Protesters defied a curfew again overnight and many faced off against heavily armed police outside the Kenosha County courthouse.
WASHINGTON — Melania Trump delivered a poignant counterpoint to her husband's brash, no-holds-barred presidency Tuesday, offering sympathy to the victims of COVID-19, empathizing with Black Lives Matter protesters, resisting partisan rival-bashing and urging Americans to stick with Donald Trump for four more years.Addressing the Republican National Convention from a newly renovated Rose Garden, with Trump himself and other dignitaries sitting in the front row, the first lady acknowledged the president's unconventional, confrontational style in a speech designed to touch on many of the points that her husband has seemed utterly unable or unwilling to make himself."I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation," she said of the pandemic."It is in times like this that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that through kindness and compassion, strength and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future."Of the racial unrest roiling the country — fuelled this week by another seemingly unprovoked police shooting of an unarmed Black man, this time in Wisconsin — she urged protesters to channel their furious energy into positive change, not wanton destruction."It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history," she said. "I'd like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause and look at things from all perspectives. I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals."Resisting the urge to beat up on the Democrats, she said of her husband: "We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things. Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he's thinking." True to form, meanwhile, Trump put the power of the U.S. presidency under a brazen partisan spotlight, using the platform of a political convention to show off his executive power: pardoning a convicted bank robber who now helps prisoners reintegrate into society and presiding over a naturalization ceremony for five new American citizens."You have done incredible work," Trump told Jon Ponder, a convicted felon and founder of a Las Vegas advocacy group called Hope for Prisoners, describing his reformation as "a beautiful testament to the power of redemption."Later, to the strains of "Hail to the Chief," Trump bore witness as acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf administered the oath of citizenship to a group of five permanent residents."You are now fellow citizens of the greatest nation on the face of God's earth," he declared during the pre-taped segment. "There's no higher honour and no greater privilege and it's an honour for me to be your president."Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a pre-taped speech from a Jerusalem rooftop in the middle of a diplomatic mission — a tactic that some in Congress decried as a blatant misuse of government resources."It is highly unusual, and likely unprecedented, for a sitting secretary of state to speak at a partisan convention for either of the political parties. It appears that it may also be illegal," Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote Tuesday to deputy secretary Stephen Biegun.Castro accused Pompeo of violating the Hatch Act, an 80-year-old law that limits the political activities of certain federal appointees — and which Pompeo's own department warned its personnel about only weeks ago. Because Pompeo is travelling on official business, the speech comprised a "flagrant violation" of the department's own rules about partisan activity, Castro argued.State Department and Trump campaign officials have insisted no federal resources were used to produce the pre-recorded video, and that the plan was vetted and cleared by federal lawyers.Pompeo's speech wasn't the night's only controversy. Hours before show time, so-called "Angel Mom" Mary Ann Mendoza, whose son was killed in a 2014 car accident involving an illegal immigrant, was scratched from the list of speakers after she retweeted a Twitter thread promoting a QAnon-linked conspiracy theory with an anti-Semitic theme.The opening strains of Tuesday's proceedings did strike a more upbeat tone than Monday's kickoff, which featured a bleak, apocalyptic vision of America under Democratic contender Joe Biden, and revisionist interpretations of Trump's first term in office. But economic adviser Larry Kudlow's rosy take on the pandemic stretched credulity to new extremes.Kudlow used the past tense to suggest the pandemic — which still rages across the U.S., having claimed more than 178,000 American lives — is a thing of the past, vanquished by the Trump administration."It was awful — health and economic impacts were tragic, hardship and heartbreak were everywhere," Kudlow said. "But presidential leadership came swiftly and effectively, with an extraordinary rescue for health and safety to successfully fight the COVID virus."Other speakers included a Maine lobster fisherman, a small-town Minnesota mayor disenchanted with the Democrats, an anti-abortion activist and the former Kentucky high school student who fought the mainstream media and online "cancel culture" after he was maligned for a confrontation with an Indigenous protester during the 2019 March for Life."I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me, and I won a personal victory," Nicholas Sandmann said. "I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage. I know President Trump hopes for that too.... no one in this country has been a victim of unfair media coverage more than President Donald Trump."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.— Follow James McCarten on Twitter @CdnPressStyleJames McCarten, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is pledging $82.5 million to improve access and address growing demand for mental health services in Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.Access to many mental health services within Indigenous communities have been disrupted due to the pandemic, while some services have shifted to virtual and telehealth treatment options, creating obstacles for those living in remote communities that have limited connectivity.Meanwhile, demand for services has surged.In the first four months of this year, the Hope for Wellness Help Line, which provides telephone and online support for First Nations, Inuit and Metis in a number of Indigenous languages, received over 10,000 calls and chats from people seeking crisis intervention services. This represents a 178 per cent increase in demand compared to the same time period in 2019.Also, the First Nations Health Authority in B.C. reported last month that First Nations overdose deaths almost doubled between January and May of this year.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller acknowledged Tuesday that a disparity exists between mental wellness support available to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada and called this situation unacceptable."The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation," Miller said."Sustained, targeted investment is needed to ensure that culturally safe mental wellness services remain available and community-driven, culturally appropriate and timely mental health supports are critical to the well-being for anyone struggling to cope with the added stress and anxiety that the COVID-19 pandemic has created."The new federal funding will support access to additional services, such as transitioning some services to virtual platforms to meet increased demand.It will also support Indigenous partners in developing new ways to address substance use and to improve access to treatment and it will work to expand access to culturally appropriate services such as on-the-land activities, community-based health supports and mental wellness teams.The new funds are a response to calls from many First Nations, Inuit and Metis leaders who have been pushing for more mental health supports in their communities, Miller said.Intergenerational trauma suffered by many Indigenous people due to Canada's history of colonialism and mistreatment of Canada's First Peoples is already a deeply difficult issue to address when it comes to mental health treatment, said Dr. Tom Wong, chief medical officer of public health for Indigenous Services CanadaThe additional anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse, he said.The negative effects of COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions have also led to increased rates of family violence against women and have also caused further isolation of Indigenous youth and those in the LGBTQ+ and two-spirit communities."We all need to be standing behind First Nations, Metis and Inuit in responding to the mental wellness, mental health crisis in Canada. It is extremely important that we stand behind them so that no communities are left behind," Wong said.Funding will be allocated to First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities based on discussions among national and regional partnership tables or regional governing leaders.There will also be some funds remaining to enable surge capacity and adaptation among national organizations and services, such as the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, First Peoples Wellness Circle and Hope for Wellness Line.