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Canada News Media for Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023



Here are the latest Canada News stories from:


RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to retire in March

It’s not time to change Toronto leadership: Ford

Worst January for home sales since 2009: CREA

Trudeau departs for meeting of Caribbean leaders

Ford won’t say who sent $150 stag and doe invites

No public funds used for Hockey Canada settlements

Priestman talks about turmoil in Canada camp


RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to retire in March


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Wednesday she has made the difficult decision to retire from the national police force next month. By Jim Bronskill. Wire: National. Photos: 1

No public funds used for Hockey Canada settlements


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — An audit commissioned by the federal government has found that Hockey Canada did not use public funds to settle sexual assault cases or pay for related legal fees. Wire: Sports, National. Photos: 1

Quebec wants to hear QMJHL boss on abuse


Québec, Quebec, Canada — Premier François Legault says he expects Quebec Major Junior Hockey League officials will appear before a legislature committee over disturbing revelations of sexual assault and torture suffered by teenage hockey players. Wire: Sports, National. Photos: 1

Roxham Road migrants being sent outside Quebec


Montreal, Quebec, Canada — The Quebec government is welcoming a federal government move to send most of the asylum seekers who enter Canada through an irregular crossing in southern Quebec outside the province. By Jacob Serebrin. Wire: National. Photos: 1

More engagement needed on assisted dying: report


Ottawa, , — A parliamentary committee has made 23 recommendations on how to improve Canada’s assisted-dying regime. Wire: National.

Crown admits Bourque sentence should be reduced


Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada — Crown prosecutors say they recognize that a New Brunswick man who fatally shot three Mounties eight years ago may be eligible for parole in 25 years. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Canada faces fresh pressure on military spending


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The head of the NATO military alliance threatened to raise the heat on Canada and other laggards on Wednesday as he called on member countries to adopt hard targets when it comes to military spending. By Lee Berthiaume. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Feds announce plans for Black justice strategy


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — Canada’s long-awaited Black justice strategy will be developed by a committee of community leaders. By David Fraser. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Man convicted in brutal murder gets day parole


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada — The family of a woman brutally murdered in Saskatoon more than 20 years ago say they are devastated the man convicted in her death has received day parole. Wire: National.

Alberta NDP pitch health teams to reduce waits


Calgary, Alberta, Canada, , — Alberta’s Opposition NDP is promising more access to a family doctor by creating health teams. Wire: Prairies/BC. Photos: 1

B.C. expands old-growth logging deferrals


Victoria, British Columbia, Canada — The British Columbia government says it’s expanding the logging deferral of old-growth forests to 2.1 million hectares, while bringing in new innovations to better care for forests. Wire: Prairies/BC. Photos: 1

Quebec police dog couldn’t get fix on missing kids


Québec, Quebec, Canada — A provincial police dog handler who arrived at the scene of a car crash involving two young Quebec girls and their father in July 2020 says he had difficulty doing his job because the scene had been contaminated by first responders who’d already been searching. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Orca takes flight off Vancouver’s Stanley Park


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada — A B.C. wildlife photographer looking for birds off the shores of Vancouver’s Stanley Park has instead captured an unforgettable image of a different animal in flight — an orca leaping from Burrard Inlet. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Snow geese killed on Richmond, B.C., roads


Richmond, British Columbia, Canada — Migratory birds have become a traffic hazard in Richmond, B.C., and RCMP are warning drivers to take precautions. Wire: Prairies/BC. Photos: 1

Average rent up 10.7% since last year: report


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — A new report says the average listed rent for all property types in Canada jumped by 10.7 per cent year-over-year in January, the ninth straight month of double-digit increases. Wire: Business. Photos: 1

Shopify reports $623.6 million net loss in Q4


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Shopify Inc. recorded a loss of US$623.6 million in its most recent quarter as revenue increased by 26 per cent since last year. Wire: Business. Photos: 1


It’s not time to change Toronto leadership: Ford


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — It would be a “disaster” for Toronto if Mayor John Tory followed through on his plan to resign and a “lefty” succeeded him, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday as he voiced support for the now scandal-plagued leader of the city. By Jordan Omstead and Sharif Hassan.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Worst January for home sales since 2009: CREA


Home sales in Canada posted their worst start to the year since 2009 as January sales fell 37.1 per cent compared with the start of 2022 and prices continued to fall, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday.

