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In 2022 midterms, Democrats — and election deniers — live to fight another day



WASHINGTON — Call it a November surprise.

Democrats are basking in a midterm defeat that feels like victory, an electoral all-nighter that bucks the recent U.S. trend of voters punishing the party in the White House.

But in the process, they may have given fresh life to a new Big Lie: claims of fraud at the ballot box, this time focused on Arizona.

Republicans had a good night and were on track to win control of the House of Representatives, but the “red wave” they were hoping for never happened.


That appears to include Arizona, where former TV anchor Kari Lake borrowed heavily from Donald Trump’s campaign playbook in her bid to become governor.

Despite trailing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by more than 10 points, Lake is citing widespread reports of malfunctioning voting machines to suggest she was a victim of election fraud.

Who will control the Senate also remains an open question, with the battle between NFL running back Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock likely headed to a December runoff vote.

A narrow margin of Republican victory in the House, uncertainty in the Senate and new, unfounded claims of electoral fraud all point to continuing chaos on Capitol Hill.

And that, in the end, may be the part of Tuesday’s midterm elections that ends up impacting Canada the most, said Eric Miller, president of the D.C.-based Rideau Potomac Strategy Group.

“Even if the blowout is not as big as one thought it would be, you now have a situation where the endless commentary in Canada — how the U.S. is heading for dissolution, or a civil war, or can’t be trusted, and so on — is only going to get amplified,” Miller said.

“The system begins to not function the way it should, there is no ability to deal with the big picture problems, there’s no ability to pursue serious bilateral relationships.”

One clear result Tuesday will have a direct impact: the re-election of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the driving force behind the effort to shut down Canada’s cross-border Line 5 pipeline.

Whitmer narrowly bested Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, a steel-industry insider turned conservative commentator, who tried to use Canada’s defence of Line 5 against her Democratic rival.

Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “the most radical environmentalist in the entire world,” is opposed to shutting down the pipeline, Dixon said during her debate with Whitmer last month.

The Michigan battle was just one of 506 gubernatorial, House and Senate races that came to fruition Tuesday in a midterm showdown that pollsters and pundits had expected to be a bruising indictment of Biden’s administration.

It wasn’t to be — at least not on the scale that Republicans had hoped.

They were on track to reclaim control of the House, the one outcome that most political experts were confident about predicting, given the traditional pattern of midterm voters punishing the sitting president’s party.

But disappointment in the scale of the victory was written on the face of minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is widely expected to take the speaker’s gavel away from Nancy Pelosi should Republicans claim the majority.

“It is clear that we are going to take the House back,” McCarthy told supporters in D.C. “You’re out late, but when you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority.”

Early on, Democrats managed to hold on to a pair of bellwether House seats in Virginia, a state where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin cruised to victory last year despite Biden’s convincing 10-point win there in 2020.

Then, Kathy Hochul triumphed in her bid for a first full term as New York governor, despite a robust Republican challenge.

And in Pennsylvania, Lt.-Gov. John Fetterman, sidelined for much of the summer with a stroke that impacted his speaking style and raised questions about his fitness for office, eked out a narrow but critical win over Dr. Mehmet Oz, another Trump acolyte.

“I’m not really sure what to say right now,” a visibly humbled Fetterman, clad in his trademark black hoodie, told supporters.

“This campaign has always been about fighting for everyone who’s ever been got knocked down that ever got back up.”

In Arizona, a problem with voting tabulation machines promptly fuelled charges of electoral tampering, first from Trump on social media and later by Lake as she urged supporters not to give up the fight.

Officials insisted the problems with the machines did not prevent anyone from voting, but that did not prevent Lake from insisting otherwise.

“When we win, first line of action is to restore honesty to Arizona elections,” she told supporters as she trailed Democrat Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state, by a margin of 12 percentage points with half of the polls reporting.

“When we win — and I think it will be within hours — we will declare victory and we will get to work turning this around — no more incompetency and no more corruption in Arizona elections.”

Neck-and-neck races in battleground states had all but ensured that the question of whether Republicans could wrest control of the upper chamber away from Democrats would not be resolved right away.

In Ohio, venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance — another Republican with Trump’s seal of approval — soundly defeated congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat who had tried to distance himself from President Joe Biden.

And in Wisconsin, Republican incumbent Ron Johnson was nursing a narrow 40,000-vote lead over Democrat Mandela Barnes with about 98 per cent of the vote counted.

