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Cost of living tops pandemic as key issue for Canadians ahead of Parliament’s return: Ipsos –



As Parliament prepares to spring back into action on Monday, Canadians have one thing at the top of their mind: the rising cost of living.

That’s the latest from a new Ipsos poll, which found concerns about rising price tags on essentials like groceries and gas are now outranking issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, health care and housing as Canadians’ top concern.

“They’re really focused on what’s going on in their own homes and what’s happening in their own lives, particularly relative to their own personal prosperity,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, in an interview with Global News.

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Click to play video: 'Getting your finances in order as cost of living soars'

Getting your finances in order as cost of living soars

Getting your finances in order as cost of living soars – Oct 21, 2021
Canadians, Bricker said, are “very concerned about what the future is going to look like.”

Using the top 10 issues Canadians said were important in an election day poll by Global News and Ipsos, the survey created a short list of “potential priority areas for the upcoming session of parliament,” according to the poll’s factum.

Affordability and cost of living topped the list as the key issue Canadians thought the government should prioritize, with 33 per cent putting the issue at the top of their lists. Nipping at the heels of that top spot were concerns about the pandemic, which 27 per cent said should be a priority, as well as health care, which sat at 25 per cent, followed by housing at 24 per cent and the economy at 23 per cent.

Click to play video: 'Price hikes making Canadians wary'

Price hikes making Canadians wary

Price hikes making Canadians wary – Oct 7, 2021

The finding comes as inflation hit its highest rate since 2003 last month — a whopping 4.7 per cent. The climbing costs have forced consumers of every age, income and political creed to spend more to fill up their tanks and grocery carts.

On top of that, a long-simmering affordability crisis spanning housing, child-care and higher-education costs seems to have reached a boiling point. For example, Canada’s average national home price has risen a mind-boggling 32 per cent between July 2019 and July 2021, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

While these issues are top of mind for Canadians, the poll found a disconnect between what Canadians wished to see prioritized and what they think the government can actually accomplish.

Just 23 per cent of respondents are confident that the government will make progress on cost of living and affordability issues, according to the poll.

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Canadians are much more confident that progress will be made when it comes to the fight against COVID-19 — 61 per cent are expecting to see positive steps on that file, the poll found.

“With the pandemic … they know how to track progress. They know that things are getting better,” said Bricker.

“But when it comes to the cost of living and the state of the economy, they don’t feel the same degree of certainty about the government being able to make progress.”

As for the governing Liberals, they won’t be enjoying any post-election popularity boost as they head into the new Parliamentary session.

Click to play video: 'Cost of living climbs in Calgary prompting renewed calls for a ‘living wage’'

Cost of living climbs in Calgary prompting renewed calls for a ‘living wage’

Cost of living climbs in Calgary prompting renewed calls for a ‘living wage’ – Nov 1, 2021

The approval rating for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government sits at 48 per cent, which is just two per cent higher than the 46 per cent approval rate it had heading into election day.

“There’s no honeymoon after this election,” Bricker said.

On top of that, over 40 per cent of Canadians think Trudeau should step aside as Liberal Party leader before the next election, while 29 per cent said they hope he’ll lead the Liberals on their next trip to the polls.

“Among Canadians who actually have an opinion about Justin Trudeau’s future, the plurality of them think that he should go before the next election,” Bricker said.

Read more:
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If Trudeau wants to show Canadians he’d like to stay on as Liberal leader, Bricker said the prime minister can start by “focusing on the issue that Canadians are really concerned about most directly today … which is the issue of cost of living.”

“The way the prime minister communicates a desire to stay is by his level of engagement on the issues that people really care about,” Bricker said.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between Nov. 12 and 15, 2021, with a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18-plus interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18-plus been polled.

–with files from Global News’ Erica Alini

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

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Courts block two Biden administration COVID vaccine mandates



The Biden administration was blocked on Tuesday from enforcing two mandates requiring millions of American workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a key part of its strategy for controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Monroe, Louisiana, temporarily blocked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing its vaccine mandate for healthcare workers until the court can resolve legal challenges.

Doughty’s ruling applied nationwide, except in 10 states where the CMS was already prevented from enforcing the rule due to a prior order from a federal judge in St. Louis.

Doughty said the CMS lacked the authority to issue a vaccine mandate that would require more than 2 million unvaccinated healthcare workers to get a coronavirus shot.

“There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency,” wrote Doughty.

Separately, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove in Frankfort, Kentucky, blocked the administration from enforcing a regulation that new government contracts must include clauses requiring that contractors’ employees get vaccinated.

The contractor ruling applied in the three states that had filed the lawsuit, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, one of at least 13 legal challenges nationwide against the regulation. It appears to be the first ruling against the contractor vaccine mandate.

The White House declined to comment.

The legal setbacks for President Joe Biden’s vaccine policy come as concerns that the Omicron coronavirus variant could trigger a new wave of infections and curtail travel and economic activity across the globe.

