2026 World Cup? USA, Canada, Mexico set for ‘historic announcement’

THE football federations of the United States, Canada and Mexico say they’ll make an “historic announcement” on Monday in New York amid speculation they could mount a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup.

USA Soccer said in a release on Saturday that its president Sunil Gulati, along with the president of the Canadian Federation, Victor Montagliani, and Mexican Federation president Decio de Maria will speak at the press conference.

Montagliani is also the president of CONCACAF, football’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, which is meeting this weekend in Aruba.

Montagliani said this week in an interview with The Guardian that a joint bid between the United States, Canada and Mexico was being discussed.

media_cameraCONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.

World governing body FIFA is set to designate a host for the 2026 edition — the first to feature 48 teams in the newly approved expanded format — in May of 2020.

The United States organised the World Cup in 1994. Mexico has hosted the event twice, in 1970 and 1986.

There has been one World Cup hosted by multiple nations, the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.

A joint bid by three countries would be unprecedented.

media_cameraBrazil hold the 1994 World Cup trophy.

It could also pose political challenges, given that tensions have risen between the United States and Mexico since the election of US President Donald Trump, who has called for a wall to be built along the Mexican border.

Other news brewing in CONCACAF is a potential deal to create a “League of Nations” competition for its 41 member federations.

The decision would all but eliminate friendlies for the regions’ international teams, and is fashioned after UEFA’s Nations League, which is set to begin in 2018.

Originally published as ‘Historic announcement’ for 2026 World Cup

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Canada province axes rule forcing women to wear high heels at work

MONTREAL: Believe it or not, some companies in Canada’s British-Columbia province can force women to wear high heels at work. But not any more.
The premier of the province, Christy Clark, announced Friday that companies can no longer impose such a rule.
“In some workplaces in our province, women are required to wear high heels on the job. Like most British Columbians, our government thinks this is wrong,” Clark said Friday.
Clark, who belongs to the Liberal Party, called the practice dangerous and discriminatory.
“There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work,” she added in a statement Friday, co-signed by the province’s labor minister, Shirley Bond.
“I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable,” said Bond.
Clark has thus endorsed a Green party bill aimed at changing workplace laws so that safety regulations — including those involving footwear — are the same for men and women.
A month ago, 25 restaurant chains in Ontario stopped forcing female employees to wear heels and short skirts as part of their uniform.

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MONTREAL: Believe it or not, some companies in Canada’s British-Columbia province can force women to wear high heels at work. But not any more.
The premier of the province, Christy Clark, announced Friday that companies can no longer impose such a rule.
“In some workplaces in our province, women are required to wear high heels on the job. Like most British Columbians, our government thinks this is wrong,” Clark said Friday.
Clark, who belongs to the Liberal Party, called the practice dangerous and discriminatory.
“There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work,” she added in a statement Friday, co-signed by the province’s labor minister, Shirley Bond.
“I expect employers to recognize this very clear signal that forcing someone to wear high heels at work is unacceptable,” said Bond.
Clark has thus endorsed a Green party bill aimed at changing workplace laws so that safety regulations — including those involving footwear — are the same for men and women.
A month ago, 25 restaurant chains in Ontario stopped forcing female employees to wear heels and short skirts as part of their uniform.

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Political events in the Bay Area: tax march, Trump talks

Political events

in the Bay Area


Rallies and protests are a part of political life in the Bay Area. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening.

Monday

Immigrant rights hearing: The Immigrants Rights Commission will hold a special hearing on the impact of federal policies on immigrants. The event is open to the public and is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, Hearing Room 416, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place in San Francisco. For information, call (415) 580-2360.

Comedy: Benefit performance at the Punch Line Comedy Club for Naral Pro-Choice America, an organization that supports abortion rights, access to birth control and paid parental leave. Tickets are $20. The event is at 7:30 p.m. at 444 Battery St. in San Francisco. For tickets: http://bit.ly/NARALPunchLine.

Thursday

Sign-making event: Construct signs for the April 22 March for Science in San Francisco. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Public Library of Science, 1160 Battery St. in San Francisco. For information: http://bit.ly/2nYqXr4.

Education discussion: The Lamorinda Democratic Club hosts a conversation on how federal funding will affect public education. The event is at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Library and Community Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Blvd. For information: www.ldclub.org.

April 15

Tax march: Protesters will march to demand that President Trump release his tax returns. A San Francisco march will start at 1 p.m. at 11th and Market streets. For information: http://bit.ly/2m5xWOA. In San Jose, a march is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information: http://bit.ly/2nSMxO7.

Pro-Trump rally: The event is to promote free speech. Noon to 4 p.m. in Berkeley. Details are being confirmed. For information: www.facebook.com/events/185364111955870/?active_tab=discussion.

Anti-Trump rally: A family-friendly event where attendees will use their bodies to spell out an “enormous challenge” to President Trump. The exact message has not been decided. The event begins at 10:30 a.m., and attendees are asked to meet 300 yards south of the Cliff House Restaurant, 1090 Point Lobos Ave. in San Francisco. For information: www.facebook.com/events/214702565673803.

