Canada Today: Behind the Green Gables, Trade Twists and Strange Skies

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Each week, Canada Today mixes The New York Times’s recent Canada-related coverage with back stories and analysis from our reporters, along with opinions from our readers.

With a population of just 146,000, Prince Edward Island is Canada’s tiniest province. But it has long held an international profile thanks to a fictional redheaded orphan named Anne Shirley, the protagonist of the beloved 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Willa Pakin writes in the Times Magazine that Polish resistance fighters carried the book to the front and that because of Japan’s large number of postwar orphans, it became part of the school curriculum in the 1950s.

The orphan’s story has been adapted and readapted endlessly. Now it’s back on television. “Anne,” as it’s known on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where its first season winds up on Sunday, is a much different take than earlier film and television productions. It was written and produced by Moira Walley-Beckett, a Vancouver native now based in California. Ms. Pakin writes that “the cheerful novel has, in Walley-Beckett’s hands, become much darker.” Given that Ms. Walley-Beckett’s previous work includes writing for “Breaking Bad,” that shift may not be entirely a surprise, and holds the potential to offend Anne loyalists.

Next month the show will start streaming in the United States on Netflix under the title “Anne With an E.” Canadians who have missed the show can still view it on the CBC’s site until the end of the year.

Read: The Other Side of Anne of Green Gables

Turmoil To my knowledge, Hollywood has yet to portray journalists dashing around the world to cover trade talks. As someone who has reported on several negotiations — including the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement — I’d suggest the studios keep it that way.

While the outcome of trade talks often has a powerful influence on a large number of lives and trade issues can stir political passions, trade negotiations usually move at a stately pace and occur mostly in secret. The closest they generally come to drama is the inevitable wait until a final deadline before a deal is announced.

Over past week or so, however, President Trump brought some drama to the somnambulant trade world. First his administration used the latest round in an endless lumber dispute with Canada (the first trade story I covered and one my children can likely inherit if they wish) and an obscure dairy dispute to bash Canadian trade policy. That was soon followed up by suggestions that the president was about to sign Nafta’s death warrant.

Then that zig was followed by the zag of an announcement that Mr. Trump wasn’t going to rip up Nafta, at least for now, but renegotiate it. The change was partly the result of a coordinated effort by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

While it’s possible that state of affairs may have spiraled off in yet another direction by the time you read this, it’s more likely that Mr. Trudeau’s government will be focused on figuring out what Canada wants from any talks. We’ve prepared a look at four industries that may become hot points. Mr. Trudeau’s office is also likely hoping that any negotiations will follow the plodding traditions of the past.

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Read: Lumber Tariff Adds Wrinkle to Nafta Talks With Canada

Read: Trump Tells Foreign Leaders That Nafta Can Stay for Now

Read: Trump’s Day of Hardball and Confusion on Nafta

Read: Revisiting Nafta: The Stakes for Key Industries

Symbolic Catherine Porter was in British Columbia this week on an unrelated assignment when she also found herself looking into the world of totem poles. One result is a fascinating Facebook Live video in which the master carver Christian White shows how he makes them at his workshop in Massett on the Haida Gwaii archipelago. I asked Ms. Porter what prompted her interest: “Haida Gwaii and totem poles are married in my imagination. But I assumed most of the ones I saw on the streets of Old Massett were either relics or copies from distant Haida history — before smallpox, the Indian Act, the potlatch ban, residential schools. Then I stumbled into Christian White’s carving shed, to find his son chipping away at a 62-foot cedar log.” Watch for a story about Mr. White’s work, coming soon.

Watch here.

Old Stock Volkswagen dealers in Canada have quietly dusted off and put back on sale cars that were frozen in inventory in 2015 because of the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. The cars have the first part of a new emissions control fix installed and they’re being offered with extraordinary discounts. But I found one expert who cautions that this may be a deal to avoid.

Read: Canadian VW Dealers Move Diesels Out of Storage and Into Showrooms

Shooting Star Kevin O’Leary, the investor made famous by reality television, was the last of the 14 candidates to join the race to replace Stephen Harper as Conservative leader. Unexpectedly, he dropped out this week, citing his lack of support in Quebec. The complex voting system, and the sheer number of candidates, still make the race impossible to call as it enters its final month.

Read: Kevin O’Leary, Reality TV Star, Ends Bid to Lead Canada’s Conservatives

Glowing Heavens Look, up in the sky! In many places in Canada you’ll see something scientists aren’t exactly sure how to describe. So for now, they’re calling it Steve.

Read: That Ghostly, Glowing Light Above Canada? It’s Just Steve

You can find all Canada-related material from the Times here.

Here are some other articles from The Times over the last week, not necessarily related to Canada and perhaps overlooked, that I found interesting:

—President Trump has revived the Keystone XL pipeline that will ultimately connect Canada’s oil sands with the Gulf Coast of the United States by way of Nebraska. The reporter Mitch Smith and the photographer George Etheredge went there to gauge the public mood about the project.

—During the 1970s Barkley L. Hendricks painted in what was then an unfashionable style. The result were works that gave the world a new and proud look at black men and women whose lives were otherwise overlooked.

—Russian soccer hooligans are stepping up their thuggery with martial arts classes, physical fitness training and — most amazingly — sobriety.

—Paying an admission fee to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is only suggested. Now there’s a plan that would make it mandatory for nonresidents of the city.