a "growing divergence" in housing markets between Eastern and Western Canada, but says there is evidence that some markets in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan have stopped deteriorating.

Associated Graphic

The average sale price in London and St. Thomas was $370,674 in June, while prices averaged $304,116 in Windsor-Essex and $395,661 in the Niagara region.

GEOFF ROBINS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


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Sandpiper Group joins growing opposition to Baker's HBC bid
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Critics say $9.45-a-share privatization offer by retailer's chairman undervalues real estate holdings
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By RACHELLE YOUNGLAI, JEFFREY JONES
  
  

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Friday, July 5, 2019 – Page B1

TORONTO CALGARY -- Private-equity company Sandpiper Group has joined the list of Hudson's Bay Co.

shareholders opposed to a $1-billion privatization offer, giving added momentum to the deal's critics.

Vancouver-based Sandpiper, which focuses on property investments, has taken an activist role in a number of public real estate companies.

Several HBC shareholders have come out against the $9.45-a-share proposal led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker, saying it grossly undervalues the retailer's properties, including Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and its namesake store in downtown Vancouver. However, to realize the value, the assets must be sold and that raises questions about the remaining operations.

A Sandpiper official confirmed the company's opposition to the bid, but declined to speak about the matter beyond that. Its founder, Samir Manji, has previously said HBC could be worth at least $35 a share.

Mr. Manji said the $35-a-share value may be realized if the retailer could redevelop some of its most valuable real estate into properties that include residential.

The privatization bid was proposed by shareholders representing 57 per cent of the stock. Those shareholders include Mr.

Baker himself, private-equity company Rhone Capital LLC and office-sharing company WeWork.

The deal needs the support of the majority of other shareholders in order to succeed. U.S. hedge fund Land & Buildings and Toronto-based fund manager Catalyst Capital Group Inc. recently bought a portion of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan's 10-per-cent stake in HBC, in a move that is expected to build opposition to the bid.

One of the opposing shareholders said he believes a vote would fail.

"Based on everything we know, my expectation is a vote on $9.45 per share ... would be a resounding no," said Matthew Rennie, chief financial officer with Vancouver-based Rennie Capital Corp., which owns about 427,000 HBC shares. The proposed deal is "obviously and incontestably grossly inadequate," he said.

HBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Most of the dissident shareholders have zeroed in on the value of HBC's real estate holdings. They have said that Mr. Baker's bid is worth far less than the value of the retailer's real estate alone.

Land & Buildings says the offer should be raised to $18 a share.

HBC operates Hudson's Bay department stores as well as luxury chain Saks Fifth Avenue. The retail business has suffered, partly due to changing consumer behaviour and intense competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc.

and discount stores.

The shares fell to as low as $6.37 on June 7 and have since risen above the bid price on the wager that a better deal is in the works. HBC stock closed at $9.59 a share on Thursday. At their height in 2015, HBC shares sold for more than $28.

A co-ordinated campaign among minority holders opposed to the proposal has yet to be formed, with the players waiting for the HBC board's special committee to rule on whether to recommend the bid, said one source familiar with the situation. The source was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

It is expected that any effort among dissidents to block the proposal would include demands either to hold an auction or find another bidder.

One of the big questions surrounding HBC is whether it should concentrate on retail operations or behave more as a real estate company.

"Will HBC going forward make a greater profit through its evolved business model versus selling pieces off today. That is the question," said Alex Arifuzzaman, founder of retail real estate adviser InterStratics Consultants Inc.

HBC has sought to raise cash in recent years by selling off assets.

It sold the company's Lord & Taylor flagship building in Manhattan for $1.1billion and has put the rest of the chain up for sale. It has struck a deal to exit its German department-store joint venture for $1.5-billion. (That divestment is expected to close in the fall.) The company also tried to sell its prime HBC property in downtown Vancouver for close to $1-billion, but that deal fell apart last year.

But that has not been enough. The venerable department-store chain has faced growing discontent from investors as its retail operations suffered losses, the stock price withered and it approved a $29.4million pay package for chief executive officer Helena Foulkes.

