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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Monday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

As COVID-19 cases mount around the world, the committees responsible for Canada’s involvement in Olympic and Paralympic sport have decided they won’t be sending athletes to Tokyo if the 2020 Summer Olympics go ahead as planned. 

“This is not solely about athlete health — it’s about public health,” a joint statement released by the committees on Sunday night said. Australia did the same, with its Olympic committee saying “our athletes now need to prioritize their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families.”

Japan has been facing increased pressure to call off or delay the Summer Games amid growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday suggested that the Games could be postponed, adding that he wants to speak with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. 

According to Kyodo News, a Japanese media outlet, Abe told a parliamentary session that if he was asked “whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition.”

The statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee came the same day as a warning from the country’s health minister around travellers returning to the country.

Health minister reiterates importance of self-isolation

Speaking at a daily briefing on Sunday, Patty Hajdu said the federal government is willing to use “every measure in our tool box” to make sure people are following public health advice around self-isolating when they return home. 

Hajdu reminded incoming travellers that there are “no exceptions” to the two-week isolation period.

The health minister pointed to the Quarantine Act, which allows for fines and charges against people who don’t follow self-isolation measures. But she also noted that, for now, the government is asking people to follow the rules and hoping “we don’t have to get to ordering them.” 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who has been addressing the public regularly from outside his home while he completes a two-week period of self-quarantine — is set to speak again Monday morning. Trudeau said last week that his government was talking with major airlines about getting Canadians stranded abroad back home. Over the weekend, a plane arrived in Canada from Morocco, where a large number of travellers had been stranded. Ottawa is also working with airlines to help get people in Peru, Spain and several other countries home.

WATCH | Canadians arrive in Montreal from Morocco:

Canadians landing in Montreal on a government-arranged flight say they’re relieved to be out of Morocco, but urge the government to keep helping  those left abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. 3:35

Most people only experience mild symptoms from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and recover within weeks. But it is highly contagious and causes severe illness in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. People can carry and spread the virus without showing any symptoms.

More than 340,000 people have been infected worldwide, and nearly 15,000 have died. Nearly 100,000 people have recovered. Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and other hard-hit areas today.

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia’s biggest city is warning that businesses that don’t enforce proper social distancing measures could face big fines — or closuresVancouver city council is holding a virtual meeting Monday to pass bylaws that would allow for the imposition of what the mayor calls “significant” penalties. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

Alberta reported another 33 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in the province to 259. Also over the weekend, a group of doctors in Calgary took to the streets to protest (standing a safe distance apart) to press for more assistance to those who work with the homeless. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.

Restaurants and bars in Saskatchewan will be limited to offering takeout as of today after the province passed measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan, which has 53 reported cases.

Manitoba’s top public health official is urging people to stay apart but still work together to “to limit the impact of this virus” on the province. Dr. Brent Roussin said over the weekend that the province is focusing for now on testing people who travelled internationally and are experiencing symptoms. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

In Ontario, the province’s emergency declaration is giving hospitals more power over staffingThe associations representing the province’s nurses and doctors, meanwhile, are expressing concern over potential shortage of supplies, particularly masks. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario, including the latest from the province’s education minister.

Quebec said over the weekend that schools, restaurant dining rooms and malls would all be closed until May 1. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

New Brunswick is reporting 17 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.

As of Monday morning, most people coming into Nova Scotia — even from another province — will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. The premier said there are some exceptions, including for people in industries like health care or trucking. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia, including the latest on the state of emergency.

Prince Edward Island reported its third case of COVID-19 over the weekend. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting a total of nine confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Newfoundland, including a list of what’s closed due to the coronavirus.

Yukon reported its first COVID-19 cases over the weekend, in a couple that had travelled to the U.S. for a conference. Read more about what’s happening in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Canada had 1,472 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 6:30 a.m. ET on Monday. Here’s a look at the number of cases — including deaths and recoveries — by province.

  • British Columbia: 424 confirmed cases, including six recovered and 10 deaths.

  • Ontario: 425 confirmed cases, including eight recovered and five deaths.

  • Alberta: 259 confirmed cases, including three recovered and one death.

  • Quebec: 219 confirmed cases, including one recovered and four deaths.

