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Canadian leaders congratulate Biden and Harris on U.S. election win

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OTTAWA —
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is “really looking forward” to working with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate California Senator Kamala Harris, congratulating the pair on their historic election victory that was declared Saturday morning.

“Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both,” the prime minister posted on social media, just minutes after the election was called in favour of the Democrats.

Biden and Harris—soon to be America’s first Black, South Asian and female vice-president—clinched their victory in critical battleground states, turning Trump and Vice President Mike Pence into one-term leaders.

Trump has not conceded, with his campaign stating on Friday that “this election is not over.” Instead, the Republicans have waged a series of legal challenges to the vote, which Trump is claiming baselessly and without evidence has been fraudulent and improperly managed in some key states.

Expanding on his initial comment, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement that does not reference Trump directly but mentions the “extraordinary relationship” between the two nations.

On Friday Trudeau said that he had faith in the American electoral process to determine a fair and accurate result, and understood that citizens on both sides of the border were eagerly awaiting the declaration of a winner but cautioned the importance of not wading into a foreign country’s election.

Freeland also issued tweets congratulating Biden and Harris.

“As your friend, neighbour, and closest ally, Canada will work shoulder to shoulder with you as together we confront the greatest challenges of our time, at home and abroad,” Freeland said, adding a “very personal congratulations” to Harris.

“Your victory is an inspiration to women and girls and to people of colour across our continent. I look forward to working with you to help both our countries crush this global pandemic and to crack more glass ceilings along the way,” she said.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul also was quick to offer her congratulations, paying particular tribute to Harris as she becomes the highest-ranking woman in the history of the United States.

“The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is an opportunity to usher in a new chapter in the vital U.S.-Canada relationship,” Paul said, citing the prospect for enhanced climate commitments as one example, as well as calling for reforms to the Safe Third Country Agreement.

“The results of this election are also an opportunity to renew a shared commitment to the rule of law and human rights,” Paul said.

Taking to social media with their congratulations, both Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh congratulated Biden and Harris on their win.

“Canada and the U.S. have a historic alliance. Canada’s Conservatives will always work with the U.S. to advance our common values and close economic ties,” said O’Toole. 

Singh congratulated Biden and Harris in separate posts, saying that: “As the Trump Presidency comes to an end I’m reminded of Jack’s final words ‘Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.’”

“You’ve sparked the imagination for generations of young women to come,” Singh said of Harris. 

Reflecting on how the results indicate deep divisions among our neighbours to the south earlier this week, Singh said that while he was “initially troubled” by the strong showing for Trump after the last four years of nearly daily headline-grabbing behaviours, decisions, and comments from the president, he’s now seeing why there wasn’t a “clear rebuke” of Trump and thinks it’s political opportunity to offer those kinds of voters a different way.

“If we can help people out in a real way we can tackle the cynicism,” he said.

In terms of what he sees Biden’s presidency meaning for Canada, Singh has said he is hopeful that the situation with COVID-19 in the United States is brought under control.

“I think there seems to be a more rational and thoughtful approach that Joe Biden’s team has taken to various issues, so I expect that that would hopefully also include a relationship with Canada,” Singh said.

These quick moves to congratulate and tout the close cross-border relations comes after four days of Canadian political figures holding their tongues about the nail-biter of a race until the outstanding surge of advance and mail-in votes were counted.

Other than promises to work to uphold Canadian interests, assuring that game plans were made for all potential scenarios including civil unrest in the U.S., and remarks about how thankful some MPs are for Elections Canada and our standardized domestic voting processes, most federal leaders waited to see how the results would unfold.

THE BIDEN DIFFERENCE

The Trump administration has challenged the Trudeau Liberals at times over the last four years, with his 2016 win taking many by surprise and forcing Trudeau to reconfigure some key federal cabinet roles, including seeing Freeland take on the Canada-U.S. file. Since then, the Canada-U.S. relationship has had its rocky moments, with personal and policy conflicts erupting periodically between the leaders of the two countries.

It’s largely expected that Trudeau and the Liberals will have an easier go at cross-border collaboration under a more ideologically-aligned Biden-led administration, as the final year of former president Barack Obama’s term generated headlines about the duo’s “bromance,” which since has apparently carried on, with Obama offering a key endorsement of Trudeau during the 2019 federal election.