Trudeau departs for meeting of Caribbean leaders


Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in the Bahamas where members of the Caribbean Community are gathering to discuss regional issues, including the deepening crisis in Haiti. By Marie-Danielle Smith. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Ford won’t say who sent $150 stag and doe invites


Brampton, Ontario, Canada — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is not divulging details of who sent invitations – including to developers – for his daughter’s $150-a-ticket stag and doe party, saying only that “the boys took care of that” when asked about the money that was raised.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec.

Priestman talks about turmoil in Canada camp


Orlando, Florida, United States — Canada coach Bev Priestman, caught in the middle of a bitter labour dispute between Canada Soccer and its players, found herself talking about her future with the program Wednesday. By Neil Davidson.  Wire: Sports. Photos: 1

N.B. man loses family in Turkey earthquake


Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada — Ahmed Hallaq’s mother was attending to her morning prayers in the family’s apartment in central Turkey last week when she saw the ceiling lamps start to sway. By Hina Alam.  Wire: Atlantic. Photos: 1

Feds expected to announce Black justice strategy


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — Justice Minister David Lametti’s office says he will announce today that the long-awaited Black justice strategy will be developed by a committee of community leaders.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

New liquor bottle labels a good idea: Bennett


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett says Canadians deserve to know how much alcohol is in a standard-sized drink, but she is not committing to mandate that companies put that information on their labels.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

3 international students killed in Toronto crash


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — A Bangladeshi community organization is mourning the deaths of three international students killed in a highway crash in Toronto and is warning others to be aware that road conditions in Canada might differ from what they’re used to. By Fakiha Baig.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Why does the government keep deleting tweets?


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — When it comes to government information, there is no shortage of sensitive matters. As it turns out, a “fun fact” about ocean critters is on the list. By Stephanie Taylor.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Liberal MP concerned with language bill changes


Ottawa, ,  — A Liberal member of Parliament says it would be difficult to support his government’s official languages bill because of changes the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois have made to it, which he believes could reduce English services in Quebec.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Uber launches audio recording feature in Canada


Uber Technologies Inc. is introducing a new feature in Canada today that gives riders and drivers the ability to record audio of their trips.

Feds tighten research security policy


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The federal government says it is tightening its policy on bankrolling research with foreign entities that might pose a risk to national security.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Percentage of newcomers becoming citizens declines


StatCan numbers reveal the percentage of permanent residents who become Canadians has plummeted over the past 20 years. By Christian Collington.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Mi’kmaq regalia to be repatriated to Nova Scotia


Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada — Mi’kmaq regalia kept in an Australian museum for more than 130 years will finally be returned to Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia.  Wire: Atlantic.

Dina Pugliese is leaving BT after 16 years


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Breakfast Television co-host Dina Pugliese says she is leaving the show after 16 years in part due to the gruelling, early morning hours of the job. By Noel Ransome.  Wire: Entertainment. Photos: 1

Accused N.S. murderer motivated by greed: Crown


Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada — A Crown prosecutor says William Sandeson was motivated by greed when the former medical student carried out a plan to kill another student during a drug deal.  Wire: Atlantic.

Date set for provincial byelection in Hamilton


Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Ontario Premier Doug Ford has called a byelection for next month to fill the Hamilton seat left vacant by former NDP leader Andrea Horwath.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Magna announces Ontario expansion, new facility


Brampton, Ontario, Canada — Magna is announcing it is putting more than $470 million into bolstering its Ontario operations, including an electric vehicle battery enclosure facility northwest of Toronto.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec, Business.


