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Canada following tight U.S. election results closely, Trudeau says – CBC.ca

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained tight-lipped about the uncertainty clouding the U.S. election today, saying his government will watch the results “carefully”.

“As everyone knows, there is an electoral process underway in the United States,” Trudeau told reporters gathered outside West Block Wednesday.

“We, of course, are following it carefully and we’ll continue to as the day and the days unfold.”

“Are you worried?” one reporter asked in French — but by that point Trudeau was already headed inside.

Later in question period, Trudeau said the Liberal government is focused on a possible presidential transition if former U.S. vice-president Biden topples U.S. President Donald Trump. For weeks, Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland have said Ottawa is prepared for all eventualities.

“As always, we will seek to make sure we’re able to defend Canadian interests and Canadians as the Americans make an important decision about the next steps forward,” Trudeau said.

While Trudeau has stayed neutral in this race, the Liberal government had a close working relationship with Biden on foreign affairs and climate change policy in 2015-16.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole offered a similarly cautious message heading into a caucus meeting Wednesday, telling reporters in French, “We will wait to see the result.”

Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election count has spilled into Wednesday without a call for either President Trump or his Democratic opponent, Biden.

A number of key states, including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, are too close to call and millions of ballots may remain uncounted at this point.

As of 4:42 p.m. ET today, Trump has secured 213 of the electoral college votes needed to win, while Biden sits at 253.

Trump outperformed some of the polling averages that were published before election day and easily cruised to victory in Florida and Texas early in the night, despite some surveys suggesting the races there would be much closer.

In the industrial midwest states of Wisconsin and Michigan, Biden improved on past Democratic results. CBC News called both states for the Democratic candidate by midday — key Biden pick-ups that narrowed Trump’s possible path to victory.

In the wee hours of the morning, Trump said he would take the election to the U.S. Supreme Court to launch an unspecified legal challenge even as thousands of outstanding votes in several swing states had not yet been tallied.

“We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. Okay? It’s a very sad moment,” he said.

“This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump told supporters in the East Room of the White House. “This is an embarrassment to our country. Frankly, we did win this election.”

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Trump questioned changing vote counts as some state tallies shifted dramatically with the addition of mail-in and early in-person votes which skewed Democratic. State officials have said there is nothing untoward about the results and all ballots received before election day will be counted.

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” Trump said “They started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”

WATCH | Trudeau speaks briefly on U.S. election results:  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke very briefly with reporters as he arrived at the West Block on Parliament Hill Wednesday morning. 0:31

Biden’s campaign responded to Trump’s claims, calling them “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.”

You can find full results from CBC here (note: CBC’s electoral college tally also shows states where candidates are leading).

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who urged Americans to back Biden ahead of Tuesday’s vote, said many Canadians woke up this morning “worried and afraid” with the results hanging in the balance.

Rather than disparage those who lined up behind Trump, Singh said politicians need to be more sensitive to the “desperation” and “frustration” that so many working people feel in North America.

“I think, more than ever, we have to get really serious about why this has happened. Despite all the obvious glaring problems — massive problems — and the abject failure of leadership of President Trump, people still voted for him,” Singh said.

WATCH: Singh reacts to the U.S. presidential election

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the strong support for President Trump in the American election shows people are desperate, frustrated and angry because of inequalities in society. 1:00

While Trump might not actually win this race when all the votes are counted, the president racked up one of the highest popular vote counts in U.S. history. Despite that impressive showing, Biden is on track to best him in the popular vote by millions of ballots.

Singh suggested income and economic stratification in the U.S. — with the richest Americans holding an ever greater share of the country’s wealth — is a source of the anxiety among some Trump voters.

“I think we have an opportunity now to say there are legitimate frustrations. People are angry and upset for good reason, but the reason is because the system is designed this way. It’s designed to allow the wealthiest to have tax loopholes, to get away with not paying their fair share,” he said.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said there will be time in the coming hours — or days — for Trudeau to react, but he agreed it was prudent to reserve judgment until there’s a clear result.

“Whatever our preferences might be, we have the obligation to respect and to stay away from internal American affairs, even if we have the opportunity to provide opinions, which I can do quite freely because I do not think I will be prime minister of Canada in the coming years, and I might think that it will take a little more than four years before Quebec becomes independent,” Blanchet said.

Before the election, Trudeau and O’Toole both said they were prepared to work with whoever was elected.

Trudeau said Canada is “well-positioned and ready” to work with the American people and the U.S. government, regardless of the outcome.

WATCH | Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole comments on U.S. election results:

O’Toole spoke to reporters briefly in French, saying he would watch the results, as he arrived for his weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa. 0:20

Trudeau said Canada has been able to work with Trump over the last four years, despite ongoing trade and tariff hostilities, and he’s prepared to do so again if the U.S. president is re-elected.

O’Toole said he’d also work to find common ground with whoever Americans choose to be their president on issues that are important to Canada.

“If I was an American, I would be a Democrat, and if I were a Democrat, I would be asking myself, what did we do wrong?” Blanchet said today.