“Canada and the United States enjoy an extraordinary relationship – one that is unique on the world stage. Our shared geography, common interests, deep personal connections, and strong economic ties make us close friends, partners, and allies,” Trudeau said in his Saturday statement congratulating the incoming U.S. administration.

“We will further build on this foundation as we continue to keep our people safe and healthy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and work to advance peace and inclusion, economic prosperity, and climate action around the world,” he said.

Biden campaigned on being a president for both Democrats and Republicans, pledging that: “There will be no red states and blue states when we win. Just the United States of America.” That is a similar message to Trudeau’s on election night in 2019 when voters in this country handed him a minority government.

“Regardless of how you cast your ballot, ours is a team that will fight for all Canadians,” Trudeau said on Oct. 21, 2019, in reference to the increase in western alienation and support shown for Conservatives during the campaign. “I have heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you. Let us all work hard to bring our country together.”

Looking at Biden’s platform, a promise to aim for national unity is just one of the shared goals he and Trudeau have for their countries. While it remains to be seen how effective either Trudeau or Biden will ultimately be, both have promised to tackle the opioid crisis, lift the “discriminatory” blood donation ban for some members of the LGBTQ community, address government accountability, end gun violence, strengthen the “nation-to-nation” relationship with Indigenous communities, and take on systemic racism.

Canadian political observers will also remember the “vive le Canada” that former vice president Biden exclaimed during a dinner held by Trudeau during his December 2016 visit to Ottawa in advance of Trump’s inauguration. During his term, Trump did not once make a state visit to Canada, other than to attend the infamous 2017 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Que. where after a short stay, Trump tweeted that Trudeau was “very dishonest and weak.”

TRUDEAU TO VISIT D.C.?

With the new year bringing in a new administration—Trump will remain in office until Biden’s January inauguration—it’s possible that Trudeau’s inner circle will trot out a new strategy to the Canada-U.S. relationship, or try to find a new tact with the Democrats than the cautious approach seen with Trump.

From his perspective, former prime minister Brian Mulroney has publicly advised that Trudeau quickly plan to head down to Washington, D.C. for some face time with the winner, despite the ongoing 14-day quarantine requirement for Canadians who cross back into Canada from the U.S.

“It is so important for whomever emerges, that the prime minister get down there for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, for informal meetings with the president to advance the Canadian agenda. I’ll bet you a dollar to a doughnut that without the president on-side, major issues for Canada are not going to be resolved,” Mulroney said in an interview on CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday.

Former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer has also said, in an election night interview on CTV’s Power Play, that it will be “really important” that the other political leaders support how Trudeau deals with the next president.

Source: – CTV News

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Here's what Canada did while you were sleeping on day 13 of Tokyo Olympics – CTV News

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HALIBURTON, ONT. —
Canada added two medals to its collection overnight on day 13, bringing home silver in women’s canoe sprint and a bronze in women’s cycling.

Here’s a look at some of the 2020 Summer Olympic events you may have missed overnight.

Cycling

Lauriane Genest

Lauriane Genest won Canada’s first-ever medal in the keirin, capturing bronze in the event. New Zealand’s Ellesse Andrews took silver while Shanne Braspennincx of the Netherlands captured gold.

The keirin is an eight-lap race amongst six cyclists who start the race following behind a motorized pace bike, as it accelerates to top speed of 50 km/hr. The pace bike moves off the track with two laps to go before cyclists jockey for positions to finish the race.

On the water

Canada's Laurence Vincent-Lapointe

Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe captured canoe sprint silver in the women’s C-1 200-metre race on Thursday, taking second place in 46.786 seconds. American Nevin Harrison took the gold with a time of 45.932, while Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan claimed bronze at Sea Forest Waterway. Canadian teammate Katie Vincent finished eighth in 47.834 seconds.

Decathlon

Canada's Damian Warner

Damian Warner is inching closer to the top of the podium, continuing to hold a commanding lead in the decathlon with only two events left to complete. The Canadian posted an Olympic decathlon record of 13.46 seconds in the 110-metre hurdles before going on to place third in discus. Warner also tied a personal best in pole vault after clearing 4.90 metres on Thursday.

