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Everything old is new again after election returns virtually identical Parliament

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be returning to Ottawa without the majority government mandate Liberals had hoped for when he called the early election last month.

Early Tuesday, the Liberals were hovering between 155 and 157 seats. The former is the number they had when Trudeau called the election in August, and the latter is what they won in 2019.

The Conservatives were teetering on 121 or 122 seats, after winning 121 less than two years ago.

They will remain the official Opposition, with leader Erin O’Toole promising the “changed” party he leads will speak for all Canadians from all walks of life.

The Bloc Québécois and NDP will bring up the rear, each individually potentially holding the balance of power in the minority House of Commons, both also within a few seats of their 2019 tallies.

With more people voting by mail than ever before, the final result in some ridings might not be known for days.

Elections Canada will start counting more than 780,000 mailed-in ballots Tuesday, and it expects most to be finished by Wednesday, but officials did warn some ridings could take up to four days for final counts.

Some extremely close races in Vancouver Granville, Edmonton Centre, and Davenport in Toronto were still going back and forth between parties as votes were counted well into the night.

Trudeau attempted a conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech, promising Canadians that he knows all they want is to finally get back to normal after the pandemic. He says the government they elected will do just that.

O’Toole said that in his concession phone call, he warned Trudeau off calling another early election to make a grab for a majority government.

“I told him if he thinks he can threaten Canadians with another election in 18 months the Conservative party will be ready,” O’Toole said at his election night event in Oshawa, Ont.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who two years ago was chided for dancing and celebrating at an election night party despite losing 20 seats, delivered a very short, more subdued speech from Vancouver, even though this time his party did make some gains.

Most election parties were smaller and quieter than usual, with pandemic restrictions keeping crowd sizes to a minimum.

The People’s Party of Canada more than doubled its share of the popular vote and might have played spoiler to the Conservatives in some ridings by drawing away right-of-centre voters, but failed to elect a single MP.

The Green Party’s pre-election turmoil left it with less than half the vote share it achieved in 2019, following a campaign where Leader Annamie Paul finished fourth in her own riding, and was asked not to visit many others by her own candidates.

No leaders stepped down Monday, but the future is murky for many, including Trudeau, who failed to secure a majority mandate after triggering the early election.

O’Toole was clearly sending the message in his speech he has no intention of stepping down.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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Blackhawks GM Bowman resigns after sexual assault probe

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Chicago Blackhawks general manager and president of Hockey Operations Stan Bowman resigned Tuesday after an investigation commissioned by the team found he was among a group of leaders who failed to respond promptly to allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player in 2010.

The results of the independent review by Jenner & Block were handed over to the Blackhawks on Monday, and team CEO Danny Wirtz said the report “is both disturbing and difficult to read.”

Former federal prosecutor Reid Schar, who ran the investigation, said Tuesday that Bowman, former team president John McDonough, hockey operations executive Al MacIsaac, former executive vice president Jay Blunk and then-assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff met with then-coach Joel Quenneville and mental skills coach Jim Gary to discuss allegations that then assistant coach Brad Aldrich had assaulted a player.

Schar said accounts of the meeting “vary significantly.”

“What is clear is that after being informed of Aldrich’s alleged sexual harassment and misconduct with a player no action was taken for three weeks,” Schar said.

The investigation was commissioned by the team after two lawsuits were filed against the Blackhawks: one alleging sexual assault by assistant coach Aldrich during the team’s Stanley Cup run and another filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan. Aldrich left the Blackhawks after the 2009-10 season.

A former player said Aldrich assaulted him, and that the team did nothing after he informed an employee. The lawsuit, filed May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as “John Doe.”

The eight-page lawsuit says Aldrich, then a video coach for the Blackhawks, “turned on porn and began to masturbate in front of” the player without his consent. It says Aldrich also threatened to “physically, financially and emotionally” hurt the player if he “did not engage in sexual activity” with him.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Jay Cohen And Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press


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CP NewsAlert: Bowman resigns as Blackhawks GM following investigation into the team

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CHICAGO — Stan Bowman has resigned as general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks following the release of the findings of an investigation into allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player in 2010.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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