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NewsAlert: Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet re-elected in Beloeil—Chambly

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OTTAWA — The Canadian Press is projecting that Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has been re-elected in the Quebec riding of Beloeil—Chambly.

Blanchet has represented the riding south of Montreal since he was elected in the 2019 federal election.

10:40 p.m.

The Canadian Press is projecting that the Liberal party will win the most seats in the 2021 federal election, giving them the best chance to form the next government.

It is not yet clear whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will win a majority, or need the support of at least one other party to remain in power with a minority government.

Trudeau called the election on Aug. 15, pulling the plug on his minority government almost two years removed from an election.

It was seen as a gamble to garner a majority that Trudeau pushed for along the campaign trail.

The Liberals would need to win 170 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons to have a majority.

Meanwhile, The Canadian Press is projecting that Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet will hold his seat of Beloeil-Chambly.

10:25 p.m.

The dean of the House of Commons looks like he’ll hold on to that title.

The Canadian Press projects that Bloc MP Louis Plamondon will win the Quebec riding of Bécancour-Nicolet-Saurel.

Plamondon is the longest serving MP, having first been elected to the House of Commons in 1984.

A win in this election makes it 12 consecutive elections that Plamondon has been elected.

The dean of the House of Commons traditionally presides over the election of the Speaker, a role currently held by Liberal Anthony Rota.

Meanwhile, PPC Leader Maxime Bernier has arrived at his campaign wrap party at the Saskatoon Inn.

He was greeted by a standing ovation, and one supporter even handed him a homemade Saskatoon berry pie as others shook his hand.

Officials have been adding seats throughout the night, with the conference room packed by people who are mostly unmasked.

Organizers are pleading with the crowd to mask up in line with hotel policy, but many are not obliging.

10:10 p.m.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is greeting supporters and volunteers after arriving at the downtown Toronto venue where her campaign is watching tonight’s election results.

A chant of “Annamie, Annamie” erupted as she walked among the crowd and waved.

Paul is running in Toronto Centre — considered a Liberal stronghold — for the third time in as many years.

She came in second behind Liberal Marci Ien last fall in a byelection triggered by the resignation of former finance minister Bill Morneau.

Paul took the reins of the Green Party just before the byelection, but grappled with internal party turmoil and a bid to oust her from the leadership weeks before the election was called.

Early results show the party capturing roughly three per cent of the popular vote. 

10 p.m.

Polls are now closed in British Columbia and Yukon.

Yukon’s chief medical health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley is on leave to run for the Liberals to replace Larry Bagnell, who spent two decades as the territory’s Liberal MP.

While many ridings in B.C. have remained consistently New Democrat or Conservative in the North, the Interior and on Vancouver Island results in about a dozen ridings are in question.

One riding that will change is Vancouver Granville, where former Liberal cabinet minister turned Independent Jody Wilson-Raybould didn’t run again.

Back east, The Canadian Press projects that Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier will hold her Quebec seat in Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Conservative James Bezan is also projected to return to the House of Commons to represent the Manitoba riding of Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman.

9:50 p.m.

NDP candidate Mary Shortall says she won’t be getting much sleep tonight as she waits for the remaining votes to be counted in Newfoundland’s St. John’s East riding.

There was a quick flurry of activity at campaign wrap party as it became clear the Liberals would take the seat from the New Democrats.

Provincial NDP Leader Lorraine Michael remained in her seat, keeping her eyes on the numbers.

Shortall gave a short, heartfelt speech as the numbers looked favourable for Liberal Joanne Thompson.

“We won’t know, and we probably won’t know until tomorrow,” Shortall told a small crowd of media and supporters. “This has been one heck of a journey.”

Although polls have closed in much of the country, Elections Canada says anyone in line before the poll close will be able to vote.

Polls in British Columbia and Yukon are set to close at 10 p.m.

9:30 p.m.

Polls are now closed in Ontario — a key battleground that could determine the outcome of the federal election.

In 2019, the Liberals swept Toronto and many of the so-called 905 ridings around the city.

There are some reports of long lineups at polling stations in the province tonight.

Fewer polling stations were open today since many schools were not used as voting locations due to the pandemic.

Polls are also closing in Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Meanwhile, Montreal police say seven people, including a four-year-old, were transported to hospital after they were hit by a car in the parking lot of a polling station in the western part of the city.

Police say none of the victims’ lives are in danger.

Montreal police spokeswoman Const. Caroline Chèvrefils says the driver of the car, a 51-year-old woman, has been detained for investigative purposes.

She says police believe the collision, which took place at about 5 p.m., was accidental.

9:10 p.m.

The New Democrats look to have lost their only seat in Atlantic Canada.

The Canadian Press is projecting that Liberal Joanne Thompson has won the riding vacated by the retirement of Jack Harris.

The NDP has tempered expectations as party officials say any seat gains will be considered a success.