The CEO has said she would not rule out any moves that would improve the company's financial picture. In a recent report, investment bank Cowen Inc. said it was impressed by many of HBC's initiatives to improve efficiency, especially at Saks, where it was working on keeping high-spending customers.

Cowen analysts said they see Mr. Baker's bid as "modest," suggesting the real estate could be worth $5.1-billion, or $21 a share. However, they cautioned that the proposal could be successful due to investor concerns about HBC's ability to generate free cash flow as well as weakness in the overall traditional retail sector.

HUDSON'S BAY (HBC) CLOSE: $9.59, DOWN 9¢


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BoC keeps interest rates steady amid global trade tensions
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Central bank holds benchmark at 1.75% as it lowers next year's economic growth forecast, avoids signalling future decisions
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By BILL CURRY
  
  

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Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Page B1

OTTAWA -- The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday and avoided signalling its plans, even as its U.S. counterpart set the stage for a rate cut as soon as this month.

Carolyn Wilkins, the Bank of Canada's senior deputy governor, said Canada and the United States are taking different approaches because they are in different stages of the economic cycle.

"The fact that Canada is picking up while the U.S. economy is slowing sounds like a divergence. In fact, it's a process of convergence," she told reporters after the central bank released its latest interest rate decision, as well as a quarterly monetary policy report.

"The United States is slowing to a more sustainable pace, while Canada is moving back up to its trend growth."

The overnight rate remains at 1.75 per cent, where it has stayed since the bank announced an interest rate increase in October, 2018.

The decision was in line with economists' expectations.

The bank's report included a slight increase in Canada's economic growth forecast for 2019 - 1.3 per cent, up from the 1.2 per cent it forecast in its April report - while projecting somewhat slower growth next year.

The report listed several positive signs of broad-based growth in the economy but cautioned that global trade tensions - particularly between China and the United States - are already a drag on growth and could worsen.

The bank lowered its forecast for 2019 global growth to 3 per cent, down from its April forecast of 3.2 per cent.

"While recent export data for Canada have been encouraging, the trade environment continues to be the biggest wild card in our outlook," said Ms. Wilkins, who spoke with reporters alongside Governor Stephen Poloz.

The report came on the same day that U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told a congressional committee that he would "act as appropriate" to protect the U.S. economy from the disappointing performance of the global economy. The comments raised expectations that the Fed could cut rates this month.

Mr. Poloz's main challenge, according to economists, is to acknowledge the recent strength in the Canadian economy without fuelling a spike in the Canadian dollar just as the global economy is showing signs of weakness.

RBC senior economist Josh Nye said Wednesday's policy statement was more dovish than expected.

While the bank did not appear to be moving toward a clear bias in favour of easing interest rates, he said in a note, markets seem justified in thinking the bank's next move will more likely be down than up.

Other economists said they are not expecting any near-term rate cuts in Canada based on Wednesday's report.

"Despite the downgrade to the outlook, it's going to take a deeper deterioration to spark conversations about easing even as the Fed seems poised to lower rates at month's end," said Benjamin Reitzes, the director of Canadian rates and the macro strategist for BMO Economics.

Wednesday's report said the Canadian economy performed above expectations in the second quarter, after a slowdown in late 2018 and early 2019. The improvement was attributed to temporary factors such as the reversal of weather-related slowdowns earlier in the year and a surge in oil production.

The bank lowered its forecast for 2019 global growth Wednesday to 3 per cent, down from its April forecast of 3.2 per cent.

No clear direction was provided regarding the bank's future policy plans.

"Recent data show the Canadian economy is returning to potential growth.

"However the growth is clouded by persistent trade tensions," the bank said. "Taken together, the degree of accommodation being provided by the current policy interest rate remains appropriate."

The bank projects growth will hit 1.9 per cent in 2020 - down from its April forecast of 2.1 per cent - and 2 per cent in 2021, which is unchanged from the April forecast.