Biden unveiled regulations in September to increase the U.S. adult vaccination rate beyond the current 71% as a way of fighting the pandemic, which has killed more than 750,000 Americans and weighed on the economy.

Republican state attorneys general, conservative groups and trade organizations have sued to stop the regulations.

Tuesday’s rulings add to a string of court losses for the Biden administration over its COVID-19 policies.

The most sweeping regulation, a workplace vaccine-or-testing mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees, was temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court in early November.

In August, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the administration’s pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Additional reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

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Putin hits back as NATO warns Moscow against attacking Ukraine



Russia would pay a high price for any new military aggression against Ukraine, NATO and the United States warned on Tuesday as the Western military alliance met to discuss Moscow’s possible motives for massing troops near the Ukrainian border.

President Vladimir Putin countered that Russia would be forced to act if U.S.-led NATO placed missiles in Ukraine that could strike Moscow within minutes.

Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that now aspires to join the European Union and NATO, has become the main flashpoint between Russia and the West as relations have soured to their worst level in the three decades since the Cold War ended.

“There will be a high price to pay for Russia if they once again use force against the independence of the nation Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Stoltenberg, saying: “Any escalatory actions by Russia would be a great concern to the United States…, and any renewed aggression would trigger serious consequences.”

Tensions have been rising for weeks, with Russia, Ukraine and NATO all staging military exercises amid mutual recriminations over which side is the aggressor.

Putin went further than previously in spelling out Russia’s “red lines” on Ukraine, saying it would have to respond if NATO deployed advanced missile systems on its neighbour’s soil.

“If some kind of strike systems appear on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be 7-10 minutes, and five minutes in the case of a hypersonic weapon being deployed. Just imagine,” the Kremlin leader said.

“What are we to do in such a scenario? We will have to then create something similar in relation to those who threaten us in that way. And we can do that now,” he said, pointing to Russia’s recent testing of a hypersonic weapon he said could fly at nine times the speed of sound.

EU and other Western leaders are involved in a geopolitical tug-of-war with Russia for influence in Ukraine and two other ex-Soviet republics, Moldova and Georgia, through trade, cooperation and protection arrangements.


NATO foreign ministers began two days of talks in the Latvian capital Riga to debate what they say is the growing Russian threat, with Blinken due to brief his 29 alliance counterparts on Washington’s intelligence assessment.

Blinken, speaking at a news conference with his Latvian counterpart, said he will have more to say on Wednesday on how to respond to Russia after holding talks with NATO allies.

“We will be consulting closely with…allies and partners in the days ahead…about whether there are other steps that we should take as an alliance to strengthen our defences, strengthen our resilience, strengthen our capacity,” he said.

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmygal accused Russia of trying to topple the elected government in Kyiv, which the Kremlin denies, after Ukraine’s president last week unveiled what he said was a coup attempt.

Shmygal also said Ukraine would seek more weapons from the United States – precisely the course of action that Putin has warned against.

The Kremlin annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then backed rebels fighting government troops in the east of the country. That conflict has killed 14,000 people, according to Kyiv, and is still simmering.

In May, Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders numbered 100,000, the most since its Crimea takeover, Western officials say. Ukraine says there are more than 90,000 there now.

Moscow has dismissed as inflammatory Ukrainian suggestions that it is preparing for an attack, said it does not threaten anyone and defended its right to deploy troops on its own territory as it wishes.

Britain and Germany echoed the NATO warnings.

“We will stand with our fellow democracies against Russia’s malign activity,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “NATO’s support for Ukraine is unbroken…Russia would have to pay a high price for any sort of aggression.”


(Additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels; writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Robin Emmott and Mark Trevelyan; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Jazz singer Josephine Baker first Black woman honoured at France’s Pantheon



Josephine Baker, the famed French American singer and dancer, was inducted on Tuesday into the Pantheon mausoleum in Paris – one of France’s highest honours – at a ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Baker, who also served in the French Resistance during World War Two and was a prominent civic rights activist after the war, is the first Black woman and sixth woman to enter the Pantheon, a Paris landmark dominating the city’s Latin Quarter.

She was “a Black person who stood up for Black people, but foremost, she was a woman who defended humankind,” Macron said during a speech.

He spoke shortly after Baker’s most famous song, “J’ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris” (“I have two loves, my country and Paris”), was played at the ceremony.

Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1906 but went on to find much of her fame after arriving in Paris in the 1920s, as many Black Americans stayed on in the French capital after World War One and brought over with them American jazz culture.

Baker, who became a French citizen in 1937, died in 1975 and is buried in Monaco.

In accordance with her family’s wishes, Baker’s remains have not been moved to the Pantheon. To represent her presence there, a symbolic coffin was carried into the mausoleum by six pallbearers containing handfuls of earth from four locations: St. Louis, Paris, Monaco and Milandes, in the Dordogne department of France, where Baker owned a castle.

Baker’s empty coffin will lie alongside other French national icons in the mausoleum such as authors Emile Zola and Victor Hugo, the philosopher Voltaire and politician Simone Veil.


(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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