The LJI is a federally funded program to add coverage in under-covered areas or on under-covered issues. This content is delivered on the CP wire in the “Y” or spare news category, or you can register to access it at This content is created and submitted by participating publishers and is not edited by The Canadian Press. Please credit stories to the reporter, their media outlet and the Local Journalism Initiative. Questions should be directed to LJI supervising editor Amy Logan at Below is a sample of the dozens of stories moved daily:

Downtown East Side fills shoulder to shoulder in memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people


Tuesday marked the 32nd year that the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside flooded with remembrance of murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse peoples. Families from First Nations across Canada came to commemorate their missing and murdered loved ones. 750 words. PHOTO. Alexandra Mehl/Ha-Shilth-Sa


Lawsuit alleges Manitoba inmate died after lashing out over racist joke, treatment


A lawsuit filed last week alleges multiple correctional officers at a Manitoba prison swarmed and attacked an Indigenous inmate until he was unconscious, and later died from his injuries, after he grew angry and lashed out because of a racist joke directed to him by one officer, and because of ongoing racist treatment. 700 words. Dave Baxter/Winnipeg Sun





RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-AP POLL — Support among the American public for providing Ukraine weaponry and direct economic assistance has softened as the Russian invasion nears a grim one-year milestone. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has 48% saying they favor the U.S. providing weapons to Ukraine. That’s down from 60% in May 2022. By Aamer Madhani and Emily Swanson. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.








BUFFALO SUPERMARKET SHOOTING — A white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket was sentenced to life in prison without parole after relatives of his victims confronted him with the pain and rage caused by his racist attack. Anger briefly turned physical at Payton Gendron’s sentencing when he was charged by a man in the audience who was quickly restrained. By Carolyn Thompson. SENT: 930 words, photos, video.

BIDEN-EMPATHY — President Joe Biden often frames his public words and policies as aimed at easing the struggles of everyday Americans, speaking often of parents who strive to pay the bills and provide stability for their children. But a majority of voters believe he doesn’t care about people like them, nor do they trust his ability to manage a sprawling federal government that often moves at a sluggish pace. By Josh Boak. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-ECONOMIC IMPACT — One year after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the global economy is still enduring the consequences — crunched supplies of grain, fertilizer and energy along with more inflation and economic uncertainty in a world already contending with too much of both. By Business Writers Paul Wiseman and David McHugh. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

REL-SERMONS-CHATGPT — Among sermon writers, there is fascination – and unease – over the fast-expanding abilities of artificial intelligence chatbots. For now, the consensus is this: Yes, they can write a passably competent sermon. But no, they can’t replicate the passion of actual preaching. By David Crary. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

MED-OPIOID-CRISIS-NALOXONE — The overdose-reversing drug naloxone should be made available over the counter to aid the national response to the opioid crisis, U.S. health advisers said Wednesday. The nasal spray version, Narcan, is already available without a prescription in all 50 states. But switching it to over-the-counter status would allow it to be sold in vending machines, supermarkets and other locations. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 850 words, photos.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — Russian forces claimed some battlefield success as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine labored to gain momentum almost a year after it began, while Ukraine said it needs another few months to stage its own offensive. The Russian Defense Ministry said its troops broke through two Ukrainian defensive lines in the eastern Luhansk region and pushed back Ukrainian troops some three kilometers (two miles), forcing them to leave behind equipment and bodies. SENT: 870 words, photos. WITH: RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-EU SANCTIONS — EU seeks new Russia sanctions package, targets Iran’s drones. SENT: 295 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-OLYMPICS — The presidents of the Ukrainian and Russian Olympic committees were once teammates at the 1992 Barcelona Games and won gold in fencing. With Russia at war with Ukraine, Vadym Guttsait tells the AP he wants nothing to do with his Russian counterpart. SENT: 840 words, photos.




OBIT-RAQUEL WELCH — Raquel Welch, whose emergence from the sea in a skimpy, furry bikini in the film “One Million Years B.C.” would propel her to international sex symbol status throughout the 1960s and ’70s, has died. She was 82. Welch died early Wednesday after a brief illness, according to her agent, Stephen LaManna of the talent agency Innovative Artists. SENT: 610 words, photos.

AUSTRIA-JANE FONDA-OPERA BALL — Jane Fonda said she accepted an Austrian building tycoon’s invitation to attend the Vienna Opera Ball because he offered to “pay me quite a bit of money.” SENT: 265 words, photos.

HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SPILL-ARIZONA — Arizona officials anticipate “an extended closure” of a key highway through the state, a day after a deadly crash caused a hazardous material leak and forced evacuations. SENT: 585 words, photos.

TITANIC-RARE FOOTAGE — Never before publicly seen video of the 1986 dive through the wreckage of the Titanic will be released by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The more than 80 minutes of footage on the institution’s YouTube channel chronicles the remarkable achievements of the dive led by Robert Ballard. Ballard said Wednesday that he was struck by the sheer size of the vessel, as well as the shoes of those who perished. SENT: 790 words, photos, video. Unseen video set for release at 7:30 p.m. ET.

PERU-MACHU PICCHU — Peru’s culture ministry has announced that Machu Picchu, the Inca-era stone citadel nestled in its southeastern jungle, reopened after being closed nearly a month ago amid antigovernment protests. SENT: 185 words, photo.

UNIVERSAL-WAGE-HIKE — Universal Orlando plans to raise its starting hourly minimum wage by $2 to $17, becoming the wage leader among major theme parks in central Florida. SENT: 385 words, photo.

BKN-JORDAN-GIFT — Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan celebrated his 60th birthday Friday by making a $10 million donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. SENT: 205 words, photo.

BKN-ALL-STAR-ENTERTAINERS — Utah native and Grammy nominee Jewel, along with Post Malone and actor Vin Diesel, will be among the performers at this weekend’s NBA All-Star events in Salt Lake City. SENT: 220 words, photos.




ELECTION 2024-HALEY — Republican Nikki Haley formally launched her 2024 presidential campaign, betting that her boundary-breaking career as a woman and person of color who governed in the heart of the South before representing the U.S. on the world stage can overcome entrenched support for her onetime boss, former President Donald Trump. SENT: 1,085 words, photos, video, audio. WITH: ELECTION 2024-HALEY-WHAT TO KNOW — What to know about Nikki Haley as she launches her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GAETZ-INVESTIGATION — Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Republican firebrand known for his strong support of former President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that the Justice Department has ended a sex trafficking case with no charges against him. SENT: 450 words, photo.

IRS-WERFEL — President Biden’s nominee to lead the Internal Revenue Service, Daniel Werfel, says that, if confirmed, he will commit to not increasing tax audits on businesses and households making less than $400,000 per year. SENT: 700 words, photos.

BIDEN — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Republican policies would blow up the national debt by $3 trillion over 10 years, taking aim at GOP lawmakers who say their priority is a balancing the federal budget. SENT: 760 words, photos. WITH: BIDEN-ELECTRIC-VEHICLES — White House: Tesla to make some EV chargers available to all. SENT: 565 words, photos.

ELECTION 2024-PENCE — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he will challenge a subpoena by the special counsel overseeing investigations into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election and will go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. SENT: 360 words, photos.

HOMELESS-NATION’S CAPITAL — National Park Service employee sweep through a large homeless encampment three blocks from the White House, disposing of about 50 tents and warning people that those who resist are subject to arrest. The homeless and their advocates say the district hasn’t done enough to help them find housing. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.




MICHIGAN STATE SHOOTING — When the texts began coming in about a shooter at Michigan State University, students ran. They found a place to hide. They locked and barricaded the doors. They turned out the lights. They are part of a generation that has grown up with active shooter drills. SENT: 550 words, photos.

POLICE-EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS-OREGON — Oregon lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require police officers to have at least two years of post-secondary education, amid a nationwide debate about the qualification and recruitment of officers following Tyre Nichols’ death. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.

RELIEF FUNDS-MEDICAL DEBT — An increasing number of U.S. local governmentsare developing plans to spend federal coronavirus pandemic relief funds to eliminate residents’ medical debt. SENT: 840 words, photos.

TRAIN DERAILMENT-OHIO — The Ohio village upended by a freight train derailment and the intentional burning of some of the hazardous chemicals on board has invited affected residents to a town hall meeting to discuss lingering questions. SENT: 400 words, photos.