Inflation is expected to remain close to 2 per cent throughout the forecast period, right in the middle of the bank's target range of 1 per cent to 3 per cent. Wednesday's report projects inflation of 1.8 per cent in 2019, down from the April forecast of 1.9 per cent, and is expected to come in at 1.9 per cent next year and 2 per cent in 2021.

Associated Graphic

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins hold a press conference in Ottawa to discuss the bank's report that said Canada's economy performed above expectations in the second quarter.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins, seen speaking to reporters with BoC Governor Stephen Poloz in Ottawa on Wednesday, says that while recent export data are encouraging, 'the trade environment continues to be the biggest wild card in our outlook.'

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS


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A black eye for a young industry trying to grow up
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By JEFFREY JONES
  
  

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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Page B1

The cannabis industry's hopes and dreams are predicated on a simple goal: legitimacy.

Before Ottawa legalized marijuana and after, pot-sector pioneers took pains to talk about their products as if they were describing natural foods and vitamins. Their message: Canada is becoming a global leader, offering the very finest cannabis to a welcoming public under the highest corporate and regulatory standards.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. has been front and centre among the best-known players, promising legitimacy on par with pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Now, its alleged misdeeds risk pushing the cannabis sector a few steps backward toward an era best associated with Cheech and Chong.

The very idea that - as a former employee charged in a bombshell interview with The Globe and Mail this week - the company would hide thousands of pot plants behind phony walls in an attempt to fool Health Canada raises questions about whether the industry is ready to take its place in polite society.

REPUTATION

CannTrust has stopped all sales of its cannabis products as Health Canada investigates the alleged illegal growing in unlicensed rooms, which were hidden from cameras, presumably to get a jump on building up inventory to meet contractual obligations. It took the step after provincial wholesalers in Ontario and Alberta stopped selling CannTrust products. There is even speculation the regulator could pull the company's licence for a move that was not only bad, it was bushleague.

It's a rapid fall from grace for a company that had exemplified the industry's growing acceptability, led by a former retail banker.

Since the scandal erupted on Monday, CannTrust shares have lost almost half their value. Recall that the Vaughan, Ont.-based producer was an early test case for Wall Street, which has approached the sector gingerly because selling cannabis remains a federal crime in the United States, even as it has been legalized in several states.

U.S. financial-services giants Bank of America, Citigroup and Jefferies LLC were among the underwriters of a US$170-million CannTrust share offering in May, with the stock priced at US$5.50 a share. The shares sank 17 per cent on Friday to sell for $3.34 a share on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The banks sold both institutional and retail investors on the shares and are now surely fielding angry calls from clients asking about legitimacy. At least five U.S.

law firms have said they are recruiting plaintiffs for class-action lawsuits related to the mess.

It's tempting to say that this is a one-off misadventure and investors should keep their eyes firmly focused on the industry's longterm potential to supply recreational and medical markets at home and abroad. That may be true, and indeed no other licensed producers are currently suspected of a similar sleight of hand.

But numerous examples abound in which investors fled a sector en masse when scandal enveloped a key company. Not that hiding pot plants is even close to being in the same league as salting Indonesian gold samples, but it's important to note the Bre-X Minerals fraud created a chill that hit all junior miners in the 1990s after a massive bull run.

In this case, the rest of the sector is getting swept up. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF has shed 8.6 per cent this week.

At the very least, CannTrust's woes will focus renewed attention on producers' executives and boards of directors as investors and regulators seek to get a handle on just who is minding the greenhouses. It is a young industry, built by entrepreneurs, many of whom saw the potential for lucrative expansion but may not have had the management and corporate-governance experience expected in large, widely held public companies.

Certainly, Constellation Brands Inc., which spent $5-billion for a major stake in Canopy Growth Corp., showed last week it wants more traditional corporate discipline at the country's biggest cannabis player by terminating its colourful and outspoken founder, Bruce Linton, as chairman and cochief executive.

Now that CannTrust has erected a makeshift wall of worry, the rest of the major cannabis companies have a tougher task ahead convincing consumers, regulators and the global financial world that they are indeed ready for the mainstream.