That, combined with Fetterman’s win, shifted the focus to Georgia, where Walker and Warnock spent the entire night exchanging a razor-thin lead.

With 95 per cent of the votes in, Warnock was leading Walker by a scant 35,000 votes, but remained half a percentage point shy of the 50 per cent threshold necessary to avoid doing it all over again in a runoff next month.

“We’re not sure if this journey is over tonight, or if there’s still a little work yet to do,” Warnock told his supporters.

“Here’s what we do know: we know that when they’re finished counting the votes from today’s election, we’re going to have received more votes than my opponent.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9. 2022.


James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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Canada’s Climate Crisis: An In-Depth Look at the Current State and What’s Being Done to Combat It



Canada's Climate Crisis

Canada’s annual average temperature increased by 1.9C from 1948 to 2021. According to the Government of Canada, northern regions exhibited an increase in annual mean temperature three times over the global mean warming rate.

Climate change affects food security, biological diversity, and people’s health. Many believe that Canada’s dealing with a climate crisis and wondering what’s been done to combat it. Here’s a quick overview of the current situation and the plans the government has available to tackle this problem.

What’s the Current Climate Situation in Canada?

According to the last update from the Climate Action Tracker, the action taken by Canada has been rated as “highly insufficient.” That means the country isn’t in line with the global agreement made in Paris to stick to the 1.5C limit.

Furthermore, CAT experts believe the emission reduction target by 2030 is only enough to be in line with a 4C warming. They warn that Canada should strengthen their climate policies and targets while offering more support to others to reach set goals.


Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

The plan for reducing emissions by 2030 was adopted in March 2022, and the government itself describes it as achievable but ambitious. The idea is to lower emissions in 2030 by 40% when compared to 2005. It’s worth noting that Canada has a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

According to this plan, the country will invest over $9 billion to promote pollution-cutting effects. The strategy includes:

  • Improving electric vehicle infrastructure. People who want to purchase ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) can hope for financial support.
  • Greening buildings and homes. The idea is to adopt revised building codes that are in line with the environmental goals.
  • Clean energy projects. These include investing in solar and wind power, electricity, and other projects.
  • Reduce gas and oil emissions. It seems to be the most ambitious part of the plan, especially since Canada keeps supporting the Trans Mounting pipeline and exporting LNG to Europe.

Some other details include empowering farmers to implement sustainable practices and communities to launch climate action projects.

What Can You Do to Help with Climate Change?

Collective action is important to restrict climate change, and some suggestions for individuals include the following:

  • Consider how you travel. Use public transport or walk when possible. If you are heading to far destinations, consider not taking frequent long-distance flights. For example, if you want to go to Vegas to enjoy casino games, consider playing online roulette while at home, which can provide immersive fun while reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Use LED lightbulbs and energy-efficient appliances. Many modern appliances come with an energy efficiency rating.
  • Eat veggies to reduce a carbon footprint. It takes less energy and greenhouse gas emissions to produce vegetables. Apart from lowering your carbon footprint, this is a healthy diet that could help you lose pounds and manage weight.
  • Focus on reusing and recycling items. Consider shopping for second-hand clothes and not purchasing anything you don’t absolutely need. Consider donating the items you don’t need anymore, and make sure to recycle those that you throw away properly.

A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy

The federal authorities adopted this long-term plan in 2020, and its goal is to secure a future with a healthier environment and economy. The main principles of this plan include the following:

  • Making energy-efficient structures more affordable. The idea is to make locations where Canadians live easier to purchase, maintain, and upgrade while ensuring houses and buildings energy-efficient.
  • Affordable and eco-friendly transportation. From clean electricity supply to ZEVs and other details, the idea is to reduce congestion while making communities healthier.
  • Carbon pollution pricing. The idea is for pollution to be pricey but ensure that the households get back more than they pay.
  • Achieving a clean industrial advantage. The country aims to focus on “Made in Canada” services and products with low carbon footprints.
  • Embrace the power of nature. Restoring and conserving natural spaces while planting billions of trees is another way to reduce pollution and fight climate change.

The government has released the final National Adaptation Strategy for comments. It’s the first strategy of this type that was designed by working with Indigenous People, municipal, territorial, and provincial authorities, as well as other relevant platforms. The idea is to design shared priorities and unite everyone across Canada to take joint action to decrease climate change risks.

Final Thoughts

Scientists are racing to find the most effective climate change solutions, with the potential options leaving them divided. However, they agree on one thing – it’s necessary to take strong action in the soonest possible timeframe.