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020. Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson resigned Tuesday, shortly after details of text messages that the state's married and socially conservative top law enforcement officer sent to a female state employee were revealed.“Kevin Clarkson has admitted to conduct in the workplace that did not live up to our high expectations, and this is deeply disappointing,” Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement. “This morning he took responsibility for the unintentional consequences of his actions.”The woman later said she was uncomfortable with the contact from Clarkson and reported it to her supervisor. In his resignation letter, Clarkson wrote to Dunleavy: “I sincerely apologize to you for my lapse of judgment.”The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica published a story earlier Tuesday outlining text messages Clarkson sent to the state employee. In all, he sent her 558 texts in about a month, according to the newspaper, which received them from a third-party source.In his resignation letter, Clarkson confirmed the text conversations were with a state employee who didn't work for the Department of Law and whom he did not supervise.They discussed food, movies, books and even attempts by Clarkson's wife to get a visa for her son to leave Colombia. Dunleavy had previously written to President Donald Trump asking if he could help clear immigration challenges so Clarkson’s wife and stepson could join him in Alaska.Clarkson said he and the woman also exchanged pictures of children and grandchildren, and he sent her pictures of food he prepared.“These texts included invitations for this person and her children to come to my home to share a meal, which she politely declined,” Clarkson said. “All of these texts were ‘G’ rated. There is nothing remotely salacious about the texts.”He said the texts included mutual endearments “between us in words and emojis. On several occasions, this person initiated a friendly hug when I came to her workplace, and I reflexively gave her a tiny peck of a kiss on top of her head.”The woman eventually expressed her discomfort to Clarkson. He said he respected her wishes and stopped communicating with her by text.He claims a political opponent became aware of the situation and contacted the governor’s office. At that point, the woman reported the situation to her supervisor.“I immediately and fully co-operated in the ensuing process, and have accepted the finding by Human Resources that my actions, however unintentionally, created an uncomfortable workplace environment for this employee,” Clarkson wrote.He said he made an “error in judgment, which I recognize was wholly and only mine.”Attempts by the AP to reach Clarkson by phone and email weren’t immediately successful.Dunleavy appointed the longtime Anchorage lawyer as attorney general in December 2018, and he was confirmed the following April after telling lawmakers he would not bring his personal views to the job. Gay rights and abortion rights advocates raised concerns over Clarkson, who helped draft the state's 1998 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. That was struck down in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.“Governor Dunleavy called Mr. Clarkson ‘a wise and trusted legal advisor, a man of exceptional character, and a devoted husband and father,’ yet he has proved himself to be none of these things,” Lindsay Kavanaugh, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party said in a statement.“Sexual harassment must not be tolerated anywhere. When an attorney fails to understand the difference between right and wrong, he has no business in the legal profession, never mind as the top attorney in the state,” Kavanaugh said.Ed Sniffen, an assistant attorney general, will step in as acting attorney general.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
A federal court judge has refused to give Meng Wanzhou access to sensitive information contained in reports about her arrest produced by Canada's spy agency.In a 35-page ruling released Tuesday, Judge Catherine Kane said the information that Canada's attorney general is trying to keep from public view does not amount to the "missing pieces of the puzzle" the Huawei executive is seeking in an effort to prove that she was the victim of a conspiracy between Canadian and American law enforcement.Kane's ruling follows a week of hearings held in late July in relation to redactions — material blacked-out in Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) documents released to Meng's lawyers as part of her battle against extradition to the United States.The CSIS situation reports were prepared in the days before and after the 48-year-old's arrest at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018. The attorney general argued that certain details in the documents should be shielded from public view under provisions of the Canada Evidence Act dealing with national security and international relations.But Kane said that, after reviewing the information at the heart of the case, she found that the details in question were not relevant to the arguments Meng hopes to make.The judge said Meng's lawyers had argued that they were looking for information about the planning of the Huawei chief financial officer's arrest, interagency co-operation, the execution of the arrest and evidence gathering. But none of that was contained in the blacked-out portions of the documents CSIS provided."The information does not provide the 'missing pieces of the puzzle' that Meng seeks," Kane wrote."The redacted information does not respond to or illuminate the allegations of abuse of process and is not the type of information that counsel for Ms. Meng noted would be relevant."And even if it had been relevant, the judge said, she wouldn't have been inclined to release it anyway."If any of the redacted information were marginally relevant — which it is not — the court would find that its disclosure would be injurious," Kane said.Accused of lying to bankerMeng is fighting extradition to the United States, where she is charged with fraud and conspiracy in relation to allegations that she lied to an HSBC banker about Huawei's control of a company accused of violating U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.Prosecutors claim that banks risked loss and prosecution by relying on Meng's alleged lies to make decisions which saw them continuing to handle Huawei's finances.Next month, Meng's lawyers plan to argue that the case should be tossed because Meng's rights were violated at the time of her arrest. They claim that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers detained and questioned Meng without a lawyer, seizing her electronic devices and compelling her to give up the passcodes before her official arrest.The defence team claims the RCMP then acted at the behest of the FBI to gather and share technical information about Meng's laptop, phones and tablets, in violation of the Extradition Act.The Crown released six CSIS documents to the defence earlier this year in response to an order from Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes, the B.C. Supreme Court judge overseeing the extradition case.One day of federal court arguments over the redactions was held in public and the rest of the week's hearings happened behind closed doors, with Meng's attorneys excluded along with the public.The attorney general had argued that releasing the hidden information could jeopardize Canada's already damaged relationship with China and threaten the ability of CSIS to gather information from sources who trust that their identities won't be revealed.Decision on 37 more documents to comeKane noted that the procedure to determine if sensitive details should be disclosed begins with a judge's decision on the relevance of the information in the proceedings where it is intended to be used.The judge then has to decide if releasing the information would be injurious and, finally, whether the public interest in disclosure would outweigh the public interest in keeping it sealed.The CSIS documents in question never cleared the first hurdle in the process, she said.The decision comes as Holmes is considering similar questions about details kept from public view in 37 more CBSA, RCMP and Department of Justice documents.The Crown has argued that the information in those documents is protected by privilege associated with communications between lawyers and their clients and public interest.Meng will make her next appearance in court in Vancouver in September, when her lawyers are expected to argue that her rights have been breached.She has denied the allegations against her and is currently living under a form of house arrest after being released on $10 million bail in the days after her arrest. She is required to wear a monitoring bracelet on her ankle and is trailed by round-the-clock security.