  • Saskatchewan: 52 confirmed and presumptive cases.

  • Manitoba: 20 confirmed and presumptive cases.

  • New Brunswick: 17 confirmed and presumptive cases.

  • Nova Scotia: 28 confirmed and presumptive cases.

  • Prince Edward Island: Three cases the province lists as positive.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Nine confirmed and presumptive cases.

  • Northwest Territories: One confirmed case.

  • Yukon: Two confirmed cases.

  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed cases.

Presumptive cases are individuals who have tested positive, but still await confirmation with the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Not all provinces are listing figures on those who have recovered. The recent COVID-19 related death of a Canadian in Japan is not currently included in the province-by-province tally of cases.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.

From The Associated Press, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House churned late into the night over a now nearly $2 trillion US economic rescue package, as the coronavirus crisis deepened, the nation shut down and the first U.S. senator tested positive for the disease.

While the congressional leaders worked into the night, alarms were being sounded from coast to coast about the wave of coronavirus cases about to crash onto the nation’s health system. 

As President Donald Trump took to the podium in the White House briefing room and promised to help Americans who feel afraid and isolated as the pandemic spreads, the Senate voted Sunday against advancing the rescue package. But talks continued on Capitol Hill.

“I think you’ll get there. To me it’s not very complicated: We have to help the worker. We have to save the companies,” Trump said.

Later, the Republican president suggested the remedies may be more harmful than the outbreak, vowing to reassess after the 15-day mark of the shutdown. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he tweeted.

Inside the otherwise emptied out Capitol, the draft aid bill was declared insufficient by Democrats, who argued it was tilted toward corporations and did too little to help workers and health-care providers. Republicans returned to the negotiating table.

WATCH | States seek supplies as COVID-19 cases mount in U.S.:

Roughly 100 million people under lockdown in the U.S. and many states are desperate for tests, masks and ventilators, but President Donald Trump maintained there will be victory over COVID-19. 2:00

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, exiting the Capitol just before midnight, struck an optimistic note: “We’re very close,” he said, adding negotiators would work through the night.

“Our nation cannot afford a game of chicken,” warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., his voice rising on the Senate floor Sunday night. His goal is to vote Monday. The Senate will reconvene at noon.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sounded an optimistic note.

“This bill is going to affect this country and the lives of Americans, not just for the next few days, but in the next few months and years — so we have to make sure it is good,” he said.

‘”There were some serious problems with the bill leader McConnell laid down. Huge amounts of corporate bailout funds without restrictions or without oversight — you wouldn’t even know who is getting the money. Not enough money for hospitals, nurses, PPE, masks, all the health-care needs. No money for state and local government, many of whom would go broke. Many other things.”

But Schumer said they were making progress in dealing with those issues. “We’re getting closer and closer. And I’m very hopeful, is how I’d put it, that we can get a bill in the morning.”

Here’s what’s happening in Europe

A worker wearing protective clothes disinfects benches in one of the parks in the city centre of Kranj, Slovenia, on Monday amid concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images)

From Reuters, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

Hard-hit Italy, which has struggled to slow the spread of COVID-19, banned travel within the country on Sunday, as its death toll climbed to 5,476.

Britain’s health minister said stricter restrictions on movements would be brought in if people did not observe advice to avoid social interaction, warning that such measures would also have to stay in place longer.

In Germany, the number of cases has climbed to 22,672 with 86 deaths, a public health agency tally showed on Monday.

Spain sought on Sunday to extend the state of emergency until April 11 as its death toll jumped to over 1,700.

WATCH | Doctor warns against medical gloves in public, talks importance of handwashing:

Dr. Samir Gupta explains why most people are better off washing their hands with soap and water than wearing gloves for protection against COVID-19. 1:54

Here’s what’s happening in some other affected areas, including hard-hit South Korea and Iran 

From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 7 a.m. ET

South Korea reported on Monday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases and the extended downward trend in daily infections since the peak on Feb. 29 has boosted hopes that Asia’s largest outbreak outside China may be abating. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said there were 64 new cases on Monday, taking the national tally to 8,961. The death toll rose to 118, from 110.

