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Kathleen Wynne doesn't mind being the underdog

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It's day eight of the campaign, with 22 days to go until the election. A lot has happened in the week since the campaign officially began — the PCs have maintained their lead, according to poll tracker, but the NDP are creeping up, while the Liberals have fallen into third place.

But there's still a lot of campaigning ahead. Here's your cheat sheet for the day.

Latest from the campaign

The moment

Andrea Horwath greets Jack Danger Steinberg in a diner in Paris on Tuesday. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

Andrea Horwath was in Toronto on Thursday to tout her party's promise to make child care more affordable. But the NDP leader didn't have any more details on a key part of the plan.

Pressed by reporters, Horwath couldn't say what families earning more than $40,000 per year would pay for child care. The NDP promotes that "most" families would pay about $12 a day, but it's still unclear as to who would actually be paying that rate.

"Well, again, it's a sliding scale," Horwath said. Asked what the sliding scale might look like, Horwath pivoted.

"I think the most important thing is to acknowledge after 15 years of Liberal government, families are struggling to get affordable child care of a high quality. And our plan provides exactly that for everyday families."

Happening now

Noted

During a campaign stop Tuesday, a reporter asked Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne what it felt like being the underdog this election.

She quickly shot back: "What does it feel like every time I've been going into an election?"

Wynne then ran through some of the upsets she has pulled off over the years including Wynne beating John Tory in 2007 in her Don Valley West riding, when he was leader of the PCs, and her suprise win at the Liberal leadership convention in 2013.

"The odds have always been against me," she said. "It actually feels kind of familar."

Riding to watch

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, population 113,025, profile by Samantha Craggs 

This new riding encompasses suburban and rural parts of Hamilton. It's made headlines because Hamilton police are investigating last year's Ontario PC nomination.

Ben Levitt won the nomination, and two contenders took the party to court, saying party officials stuffed the ballot boxes. They dropped their cases, but police and a federal agency are still looking into it. That probably won't wrap up in time for the election.

Ben Levitt, centre, reacts as Ontario PC party president Jag Badwal, left, announces his win. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The party held another nomination in April and Levitt won again. Former Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin has represented the area, and he's running again. He's won handily in previous elections. Sandy Shaw is running for the NDP.

Youth election panel

More millenials will be eligible to vote than baby boomers in this provincial election. But will they? It's something we talked about Tuesday night during our youth election and young voter panel, streamed live on Facebook and Periscope.

Arezoo Najibzadeh, executive director of the Young Women's Leadership Network and Arjun Sahota, chair of the Toronto Youth Cabinet answered questions about young people and affordability, small business, transit, deficits and much more. It's an insightful conversation worth a re-watch:

Where the leaders are

  • Ford: Announcement in Oakville (11:30 a.m.), tour of chemical recycling business in Mississauga (2:30 p.m.), rally in Mississauga (7 p.m.)
  • Horwath: Childcare event in Scarborough (9:30 a.m.), lunch stop at kebab house in Scarborough (11:30 a.m.)
  • Schreiner: Campaigning in Guelph (9 a.m.), debate on accessibility and disability at Ryerson in Toronto (6 p.m.)
  • Wynne: Announcement in Mississauga (9 a.m.), tour of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Mississauga (11:45 a.m.), speaking at Iftar dinner in Kanata (8 p.m.)

Andrea Horwath has her hands up as she arrives for a rally in Paris on Tuesday. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

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Canada's pot legalization makes headlines around the world

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Canadian adults can legally smoke pot as of Wednesday, ending nearly a century of prohibition, and the world it seems is paying attention.

While #legalizationday, #canadacannabis, #legalizationincanada and #weedwednesday were trending on Twitter early Wednesday, many news outlets around the globe such as CNN, BBC, The Guardian, and more, carried headlines with the historic news. Some media outlets, including Vice, called legalization day “Hash Wednesday.”

And, of course, there were plenty of memes and jokes on social media, including many with well-known marijuana advocate Snoop Dogg, and some reading, “Congratulations drugs for winning the war on drugs.”


Recreational pot use is now legal in Canada.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press file photo

American TV news trucks, such as NBC, were spotted at a pot shop where long lineups were forming in Montreal.

The Guardian noted that Canada is the second and largest country to legalize cannabis recreationally after Uruguay legalized weed in 2013, while CNN posted a Q&A of everything you need to know about Canada legalizing pot. The New York Times wrote about a “green rush” for the cannabis business now that Canada has legalized marijuana.

The British Broadcasting Corp. had live coverage Wednesday of the first day of legal pot in Canada, including attending the only legal shop to open in B.C. at Kamloops. The BBC, which also covered the first person in Canada to buy legal weed in St. John’s, N.L., noted that the country’s police forces weren’t ready to tackle drug-impaired driving.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on the lineup in Newfoundland, and noted that Canada’s goal was “to better reflect society’s changing opinion about marijuana and bring black-market operators into a regulated system.”

More to come …

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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Ontario passes pot bill 17 hours after marijuana legalized across Canada

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Municipalities can also pass bylaws limiting where citizens can light up a joint.