Warner leads with just javelin and the 1,500 metre left in the competition. Australian Ashley Moloney sits in second place while fellow Canadian Pierce LePage rounds out the top three. The last two events are set for later Thursday.

Diving

Canada's Meaghan Benfeito

Canada’s medal chances were dashed after Meaghan Benfeito failed to qualify for 10-metre platform diving final. The 32-year-old missed the 12th and final qualifying spot on her fourth dive of the day, finishing in the 13th spot, wrapping up her time at the Tokyo Olympics.

On the track

Canada's Andre De Grasse

The Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay team is off to the finals after sprinter Andre De Grasse made a late comeback for the team, crossing the finish line in second place, just hours after winning himself a gold medal in the 200-metre sprint.

Golf

Brooke Henderson

Canada’s Brooke Henderson had a better day on the course, bouncing back to shoot a 3-under 68 in the second round of the women’s golf tournament. Henderson is currently tied for the 34th spot, sitting at even par.

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The cost of down payments in Canadian cities skyrocketed in 2021, new data shows – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Skyrocketing housing prices in 2021 are driving up how long it would take for homebuyers to save for a down payment, new data shows.

The National Bank of Canada (NBC)’s latest report found that during the second quarter of 2021, housing affordability has worsened by the widest margin in 27 years. The report examined housing and mortgage trends in 10 cities across the country.

To save up enough for a down payment for an average home in Canada, it would take just short of six years – or 69 months – if you saved at a rate of 10 per cent of their median pre-tax household income.

This marked a notable jump compared to the 57 months of saving at that same rate this time last year.

And, if you live in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto, it could take decades – assuming you put away 10 per cent of your before-tax household income.

Here’s a breakdown of how much time it would take to save up for a down payment for an average home or condo, if you saved a tenth of your pre-tax income:

Vancouver

  • Standing head and shoulders above the other cities, it would take a staggering 34 years – or 411 months – of saving to be able to afford a home here.
  • The average home here costs $1.47 million.
  • It would take just under five years – 57 months — to save up enough for a down payment on an average condo in Vancouver.

Victoria

  • An estimated 28 years, or 338 months, of saving to make a down payment for a non-condo home, with the total price of a representative home set at $1.03M.
  • It would take 47 months of saving to afford a condo down payment.

Toronto,

Toronto

  • To save enough for a down payment for a home here would take 26.5 years – or 318 months.
  • The average home here costs approximately $1.2 million.
  • To afford a condo down payment here would take just under five years, or 56 months.

Hamilton

  • At a 10-per-cent saving rate, you’re looking at 6.5 years of saving up to afford a down payment for a home — and around four years to afford a condo in this city.

Ottawa/Gatineau

  • Trying to save up a home down payment in Canada’s capital could take a little over four years.

Montreal

Montreal

  • Saving up a tenth of your pre-tax earnings for 3.5 years would mean you could afford a down payment on a representative home in Montreal
  • The total price tag of a non-condo home sits at $492,777.
  • Trying to afford a condo here could take you just a little more than two and a half years of saving.

Calgary

  • You’d need to save up for just under three years – or 34 months – to afford a home here, or about half that time to afford a condo.

Edmonton

  • Potential homebuyers were looking at 2.5 years – or 30 months – of saving if you’re looking to make a down payment on a non-condo home.
  • The average total cost of a non-condo home was $428,600.

Winnipeg

Winnipeg

  • Affording a down payment on a $370,000 home could take homebuyers about 2.3 years worth of saving.
  • Home buyers needed 18 months to save up a down payment on a condo.

Quebec City

  • The price of a representative home in Quebec’s capital is $330 742 and it would take the average Canadian household just over two years – or 28 months — to save up a down payment.

Researchers also found mortgage payments now make up 45 per cent of the income for a representative household, slightly above the average amount (43 per cent of income) needed in 1980.

NBC noted that during most of the past two years, income growth and lower interest rates have been conducive to improving affordability.

But 2021 has been a stark contrast, the bank said, with home price increases outpacing income growth and mortgage interest rates also rising.

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Countries making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory

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A sharp upturn in new coronavirus infections due to the highly contagious Delta variant and a slowdown in vaccination rates have pushed governments to make COVID-19 shots mandatory for health workers and other high-risk groups.

