As Conservatives enter the home stretch of the federal election campaign with polls putting them in a close fight against the Liberals, should they sweat about what’s on their political right?
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier would like to think so.
The former Conservative has attacked the Tories’ current leadership as phony while hitching his populist horse to anti-lockdown movements across the country and railing against government-imposed vaccine mandates and passports.
And although the PPC remains far behind the Conservatives at about four per cent of popular support in public opinion polls, Bernier and his 311 candidates are hoping for a “purple wave” of Tory supporters and others switching their votes on Sept. 20.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, during a recent campaign stop in the Greater Toronto Area, sidestepped a question about Bernier and the PPC, and instead touted his party as best placed to jump-start Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Others such as Canada Proud have been more direct. The registered third-party advertiser, whose stated aim is to defeat Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, has stepped up warnings about a vote split on the right.
Social media push
The organization led by Jeff Ballingall, who served as digital director of O’Toole’s 2020 leadership race, has been pushing out memes and social-media videos to get its message across.
That online effort has coincided with growing realizations about the extent to which social media has been feeding anti-vaccine and anti-Trudeau sentiments among segments of the Canadian population.
One Canada Proud post includes a smiling photo of the Liberal leader captioned: “Trudeau when he finds out you’re voting PPC.” A second photo below depicts him wide-eyed with the caption: “Trudeau when he finds out you’re voting Conservative.”
“Like it or not, if we split the vote, Trudeau wins again,” says an accompanying post. “If you’re voting for PPC, you’re voting for Trudeau,” reads another.
Saying some of those supporting the PPC are opposed to Trudeau would be an understatement, as people toting the party’s signs have been among the throng of angry protesters who have hurled obscenities at the Liberal leader at campaign events.
- Have an election question for CBC News? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The PPC also removed the president of its Elgin–Middlesex–London riding association last week after he was accused of throwing gravel at Trudeau during an event in London, Ont.
Police in the southwestern Ontario city announced on Saturday they had charged Shane Marshall in the incident. The suspect shares the name of the former PPC riding association president, but the party did not immediately respond to request for comment on whether the man now facing charges is the same person.
Ballingall said in an interview that many people opposed to Trudeau and the Liberals feel alienated from Canada’s current political process, and may want to vote for the PPC as a protest against the establishment.
“They want to vote for PPC as a protest vote, they want to get rid of Trudeau, but you can’t have both,” he said. “You can’t protest and also get rid of Trudeau. It’s not a perfect scenario. It’s a binary choice.”
Yet it isn’t only disenfranchised Canadians who are supporting the PPC, as Bernier has managed to tap into anger over mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports, a population that political strategist Shakir Chambers says includes non-Conservatives.
“They occupy such a unique space in this election,” said Chambers, who helped Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives win the 2018 provincial election in Ontario.
“They’re saying we should have a conversation about these things. No other party’s saying that you can even converse about whether this should be mandatory or not.”
O’Toole’s vaccine stand has stoked anger
O’Toole has tried to walk a fine line when it comes to vaccines, saying on the one hand that Canadians should get immunized to curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable citizens while on the other defending the freedom to choose not to do so.
That mixed message has put some of his Conservative candidates in a bind when it comes to explaining where the party stands on the issue, including in the Western heartland of Saskatchewan and Alberta where the party remains dominant.
“You can read our platform … It’s very different from the Liberal platform,” incumbent Alberta MP Garnett Genuis wrote in a recent Facebook comment.
“I understand not agreeing with the party on everything. Honestly, I don’t agree with the party on everything. But our party is against mandatory vaccination, and is the only viable alternative to Justin Trudeau.”
WATCH | Conservative leader is asked about the rising support in polls for the PPC
Arnold Viersen, another Alberta MP running for re-election, also weighed in.
“The Conservative party opposes mandatory vaccines and a Conservative government is the only way to block Trudeau from enforcing his,” the candidate wrote.
The vaccine issue is only one in which O’Toole stoked anger among some on the right as he has tried to steer the Conservatives more to the centre. The Tory leader has acknowledged his plan to introduce a price on carbon is also unpopular with some.
O’Toole has defended that decision several times throughout the election in a bid to better connect with the majority of Canadians who, opinion polls suggest, want action on climate change.
“We’ve shown you that we are a new party,” he said on Friday. “We are a changed party and we’re here to earn your trust.”
Chambers nonetheless believes vaccines more than O’Toole’s more moderate views on climate change or abortion — the Conservative leader has said he supports a woman’s right to choose — are what could drive unhappy Tories into the PPC’s arms.
Canada COVID-19 booster update coming 'very shortly': Tam – National | Globalnews.ca – Global News
Canadians can expect an update on the potential use of additional COVID-19 shots for the most at-risk “very shortly,” the country’s top doctor says.
Speaking at a news conference Friday morning, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters she expects the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) will make recommendations on whether or not additional doses for those at the highest risk are needed.