AUSTIN-POWER-OUTAGES — Austin’s city manager was fired in the wake of outrage in the Texas capital over a slow and fumbled response to a winter storm power outage that left thousands of people without electricity for a week or longer. SENT: 450 words, photo.

MURDAUGH KILLINGS — In an interview two months after Alex Murdaugh’s wife and son were killed, investigators zeroed in on inconsistencies in what Murdaugh told authorities about their deaths, according to the videotaped discussion played Wednesday at the disgraced South Carolina attorney’s double murder trial. SENT: 700 words, photos.

DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY—COLORADO — The death of a man who was handcuffed after a mental health team responded to a call of him walking out into traffic last year has been ruled a homicide, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday by lawyers for his family. SENT: 450 words.

INDIANAPOLIS-OFFICER SUED — A Black man is suing the city of Indianapolis, its police department and an officer who arrested him in 2021, alleging that the officer kicked him in the face while he was handcuffed. SENT: 400 words.

SEA TURTLE RELEASE — A loggerhead sea turtle named Rocky paused briefly on the sand Wednesday morning before slowly crawling into the Atlantic Ocean after spending six weeks rehabbing at Florida’s Loggerhead Marinelife Center. SENT: video, photos, 250 words.




ISRAEL-PRISONER DEPORTATIONS — Israel’s parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a law to strip Arabs convicted in nationalistic attacks of their Israeli citizenship or residency and deport them if they have accepted Palestinian Authority stipends. SENT: 600 words, photo.

BRITAIN-SCOTLAND-STURGEON — Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said she plans to step down after more than eight years in office, amid criticism of her drive to expand transgender rights and her strategy for achieving independence from the United Kingdom. SENT: 765 words, photos.

NORTH KOREA-KIM’S DAUGHTER — South Korea said that it’s still premature to determine whether the recently unveiled daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is being groomed as her father’s successor. SENT: 760 words, photos.

FRANCE PENSION-TENSION — Sparks are flying over French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age — not just in the streets, but in parliament too. The proposed pension reforms have unleashed the most turbulent debate in years in the National Assembly, with uncertainty looming over the final outcome. SENT: 795 words, photos.

INDIA-BBC — India’s tax officials searched BBC offices in India for a second straight day and questioned staff about the organization’s business operations in the country, staff members said. SENT: 820 words, photos.




SCI-DOOMSDAY-GLACIER-MELT — A pencil-shaped robot is giving scientists their first look at the forces eating away at the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica. The glacier is nicknamed the Doomsday Glacier because it has such massive melt and sea rise potential. SENT: 905 words, photos.

ALBANIA-NEW AIRPORT-ECOSYSTEM — Environmentalists warn that a new, multimillion-dollar international airport near Albania’s coastal city of Vlora could cause irreparable damage to the fragile ecosystems of protected lagoons that host flamingos, pelicans and millions of other migratory birds. SENT: 610 words, photos.

OCEAN WARMING — The waters off New England, which are home to rare whales and most of the American lobster fishing industry, logged the second-warmest year on record last year. SENT: 510 words, photos.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks closed slightly higher on Wall Street after a report showed U.S. shoppers opened their wallets at stores last month by much more than expected. SENT: 790 words, photos.

RETAIL-SALES — America’s consumers rebounded last month from a weak holiday shopping season by boosting their spending at stores and restaurants at the fastest pace in nearly two years, underscoring the economy’s resilience amid higher prices and multiple interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. SENT: 630 words, photos.

BUDGET-OUTLOOK — The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that it expects the U.S. economy to stagnate this year with the unemployment rate jumping to 5.1% — a bleak outlook that was paired with a 10-year projection that publicly held U.S. debt would nearly double to $46.4 trillion in 2033. SENT: 450 words, photo.

BIDEN-ELECTRIC VEHICLES — Electric car giant Tesla will, for the first time, make some of its charging stations available to all U.S. electric vehicles by the end of next year, under a plan announced Wednesday by the White House. SENT: 850 words, photos.