Canada has already adopted a climate change action plan, and the only question is if it’s aggressive enough. It remains to be seen whether some changes to the strategy will be made in order to reach the long-term goals of dealing with the climate crisis.

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Debt in Canada: What’s normal for your age?



If you’re like most people, you have at least some debt. Your mortgage, car payment, credit card balance, and student loans are all liabilities that contribute to your total debt.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how much debt is normal for your age, though?

Below, I’ll outline the average and median debt by age in Canada, so you can see how your finances compare. Then I’ll explain some of the key reasons why Canadians’ debt is increasing.

Average debt by age group in Canada

First of all, it’s important to understand that debt is normal. Very few Canadians are 100% debt-free. Even those with near-perfect credit scores likely have an auto or student loan they’re paying down.


These are the debt metrics measured by Statistics Canada during census surveys.

Here’s the average debt by age group in Canada as of 2019, according to the latest data sets from Statistics Canada:

Note – this data applies to individuals who are not in an economic family. The numbers differ for economic families, which include married/common-law partners and families with dependent children.

The total debt measured includes:

  • Mortgage debt
  • Lines of credit
  • Credit card debt
  • Student loans
  • Vehicle loans
  • Other debt (doesn’t fit in the categories above)

Median debt by age group in Canada

Looking at average debt provides a decent overview of the data. However, the averages are very skewed by the debt incurred by Canada’s ultra-wealthy taxpayers.

When calculating the average, all values are added together and divided by the total number of values. This means that a few extreme values can greatly influence the result.

In contrast, the median is the middle value in a dataset when values are arranged in order. As such, it is less affected by outliers and provides a more accurate representation of typical values.

For example, a multi-millionaire with a $2-million mortgage will skew the average higher than the average Canadian.

For a more accurate look at Canadian debt, I find that the median data as of 2019 provides more accurate insight:

Why is consumer debt increasing in Canada?

Over the past year, consumer debt has notably increased. This is especially true for credit card debt. The average monthly spending per credit card increased by 17.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a recent report by Equifax Canada.

In the report Rebecca Oakes, vice-president of Advanced Analytics at Equifax Canada, stated that “Gen Z and Millennials are driving up higher consumer spending the most.”

Even though inflation is slowly easing, it’s still relatively high. The high inflation has driven up the cost of everyday goods, including groceries and fuel. This, in turn, means that Canadians are spending more per month than they were before 2022, when inflation started to rise.

Unfortunately, workers’ pay hasn’t grown with inflation. This means that the average Canadian simply has less money to spend, increasing their reliance on credit cards to purchase daily necessities.

  • Pent-up demand and travel

Oakes goes on to state that “Pent-up demand and increased travel with the easing of COVID restrictions, combined with soaring inflation, have led to some of the highest increases in credit card spending we’ve ever seen.”

It makes sense that Canadians would be eager to travel after several years of travel restrictions, even if it means incurring more credit card debt.

  • Increased interest rates

To keep inflation under control, the fed steadily increased interest rates throughout 2022 and is discussing more rate hikes this year. As the federal interest rate has increased, variable interest rates, such as those offered by credit card companies, have also increased.

Those who carry a credit balance over to the next month must now pay even more interest on their credit card debt, increasing their overall debt.

Creating a plan to manage your debt

Accruing debt in the short-term may be inevitable due to high-interest rates and inflation. However, it’s important to create a plan to get your debt under control.

A reliable budget plan paired with consistent action is the best way to get out of debt.

Revisit your monthly budget to find areas where you can save, try to pay down high-interest credit card debt as quickly as possible, and consider taking up a side hustle to earn extra money that you can put towards your debt.


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Six bodies, including one child, recovered from St. Lawrence River




The bodies of six people, including one child with a Canadian passport, were recovered from the St. Lawrence River late Thursday afternoon, according to Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude.

The St. Lawrence River flowing east past Cornwall Island.
The St. Lawrence River flowing east past Cornwall Island. (CBC News)

The bodies of six people, including one child with a Canadian passport, were recovered from the St. Lawrence River late Thursday afternoon, according to Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude.

Dulude said he could not provide any information on the nationalities of the other five deceased.


The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles the Canada-U.S. border and occupies territory in Ontario, Quebec and New York state.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Police, with the assistance of the Canadian Coast Guard, is leading the ongoing investigation, Dulude said.

The bodies were spotted in Canadian waters by a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter, he said.

The discovery of the bodies coincided with the search for a missing Akwesasne community member that also began Thursday, Dulude said.



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