Associated Graphic

CannTrust's woes are expected, at the very least, to focus renewed attention on producers' executives and boards of directors as investors and regulators seek to get a handle on just who is minding the greenhouses.

TIJANA MARTIN/ THE CANADIAN PRESS


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Kenney's overhaul of Alberta energy regulator needs to focus on what's broken
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By JEFFREY JONES
  
  

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B1

Premier Jason Kenney wants to fix the Alberta Energy Regulator.

From the early messaging, it appears he wants to do that by focusing on the least of its problems and glossing over the biggest.

The AER, responsible for making sure Alberta's oil and gas industry operates safely and responsibly, has gone through a chaotic period. The agency has been without a permanent chief executive officer for more than half a year, and the search is now on hold. Three provincial authorities are investigating its former CEO, Jim Ellis, amid allegations that he used funds earmarked for operations to start up a side project to school other countries on how to regulate.

Mr. Kenney contributed to uncertainty.

During the province's spring election campaign, he put the board of directors on notice that they'd all get the boot under a United Conservative Party (UCP) government. The strategy centred on turning board member and respected environmental consultant Ed Whittingham into a pinata for Mr. Kenney's pro-oil base by accusing him of being a foreign-funded double agent bent on burying Alberta's main industry.

Yet none of those things has the lasting financial and legal implications of vast, underfunded environmental liabilities in the form of aging oil and gas wells, many in the hands of companies that can ill afford to clean them up. The eventual reclamation cost has been estimated in the tens of billions of dollars.

The worst cases are those in which the owners are no longer solvent, known as the orphans.

The tally of such wells could double after the recent insolvency of Trident Exploration Corp., whose owners walked away from 4,700 of them in April.

But Mr. Kenney asserts that what the AER really needs is to cut back on all the regulation that slows the industry down. He's tasked his Energy and Environment ministers, Sonya Savage and Jason Nixon, to conduct a review of the regulator, according to an recent interview in The Calgary Herald.

The fees oil companies pay the regulator are too high and the process for getting projects approved too long, he says. Ms.Savage was quoted as saying governance and timelines are among the aspects to be studied. She said what's required are "tweaks" because the AER is not broken.

If it's not, it has certainly developed deep cracks.

A major problem has come from the AER trying to walk a tightrope between preventing transfers of high-liability wells to financially weak operators and allowing the merger and acquisition activity that keeps commerce humming along.

An investigation by The Globe and Mail late last year showed how the AER allowed many transfers of assets even though the buyer did not meet the regulator's own financial criteria. Internal e-mails showed staff striving to fast-track applications. In addition, companies with substandard ratios of assets to liabilities have routinely been granted exceptions to get deals done.

Between 2016 and 2018, only a fraction of requests to have the rules relaxed were rejected.

Results have been disastrous. Take Sequoia Resources, the failed natural gas producer that acquired thousands of aging wells in several deals starting in 2016. The AER is on the hook as a creditor in the bankruptcy to the tune of $225-million after approving some of the deals the producer used to bulk up despite its subpar financial wherewithal.

The problem has festered as the natural gas market cratered and larger companies sought to rid their balance sheets of abandonment and reclamation obligations. The former NDP government had said it planned new policy, including enforced timelines that operators can keep wells turned off. The plans died with the election loss to the UCP.

The government is starting its review of the AER just as cutbacks loom at the regulator. The Globe reported last week that staff layoffs are on tap.

Meanwhile, the UCP is keeping some producers on life support with $23-million in temporary tax breaks.

With Alberta gas prices still depressed, the move could just be postponing the addition of more wells into the industry-funded orphan-well program that's already been backstopped by taxpayers to the tune of $235-million.

A review of the AER is long overdue, and kudos to the Kenney government for taking it on. Hopefully it will generate solutions for a crisis the UCP doesn't seem to want to acknowledge.