WATCH | Blanchet on the U.S. election

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet lets the Ottawa Press Corps in on how he hopes the American election turns out. 0:48

“How come the American people support so much a man who openly lies, avoids paying his taxes, carries and shares prejudices against so many people? Why do the American people still support so strongly that man is a question that he does not have to ask himself — he’s faring pretty well. But the Democrats, the media, the institutions should ask themselves this troubling question.”

Derek Burney, who served as Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. from 1989 to 1993, said that if Biden is able to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, there will be a period of uncertainty that could prove disruptive to Canada-U.S. relations.

“I think they have prepared for either outcome,” Burney said.

While Biden appears to have the edge in the electoral college, American voters didn’t return enough Democratic senators to the U.S. Senate to flip the balance of power from the Republicans. The executive-legislative split will make it difficult for Biden to advance his agenda through Congress.

And while Biden likely would be friendlier to Canada than Trump ever was, Burney said his tenure could still be a “mixed bag” for Canada.

Biden supports Canada’s climate change policy push and multilateral institutions like NATO and the UN that are important to middle power countries, he said — but the Democrat also would be hostile to Western Canadian interests. Trump has been a strong defender of the oil and gas industry and has backed TC Energy’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, which would move oil from Alberta to refineries in the U.S.

Biden has vowed to cancel Trump’s presidential permit allowing cross-border construction, a decision that would imperil a project that has the financial backing of the Alberta government.

“It will not be good news for Western Canada,” Burney said of a Biden victory.

He also said Canada benefited from the strong pre-COVID-19 economy in the U.S. under Trump, something that could be derailed by Biden’s proposed tax and regulatory changes.

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Canadians offer mixed confidence in government's vaccine rollout: Nanos survey – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Just one in six Canadians are confident in the federal government’s rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available, according to the latest data from Nanos Research.

The survey, commissioned by CTV News and released on Monday, asked 1,096 Canadians how confident they are that the government has a “a well organized plan to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to Canadians as quickly as possible” and found that just 16 per cent of respondents said they are “confident,” while another 40 per cent said they are “somewhat confident.”

“It’s very early in this process and I think until we actually see more details and there’s more meat on the bone, I expect (the vaccine rollout is) still going to be a bit of a question mark for many Canadians,” Nik Nanos, the chair of Nanos Research, told CTV’s Power Play.

When broken down regionally, respondents from Quebec offered the most confidence, with 73 per cent of respondents indicating that they are either confident or somewhat confident, while respondents in the Prairies had the least confidence, with 29 per cent indicating they are “not confident” in the vaccine rollout.

On Monday, Moderna Inc. said its testing shows that their COVID-19 vaccine is 94 per cent effective. The company is currently under a “rolling review” process with Health Canada, but has already asked for a emergency use approval in the United States and Europe.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead Canada’s vaccine rollout, with the goal of immunizing half of Canadians by September 2021.

Nanos says that substantial details in the fiscal update about the vaccine rollout will go a long way towards curbing any skepticism from Canadians.

“Anything said relating to the funding of vaccines, the logistics of vaccines, the distribution, the role that the federal government’s going to take working with provinces, is probably going to be very well met, but if they don’t talk about those things, it’s just going to create a greater level uncertainty about the future,” he said.

With files from The Associated Press

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,096 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between November 26th and 29th, 2020 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land-and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five call backs.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.

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Canadians now owe more than $2 trillion, Equifax says – CBC.ca

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Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.

Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.

Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.

“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time home buyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”

The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.

Total debt $2 trillion

The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.

Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.

However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.

The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.

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Canadians offer mixed confidence in government's vaccine rollout: Nanos survey – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Just one in six Canadians are confident in the federal government’s rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available, according to the latest data from Nanos Research.

The survey, commissioned by CTV News and released on Monday, asked 1,096 Canadians how confident they are that the government has a “a well organized plan to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to Canadians as quickly as possible” and found that just 16 per cent of respondents said they are “confident,” while another 40 per cent said they are “somewhat confident.”

“It’s very early in this process and I think until we actually see more details and there’s more meat on the bone, I expect (the vaccine rollout is) still going to be a bit of a question mark for many Canadians,” Nik Nanos, the chair of Nanos Research, told CTV’s Power Play.

When broken down regionally, respondents from Quebec offered the most confidence, with 73 per cent of respondents indicating that they are either confident or somewhat confident, while respondents in the Prairies had the least confidence, with 29 per cent indicating they are “not confident” in the vaccine rollout.

On Monday, Moderna Inc. said its testing shows that their COVID-19 vaccine is 94 per cent effective. The company is currently under a “rolling review” process with Health Canada, but has already asked for a emergency use approval in the United States and Europe.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead Canada’s vaccine rollout, with the goal of immunizing half of Canadians by September 2021.

Nanos says that substantial details in the fiscal update about the vaccine rollout will go a long way towards curbing any skepticism from Canadians.

“Anything said relating to the funding of vaccines, the logistics of vaccines, the distribution, the role that the federal government’s going to take working with provinces, is probably going to be very well met, but if they don’t talk about those things, it’s just going to create a greater level uncertainty about the future,” he said.

With files from The Associated Press

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,096 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between November 26th and 29th, 2020 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land-and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five call backs.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.

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