MEDIA-TRUST IN NEWS — Half of Americans in a recent survey indicated they believe national news organizations intend to mislead, misinform or persuade the public to adopt a particular point of view through their reporting. By Media Writer David Bauder. SENT: 500 words, photo.




BKC-NEW MEXICO STATE-TURMOIL — New Mexico State’s chancellor expressed his confidence in athletic director Mario Moccia on Wednesday, less than a week after the school’s most high-profile sports program — the men’s basketball team — was shut down for what the chancellor said was a culture of bad behavior, egregious violations of the student code of conduct and other “despicable acts.” SENT: 700 words, photos.

FBN-SUPER BOWL-CHIEFS-NATIVE AMERICANS — As the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs embark on a victory lap including a hometown parade Wednesday, Native Americans are bracing for the team’s mascot, fan “tomahawk chop” and other seemingly racist gestures to get a national spotlight yet again. SENT: 840 words, photos. With FBN-SUPER-BOWL-CHIEFS-PARADE — Fans lined up to get a prime spot in downtown Kansas City as the city celebrates the Kansas City Chiefs’ second Super Bowl championship in two years. SENT: 640 words, photos; will be updated.

FBN-INSIDE-THE-NUMBERS — Big Super Bowl comebacks have gone from rarities to frequent occurrences thanks to Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. Mahomes led Kansas City to its second Super Bowl title in four seasons when the Chiefs rallied from 10 points down at the half to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. The first championship for Mahomes also required a second-half rally against San Francisco in the 2019 season. Brady is the only other quarterback to engineer two double-digit comebacks in the Super Bowl, doing it in the 2014 and ’16 seasons. SENT: 905 words, photos.

SOC-FRANCE-LE GRAET — Noël Le Graët no longer has legitimacy to remain as French soccer federation president because his management style and behavior toward women are “incompatible with the exercise of his functions,” a government audit released Wednesday found. SENT: 550 words, photos.


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Springer homers twice as Jays down Tigers 5-4 to avoid series sweep at Rogers Centre



TORONTO – In what has been a down-in-the-dumps season for the Toronto Blue Jays, George Springer has lifted the spirits of his teammates and manager in the past month.

Springer played the hero role again on Sunday, going 3-for-4, slamming two homers and three RBI to push the Blue Jays (45-54) to a 5-4 win and avoid a sweep against the Detroit Tigers (49-51) before 38,766 at Rogers Centre.

“You want to watch when George is up because you never know what you’re going to see,” Toronto starter Kevin Gausman (8-8) said.

What Gausman and the Blue Jays saw in the series finale was a lead-off homer from Springer and a one-out, two-run blast from the right fielder in the third inning for his 23rd multiple long ball outing.

He also hustled to make a running catch in foul territory in the fifth inning and hurried to force the issue and gain a double in the fifth inning to set up Spencer Horwitz’s game-tying single to centre.

This was critical because rookie Justyn-Henry Malloy had put the Tigers in front with his first grand slam in the top half of the inning.

“He’s been an aircraft carrier-type where he’s saying, ‘get on, I’m going to lead the way,” Toronto manager John Schneider said.

The 34-year-old Springer struggled mightly out of the gate this season. But he worked on changing the path of his swing and began to see productive results in late June.

In his last 21 games, Springer has batted .377 (29 for 77) with six doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 25 RBI.

Schneider also reported that during the difficult times, Springer still helped out his younger teammates like Horwitz and Ernie Clement, who came through with the game-winning hit in the sixth inning, knocking in Justin Turner from second with a single to centre.

“I’ll be an open book (for teammates),” Springer said.

“It’s my job to help anybody I can to make a smoother transition in their career.”

Former teammates Dexter Fowler and Michael Brantley helped a young Springer in his early seasons with the Houston Astros. In fact, Brantley is still on speed dial and pitched in to support Springer through the challenging part of this season.

“I still annoy him every day,” Springer said. “He claims he’s retired, but he’s meant the world to me.”

Daulton Varsho also contributed in a big way to the Blue Jays’ cause on Sunday. He made a game-saving catch, leaping up against the left-field wall to snag Carson Kelly’s long fly ball with two on and one out in the eighth inning off reliever Chad Green, who also pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Gausman didn’t help his cause with back-to-back walks to load the bases. Gausman went 6 2/3 innings, striking out five and yielding four runs on five hits and three walks.