The new numbers marked the 12th day in a row the country has posted new infections of around 100 or less, compared with the peak of 909 cases recorded on Feb. 29. But officials urged even greater vigilance as imported cases and new, small outbreaks continued to emerge, such as in nursing homes, churches and crowded workplaces.

“We don’t give much meaning to numbers yet, but as there are some fluctuations despite a declining trend, our top priority is to prevent sporadic group infections and repatriated cases,” said Yoon Tae-ho, director-general for public health policy at the health ministry.

The worst outbreak in the Middle East is unfolding in Iran, where state TV reported another 127 deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,812 amid more than 23,000 confirmed cases. Iran has faced widespread criticism for not imposing stricter quarantine measures early on. It is also suffering under severe U.S. sanctions.

Syrians rushed to stock up on food and fuel Monday amid fears that authorities would resort to even stricter measures after reporting the first coronavirus infection in the country, where the health-care system has been decimated by nearly a decade of civil war. Authorities said border crossings with Lebanon and Jordan would close at midday. 

The United Arab Emirates, home to the world’s busiest international airport, said it was suspending all passenger flights for two weeks. Dubai’s airport is a vital hub connecting Western nations with Asian countries and Australia, and suspending passenger flights there affects travellers around the world.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday – CBC.ca

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The European Commission said on Tuesday it would make sense for the United States to allow travel by people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca shot in Europe.

On Monday the White House said it would lift restrictions that bar European Union citizens from travelling to the United States starting in November. It is not clear which vaccines will be accepted by U.S. authorities.

“We believe the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe,” a spokesperson for the EU Commission told a news conference.

“From our point of view, obviously it would make sense for people who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca to be able to travel.”

The spokesperson noted that this is a decision for U.S. authorities.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was authorized by Health Canada for use in people aged 18 and up in late February. As of Sept. 16, health officials had distributed more than three million doses of the vaccine to the provinces, according to a tracking list published by the federal government.

In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government would work with other countries to ensure Canadians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine would not be prevented from travelling internationally.

In the U.S., there are three COVID-19 vaccines that are either fully authorized or approved for emergency use — the two-dose mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna and the single-dose product from Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

India has been critical of the British government’s decision not to recognize coronavirus vaccine certificates issued by Indian authorities, calling it a “discriminatory policy” that will impact its citizens who want to travel to that country.

The new rules require Indians visiting the U.K. to quarantine themselves for 10 days and undergo COVID-19 tests even if they are fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccines made under licence in India.

The rules take effect next month. India’s Serum Institute, which makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, has not applied for its approval by the European Union.

Most people in India have been vaccinated with the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine. Others have received COVAXIN, which is also not used in Britain.

-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 1:45 p.m. ET


What’s happening across Canada

Canada is extending restrictions on all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India until Sunday, Transport Canada said in a statement Tuesday.

Travellers eligible to enter Canada will be able to board direct flights from India once the restriction on direct flights expires, provided they have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure.

-From CBC News, last updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

WATCH | P.E.I. premier explains proof-of-vaccination system: 

P.E.I. to introduce vaccine passport, premier says

9 hours ago

Prince Edward Island is working with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to create a ‘P.E.I. Vax Pass,’ Premier Dennis King said on Tuesday. The pass will apply to many large gatherings whether indoor or outdoor. 2:32

Here’s a look at some of the COVID-19 developments from across the country:


What’s happening around the world

A local security official removes makeshift barricades following the easing of restrictions on Tuesday in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Linh Pham/Getty Images)

As of early Tuesday evening, more than 229.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Vietnamese authorities are relaxing some pandemic restrictions in Hanoi starting Tuesday after two months of lockdown to contain a surge in coronavirus cases.

In Europe, senior politicians in Germany expressed shock over the weekend killing of a young gas station clerk who asked a customer to wear a face mask, and they warned Tuesday against the radicalization of people who oppose the country’s pandemic restrictions.

A 49-year-old German man was arrested in the fatal shooting of the clerk Saturday in the western town of Idar-Oberstein. The suspect is being held on suspicion of murder.

Authorities said the man told officers he acted “out of anger” after being refused service for not wearing a mask while trying to buy beer. “He further stated during interrogation that he rejected the measures against the coronavirus,” the Trier police department said in a statement.

