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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Justin Trudeau to become Canada's next prime minister

   Canada column for Sunday, Oct. 18/15

   By Jim Fox

   Liberal leader Justin Trudeau won a majority government in the federal election on Oct. 19, 2015, defeating Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives. Election standings gave the Liberals 184 seats in the House of Commons while the Conservatives elected 99, the New Democrats, 44, Bloc Quebecois, 10, and Greens, 1.

   Canada’s Liberal party under leader Justin Trudeau now has the momentum to win Monday’s federal election.
   A “dump Harper” campaign has been sweeping the country as the Liberals and socialist New Democrats urge voters to do whatever it takes to put Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives out of office.
   Conservative attack ads have hammered Trudeau, 43, the son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, as being “just not ready” for the job.
   Opposition parties, including the Greens and Bloc Quebecois, are calling on electors to vote for anyone but the Conservatives, suggesting change is long overdue after 10 years in office.
   Polls show a surge of last-minute support for the Liberals that could threaten the chances of the Conservatives winning a majority.
   Should they fall short of a majority, it’s possible the Liberals and New Democrats could join to form a coalition government.
   Minister of National Defense Jason Kenney drew a link between the Toronto Blue Jays capturing the American League Division Series and his Conservative team.
   “The blue team came from behind and won three straight and they won the series just like our blue team is going to win on Oct. 19,” he said.


   Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran who hid six Americans at his residence during the 1979 hostage crisis, has died.
   His death came at age 81 in a New York City hospital where he was being treated for colon cancer.
   The Calgary-born diplomat sheltered the six who fled after Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
   Taylor kept them hidden for three months before they were flown out of the country with fake passports issued by the Canadian government.
   U.S. ambassador Bruce Heyman noted Taylor’s “valor and ingenuity” for which he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.


   News in brief:
   - The Waterloo, Ontario campus of Wilfrid Laurier University was “locked down” on Friday after an Internet threat warning people to stay away from the science building. Most of the 13,000 students and 1,300 faculty and staff were away on the “Reading Week” break and there were no incidents. The threat was posted on the same website used by the gunman who killed 10 people and wounded seven at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Oct. 1.
   - Bell Canada has been given a $1.25-million “administrative penalty” by Canada’s Competition Bureau for anonymously posting favorable reviews of its apps by employees. The incident occurred last year when some Bell workers were encouraged to post positive reviews and ratings without disclosing they worked for the company.


   Facts and figures:
   The Canadian dollar has advanced to 77.36 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.2926 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 0.5 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Markets are mixed with the Toronto Stock Exchange index down at 13,895 points and the TSX Venture index up at 556 points.
   The average price of gas has dropped to a national average of $1.046 a liter or $3.97 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Oct. 14) 23, 31, 32, 34, 35 and 44; bonus 10. (Oct. 10) 8, 12, 22, 27, 35 and 41; bonus 16. Lotto Max: (Oct. 9) 8, 11, 14, 23, 26, 42 and 47; bonus 1.


   Regional briefs:
   - The federal government has ordered a halt to Montreal’s plan for a water-treatment project that would require the dumping of 2.1-billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River during construction. The project is on hold pending further scientific analysis. Mayor Denis Coderre said it was “irresponsible and negligent” to stop the work since it would cost $1 billion to divert the sewage.
   - The head of security at the Saskatchewan legislature wants a leak stopped. Patrick Shaw said he has learned that three party bus companies have been stopping in front of the building late at night and allowing passengers out to urinate. The companies have ignored requests to quit stopping there, he said, adding at least there have been no party poopers.


   Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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