Critics said the law sends a “mixed message” on intoxicants by allowing users to smoke pot and get high in a park, for example, but not to legally drink a beer there.

“They’ve opened up a whole other can of worms,” said Green party MPP Mike Schreiner, who voted in favour of the bill despite his concerns because it opens opportunities for entrepreneurs to open marijuana stores.

“I don’t want to walk through a park and have my kids smelling pot.”

Aside from cannabis, the law allows displays of vaping products in convenience stores and gas bars, something health groups including the Canadian Cancer Society and Lung Association warned against in public hearings on the bill.

They fear the displays are aimed at luring teens — who cannot legally buy vaping products until the age of 19 — into the smoking habit and argue vaping gear should be shielded from view like cigarettes have been since 2005. Seven other provinces have banned vaping displays.

“This is absolutely taking the province backward,” New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath told reporters.

“This generation of kids can’t be the guinea pigs for vaping products,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz, director of the Ontario tobacco research unit at the University of Toronto, noting that flavours of vape juice like “Frosty Sprinkles” and “S’mores” are clearly aimed at kids.

The NDP had also proposed an amendment to the bill allowing a 30-day public comment period on proposed marijuana store locations, instead of 15 days, but that was rejected by the Progressive Conservatives.

Ford’s move to allow privately run stores reversed the previous Liberal government’s plans to open a smaller number of state-run pot shops modelled on the LCBO and keep marijuana smoking off the streets.

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser said the Conservatives — who argued it’s best to sync pot smoking with provisions in the Smoke Free Ontario Act and that a larger number of stores are more likely to curb the black market in weed — have made a “mistake” in their approach.

“You can smoke on a public beach, in a park or on a sidewalk … it could be close to children,” he added.

“We have to remember with this big change, we have to respect each other’s rights. That’s why we don’t have drinking in public places.”

The law gives the new government the discretion to set a distance that pot shops must be from schools and to limit the number of stores any one operator can open to prevent large cannabis corporations from snagging too much market share.

Schreiner said he’s worried the government won’t follow through on limiting market share because “it’s not explicit in the legislation … will licences go to the highest bidder?”

Community Safety Minister Michael Tibollo issued a reminder that “the numerous illegal dispensaries operating in many parts of the province remain illegal.”

Operators of illegal stores that have not shut down will “never, ever” be cleared to get a sales licence in Ontario, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said during final debate on the bill.

Fedeli dodged a question from reporters on whether he’s ever smoked marijuana.

“My mother’s watching, guys.”

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Day one mess up: Ontario Cannabis Store mislabels $82 genital spray as oral product

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Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press</span>


Published Wednesday, October 17, 2018 5:38PM EDT


Last Updated Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:14PM EDT

TORONTO — A perusal of the Ontario Cannabis Store’s online portal on the first day of legalization turned up an array of expected products — various strains of dried weed, oils and tinctures, and accessories needed to use them.

But also on offer is a cannabis-infused "intimate" spray, marketed under the enticingly named Fleur de Lune, which contains eight milligrams of the psychoactive ingredient THC, as well as the cannabinoid CBD.

The only problem is that the Ontario Cannabis Store had initially mislabelled how to apply the product, saying it was for "sublingual" use, which means under the tongue — in other words, orally.

In fact, the spray made by Hexo Corp. is meant to be applied on the genitals, "particularly for women," to reduce such symptoms as inflammation and pain, said Terry Lake, the Quebec-based company’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

"We always knew there was going to be bumps along the road, no country has done this to this extent," Lake said of Canada’s roll-out of legalized pot.

"It’s a product like many that are used today for intimate areas of the body, but it should be labelled as such … obviously there’s a mistake there that needs to be corrected, so we certainly will be following up with them to ensure that the right information is being given to consumers."

The product description was corrected by the Ontario Cannabis Store after The Canadian Press reached out for comment. But a spokesperson for the store did not respond to questions about how the error happened, or whether the spray is an appropriate product for the province to be selling.

Asked Wednesday by reporters at the Ontario Legislature about the appropriateness of the spray, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli would only say: "We’ll leave it to the ΓǪ Ontario Cannabis Store to continue to put products out there that the people of Ontario are looking forward to purchasing."

The 30-millilitre bottle of Fleur de Lune Intimate Spray, which has been approved by Health Canada, sells online for $82.95 and yields about 300 shots of mist.

"The thing about cannabis is that one of the largest areas of concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the body is in fact the skin," Lake said Wednesday from Gatineau, Que.

How much of the spray a consumer should use at a given time is an individual decision, he said, "because when it comes to cannabis "everyone is different."

"So there is no one dose that’s right for any one particular person … Everybody responds to cannabis in a different way, and it may be because genetically you respond differently. It may be because you haven’t used cannabis before, so you have a different tolerance level."

That’s why the marijuana industry advises consumers "to start low and go slow," Lake added. "See how you respond to the low dose and then go up gradually as you understand the effect it’s having on your body."

However, one critical aspect to note is that the cannabis-based spray is made with MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil, which reacts chemically with latex — the substance from which most condoms are made.

As condoms are used to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, "you would have to be very careful," suggested Lake.

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