In the Americas, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have climbed to an average of more than 1,900 a day for the first time since early March, with experts saying the virus is preying largely on a distinct group: 71 million unvaccinated Americans.

Back in December, when no vaccines were available, about 3,000 people were dying every day. Now, despite readily available vaccines, deaths per day have climbed 40 per cent over the past two weeks, from 1,387 to 1,947, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Argentina unveiled plans to ease pandemic restrictions, including loosening strict border controls, allowing more commercial activities and getting rid of the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors.

In the Middle East, the first world fair to be held in the Middle East, Expo 2020 Dubai, opens its doors to exhibitors from almost 200 countries on Oct. 1 after being delayed for a year by the pandemic.

In Africa, authorities in Burundi have decided to suspend all social events except on Saturdays and Sundays as concerns grow about a rising number of COVID-19 infections.

The country was one of the last in Africa to embrace vaccines after the administration of the late president was accused of taking the pandemic lightly. In a letter to governors and mayors, the chair of the committee in charge of fighting COVID-19 said the limits on gatherings come after authorities realized how such events can spread the virus.

The mayor of Burundi’s economic capital, Bujumbura, is threatening to fine anyone who doesn’t wear a mask or respect physical distancing. The mayor cites a worrying number of COVID-19 patients in the city.

-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

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Elections Canada 'sorry' people didn't vote because of long lineups – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Many older voters, parents with young children and Canadians with disabilities didn’t vote on Monday because they couldn’t wait in long lineups at their voting sites. Elections Canada has apologized but said there was little else they could do given COVID-19 restrictions.

“I always vote and am incredibly disappointed I did not this time,” said Patricia Au, a voter in the Toronto riding of University—Rosedale. She was told two times on Monday she’d be waiting for two hours. “I forfeited my ballot this year.”

Farah Hassanali, a single mother from Ajax, Ont. with five-year-old twins, was similarly discouraged by how slow the line was moving at her voting site.

“I had to pick up my kids from school and daycare… and I wasn’t able to go back to vote because my kids are young and I couldn’t stand in line with them for hours,” she told CTVNews.ca In a phone interview.

“I did set out some time in my day to go and vote but my past experiences have never taken that long,” Hassanali said. And because a Liberal win was projected before many had even voted, she saw people who left the line because they felt their votes didn’t matter.

“I don’t think it was efficient and properly run.”

ELECTIONS CANADA ‘SORRY’ BUT HANDS WERE TIED

Upon hearing the stories of people ditching the lineups, Elections Canada media advisor Rejean Grenier said, “I feel for people who had to do that.”

But he stressed the agency didn’t have a choice in whether to run the election during the pandemic. This year, there were significantly fewer overall voting sites in many ridings across the country, due to COVID-19 restrictions which prevented many schools, churches, or other buildings from being eligible locations.

“We had all of the criteria that was placed on us where we had no choice about choosing certain sites,” Grenier said in a phone interview. He explained that despite ridings having fewer voting sites, there were more booths inside them, which meant the total number of voting booths overall was similar to past years.

He also noted that people who couldn’t or didn’t want to wait in line, could’ve mailed in their ballots, or submitted their ballots through advanced voting during the four assigned days earlier this month.

“We’re very sorry that people couldn’t or wouldn’t stay in line, but most people were patient and did,” Grenier said.

OLDER VOTERS, THOSE WITH DISABILITIES LEFT OUT

For many older voters and those with disabilities, it was less a matter of patience and more of physical limitations.

Roy Bagnato and his wife, in the Ontario’s York-Simcoe riding, told CTVNews.ca in an email that they’re in early 80s and couldn’t wait in the hot sun. Meanwhile seniors Gord Bulllied and his wife similarly couldn’t wait hours at their voting site in Peterborough county in southern Ontario.

“So for the first time in our life we did not vote,” Bulllied wrote to CTVNews.ca in an email.

Several other voters — such as Patricia Farmer from Keswick, Ont. who uses a wheelchair — said their physical disabilities made lineups difficult.

“Cars were lined up all the way down the main road. It was not moving and it would have taken hours before we could even park,” she wrote CTVNews.ca in an email, saying this was the case the two times she went.