Family and friends of a Calgary teen who was killed by her own father in a drunk driving crash shared their pain in court Tuesday over losing the young woman who was passionate about ringette and had a bubbly personality.Michael Shaun Bomford was found guilty in January of drunk driving causing death and bodily harm, as well as dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm, in the 2016 crash.Meghan Bomford, 17, died after she was thrown from her father's Jeep on McKnight Boulevard in October of that year.Meghan's best friend, Kelsey Nelson, was also thrown from the vehicle. She survived but suffered a serious brain injury."You took away my soulmate," Nelson said during her victim impact statement on Tuesday. The now 20-year-old, who was 16 at the time of the crash, said she doesn't remember the drive itself.Since the crash, she's undergone three brain surgeries. She broke her neck, back and facial bones, ruptured her eardrums, punctured a lung and spent 63 days in hospital. Now she has a permanent brain injury, impacting her cognitive skills, problem-solving, memory and language. She's missing an inch of her skull."For the rest of my life, I will pay for the consequence of your actions," she said. "I keep telling myself that Meghan is coming back, that she is just on a long holiday."'I will never forgive him'Meghan Bomford's aunt, Heather Cooper, said she is still filled with anger over that day."I will never forgive him for what he's taken from us — ever. I won't. This wasn't an accident, this could have been prevented. Don't drink and drive. Don't," she said. Bomford has been out on bail since the trial ended in January.He addressed the court, breaking down in tears at points as he spoke. "Every day I wish things had gone differently. I wish I could trade my life for Meghan's and [for] Kelsey's injuries," he said.During the trial, evidence was presented that Bomford was drunk at the time of the crash with a blood-alcohol limit three times the legal limit.Accident reconstructionists showed that the Jeep was travelling more than 30 km/h above the speed limit when Bomford lost control."I can only imagine this is somewhat what hell is like," Bomford told the courtroom. "I wish things were different. I'm sorry … that's all I can say."The Crown is asking for Bomford to serve seven years, while the defence has asked for five. The judge will decide on a sentence in early September.
The president of the U.N. Security Council, Indonesia, said on Tuesday it was "not in the position to take further action" on a U.S. bid to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran because there is no consensus in the 15-member body. Thirteen council members expressed their opposition on Friday, arguing that Washington's move is void given it is using a process agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that it quit two years ago. Indonesia's U.N. Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, council president for August, was responding to a question from Russia and China on the issue during a meeting on the Middle East.
OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer is warning against the spread of online untruths about vaccines, as a new survey suggests some Canadians are worried about getting inoculated against COVID-19.Dr. Theresa Tam made the comments during a news conference Tuesday while responding to the Statistics Canada survey, which found nearly one-quarter of respondents unlikely or unsure whether they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.Many experts and political leaders have touted the successful development and widespread rollout of a vaccine as essential for an eventual return to normalcy, including the full reopening of economies and ending physical distancing.More than 76 per cent of respondents in the Statistics Canada survey indicated they would likely get inoculated if and when a vaccine is ready. Yet 14 per cent said they were somewhat or very unlikely to do so. Nine per cent remained unsure.Those who indicated they were unlikely to get a vaccine were asked to identify the reasons for their reluctance. More than half cited a lack of confidence in its safety while a similar number said they were worried about potential risks and side effects.About one-quarter of respondents, who were allowed to give more than one answer, said they did not consider it necessary to get the vaccine while about 10 per cent indicated they did not believe in vaccines at all.More than one-third said they would likely just wait until the vaccine seemed safe.The survey also indicated younger Canadians and those who don't have a university degree are more likely to be hesitant or nervous about a vaccine than those who are older and more educated.The crowd-sourced survey of around 4,000 Canadians was conducted between June 15-21. It cannot be given a margin of error because the participants do not represent a random sample.Asked about the survey, Tam underscored the importance of "vaccine confidence," describing it as integral to the successful rollout of vaccine.She went on to promise that regulators won't take any shortcuts with safety despite the government agreeing to several changes to the clinical-trial process to get a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed faster."Just because it's an accelerated process to get vaccines for Canadians does not mean we're going to shortchange anything on safety and effectiveness," Tam said. "I do have confidence in our regulatory system."Tam also took aim at the spread of falsehoods about vaccines online."I do think social media and internet companies do have responsibilities in terms of their role in the space," she said."So I would look towards different partners, different government departments also coming together to look at how we better address some of the misinformation that's in that space."She is not the first to speak out on this issue, as some have blamed the growing number and influence of anti-vaccination groups online for a resurgence in childhood diseases such as measles.Facebook announced last year that it would be cracking down on so-called "anti-vaxxer" groups, which included labelling posts deemed as containing false information about vaccines. The social media giant now being sued by one such group in California.Josh Greenberg, a communications professor at Carleton University who has been studying Canadians' attitudes towards a COVID-19 vaccine, said safety concerns aren't unexpected, given the pressure governments and industry are facing to get something working fast.Yet he said it is essential that Ottawa push back against misinformation campaigns, which have been growing in numbers and influence even as governments around the world have been slow to react."When you look at issues like COVID-19 and the campaign to ready or prepare the public for the eventual release of a vaccine, you're talking about a battle for both hearts and minds," Greenberg said."It's not just an information battle of trying to make sure that people have accurate information, but that you are persuading them in such a way that they trust the veracity of the information you're providing and they also trust the source of that information."While the world is rushing to find a vaccine for COVID-19, new reports of several people having been reinfected with the novel coronavirus after testing positive once before raise concerns that it might be a moving target.Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said the cases in Hong Kong, Belgium and the Netherlands highlight ongoing questions about immunity to COVID-19 and the need for an effective vaccine.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Erin O'Toole won the leadership of the Conservative Party convincingly, beating runner-up Peter MacKay by over 27,000 votes. Had it not been for a few hundred votes cast in Quebec, however, it might have been a lot closer.That's because there weren't many members in Quebec to be swayed.The Conservative leadership vote was decided using a points system that awarded each riding equal weight regardless of how many members cast ballots in it. On points, O'Toole defeated MacKay by a margin of 57 to 43 per cent.But in the raw vote, O'Toole's margin was even wider, at 59 to 41 per cent, thanks in large part to his 67 per cent vote share in Alberta, where there are lots of members.In the end, the points system cost O'Toole only a little bit — and not nearly enough to risk denying him the leadership. It would not have taken much to flip the outcome, however.An analysis of the riding-by-riding results suggests that as few as 1,210 votes decided the outcome between O'Toole and MacKay.A small number of party members voted in 36 ridings in Quebec, two in Newfoundland and Labrador and the single riding in Nunavut. If MacKay had run the table in these 39 ridings, pulling those 1,210 members away from O'Toole and to himself, he would have won the leadership narrowly.That narrow margin would not be as thin as it was in 2017, when (theoretically) 66 ballots were all that separated Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier in the last round of voting. But does show how the points system could have had unpredictable results. Flipping those 1,210 votes — which amounted to just 0.8 per cent of all ballots still active in the third round — would have given the win to MacKay on points, despite a theoretical 58 to 42 per cent popular vote loss.Quebec punches above its weight, againIt was obvious before the results were finally announced that Quebec would punch above its weight in the leadership vote, just as it did in 2017. It would have been absolutely decisive in any scenario ending with a MacKay victory.Along with the second- and third-choice support of social conservative members who initially voted for Derek Sloan and Leslyn Lewis, Quebec was an important part of O'Toole's path to victory.The votes of Sloan and Lewis supporters mattered in Quebec, too. About one quarter of Sloan's supporters in Quebec ranked O'Toole as their second choice. More than half of the ballots liberated when Lewis was eliminated after the second round went to O'Toole as well (MacKay got only 18 per cent of those ballots, while the rest didn't have O'Toole or MacKay ranked).But just 4,166 Quebec members of the party voted for O'Toole in the last round, representing only 4.6 per cent of O'Toole's support across the country. By comparison, 26 per cent of O'Toole's 90,635 votes came from Alberta. That's roughly twice the province's share of the national population.On average, 98 members voted in each of Quebec's 78 ridings — the lowest number of votes per riding nationwide in the Conservative leadership race. An average of 333 voters cast ballots in each riding in Atlantic Canada, in 457 ridings in Manitoba, 574 in British Columbia, 632 in Ontario and 651 in Saskatchewan.Alberta had the highest average participation per riding, at 1,161. That means the average vote in Alberta was worth 0.08 points. In Quebec, the average vote was worth 1.02 points — nearly 12 times as much.The disparity was widest between the Montreal riding of Bourassa and the Alberta riding of Foothills, south of Calgary. By the last round, just 23 ballots were still in play in Bourassa, compared to 1,866 in Foothills. Each ballot in Bourassa was worth about 81 times as much as a vote in Foothills. But because he received 65 per cent of the vote in both ridings, the two ridings were each worth 65 points to O'Toole.Conservative membership in Quebec down from 2017This points system is not unique to the Conservative Party. The Liberals, among other parties, also use this system. It partially reflects how general elections are run (seats, not the total vote count, decide the outcome) and ensures that regions get a say. For defenders of the system (which have included MacKay), these are features, not bugs.But its distortions highlight an ongoing problem for the Conservatives.The party successfully used this leadership race to grow its active membership. The number of members who cast ballots increased to 174,000 from 141,000 three years ago. It went up in every province — except Quebec.In Western Canada, the number of members who voted increased to 79,088 from 60,511, a jump of 31 per cent. The number of ballots cast grew by about 11,600 to 76,419 in Ontario, an increase of 18 per cent. In Atlantic Canada, votes soared by 70 per cent to 10,664. This was in large part due to MacKay, who is from the region. Nova Scotia saw the biggest spike.In Quebec, however, the number of members who voted in this leadership race dropped to 7,647 from 9,669 in 2017. That's a decrease of 21 per cent, dropping Quebec's total share of the vote to 4.4 per cent from 6.8 per cent three years ago, which was already well below its 23 per cent share of the Canadian population.The last leadership race had two candidates from Quebec (Bernier and Steven Blaney), which might explain some of the decrease. But Saskatchewan also had two candidates in 2017 (Scheer and Brad Trost). It saw its number of votes increase to 9,111 from 7,404, leap-frogging Quebec. The lack of a hometown hero this time did not affect Saskatchewan's membership numbers, which increased at the same rate as the country as a whole.The Conservatives have long struggled to appeal to French-speaking Quebecers, something we see reflected in the membership numbers in Quebec itself. Quebec ridings where francophones are not a majority make up 17 per cent of the province's population, but provided 24 per cent of the party's voting members.Though O'Toole was able to win the province's shrinking number of members, it remains to be seen how successful he will be in getting support among the broader population. He didn't get much help from the Quebec caucus during the leadership race. He received only one endorsement from the party's 10 Quebec MPs and did not win any of the ridings represented by the seven Quebec Conservatives who endorsed MacKay.The party hasn't had much success in Quebec since the days of Brian Mulroney, so gaining ground in the province was always going to be a challenge no matter who the leader was. But it will be hard for O'Toole to make progress without a solid Conservative base in Quebec. His win there doesn't really change that.