A growing number of countries also stipulate that a shot, or a negative test, will be needed for dining out, among other activities.

Here are some countries’ vaccine mandates:

AUSTRALIA

Australia decided in late June to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for high-risk aged-care workers and employees in quarantine hotels.

It has also made vaccinations obligatory for Paralympic athletes heading to Tokyo because unvaccinated members on the team could pose a health risk.

BRITAIN

It will be mandatory for care home workers in England to have coronavirus vaccinations from October.

English nightclubs and other venues with large crowds will require patrons to present proof of full vaccination from the end of September.

CANADA

Canada‘s Treasury Board Secretariat said on July 20 it was considering whether COVID-19 vaccines should be required for certain roles and positions in the federal government, according to CBC News.

FRANCE

The French parliament on Aug. 2 approved a bill which will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health workers as well as require a bolstered health pass in many social venues.

The government said on July 19 that the planned 45,000 euro ($53,456) fine for businesses that do not check that clients have a health pass will be much lower, starting at up to 1,500 euros and increasing progressively for repeat offenders. Fines will not be imposed immediately.

GREECE

Greece on July 12 made vaccinations mandatory for nursing home staff with immediate effect and healthcare workers from September. As part of new measures, only vaccinated customers are allowed indoors in bars, cinemas, theatres and other closed spaces.

INDONESIA

Indonesia made COVID-19 inoculations mandatory in February, with the capital Jakarta threatening fines of up to 5 million rupiah ($357) for refusing.

ITALY

A decree approved by the Italian government in March mandates that health workers, including pharmacists, get vaccinated. Those who refuse could be suspended without pay for the rest of the year.

HUNGARY

Hungary’s government has decided to make vaccinations mandatory for healthcare workers, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on July 23.

KAZAKHSTAN

Kazakhstan will introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for people working in groups of more than 20, the health ministry said on June 23.

LEBANON

Lebanon is to limit entry to restaurants, cafes, pubs and beaches to people holding vaccine certificates or those who have taken antibodies tests, the tourism ministry said on July 30. Non-vaccinated employees of these establishments would be required to conduct a PCR test every 72 hours.

MALTA

Malta banned visitors from entering the country from July 14 unless they are fully vaccinated.

POLAND

Poland could make vaccinations obligatory for some people at high risk from COVID-19 from August.

RUSSIA

The Russian capital has unveiled a plan https://bit.ly/2TWsroN requiring 60% of all service sector workers to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 15, according to the Moscow Times.

Moscow residents no longer have to present a QR code demonstrating they have been vaccinated or have immunity in order to sit in cafes, restaurants and bars from July 19.

SAUDI ARABIA

In May, Saudi Arabia mandated all public and private sector workers wishing to attend a workplace get vaccinated, without specifying when this would be implemented.

Vaccination will also be required to enter any governmental, private, or educational establishments and to use public transportation as of Aug. 1.

Saudi citizens will need two vaccine doses before they can travel outside the kingdom from Aug. 9, state news agency SPA reported on July 19, citing the ministry of interior.

TURKMENISTAN

Turkmenistan’s healthcare ministry said on July 7 it was making vaccination mandatory for all residents aged 18 and over.

UNITED STATES

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on July 29 that all civilian federal workers will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and travel limits, a source familiar with the matter said.

New York City will become the first major U.S. city to require, from Sept. 13, proof of vaccination for customers and staff at restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses as the country enters a new phase of battling the Delta variant.

New York will require state employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly, a mandate that will go into effect on Sept. 6, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will require their workers to get the vaccine or get tested weekly, Cuomo said on Aug. 2.

New Jersey state health care workers and employees who work in jails must by vaccinated by Sept. 7 or face testing twice a week.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said that all state employees would be ordered to get vaccinated starting Aug. 2 or undergo COVID-19 testing at least once a week.

Denver municipal employees and people working in high-risk settings in the city will be required to get vaccinated, Mayor Michael Hancock said on Aug. 2.

($1 = 0.8418 euros)

 

(Compiled by Paulina Cwikowska, Dagmarah Mackos and Oben Mumcuoglu; editing by Milla Nissi, Steve Orlofsky, Joe Bavier and Nick Macfie)

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