“We have always instilled the importance of voting into our children and grandchildren no matter what, and we practiced what we preached. Well, this time none of us were offered the ability to vote.”

Whitby, Ont. resident Nikki Yannique Henderson has cerebral palsy and felt “very deflated” because she can’t stand for long periods of time.

“I think it super disappointing. We hear time and time again that people with disabilities matter, but this goes to show that we have a long way to go,” she told CTVNews.ca via text, noting that simply having the building being wheelchair accessible isn’t enough to make areas truly accessible.

“Ideally there should be a line for those who may have mobility challenges,” she said. “We need to continue to look at ways to make the experience fully accessible from the beginning.”

Her father, David MacKinnon — vice-chair of the Town of Whitby Accessibility Advisory Committee — wished that security and voting site volunteers had shown more leeway in expediting wait times for older Canadians and those with disabilities.

“I’m almost 70 years old. I’m not going to stand in line for that kind of time… One look at the lineup and we just kept driving,” he told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “It’s been a long, long time since I’ve not voted in an election.”

The Elections Canada spokesperson said in past elections, volunteers would often scan lines to allow older voters to skip the line. But this time around, the lines were too long and volunteers were instead focused on moving the lines along.

WHAT ABOUT ONLINE VOTING?

MacKinnon said more needs to be done for disabled Canadians, and this pandemic election was the year to do it.

“Persons with disabilities have a tough time voting, even with mail-in ballots. A web-based voting system is needed,” he said.

He said it there should be a “trusted voter” program which allows people to vote online if they’ve been screened thoroughly by the government.

The Elections Canada spokesperson Grenier cited evidence showing how online voting – as was seen in the 2018 municipal elections in Ontario — can be unfortunately prone to errors and irregularities. He said even if an infrastructure could be set up, it would require a change to the Elections Act before it’s used federally.

Although she was unable to vote, Hassanali said she has sympathy for Elections Canada for organizing an election during a pandemic, but given the COVID-19 restrictions were known so far in advance, she wishes there were more advance polling days or more time allowed to mail in their ballots.

“I feel like my voice wasn’t heard and I understand many people are in the same situation.”

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The Canadian election is (mostly) over. Cue the party leadership speculation: experts – Globalnews.ca

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The Canadian federal election is now — mostly — a thing of the past after being dominated for weeks by questions over whether it was warranted in the midst of the COVID-19 fourth wave.

For the major federal party leaders now though, experts say the question is poised to become: could they or should they have done better at the polls, and will the political knives now come out?

Prominent Conservative Lisa Raitt, a former federal cabinet minister, said she expects both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole will face questions from their caucuses, but what happens next is still uncertain.

“I think it’s too early to say, ‘knives out,’” she told Global News on Tuesday.

“I do believe that caucus has a right to understand from both of their leaders behind closed doors what happened, what’s the analysis and where do we go from here.”

READ MORE: Liberals projected to form minority government; Trudeau bills win as ‘clear mandate’


Click to play video: 'What does the future of party leadership look like after election 2021?'



5:06
What does the future of party leadership look like after election 2021?


What does the future of party leadership look like after election 2021?

After five weeks and $600-million, the pandemic election — the most expensive in Canadian history — has left the makeup of the House of Commons virtually identical to what it was when Trudeau chose to seek a dissolution on Aug. 15, and send the country to the polls.

That early lead quickly evaporated and Trudeau is once again set to lead a minority government that will see him forced by Canadians to negotiate and cooperate with the other parties in order to govern.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh now appears poised to play kingmaker, and said he plans to stay on as leader when questioned early Tuesday morning about whether he should be replaced. In comparison, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul’s second straight failure to win the Toronto Centre seat she was campaigning for is already prompting questions about her own future and ability to lead the party.

“I’ve never seen the party so unprepared for an election,” said former Green leader Elizabeth May, who was re-elected as the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, during an interview with Global News.

The two major party leaders are likely also facing questions in light of the election result.

Grace Skogstad, a professor of political science with the University of Toronto, described the outcome as “a disappointment for both the Liberal and Conservative leaders.”