In New Brunswick, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are on track to win the same seats they held before the election. 

One change could be in the riding of Fredericton which was won last time by the Green party with Jenica Atwin, who is running this time as a Liberal after a split with her former party.

In the 90 minutes since the polls closed, the lead has flip-flopped between Atwin and Conservative candidate Andrea Johnson.

9 p.m.

The Liberals are holding on to all four seats in Prince Edward Island.

The Canadian Press projects Bobby Morrissey in Egmont, Lawrence MacAulay in Cardigan, Sean Casey in Charlottetown and Heather MacDonald in Malpeque.

But the results are not good for another longtime Liberal MP.

The Canadian Press projects that Scott Simms has lost his riding of Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame to Conservative challenger Clifford Small. 

Simms was first elected in 2004, defeating the Conservative incumbent at the time, Rex Barnes. 

Voting continues in the rest of the country where the next set of polls are scheduled to close at 9:30 p.m.

8:45 p.m.

The Liberals are now leading or elected in 24 ridings in Atlantic Canada, followed by the Conservatives with nine.

The NDP lead in St. John’s East has disappeared as candidate Mary Shortall has fallen behind Liberal candidate Joanne Thompson.

Provincial and federal NDP party luminaries are gathered in a newly opened Memorial University building overlooking the St. John’s harbour on Signal Hill to watch the results roll in.

The mood decidedly changes as figures show Thompson pulling ahead of Shortall, who hopes to replace Jack Harris.

People have fallen quiet and all eyes focus on a large screen projecting numbers from the back of the room.

Harris says holding the riding is enormously important to the party, noting it is the only Atlantic Canadian seat held by the NDP.

8:37 p.m. 

The Conservatives appear to have picked up a seat in Nova Scotia at the expense of a high-profile Liberal cabinet minister.

The Canadian Press projects that Conservative Rick Perkins will upset Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. 

The Canadian Press also projects that Liberals Serge Cormier will be re-elected in Acadie-Bathurst, Churence Rogers in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, and Mike Kelloway in Cape Breton-Canso.

Early results from Atlantic Canada show the People’s Party of Canada with just under four per cent of the vote.

The party is holding its election night rally at the Saskatoon Inn where Leader Maxime Bernier is expected to make a speech later this evening.

The event is being held in Saskatchewan because organizers wanted a traditional rally that wasn’t possible in Quebec due to limits on crowd sizes.

The party set up two rallies — one inside and one outside the hotel — to give people the option to participate, but those who choose the indoor rally must wear a mask.

8:20 p.m.

The Canadian Press is projecting that Ken McDonald is going to keep his Newfoundland seat of Avalon and Dominic LeBlanc will hold on to Beausejour in New Brunswick.

McDonald was first elected in 2015, while LeBlanc has represented his riding for over 20 years.

Also projected to win is Liberal Yvonne Jones, who first won the riding of Labrador during a 2013 byelection.

That gives the Liberals four seats as early results roll in from Atlantic Canada.

The Canadian Press also projects that Conservatives will hold Tobique-Mactaquac and West Nova.

Two seats to keep an eye on include two high-profile Liberal candidates: Bernadette Jordan in South Shore-St. Margarets, and Jenica Atwin in Fredericton.

Jordan is the fisheries minister who was first elected in the riding in 2015, but early results have her trailing Conservative candidate Rick Perkins.

Atwin crossed the floor from the Greens and got a boost in the waning days of the campaign from a visit from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

8 p.m.

The Canadian Press is projecting that Liberal Seamus O’Regan, the natural resources minister, is going to hold is riding of St. John’s South — Mt. Pearl. 

The Liberals are now leading in 15 ridings in Atlantic Canada, including Beausejour in New Brunswick, where incumbent and longtime Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc has an early lead.

Conservative candidates are leading in five ridings, and the New Democrats in one — in St. John’s East that the NDP is hoping to hold.

The NDP expect a long wait for results in St. John’s East district.

Campaign manager Amanda Will says her numbers from Elections Canada show 6,349 people in the riding applied for a special ballot.

She says so far, 4,273 of those ballots have been returned, leaving more than 2,000 more to come in.

Will says special ballot counting will begin Tuesday.

In the 2019 federal election, Jack Harris won the St. John’s East seat for the NDP by just over 6,100 votes.

In Prince Edward Island, where the Liberals hope to keep their stronghold on the four seats, Liberal Lawrence MacAulay is also off to an early lead.

7:30 p.m.

Liberal candidates are leading in four of the seven seats up for grabs in Newfoundland and Labrador as early results roll in, but the parties are keeping a close eye on St. John’s East and Bonavista-Burin-Trinity.

The NDP hold their only Atlantic Canadian seat in the downtown riding St. John’s East, but Jack Harris, who won the riding back from the Liberals in 2019, isn’t running again.

The party is hoping labour leader Mary Shortall will be elected as his replacement.

