In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Aug. 24.
What we are watching in Canada ...
OTTAWA — Erin O'Toole begins a new political life today as the leader of the federal Conservative party.
O'Toole was declared the winner of the leadership race early this morning after technical problems delayed the vote count by hours.
His victory over rival Peter MacKay will be a blow to some progressives, who had hoped by choosing the former longtime cabinet minister the party could finally move past some of the social conservative issues that weighed it down in the last election.
The hours-long delay was a less-than-auspicious beginning for the new leader, who now is racing to get a team in place before Parliament returns next month.
O'Toole will have to make swift choices on who will be in his inner circle, including campaign director, new party staffers, and aides on Parliament Hill.
Finding a place for Leslyn Lewis will also be key, as her climb from political newcomer to an impressive finish cements the power of social conservatives in the party.
Also this ...
VANCOUVER — Canada needs a new approach to tackle its overdose crisis.
That's according to the lead author of a new study that highlights a prevalence of overdoses involving non-prescribed fentanyl and stimulants in British Columbia.
There have been more than 15,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada since 2016.
British Columbia has recorded more than 5,000 deaths from illicit drug overdoses since declaring a public health emergency in 2016.
The study, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at 1,789 overdose deaths in British Columbia between 2015 and 2017 in which the coroner was able to determine the substances relevant to the deaths.
It reported that despite decreases in the prescription of opioids across the province, the death rate from illegal drug overdoses has continued to rise.
Dr. Alexis Crabtree, the study's lead author and resident physician in public health and preventative medicine at the University of British Columbia, says it highlights what isn't working when it comes to tackling the overdose crisis.
ICYMI (in case you missed it) ...
OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is heading to Lebanon this week to get a firsthand look at the devastation caused by this month's deadly explosions in Beirut.
The trip will mark Champagne's first overseas travel since March, when countries around the world, including Canada, closed their borders to slow the spread of COVID-19.
It comes nearly three weeks after a powerful explosion at Beirut's port ripped through the city, killing at least 180 people, injuring more than 6,000 and leaving much of Lebanon's capital in ruins.
Canada has so far committed $30 million to help pay for emergency food, water, shelter and medical assistance in the immediate aftermath.
During his visit, Champagne is expected to meet international aid workers and members of Lebanon's embattled government, which many Lebanese believe is culpable for the explosion due to endemic government corruption and negligence.
Champagne is also scheduled to visit Switzerland, Italy and Britain during his overseas trip for meetings with UN officials and several of his European counterparts.
What we are watching in the U.S. ...
WASHINGTON — U-S President Donald Trump says the federal government has granted emergency authorization for treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.
While Trump is calling the move “a breakthrough" and one of his top health officials says it is “promising,” other health experts say the therapeutic needs more study before it can be celebrated.
The blood plasma is taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and is rich in antibodies.
It may provide benefits to those battling the disease, but the evidence has been inconclusive as to how it works or how best to administer it.
WASHINGTON — One of Donald Trump’s most influential and longest-serving advisers, Kellyanne Conway, says she will be leaving the White House at the end of the month.
Conway was Trump’s campaign manager during the stretch run of the 2016 race, and she was the first woman to successfully steer a White House bid.
She then became a senior counsellor to the president.
Conway cites a need to spend time with her four children in a resignation letter she posted Sunday night.
What we are watching in the rest of the world ...
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Newly downgraded tropical storm Marco is approaching Louisiana for an expected landfall around midday today.
Tropical storm Laura, meanwhile, is forecast to move along Cuba’s southern coast during the day before entering the Gulf of Mexico and heading toward the same stretch of U.S. coast later in the week, most likely a hurricane.
Laura caused the deaths of at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, while knocking out power and causing flooding Sunday.
Marco was a hurricane most of Sunday, but the National Hurricane Center says its maximum sustained winds decreased to 110 kph after nightfall.
The centre cautions that Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 24, 2020.
The Canadian Press