Detroit rookie starter Keider Montero (1-3) was replaced by Will Vest with one out in the fifth when Clement came through with his significant single. But Montero was responsible for Turner and took the loss.

Montero gave up five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.

Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had this three-game homer streak stopped, but he did check in with a two-out double to right field in the seventh inning.


Springer’s leadoff homer on Sunday was the 58th of his career. He only trails former Blue Jays outfielder Ricky Henderson (81) on the all-time MLB list.


The Blue Jays have a day off before their three-game set against the Tampa Bays Rays begins at Rogers Centre on Tuesday. Jose Berrios (8-7) will start for Toronto. The Rays will counter with righty Ryan Pepiot (6-5).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Canada downs Puerto Rico 103-93 in Olympic men’s basketball tune-up game



ORLEANS, France – Canada’s national men’s basketball team wrapped up pre-Olympic play with a 103-93 exhibition win over Puerto Rico on Sunday.

Dillon Brooks paced the Canadian attack with 21 points, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Trey Lyles each chipped in with 15 off the bench.

Brooks, a defensive specialist for the Houston Rockers, had a very efficient offensive performance, shooting 8-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, in just over 22 minutes of play.

RJ Barrett added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 14 and added six assists.

Canada led 46-40 at halftime and built a comfortable 23-point lead in the third quarter only to watch Puerto Rico make things interesting in the final quarter by cutting the lead to five.

Jose Alvarado kept Puerto Rico competitive with 21 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

Canada finished its Olympic tune-up schedule with two wins and a loss. The seventh-ranked Canadians scored a convincing 85-72 victory over host France on Friday in Orleans, after dropping an 86-72 decision to the top-ranked United States on July 11 in Las Vegas.

Guard Jamal Murray, who didn’t play against France, played just under seven minutes on Sunday but didn’t figure in the scoring. Canada Basketball said Murray, a star guard with the Denver Nuggets, was pulled from Friday’s game as “a precaution.”

The Canadians open the Olympic basketball competition on Saturday against 14th-ranked Greece, led by two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, in Lille, France.

Canada’s men’s basketball team will be making its first Olympic appearance since finishing seventh at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Along with Greece, Canada is in Group A, the tournament’s so-called “Group of Death,” with No. 2 Spain and No. 5 Australia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2023.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Xander the Great! Schauffele wins the British Open for his 2nd major this year



TROON, Scotland (AP) — Xander Schauffele went from the most nerve-wracking putt of his career to the coolest walk toward an 18th green he ever imagined.

He won a nail-biter at the PGA Championship in May. He delivered a masterpiece Sunday in the British Open. Two different finishes, two different feelings.

One more conclusion.

Schauffele has more than enough game and all the confidence in the world to win the biggest championships. Questioned at the start of the season whether he could win a major, he now has two of them.

Schauffele closed with a 6-under 65 with a final round that ranks among the most memorable in British Open history, particularly the 31 on the back nine. It matched the best score of the week at Royal Troon with nothing less than the claret jug riding on the outcome.

He played bogey-free in a daunting wind and turned a two-shot deficit into a two-shot victory for his second major of the year.

It also gave the Americans a sweep of the four majors for the first time since 1982.

“It’s a dream come true to win two majors in one year,” he said. “It took me forever just to win one, and to have two now is something else.”

He won the PGA Championship at Valhalla by making a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 65. In a final round set up for high drama at Royal Troon — six players one shot behind, nine players separated by three shots — Schauffele made a tense Sunday look like a nice walk along the Irish Sea.

“I think winning the first one helped me a lot today on the back nine,” he said. “I had some feeling of calmness come through. It was very helpful on what has been one of the hardest back nines I’ve ever played in a tournament.”

It sure didn’t show. Standing on the 18th tee, Schauffele said he turned to caddie and longtime friend Austin Kaiser sand told he had felt calm down the decisive back nine.

“He said he was about to puke,” Schauffele said.