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Aimia shareholder group calls for another annual meeting after 'outrageous conduct'
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By CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS
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Friday, July 12, 2019 – Page B1

MONTREAL -- A group of shareholders at Aimia Inc. are calling for a redo of last month's annual general meeting, which they say was "plagued with irregularities" and "outrageous conduct."

The group, dubbed Aimia Shareholders for Accountability, said the chairman refused to conduct votes or take questions and allowed security guards to intimidate shareholders who attempted to speak, with one being "forcibly" removed.

Charles Frischer, who claimed to speak for the group - he declined to identify members - holds 1.6 per cent of the loyalty-analytics company's outstanding shares.

"I have never seen this. I have attended literally hundreds of annual meetings. And I've only been to two that had this kind of security," he said in an interview. "It was crazy."

Mittleman Brothers, Aimia's largest shareholder at more than 23 per cent, said in a statement on Wednesday that representatives "observed the same irregularities."

"Although MB is not party to any voting or other agreement with these shareholders, we are sympathetic to their concerns raised in respect of the conduct of the AGM," the investment firm said.

At the time of the meeting, Mittleman Brothers was subject to a standstill agreement with Aimia that required it to vote in favour of all Aimia's director nominees and all other matters recommended unanimously by the board, the firm said.

"We note that in the absence of our support at the AGM ... none of Aimia's other director nominees - other than Phil Mittleman - would have received support from the majority of shares voted."

Mittleman warned that Aimia should not assume continued support after the standstill agreement, which ended July 1.

Aimia said in an e-mail that the June 28 meeting was conducted "in accordance with all applicable rules and regulations" and a doover would be "redundant."

"Management and directors engaged in numerous discussions and openly answered many questions from shareholders after the meeting," though not during, spokeswoman Karen Keyes said.

The results of the votes at the Toronto meeting were published as required by law, she added. The transcript, unlike last year, was not, with Mr. Frischer calling for its release.

"The whole purpose of this is a forum. I want to hear what Bill Smith next to me is saying," said Mr. Frischer, who flew in from Seattle for the meeting. He acknowledged that he spoke with directors after the AGM.

Mr. Frischer also questioned whether chairman Bill McEwan held enough discretionary proxies to govern votes on all matters.

Media were told ahead of the meeting they would be barred from entering and that directors and executives would not be taking questions from reporters.

Mr. Frischer said he will call for a special meeting within 21 days if Aimia does not formally respond to the redo request he submitted this week.

He and others are "extremely unhappy" with Aimia's strategic direction, he said.

"Five years ago, the stock was over $15. Today, it's under $4. They have done a horrific job," he said.

Aimia said directors continue to act in the best interest of stakeholders.

In January, shareholders voted nearly unanimously to approve the $450-million sale of Aimia's Aeroplan loyalty program to Air Canada, leaving the Montrealbased company with more than $1-billion in cash, but also questions about its future.

The past two years have been turbulent for the Montreal-based company. Rupert Duchesne, Aimia's previous CEO, stepped away from the job in January, 2017, replaced by Jeremy Rabe in May, 2018. Former president and chief strategy officer Nathaniel Felsher left in November, less than three months after he took the job.

Aimia's other assets include a 48-per-cent stake in Aeromexico's loyalty program, PLM, and a 20-per-cent share of AirAsia's loyalty program, Think Big.


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McIlroy walks a fine line as he returns to Northern Ireland
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The only place where what the golfer says or does really matters is on this island but, as a Catholic, his status in Portrush is freighted with history - he'll want to show well, without assuming ownership
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By CATHAL KELLY
  
  

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 – Page B10

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

Rory McIlroy's first round at Royal Portrush was a gift for his 10th birthday.

The course is about an hour's drive from where he was raised in Belfast.

He'd seen his father play there.

At 16 years old, he set the course record here - a remarkable 61. As the course has since been redesigned, it will stand forever.

McIlroy claims to still remember every one of those 61 shots.

If we were making a movie about his career, that's where it would start. What's happening right now would feature somewhere near the denouement.

McIlroy, 30, has been a prodigy and the next big thing. He's been a failure and a major champion. In be