TORONTO — An escalating disagreement over school reopening safety standards between Ontario's major teachers' unions and Premier Doug Ford's government could be headed to the province's labour board, a letter to union members said late Tuesday.In a joint update to the 190,000 teachers and education workers they represent, the unions said a Monday sit down with Minister Monte McNaughton produced "no firm commitment" to address allegations that the province's school reopening plan violates the Occupational Health and Safety Act.The unions — the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation — said they have now asked the Ministry of Labour to issue a series of workplace orders to set safety standards in schools."(The unions) stressed repeatedly in the meeting that these standards are not just necessary for the safety of teachers and education workers, but also protect the safety of students and their families," the letter said. With just weeks to go before classes start, the Ford government has faced increasing pressure over its COVID-19 pandemic back-to-school plan.The province’s strategy will see students in kindergarten through Grade 8 return to school without any reduction in class sizes, though students will spend the day in a single cohort to limit contact with other children.Most high schoolers will also be in class full-time, though students at some boards across the province will take half their courses online in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.Teachers' unions, school boards, and some parents say the province must lower elementary class sizes and fund the reduction, instead of insisting boards dip into their own reserve funds to lease extra space or hire additional staff to promote physical distancing.The unions said Tuesday the Labour Ministry — which oversees workplaces in the province — should order standards which mandate 15 to 20 students per class, to ensure a two-metre distance can be maintained between pupils.They said an order establishing a maximum cohort of 50 students should be set and along with busing standards which take precautions against COVID-19."The unions raised the urgent concern that there are no clear health and safety standards being set out or ordered by the Ministry ... the Ministry confirmed that no such standards have yet been set," the union alleges in the letter. The unions also said the ministry should follow ventilation requirements already deemed safe for the province's courthouses."The Ministry was asked why, if those standards were good enough for judges and lawyers, they were not good enough for students, teachers and education workers," the letter said. They said boards should also be allowed to delay the beginning of the academic year either board wide or at specific schools to ensure health and safety measures are in place.The government has said it will allow school boards to stagger the start of school over the first two weeks of the new academic year and has pledged an additional $50 million for upgrades to ventilation systems.If the orders aren't issued by Friday, the unions say they will file a complaint about the province's reopening plan to the Ontario Labour Board.A spokesman for the labour minister said inspectors are currently working with safety staff and Joint Health and Safety Committee co-chairs at school boards across Ontario."We have been vigilant in enforcing workplace safety for frontline workers in the health care, construction, agriculture, manufacturing, service and retail sectors," Bradley Metlin said in a statement. "We will continue this vigilance with teachers as well."The Ontario government has had a rocky relationship with the province’s teachers’ unions since taking office in 2018.Earlier this year, the government concluded a contentious round of contract talks with the unions after months of teacher walk outs that led to days-long school closures.Ford has repeatedly criticized the unions in recent weeks, appealing to them to work with the province on the return to school.Last week, he defended his plan saying it’s been approved by experts including the province’s chief medical officer of health.“I’m always going to listen to the doctors,” he said. “I’m not going to listen to the head of the unions that are playing politics.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
The world must avoid a new Cold War, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi, the government's top diplomat, said on Tuesday in apparent reference to escalating tensions between China and the United States. Speaking on a visit to Italy, Wang said it was important for China and the European Union to strengthen their own ties and cooperate further in the fight against the coronavirus. U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed China for the spread of the deadly disease.
How life arose on Earth remains a mystery, though many theories have been proposed. Now a new study by Japanese scientists has reinvigorated the discussion around panspermia: The idea that life may have reached Earth from Mars.The panspermia hypothesis suggests life may have arisen on another planet, with bacteria travelling through space, hitching a ride on a piece of rock or other means, eventually making its long-distance journey to Earth. Mars is a particularly appealing source, as studies suggest it was once potentially habitable with a large hemispheric ocean.However, the biggest challenge has been determining if bacteria could survive the harsh interplanetary — or even intergalactic — journey.To answer that question, a group of Japanese scientists, in participation with the Japanese space agency, JAXA, conducted an experiment on the International Space Station.In the new study, published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology, researchers found, with some shielding, some bacteria could survive harsh ultraviolet radiation in space for up to 10 years.Protective shieldFor their experiment, the team used Deinococcal bacteria, well-known for tolerating large amounts of radiation. They placed dried aggregates (think of them as a collection of bacteria) varying in thickness (in the sub-millimetre range) in exposure panels outside the space station for one, two and three years beginning in 2015.Early results in 2017 suggested the top layer of aggregates died but ultimately provided a kind of protective shield for the underlying bacteria that continued to live. Still, it was unclear whether that sub-layer would survive beyond one year.WATCH | NASA launches mission to Mars:The new three-year experiment found they could. Aggregates larger than 0.5 mm all survived below the top layer. Researchers hypothesized that a colony larger than one millimetre could survive up to eight years in space. If the colony was further shielded by a rock — perhaps ejected after something slammed into a planet such as Mars — its lifespan could extend up to 10 years.Akihiko Yamagishi, a professor at Tokyo University in the department of pharmacy and life sciences who was principal investigator of the Tanpopo mission designed to test the durability of microorganisms on the ISS, said one of the important findings is that microbes could indeed survive the voyage from Mars to Earth."It increases the probability of the process, [making it] much higher," Yamagishi said in an interview. "Some think that life is very rare and happened only once in the universe, while others think that life can happen on every suitable planet. If panspermia is possible, life must exist much more often than we previously thought."There are two important factors, he believes: Mars and Earth come relatively close together in their orbits every two years, which would allow time for transfer of bacteria; and the RNA World theory.The theory hypothesizes that Earth was once composed of self-replicating ribonucleic acids (RNA) before deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and other proteins took hold. Yamagishi believes that RNA could have once existed on Mars before conditions for life arose on Earth and potentially travelled towards Earth bringing along RNA which began to seed our planet.Not 'ironclad proof'This isn't the first experiment to see whether bacteria could survive in space. In past experiments, where microbes were mixed with clay, sugar or other elements, the bacteria died. However, this is the most promising finding to date supporting the panspermia hypothesis.While some research suggests bacteria could survive a trip embedded in rock, this is the first of its kind to suggest they could survive without that kind of aid, what the researchers term "massapanspermia."However, it's not an open and shut case."Actually proving that it could happen is another thing, so I wouldn't say that this is ironclad proof," said Mike Reid, a professor at the University of Toronto's Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics who wasn't involved in the Japanese study. "It's certainly leading in that direction."Does Reid believe life could have made its way from Mars to Earth?"If you'd asked me 20 years ago, I would have said no, of course not. But now, it's a little hard to say," he said. "I think we won't be able to answer that question until we've had a really thorough look at the surface of Mars ... did it ever have life ... and was it like us?"The answer to that question could come in the form of NASA's Perseverance mission to Mars that launched on July 30. One of the main goals of the state-of-the-art rover is to look for past signs of life on the red planet, taking samples to be returned to Earth at a later date.While promising, the Japanese research team acknowledged that, while their research strengthens the case for panspermia, other factors need to be considered, such as whether bacteria could survive the descent through Earth's atmosphere.
The father of slain three-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim, the youngest victim in the New Zealand mosque shootings, told the white supremacist who gunned down his son that "true justice" awaited him in the next life and it would be more severe than prison. "You have killed my son and to me it is as if you have killed the whole of New Zealand," Aden Ibrahim Diriye said in a statement read by a family member during a sentencing hearing for Brenton Tarrant on Wednesday. Gunman Brenton Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to 51 murders, 40 attempted murders and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the 2019 shooting rampage in the city of Christchurch which he livestreamed on Facebook.