In particular, the committee is looking at those who received a COVID-19 vaccine around the beginning of the year, Tam added.
“So that includes, for example, those in long-term care homes or congregate living for seniors,” she said. “So I expect the committee to have their deliberations completed on this group … very shortly.”
Biden says ‘majority of Americans’ who received Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligible for booster shot 6 months after 2nd shot
Tam did not elaborate on a timeline further, but her comments come after the United States approved booster shots for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk settings, like a workplace or congregate living.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the plan on Thursday, which is in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the extra shot earlier this week.
Pfizer-BioNTech is the vaccine of choice. The extra shots will also be rolled out in long-term care facilities and are open to more than 20 million Americans who received their second Pfizer shot more than six months ago.
Tam said in addition to looking at American data on boosters, Canada has its own measures to follow as its vaccine approach is different.
“For example, while we use the mRNA vaccines that are the same as the United States, many Canadians actually had an extended interval compared to the United States, and what the data is showing us is that the extended interval produces a more robust immune response and vaccine effectiveness is better with a longer interval,” she said.
“So the Canadian data must be analyzed on top of what we’re gathering from the international community as well, and we are taking a thorough, thoughtful and phased approach to looking at additional doses.”
Canada has already OK’d additional doses for some immunocompromised individuals, announcing the new measure on Sept. 10.
“NACI continues to examine the need for booster doses, which unlike additional doses are intended to restore initially adequate immune protection that may have waned over time,” Tam said at the time.
Booster shots, however, continue to be a divisive issue among health experts and internationally.
Vaccine inequity was among the agenda items at the United Nations’ annual meeting this week. The leaders of many African countries, whose populations have little to no access to the shots, spoke out.
It is “of great concern” that the global community has not supported the principles “of solidarity and co-operation in securing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, said.
“It is an indictment on humanity that more than 82 per cent of the world’s vaccine doses have been acquired by wealthy countries, while less than one per cent has gone to low-income countries.”
U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines
On Wednesday during a global COVID-19 summit, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would double its purchase of Pfizer’s shots to share one billion doses with the world, in an effort to vaccinate 70 per cent of the global population within the next year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was also in attendance, committed to that goal.
“In order to get this done, Canada will build on the important progress we have made so far, and focus on increasing the production, availability, and delivery of vaccines,” a read-out of the summit said.
“To date, Canada has contributed more than $2.5 billion to help address this crisis globally. We have also committed to sharing tens of millions of vaccine doses with the rest of the world, including through the COVAX facility.”
Tam said on Friday that more than 80 per cent of Canada’s eligible population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, 32.71 per cent of the world’s population is fully inoculated.
Earlier this month, University of Toronto bioethics professor Kerry Bowman told Global News that Canada needs to fight the pandemic with a global approach.
“Booster shots may well be required for immunocompromised people and a subset of people, (but) I think in the short term, we should not have widespread booster shots — meaning third doses — at all, for ethical reasons and epidemiological reasons,” he said.
“We really have to start making a deeper commitment to the larger world to protect ourselves and because it’s the right thing to do.”
–with files from Reuters and The Associated Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday – CBC.ca
New Brunswick has reinstated its COVID-19 state of emergency as the province’s chief medical officer of health warned the province is at a “tipping point.”
“The pace of the fourth wave is beyond what we had anticipated,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell at a briefing Friday as the province reported a single-day record of 78 new cases and three additional deaths.
As part of the mandatory order, which will take effect at 11:59 p.m. AT Friday, residents must stick to their household bubbles and a “steady 20” of close contacts.
The order will be reviewed every two weeks and come into effect whenever there are 25 people hospitalized with COVID-19, said Premier Blaine Higgs. The number of people hospitalized currently stands at 31, including 15 in intensive care, he said.
Dr. Gordon Dow, infectious disease specialist with the Horizon Health Network, said the lifting of health-protection measures almost two months ago was an error.
“Many other jurisdictions made the very same mistake,” he said at a technical briefing earlier Friday, citing Alberta, Saskatchewan, the U.S. and the U.K.
Dow said the province’s previous efforts to combat the virus focused on a successful “elimination strategy” that was used to rapidly shut down seven distinct outbreaks. But the province wasn’t ready for the delta variant, he said.
“Did we under-call this one? I would say yes, and I think most New Brunswickers would agree with that,” he said. “But I would also say that we got it right 85 per cent of the time.”
Meanwhile, Ontario is easing capacity limits at certain venues where proof of vaccination is required, including sports facilities, cinemas and concert venues.
The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, says the province’s COVID-19 cases and health indicators have been stable recently, though it doesn’t mean the province can let its guard down in the face of the delta variant.
Ontario on Friday reported 727 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths. There are 193 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19.
— From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
Canada’s chief public health officer says the country is seeing about 4,300 new cases of COVID-19 per day, up from about 3,500 per day three weeks ago.
The bulk of cases and severe outcomes are among the unvaccinated, Dr. Theresa Tam said at a news briefing Friday.