April 19

ACLU event: The League of Women Voters hosts a discussion with Jay Laefer of the American Civil Liberties Union on “safeguarding the rights of our entire community.” The event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Woodside Road United Methodist Church, 2000 Woodside Road in Redwood City.

Conversation on Trump resistance: A new event series hosted by The Chronicle called “Chronicle Chats.” This event, “The Future of the Left: Can the Trump Resistance Grow Beyond Protest,” will be led by columnist David Talbot and will feature a senior adviser of the Bernie Sanders campaign and other experts and leaders. The event is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. Tickets available: https://info.sfchronicle.com/chroniclechats.

April 22

Town hall: Hosted by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, at 10 a.m. at the gymnasium of Cañada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd. in Woodside.

Science march: Marches marking Earth Day. In San Francisco, a march begins at 11 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center at Market and Steuart streets, and ends at Civic Center Plaza. For information: http://bit.ly/2nAcLkN. In San Jose, a march will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details to be confirmed. For information: http://bit.ly/2oV8oSu. In Walnut Creek, a march is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will start at Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive. In Hayward, a march is from 10 a.m. to noon and begins at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, 4901 Breakwater Ave. For information: http://bit.ly/2n7oonY.

April 23

Sexual assault conversation: Loosid Projects, Planned Parenthood and Bay Area Women Against Rape host a discussion called “Locker Room Talk: Confronting Sexual Violence in the Age of Trump.” The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. at 507 55th St. in Oakland. Tickets are $10 at the door. For information, email info@loosidity.com.

To list an event, email Sarah Ravani at sravani@sfchronicle.com.


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Canada supports U.S. air strikes in Syria, urges diplomatic action

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada fully supports the U.S. air strikes in Syria, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, adding that Canada condemns all uses of chemical weapons and will continue to support diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.



“Canada fully supports the United States’ limited and focused action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against innocent civilians, including many children. President Assad’s use of chemical weapons and the crimes the Syrian regime has committed against its own people cannot be ignored,” Trudeau said in a statement.





(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins)


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Canada growth to be better-than-expected, U.S. meetings positive: Morneau

LONDON (Reuters) – Canada’s economic growth will be better than expected this year, finance minister Bill Morneau said on Friday, adding that talks this week with the United States were positive.



“We have an outlook that growth will be better than expected this year,” Morneau said an OMFIF event in London.



On his talks with the U.S. administration about the two countries’ trade arrangements he added: “They are fully aware of developments, we have been met with a positive response (from local officials and mayors.”



“In the White House they do as well, but they are also making sure it works for the United States.”





(Reporting by Marc Jones and Ritvik Carvalho)


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Canada finance minister says can't judge chances of U.S. border tax

By Marc Jones and Ritvik Carvalho



LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Friday he could not judge the likelihood of the United States introducing a new border tax following meetings with U.S. officials this week.



Speaking in London, he said discussions with the White House over the last few days had underscored that President Donald Trump’s team was pushing for broad U.S. tax changes but said he would make no guesses at any outcome on trade tariffs.



Trump’s proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) has sent shivers through all major exporters to the U.S., and especially neighbors like Canada and Mexico whose companies sell an enormous amount of their goods there.



It would exempt U.S. export revenues from federal corporate tax but levy an implicit 20 percent tax on imports by preventing U.S. companies from deducting the cost of imported goods and supplies.



“I can’t handicap (judge chances of) an outcome other than to say I spoke to Steven Mnuchin about the ideas of this U.S. administration,” Morneau said.



“I think they are very clear about corporate taxation rates in the United States, which they see as a challenge, and they do talk about the importance of dealing with middle class taxation as well.”



Morneau, who said that Canadian growth looked like being better-than-expected this year, added that Trump’s team and local U.S. decision makers were “fully aware” of Canada’s view that a border tax would be detrimental all around.



“They are fully aware of developments, we have been met with a positive response (from local officials and mayors)… In the White House, they do as well, but they are also making sure it works for the United States.”
  Continued…


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CANADA STOCKS-Financial shares, risk aversion take TSX slightly lower

* TSX down 30.05 points, or 0.19 percent, at 15,667.13

* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups decline
(Adds details, analyst comment, updates to close)

Canada’s main stock
index dipped on Friday as financial and natural resource shares
lost ground, while concerns about escalating geopolitical
tensions after U.S. missile strikes in Syria prompted a risk-off
sentiment among investors.

The banking sector fell 0.2 percent as Canada’s
10-year government bond yield touched 1.505 percent,
its lowest in four months.

Higher bond yields would reduce the value of insurance
companies’ liabilities and increase net interest margins of
banks.

Bank of Nova Scotia was the biggest drag on the
Toronto market, down 0.8 percent at C$78.11, followed by Royal
Bank of Canada, which declined 0.5 percent to C$97.32.

Traders were focused on the political environment after the
United States launched cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air
base. Russia warned on Friday that the move could have
“extremely serious” consequences.

“Markets have been fairly complacent on the risk side,” said
Youssef Zohny, international client advisor at the StennerZohny
Group of Morgan Stanley.