As a young mom, Twyla McDougall liked the idea of home-schooling but wasn't sure she could pull it off.McDougall, a former dental hygienist, thought parents who taught their own children at home had to be "ridiculously smart," extremely organized, financially well-off, and familiar with school curriculums."That's so not true, and I'm so thankful for that," she said with a laugh.With so many parents feeling anxiety about sending their kids into the classroom, home-based education, known as home-schooling, is getting more attention. It requires more from parents than just supervising virtual learning. In home-schooling, parents become the teachers and must find or create lesson plans and, if required, do their own evaluations and record-keeping. Some would-be home-schoolers have posted in online forums that they believe teaching their own kids would be much less stressful than trying to cajole their child into sitting in front of a computer for virtual learning, an experience that got a failing grade from many parents in the spring.Home-schooling is more time-intensive and more responsibility than sending kids to class, but also means more control and flexibility, said McDougall, who lives in Regina.She felt compelled to give it a shot after her daughter, Ella, now 10, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung condition. McDougall didn't want Ella, who is often hospitalized, to be unnecessarily exposed to germs in the "Petri dish" of elementary school.Six years later, McDougall home-schools all three of her daughters — Ella, 10, Soleil, 8, and Allegra, 7 — and loves it.She's been getting a lot of questions from parents who are considering home-schooling this fall."I don't think it's as hard as people think," she said.That doesn't mean it's easy, though.Provincial requirements varyMany parents, particularly low-income families and essential workers, say they have no choice but to send their kids back to the classroom. Some others working full-time jobs from home argue that even supervising their child's remote learning is difficult to manage.Monique Willms, a former public school teacher who home-schools her two children in Estevan, Sask., started a Facebook page called Suddenly Homeschooling and a mentoring service for parents considering it."The flood of questions has been constant," she said. "I could spend easily eight hours a day just answering questions."WATCH | Monique Willms offers advice on home-schooling:Only a tiny fraction of Canadian students — less than one per cent — are home-schooled, according to a 2017 report by Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank. The requirements and funding vary in different provinces.Some provinces, such as Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Quebec, require home-schooling parents to submit a written education plan that details areas of study, learning outcomes, and their plans for assessment; while others, such as Ontario and P.E.I, only ask for notification from parents that they're home-schooling.Some provinces provide free access to instructional materials and textbooks, and all the territories reimburse expenses. Only Alberta and Saskatchewan offer funding to parents who register before a certain deadline.Across Canada, there is no mandatory testing of home-schooled children, though Quebec has plans to introduce mandatory exams in the coming years. Both Alberta and Quebec have a monitoring system in place to check on home-schooled children, but most provinces do not.James Dwyer, a law professor from Virginia who co-authored the book Homeschooling: The History and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice, finds the lack of oversight to be alarming."There are some home-schools where the only effort that's made is to just indoctrinate religiously," he said.'A thousand wonderful ways to do it'Both Twyla McDougall and Monique Willms believe that motivated parents who can juggle their work schedules, or make a financial sacrifice, are capable and qualified to teach their children."There are honestly a thousand wonderful ways to do it," said Willms, who also runs her own business from home and frequently works as a substitute teacher in local public schools.She said parents shouldn't worry that they won't be patient enough or won't remember how to do math equations and science experiments."I say 'I don't know' to my children daily about a dozen times," she said. "It's followed up with, 'Yeah, I wonder … let's go look it up.'"For example, Willms doesn't teach subjects separately but rather incorporates math, science, English and art into a walk in the woods. Her children are interested in ancient civilizations so this fall they will brainstorm their own civilization and create its history, religion, and maps of their resources.For children in traditional school, the average school day is usually about six and a half hours. McDougall spends a lot less time than that formally instructing her children each day. She sets them up at the kitchen table every morning at 9 a.m. for more structured learning, but then keeps their afternoons free for play, social gatherings, field trips, and other activities.Home-schoolers often work together as a co-operative or meet up in groups for field trips, although that will present some challenges with restrictions on social gathering sizes.The academic success of home-schooled children is a topic of much debate and conflicting research. A 2015 report on home-schooling in Canada from the right-eleaning Fraser Institute found studies generally show higher academic percentile scores for home-schooled students when tested by researchers. The report indicated, however, that many studies only test gifted children or don't account for other factors.McDougall said home-schooling offers more flexibility for children to learn at their own pace."We don't have to force something. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't push through and try, but if this is just not coming together for that child right then, well, let's focus on something else until that child is ready to take that on again," she said. "That seems to really work well."Not a viable option for some parentsAlec Couros, a professor of educational technology at the University of Regina and former high school teacher, is still trying to decide what learning option to choose for his four children.His first choice is face-to-face instruction in the classroom, if he's satisfied with safety protocols. But he may still opt for remote learning, which requires him to play a mentor role.Couros believes home-schooling would be too demanding."It's very time intensive," he said, adding that he has four children ranging in age from six to 16 and a full-time job teaching online university classes from home."Although I'm trained as a teacher, I don't intimately know the curriculum for each level," he said. "I'd really like to trust a teacher to do the assessment to ensure the curriculum objectives are covered," he said. 'We just have a lot of peace'The clock is ticking, and stress levels are high for parents who haven't decided what to do with their children's education this fall. But both McDougall and Willms feel much differently."I'm excited and we have planning underway," said Willms. "We just have a lot of peace."WATCH | McDougall explains what it takes to home-school:
As if the weather in Newfoundland and Labrador weren't already one of the stories of the year in 2020, the Canadian Hurricane Centre says the Atlantic Ocean could see double the usual number of for hurricanes and tropical storms this fall.Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud says the newest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has bumped up the number of storms expected earlier this year."It's predicted to be well above average in terms of the number of storms," Robichaud told The St. John's Morning Show on Tuesday. In May the administration forecast between 13 and 19 storms, he said, but in its August report now predicts between 19 and 25, well above the average of 12.Robichaud said the potential increase in the number of storms can attributed to La Niña, which can help bring warm water into the Atlantic Ocean and become a catalyst for more hurricanes."When we have a year when we have a La Niña, which is what we're heading toward now, we tend to have less wind shear in the tropical Atlantic," Robichaud said."If you take into account that we have warm waters in the tropical Atlantic this year...plus the fact that we have lower wind shear, those two phenomenon are kind of conspiring to result in an active hurricane season."Robichaud said the hurricane centre is already seeing the signs of an active hurricane season, highlighted by storms Marco and Laura approaching the U.S. gulf coast at the same time."It's actually not too unusual to see two storms simultaneously. What we tend to not see quite as often is storms being that close together in roughly the same time frame," he said.Marco made landfall near Louisiana on Monday, and it is expected Laura could expand quickly in the next 24 to 36 hours.Robichaud said experts are asking the public to begin storm preparations earlier than usual this fall, as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed business in places such as grocery stores."All those preparations that you would typically do once you see a storm that's approaching, get those preparations done way ahead of time so that we don't have to deal with any kind of lineups."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
This is a treehopper from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Treehoppers are insects related to cicadas and leafhoppers. Most treehoppers have a highly modified pronotum on the back, in this case forming five hairy globes and a long spine, probably serving to deter predators.