“In terms of what it means for their leadership, there’s going to be a greater challenge to Erin O’Toole’s leadership than there is to Justin Trudeau’s. … It’s always easier to win an election, even if he’s only gained one seat.”

READ MORE: O’Toole’s election gamble — swinging Tories to the centre

O’Toole gambled big by swinging the Conservative Party to the centre of the political spectrum, but was not able to oust Trudeau from the Prime Minister’s Office.

He told journalists on Tuesday afternoon he was “disappointed” with the result but planned to remain in the role and has already started the process to review what could have been done better.

“Next time we will,” he said of the frustration members feel at not winning.

“We’re closer in dozens upon dozens of ridings, but not close enough. I want to earn that trust with Canadians. That’s why we’re going to work tirelessly.”

His predecessor, Andrew Scheer, vowed to stay in the role as leader following the 2019 campaign that saw Trudeau reduced from a majority to a minority, but within weeks because the target of internal party fighting and damaging leaks that led him to shift gears, and step aside.

O’Toole won the ensuing leadership race. But unlike with Scheer’s election loss, there are already strong voices from within the party speaking out about the need to rally around O’Toole rather than kick him to the curb, and search for a new leader.


Click to play video: 'Conservative support drops in Alberta, PPC and Kenney a factor: political scientist'



2:21
Conservative support drops in Alberta, PPC and Kenney a factor: political scientist


Conservative support drops in Alberta, PPC and Kenney a factor: political scientist

Matthew Conway, one of the Quebec representatives on the party’s national council of members, said Conservatives will need to do a post-mortem to figure out what could’ve been done better.

But he said in a minority government, changing leaders after each election simply isn’t realistic.

“I think going into another leadership would be a massive mistake,” he told Global News.

“We can’t be quick. We can’t change leaders after every election. There is absolutely no momentum into that next election. There’s causes too much upheaval.”

A former Conservative candidate and ex-political staffer, Conway said the post-mortem on the election results will need to take a hard look at why some Liberal attacks over things like the party’s positions on abortion access and firearms control resonated with voters.

Both will likely continue to be part of Liberal political attacks in the future, he noted.

“The Liberals will play the fear game and we need to be ready to defend ourselves on that. We need to realize also that the Morgentaler abortion decision was in 1988,” he said, adding more can be done to make it clear O’Toole is pro-choice.

“But also people in our party need to stop fighting battles that were fought many years ago. It’s 2021. … Continuing to fight these battles just allows Justin Trudeau and his corrupt government to continue getting elected, and that doesn’t serve Canada.”

READ MORE: O’Toole reverses campaign pledge on conscience rights, says doctors must refer patients

Jason Lietaer, a Conservative strategist, offered a similar case for why O’Toole should stay on.

He said while some party members are getting “restless” after losing three elections in a row, the best shot at forming government again is building on the foundations he says O’Toole laid in the campaign.

“I think the main question you ask yourself is, can this guy win? And I think the answer is yes. It’s one of the reasons why I think Mr. O’Toole should probably get another crack at this,” said Lietaer, who is president of the political strategy firm Enterprise.

“The truth is, it’s a lot easier to win the second time than the first time if you continue to grow in the job. I think he’s shown capacity to grow.”


Click to play video: 'Canada election: Mood not great at Conservative party headquarters following projected Liberal minority government'



1:39
Canada election: Mood not great at Conservative party headquarters following projected Liberal minority government


Canada election: Mood not great at Conservative party headquarters following projected Liberal minority government

Skogstad also noted O’Toole may be able to stave off leadership challenges with the fact that the People’s Party of Canada, the far-right group led by ex-Tory Maxime Bernier, didn’t win a single seat in the House of Commons in the election.

If O’Toole can demonstrate he has a plan to keep building on the pivot to the centre and turn that into more votes, he may have a chance to stay on that Scheer did not get, she suggested.

“A little more than a third of his caucus is going to be from Saskatchewan and Alberta, and we can expect those MP’s to take issue with the kind of campaign that he ran, which is to try to move the party to the centre, make it look much more like an old Progressive Conservative Party,” she said.

“I think he can justifiably argue that the pathway to a national government in Canada does have to be to hold much more toward the centre.”

— with files from Global’s Mike Le Couteur, Abigail Bimman and Rachel Gilmore.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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