“So any sort of headline or geopolitical risk, I would say
the market is more sensitive to some of those effects.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
finished down 30.05 points, or 0.19 percent, at
15,667.13.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups were lower. Even with
Friday’s small decline, the TSX ended the week up 0.8 percent,
its second consecutive week of gains.

Despite higher commodity prices, both the energy
and materials sectors weighed on the index on Friday
and were down 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Barrick Gold Corp declined 0.9 percent to C$25.64
after Argentinian mining officials told the company it must
overhaul environmental and operating processes at its Veladero
mine following last week’s cyanide solution spill.

Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-biggest lender,
said Chief Operating Officer Darryl White will step up to be
chief executive in November, succeeding Bill Downe who will
retire. The bank’s shares edged up 0.3 percent at C$100.23.

Investors will start to turn their attention toward earnings
season, with some corporate results coming out of the United
States next week, said Zohny.

Given that stock valuations and earnings expectations have
risen, there is a downside risk to the market in the near term
unless a strong catalyst emerges, he said.

The market is up 2.5 percent for the year so far, extending
the hefty 17.5 percent gain it saw in 2016.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Leah Schnurr in
Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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Scotland could leave the UK and join Canada instead, says author

Scotland should join Canada if it decides to leave the UK after Brexit, an author has suggested. 

Ken McGoogan said the idea made sense as in the modern era technological advancements made geographical boundaries “irrelevant”. 

If Scotland was to become a province of Canada it would be the third largest and make up 12.6 per cent of the population, compared with the eight per cent it represents in the UK, the Canadian author wrote in a comment piece for The Globe and Mail newspaper. 

He added that the country would have much more autonomy under the Canadian provincial system.

“No, Scotland would not become fully independent,” he wrote. “But even as a typical Canadian province, it would have more powers than it does now.”

He added: “Provincial legislatures have jurisdiction over their internal constitutions and direct taxation for provincial purposes, including for municipalities, school boards, hospitals, property and civil rights, administration of civil and criminal justice, and the list goes on”.

Under the terms of the Canadian Constitution, Scotland would be able to keep its oil revenues from the North Sea because provinces control their own natural resources, he said. 

If they included the 4.7 million Canadians who claim Scottish descent they could make up a “power block” of nearly 25 per cent of the country’s population, he added. 

He also pointed out that Edinburgh is closer to St John’s, a city on an island off the Canada’s eastern coast, than it is to Athens in Greece. 

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for a second independence referendum, after Britain as a whole, voted to the leave the EU. 

Pointing out that almost two thirds of her countrymen had voted to Remain, she said Brexit  meant “a significant material change” to Scotland’s constitutional position, especially if Prime Minister Theresa May opts for a hard Brexit ending access to the single market. 

Mr McGoogan, whose titles include How the Scots Invented Canada, insisted that Scotland would not necessarily have to give up its bid to rejoin the European Union if it joined his home country. 

He said: “What if, after Brexit, Scotland applied to rejoin, not as a nation of 5.3 million, but as part of a country of 41.8 million. Obviously, it would have more clout. For Canadians, Scotland would establish a foothold in multicultural Europe. 

“So, while the Tories in Britain and the Republicans in the United States set about creating a neo-liberal Anglosphere – anti-egalitarian, avowedly Christian, pro-Big Business, pro-military – Scotland becomes part of Canada and helps lead the way to a more progressive world.” 


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Canada's Morneau to meet with Ontario on Toronto housing

By Andrea Hopkins and Matt Scuffham



OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa will meet to discuss housing affordability in Toronto amid fears that a real estate bubble has developed in the nation’s largest city.



A date was not set for the meeting to discuss ways to rein in speculation and soaring prices in Toronto, but the two policymakers exchanged letters agreeing on the urgency of the situation and the need to address it.



While Sousa has urged the federal government to consider options to improve housing affordability, including increased taxes to discourage speculation or house “flipping,” he stressed that policies must be planned carefully.



“It is key that any future actions must ensure the stability of the market and do not negatively impact Ontario homeowners or the province’s economy,” Sousa said in a letter to Morneau on Thursday.



Sousa’s office provided the letter.



Toronto prices have more than doubled since 2009, even after housing has moderated in other parts of the country, and the two levels of government have been jockeying for weeks about which is best placed to respond to what economists have called a bubble.



A report released on Wednesday showed the average home price in Toronto was up 33.2 percent in March from a year earlier.



Morneau wrote to Sousa late on Wednesday to request the meeting, and Sousa responded on Thursday, offering to host it at his office in Toronto “as soon as possible.”
  Continued…


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U.S. man arrested by Canadian police after 'mock' bomb found on Chicago-bound plane

TORONTO (Reuters) – An American man was arrested and charged with mischief after airport officials found a “mock improvised explosive device” in a suitcase on a United Airlines flight bound from Toronto to Chicago, Canadian police said on Thursday.



The suspect, identified as Joseph Galaska, 58, was held for a bail hearing. Police did not reveal details on his residence.



Police checked the device for explosives and determined it was not a threat, a Peel Regional police spokesman said. The Chicago O’Hare-bound flight was delayed for hours from its scheduled 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) departure and all other passengers and their luggage were rescreened.





(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)


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