Serena Jenna, 14, opens up a folding chair and pulls a green blanket out of her backpack to protect herself from the rain.She hunkers down for several hours at a street corner in downtown Yellowknife.Drivers blow their horns as they pass, others walk by barely noticing her.On her lap is a large cardboard sign. It reads "BLM" in large letters — the acronym for the Black Lives Matter movement.For the last five Tuesdays Jenna has set up camp in this same spot quietly demonstrating for several hours."It's just basic human decency," she said."I know sitting here some people are going to say, 'Oh, that's such a brave thing to do,'" said Jenna about being a teenager standing up against racism."Don't do that," she said."It's about Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor and every single other person who has faced discrimination just because of what they look like."> It's just basic human decency. \- Serena JennaJenna, who identifies as queer, says she's known about racism for a long time, learning about slavery and colonization in school."I can hide the fact that I am queer. For people who can't hide who they are it must be so much harder," said Jenna.The teen says she learned about the death of George Floyd, Elijah McClain and Breonna Taylor in the media. This week another Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot and seriously injured by police in Wisconsin."Some people are scared to get out of their house to go for a cup of coffee, like we can do every day. It's disgusting," she said. TV show showcases systemic racismBut what spurred Jenna to take action herself was an episode of The Umbrella Academy, a Netflix super hero show involving time travel.A Black character, who was trapped in the early 1960s, experienced acts of racism while sitting in a whites-only cafe, she said."I started crying," said Jenna, adding that she was finally realizing how long systemic racism has been going on.She delved into the history of the Black Lives Matter movement. She said she was seven when it started."How come nobody told me this?" said Jenna. Now, she wants to inspire others to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement and take action.> I do hope if everybody does just a little bit, hopefully the world will change. \- Serena JennaIt's not just a trend, she said, referring to how some people post about it on social media."They can put a hashtag BLM on a few posts and then it's like, 'OK, I'm not racist, it's fine, moving on.' But people are literally dying because of this," she said.Jenna starts Grade 10 next week. It's part-time during the COVID-19 pandemic, so she hopes to keep up her weekly Tuesday ritual. For the most part, she said, feedback has been positive with only two negative encounters."I think [Generation] Z as a whole, generally we are really fighting for this," said Jenna."I'm just one person and I don't have an influence on the world ... But I do hope if everybody does just a little bit, hopefully the world will change."
Police and search and rescue volunteers in Coquitlam are asking members of the public to stay away from the trail network where a hiker went missing this weekend. Ali Safar Naderi, 52, was reported missing at 9 p.m. on Sunday after his car was found parked in the 2100 block of Diamond Crescent, near the foot of Eagle Mountain.On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of the local RCMP and Coquitlam Search and Rescue released a new image of Naderi taken by a trail camera that shows how he appeared when he set out on his hike.RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said searchers have made significant progress in the last 24 hours, thanks to tips from the public."We've had some crucial information come in from ordinary citizens who are alert, giving us a place to focus our investigation," McLaughlin told reporters."It's very important that people give our search and rescue workers the space they need to work. Don't come to this location, don't contaminate the trail."Naderi is known to hike alone in the area nearly every day, police say, but there is an intricate network of trails that made the search difficult before tips from the public helped narrow down where to look.Search and rescue manager Ray Nordstrand said Naderi appears to have gone much farther north than previously believed. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were about 40 search and rescue workers out in the field looking for the missing man, and more were expected to arrive soon.Nordstrand said it's crucial for anyone who goes hiking to be prepared and let someone know about your trip plans in case you get lost.Naderi is described as having brown eyes and salt and pepper hair that curls over his ears. He is about five feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 176 pounds. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550.Police do not believe there is any criminal intent or foul play involved in Naderi's disappearance.
WASHINGTON — Senior U.S. and Israeli officials will take the first commercial flight between Israel and the United Arab Emirates next week, flying from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi in a symbolic and substantive demonstration of improved ties since the countries' historic agreement this month to normalize relations.The flight, likely on an Israeli El-Al airliner emblazoned with the Jewish state's national colours of blue and white and the Star of David, will be the first known direct trip by the flag-carrier to a Gulf Arab country and an important sign of progress in implementing the Aug. 13 agreement between Israel and the UAE, officials said Tuesday.U.S. officials said the U.S. delegation on board will be headed by President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and will include national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook, administration officials said.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, announced that his national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, would lead Israel's delegation. A number of Israeli government ministries will also send representatives, including the directors of the foreign and defence ministries and the national aviation authority, he said.Netanyahu said the talks would “advance peace and normalization” with the UAE and would focus on flights and tourism, trade, business, energy, security and health, including the coronavirus pandemic.“This is a historic agreement,” Netanayahu said. “It will spur growth. It will help bring general economic growth, especially during the coronavirus era. I hope that other countries in our region will join the circle of peace.”The flight also would indicate Saudi support for the deal. Saudi Arabia has voiced lukewarm support and until now has not said whether they would allow the two countries to use its airspace for direct flights. Without Saudi acquiescence, flights would likely have to take a roundabout and potentially risky route around Yemen and through the Persian Gulf.U.S. officials said the flight and the subsequent meetings between Israeli and UAE officials would be a centerpiece of Kushner's next trip to the Middle East, which is set to begin this weekend.In addition to Israel and the UAE, Kushner's team is expected to visit Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on what will be the second of two high-profile trips to the region by senior Trump administration officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Bahrain on the third leg of a Mideast tour that began in Israel and Sudan.The flurry of activity comes as the Trump administration presses ahead with ambitious plans to promote Arab-Israeli rapprochement even in the absence of a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which had long been seen as a prerequisite for the Jewish state to reach peace deals with all of its Arab neighbours.Trump has made the matter a priority and his efforts have picked up steam in the months before November's presidential election, in which he is counting on support from conservative American Jews and the evangelical Christian community.The UAE is just the third Arab country to agree to official relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. Israeli and American officials have expressed hope that other Gulf Arab countries will soon follow suit, with relations based on mutual commercial and security interests, and their shared enmity toward Iran.Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said today he will work to address regional divisions in Canada and build a more inclusive political party that better reflects the country's population.During his first news conference since winning the leadership on Monday, O'Toole said Canadians haven't always seen themselves reflected in the party."I'm going to change that," he said.O'Toole won the leadership on the third ballot early Monday morning after a long night of delays caused by technical glitches in the ballot processing system. Final results, which were expected before 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, weren't announced until after 1 a.m. Monday.On his first day on the job, O'Toole dealt with transition issues and spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Western alienation, emergency pandemic funding and the government's decision to prorogue Parliament until Sept. 23.O'Toole would not say today how his party intends to proceed on the confidence vote on the throne speech — which could trigger an election — but said it's critical for the government to address western alienation in its plan going forward."If they continue to leave out the ability for our resource sector to get Canadian resources to market, we're going to see more Western alienation, we're going to see less jobs and opportunity for Canadians in Ontario, in Atlantic Canada," he said."So we need to make sure that Canada's strength in natural resources is part of that economic plan. We can do that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we have to be proud of what we produce here in Canada."O'Toole said he wants to collaborate with the provinces instead of taking an "Ottawa knows best" approach.In his acceptance speech early Monday, O'Toole said he would work to heal any internal rifts in the party and broaden the party's base of support."I believe that whether you are Black, white, brown or from any race or creed, whether you are LGBT or straight, whether you are an Indigenous Canadian or have joined the Canadian family three weeks ago or three generations ago, whether you're doing well or barely getting by ... you are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada," he said.O'Toole repeated a similar line today.O'Toole says he has 'clear track record' on human rightsDuring the fall election campaign, his predecessor Andrew Scheer was dogged with questions about his social conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. O'Toole said today he has a "clear track record" when it comes to human rights."I won the leadership of the Conservative party as a pro-choice Conservative MP, one that won with a strong mandate," he said. "That's how I'm going to lead as the leader of the Opposition and that's how I will be as prime minister. I'm in politics to defend the rights of Canadians to secure a brighter future."O'Toole also noted he also was one of only 18 Conservative MPs to vote in favour of a bill advancing transgender rights.Acknowledging he has work to do in getting Canadians to know him, O'Toole emphasized his middle class roots."I'm not famous, I'm not well known. I get things done. I don't drop the ball and I've always fought for Canadians," he said."I have no famous name. I just fight for Canadians. And after the pandemic, with record deficits, with the challenges we face in the world, we need a fighter. I think we're tired of a directionless, divisive and ethically challenged liberal government."Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said O'Toole will be a strong voice for his province and said he's confident he'll work to address regional alienation."One of the reasons I endorsed Erin is because he has been a consistent, long-time leader on real priority issues for Albertans around oil and gas, pipelines, fairness in the federation, jobs and the economy," he said.'Bold efforts' requiredJonathan Malloy, a political science professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, said O'Toole will need "bold efforts" to bring the Conservatives back to government.He said that while Stephen Harper's strategy of assembling the minimum number of voters necessary to win worked to ensure a unified and well-funded party, it proved insufficient in the 2019 election."This is beyond appealing to specific groups of voters and policy areas — it's a mindset that sees growth and inclusion as a good, not just grudgingly necessary, thing," he said in an email response to questions from CBC News."In particular, the party must cultivate a more positive and collective vision, rather than the resentful individualism of its 2019 election slogan: 'It's time for you to get ahead.'"David Stewart, a political science professor at the University of Calgary, said one big challenge for O'Toole will be to appeal to voters who might have suspicions about the social conservative views of many within the party."The party can't win an election without overwhelming support from social conservatives, but it can't win if it is unable to reach out more broadly," he said in an email.While leadership contender Peter MacKay had a narrow lead on the first ballot, O'Toole ended up taking 57 per cent of the votes, scooping up support from those who had supported social conservatives Leslyn Lewis and Derek Sloan. Liberal MP calls for Sloan's expulsionOntario Liberal MP Pam Damoff issued a news release calling on O'Toole to condemn "racism, misogyny and bigotry" within his caucus by removing Sloan from his team and refusing to sign his nomination papers for the next election.She cited past statements from Sloan criticizing Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam that many people considered racist and pointed out that he supported conversion therapy."I am proud to be part of a caucus that believes in protecting LGBTQ2 rights and women's rights and sees Canada's diversity, including within our public service, as our greatest strength," she said in the release."If Mr. O'Toole wants to prove that he only pandered to far-right groups in order to win the leadership, and not as part of his vision for the next campaign, he has a lot of work ahead of him. However, the first item on his list needs to be removing Derek Sloan from his team."O'Toole said he and Sloan have some "very stark differences" in positions, though there are some areas of overlap, such as shared concerns about China. O'Toole said he didn't agree with the way Sloan characterized some of his concerns. "But certainly within a pandemic, within the race we were in, a lot of things were said. We're united now, we're going to talk together as a caucus soon," he said.As leader of the Official Opposition, O'Toole is entitled to a salary top-up of $87,200 in addition to an MP's annual salary of $182,600, and the use of the official residence at Stornoway. Scheer has moved out of Stornoway already but there's no word yet on when the O'Toole family will take up occupancy.Key appointments for leader's teamO'Toole also made some key appointments and announced one nomination today: * Tausha Michaud, a long-time political staffer who served as O'Toole's senior adviser when he was Veterans Affairs minister, becomes chief of staff. * Fred DeLorey, who led O'Toole's leadership campaign and has worked for the Conservative Party, former prime minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, was named national campaign manager. * Alupa Clarke, a former Conservative MP who served as O'Toole's Quebec campaign chair, was appointed senior adviser to the leader. * Janet Fryday Dorey, former president of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party, was nominated for the position of executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada. The nomination must be ratified by the party's national council.Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains was asked by a reporter if he had any concerns about O'Toole's appointments of Harper-era staff."They seem to be stuck in the past, stuck in divisive politics, stuck in a view that they need to muzzle funding for innovation. We've seen that film before," he said.
After escaping Tropical Storm Marco pretty much unscathed, the U.S. Gulf Coast is preparing for a bigger storm in the form of Hurricane Laura. Global News meteorologist Ross Hull explains where the hurricane expected to land and how it will strengthen.