From early August to early September, the average weekly rate of new COVID-19 was 11 times higher in those who were unvaccinated than in fully vaccinated people, she said, while hospitalization was 38 times higher.
While more than 80 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, more than six million people still have not received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, Tam said.
— From The Canadian Press, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of Friday afternoon, more than 230.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s case tracking tool, which collects data from around the world. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus since the start of the pandemic as people returned from the country’s biggest holiday of the year.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 1,750 of the 2,434 new cases reported Friday were from the greater capital area, where officials have raised concern over an erosion in citizen vigilance despite the enforcement of the strongest physical distancing rules short of a lockdown since July.
In the Americas, a live televised interview with U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris was slightly delayed Friday after two hosts of the The View learned they tested positive for the coronavirus just before she was to join them on the set.
Co-host Sunny Hostin and guest host Ana Navarro were at the table for the start of the show, but were pulled from the set. Harris, who had planned to join the table, instead was interviewed remotely from a different room in the ABC studio in New York.
In Europe, Portugal is scrapping many of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions after becoming the world leader in vaccination rollout. The country has fully vaccinated nearly 85 per cent of the population, according to Our World in Data.
The government says starting Oct. 1, it will remove limits on how many people can be in cafés and restaurants, at weddings and baptisms, shopping malls, concerts and cinemas. Bars and discos will reopen, although only for vaccinated people and people with negative coronavirus tests.
Meanwhile, Norway’s government says the country will reopen society on Saturday, ending pandemic-curbing restrictions that have limited social interaction and hobbled many businesses.
“It is 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime …. Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference.
The decision to no longer require physical distancing will allow culture and sports venues to utilize their full capacity, rather than just a portion of seats, while restaurants can fill up and nightclubs reopen.
About 76 per cent of all Norwegians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 67 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Institute of Public Health.
In the Middle East, Yemen received its third batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, the health ministry said
In Africa, Egypt has authorized Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine against COVID-19, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which markets the shot abroad, said on Friday. The country approved Russia’s two-dose Sputnik V vaccine in February.
— From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
BENANTHONY LAVOZ AND DELON OM GET RAW WITH “The Gentleman and Scholar”
Toronto, ON – Canadian Latin Pop sensations BenAnthony Lavoz and Delon Om, dropped their new EP “The Gentleman & Scholar.” Coming off the success of their summer hit single “One More Time” the pop sensations went dark for their new project. The multi-talented artists wanted the lyrics of their new EP to describe the struggles we keep to ourselves, the ones that lead us to walk in the darkness. Lavoz and Om brought in some heavy hitters to produce “The Gentleman and Scholar.” The EP was produced by David Neale (Karl Wolf, Danny Fernandes, Peter Jackson) and multi-platinum Grammy award winning producer, Sensei Musica (Fat Joe, Pitbull, and Shakira). The project serves as an emotional outlet for Lavoz and Om, who bring to the table a genuine connect and passion. “The Gentleman and Scholar” reminds us that there are many parts that make up who we are, but at the heart of it all … is our truth. Do we own it, or do we hide? One of the singles on the EP, “Follow the Leader” features Canada’s own Danny Fernandes. The three artists connected over their dark pasts to create the song about vulnerability, redemption and finding a new and forgiving path to walk.
BenAnthony Lavoz, a Toronto native and Latin Grammy award winner has performed with Prince Royce, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny and Ozuna. Delon Om, is a former Canadian Idol contestant, song writer and music producer signed to Ultra Records. Om’s single, “Someone Special To Me” was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary “This is for Toronto.” Together they produced an EP that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit, in hopes that lessons learned, and paths walked will give others hope and encouragement to step out of the dark and into the light.
“The Gentleman and Scholar” is raw and ready. Step into the light on all music platforms today…
FOLLOW Delon OM:
FOLLOW BENANTHONY LAVOZ:
Sasha Stoltz Publicity & Management:
Sasha Stoltz | Sasha@sashastoltzpublicity.com | 416.579.4804
200,000-year-old handprints may be the world's oldest artwork, scientists say – CBC.ca
Here's why investors like Warren Buffett don't like gold as an investment – CNBC
COVID-19: Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena among Ontario facilities to see major capacity limit increase – Global News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Business13 hours ago
5 Ways to be Productive at Work
Health14 hours ago
Rodents on the rise: How to avoid an infestation this fall
News14 hours ago
BENANTHONY LAVOZ AND DELON OM GET RAW WITH “The Gentleman and Scholar”
Tech8 hours ago
Today’s Homes Need a Professional Electrician’s Touch
Business15 hours ago
How Canada is exposed to ripple effects of Evergrande debt crisis – The Globe and Mail
Business12 hours ago
How to unwind after a long day at the office
Health18 hours ago
Quebec man punches nurse in face for giving wife COVID-19 vaccine – Saanich News
Health20 hours ago
Sudbury businesses adapting to COVID-19 vaccine passport system – Toronto Star