In the 90-year history of four majors, Schauffele became the first player to win two majors in one season with a final-round 65. Jack Nicklaus is the only other player to do that in his career.

And he never looked more calm, oozing that cool California vibe even as the wind presented so much trouble at Royal Troon.

Schauffele pulled away with three birdies in a four-hole stretch early on the back nine to go from two shots behind to leading by as many as three.

He won by two shots over American Billy Horschel and Justin Rose, the 43-year-old from England who had to go through 36-hole qualifying just to get into the field. They were among four players who had at least a share of the lead at one point Sunday.

They just couldn’t keep up with Schauffele. No one could.

“He has a lot of horsepower,” Rose said. “He’s good with a wedge, he’s great with a putter, he hits the ball a long way, obviously his iron play is strong. So he’s got a lot of weapons out there. I think probably one of his most unappreciated ones is his mentality. He’s such a calm guy out there.

“I don’t know what he’s feeling, but he certainly makes it look very easy.”

Even with so many players in contention early, the engraver was able to get to work early on those 16 letters across the base of the silver claret jug.

Schauffele kept staring at golf’s oldest trophy in his press conference, looking forward to gazing at it in private, wondering what kind of drink to pour from it. He said he’d leave that up to his father, Stefan, who missed his son’s first major title and was blubbering on the phone with him.

Where that final round ranks — Henrik Stenson shot 63 when he won his duel with Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon in 2016 — Schauffele left no doubt where it stood in his own career.

“At the very tip-top,” Schauffele said. “Best round I’ve played.”

Playing in the third-to-last group, he matched the round of the championship with a score that was just over eight shots better than the field average.

The final birdie was a pitch over a pot bunker to 4 feet on the par-5 16th. The grandstands at The Open are among the largest, lining both sides of the fairway as Schauffele walked through and soaked up the cheers.

“I got chills,” he said.

The 30-year-old from San Diego became the first player since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win his first two majors in the same season. And he extended American dominance on this Scottish links as the seventh Open champion in the last eight visits to Royal Troon.

Rose started one shot behind and closed with a 67. That was only good for second place. He had a chance to set a record by going the longest time between majors after his 2013 U.S. Open win.

“Gutted when I walked off the course and it hit me hard because I was so strong out there today,” Rose said. “Xander got it going. I hit a couple of really good putts that didn’t fall, and then suddenly that lead stretched. I left it all out there. I’m super proud of how I competed.”

Horschel, who started the final round with a one-shot lead in his bid to win his first major, dropped back around the turn and birdied his last three holes for a 68.

“I’m disappointed. I should feel disappointed. I had a chance to win a major,” Horschel said. “I just made a few too many mistakes today when I didn’t need to.”

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 68 on Sunday to finish as the top Canadian at 2-over, tied for 16th. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., also shot a 68 and ended up tied for 25th at 5-over for the tournament.

The player Schauffele had to track down was Thriston Lawrence of South Africa, who birdied three of four holes to end the front nine with a 32.

Schauffele was two shots behind when it all changed so suddenly. Schauffele hit a wedge out of the left rough on the difficult 11th and judged it perfectly to 3 feet for birdie. He hit another wedge to 15 feet for birdie on the 13th, and capped his pivotal run with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th.

Lawrence finally dropped a shot on the 12th and didn’t pick up any shots the rest of the day. He closed with a 68 and earned a small consolation — a trip to the Masters next April, his first time to Augusta National.

Scottie Scheffler, who got within one shot of the lead briefly on the front nine, lost his way with a three-putt from 6 feet for a double bogey on the ninth hole. Scheffler finished his round by topping a tee shot on the 18th and making another double bogey. The world’s No. 1 player closed with a 72 and tied for seventh.

He stuck around to share a hug with Schauffele, the two top players in golf. Schauffele was the only player this year to finish in the top 10 in all four majors.

He finished at 9-under 275 and earned $3.1 million, pushing him over $15 million for the season.

Schauffele went from the heaviest major trophy at the PGA Championship to the smallest and oldest, the famed claret jug.

“I just can’t wait to drink out of it,” he said, smiling as wide as ever.


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