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Monday, June 11, 2018

Conservatives devastate opponents in Ontario election with Premier-elect Doug Ford

   Canada column for Sunday, June 10/18

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Promising to “put more money in your pocket,” Doug Ford led his Conservatives to a sweeping victory in the Ontario provincial election.
   The popularity of the brash former Toronto city councillor along with citing a need for change after 15 years of Liberal rule, voters gave Ford’s party a majority government.
   The Conservatives had 76 members elected while the socialist New Democrats led by Andrea Horwath will form the Official Opposition with 40 elected.
   With a series of scandals, spending concerns and high energy costs, voters failed to give the ruling Liberals even official party status with just seven elected to the Ontario Legislature.
   Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was narrowly re-elected in her Toronto district, resigned as party leader.
   Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made history being the first member of the party elected in Ontario.
   The victory sends a clear message that “Ontario is open for business” and there will be an “era of economic growth and prosperity,” Ford said.

   Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who took his life in France, championed regional cuisines and chefs including Canadian favorites.
   Bourdain, 61, said three Montreal chefs featured on his CNN show “Parts Unknown” should be declared national heroes.
   He declared being a “huge fan” of chefs Martin Picard, Fred Morin and David McMillan.
   In a recent show from Newfoundland, Bourdain ate fish and chips in Petty Harbour, jigged for cod off the tiny fishing village of Quidi Vidi near St. John’s, and hunted moose.
   While in Nova Scotia, Bourdain expressed his fascination with the Halifax donair – a sweet-and-savoury, meat-lovers treat – now known as the city’s official food.


   News in brief:
   - Police clashed with demonstrators protesting concerns about the environment and governments away from where world leaders from the G7 were meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec. President Donald Trump, under attack by his long-time allies over new tariffs, said the Canada-U.S. relationship is better than ever. He said the two countries have made progress in the trade dispute involving steel and aluminum tariffs and the North American Free Trade Agreement’s rewriting.
   - Canada unexpectedly lost 7,500 jobs for the second month in May while wages were at their fastest year-over-year increase in nine years at 3.9 percent. Statistics Canada reported the lost jobs were in full-time employment that was only partially offset by an increase in part-time positions. The jobless rate was steady at 5.8 percent for the fourth consecutive month.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar is higher at 77.32 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.293 in Canadian funds (exchange fees extra).
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1.25 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.45 percent.
   Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 16,202 points while the TSX Venture index is 775 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada has dropped to $1.315 a liter or $4.99 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (June 6) 10, 15, 23, 38, 40 and 41; bonus 35. (June 2) 2, 26, 32, 40, 45 and 49; bonus 29. Lotto Max: (June 1) 2, 11, 17, 18, 22, 25 and 39; bonus 3.


   Regional briefs:
   - Three Canadian visitors from China have died and dozens were injured when their bus crashed in eastern Ontario. The tour bus was carrying 37 people, including the driver and a guide, when it crashed into a rock wall off Highway 401 near Prescott. Police said the cause of the crash is still unknown. The bus was operated by Massachusetts-based Union Tour Express company.
   - Earthquake scientists suggest the possibility of a “big one” hitting British Columbia is higher due to recent seismic activity. There was a jolt Friday morning with a quake measuring 3.2 on the south coast near Saturna Island. It was centered about 30 miles northeast of Victoria at a depth of about 35 miles. It was felt in parts of southern Vancouver Island and North Vancouver but there were no reports of damage.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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