Meanwhile, Liberal incumbent Churence Rogers in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity holds an early lead over Conservative Sharon Vokey.

Rogers had Chrystia Freeland, the country’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, campaigning for him last weekend. 

Polls across the rest of Atlantic Canada are now set to close.

7 p.m.

The first polls are closing across the country in Canada’s 44th general election.

Results should soon start rolling in from Newfoundland.

Across Atlantic Canada, the Liberals at the dissolution of Parliament held 27 of the 32 seats available across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives were running neck-and-neck going into election day, ahead of the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois, which is only running candidates in Quebec.

Parties were working hard during the day to get their supporters out to the polls.

Elections Canada reported a handful of disruptions at polling stations across the country, as millions of Canadians cast their ballots in the country’s first pandemic election.

Some stations had to be relocated or opened late, alongside reports of long lineups at polling stations where voters waited longer than usual to cast a ballot because of health measures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2021.

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Supreme Court of Canada sides with injured woman in snow-clearing squabble

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OTTAWA — A woman will get another chance to sue for damages over a leg injury she suffered while climbing through snow piled by a city’s plow, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

Taryn Joy Marchi alleged the City of Nelson, B.C., created a hazard when it cleared snow from downtown streets after a storm in early January 2015.

The removal effort left snow piles at the edge of the street along the sidewalk early in the morning of Jan. 5.

Late in the afternoon of Jan. 6, Marchi — then a 28-year-old nurse — parked in an angled spot on the street and, wearing running shoes with a good tread, tried to cross a snow pile to get on to the sidewalk.

Her right foot dropped through the snow and she fell forward, seriously injuring her leg.

Marchi contended the city should have left openings in the snowbank to allow safe passage to the sidewalk.

She pointed to the neighbouring municipalities of Castlegar, Rossland and Penticton in arguing there were preferable ways to clear the streets so as to ensure safe access for pedestrians.

However, the trial judge dismissed her case, saying the city was immune from liability because it made legitimate policy decisions about snow clearing based on the availability of personnel and resources.

In any event, the judge concluded, Marchi assumed the risk of crossing the snow pile and was “the author of her own misfortune.”

The B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision and ordered a new trial, saying the judge erred in addressing the city’s duty of care and the question of Marchi’s negligence.

The ruling prompted the City of Nelson to seek a hearing in the Supreme Court.

In a written submission to the high court, the city said its actions amount to “a clear example of a core policy decision” that should be immune from liability.

In her filing with the court, Marchi said city employees made a number of operational decisions that fell below the expected standard of care of a municipality — decisions not required by the written policy.

In its 7-0 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court said a fresh trial should take place because the city has not proved that its decision on how to clear the snow was “a core policy decision” immune from liability.

While there is no suggestion the city made an irrational or “bad faith decision,” the city’s core policy defence fails and it owed Ms. Marchi a duty of care, justices Sheilah Martin and Andromache Karakatsanis wrote on behalf of the court.

“The regular principles of negligence law apply in determining whether the City breached the duty of care and, if so, whether it should be liable for Ms. Marchi’s damages.”

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

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

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Pfizer will ship millions of vaccine doses for kids as soon as it’s approved: Trudeau

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says as soon as Health Canada approves the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, Pfizer will ship millions of doses to vaccinate children as young as five.

Pfizer and BioNTech asked Health Canada Monday to approve the vaccine for children between five and 11 years old but said the doses already shipped for adults are different.

The pediatric formula is for a dose one-third the size as that given to adults and teenagers.

Trudeau said he knows Canadian parents are anxious to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible but urged patience because Health Canada will take the time it needs to complete its process to ensure the data confirms the vaccine is safe and effective for children.

The United States is expected to make a decision for this age group by the end of this month. While Canada has co-operated with both the U.S. and the European Medicines Agency to have common authorization requirements for vaccines, there is no deadline in Canada for the decision to be made.

Trudeau says as soon as that happens, Pfizer will ship “enough to get all kids between five and 11 vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a statement that the first shipment will be 2.9 million doses, which is enough to give the first dose to all children in that age group.

Anand said Pfizer agreed to accelerate the deliveries, and that Canada has procured the syringes and other supplies needed to administer the doses.

She said second doses will be delivered depending on how fast the first doses are rolled out.

“This will ensure that Canadian children have vaccines when they need them without keeping doses in freezers for extended periods of time when global demand is so high,” said Anand.

Pfizer and BioNTech reported that two 10 microgram doses of vaccine, given approximately 21 days apart, generated a similar antibody response in children between five and 11 years old as the adult-sized doses did when given to people between 16 and 25 years of age.

They earlier had tested three different sized doses for kids, and landed on the 10 microgram dose as the best option.

As of Wednesday, 29.6 million Canadians over the age of 12 have received at least one dose and 27.9 million of those are fully vaccinated with both required doses.

That amounts to 88.5 per cent of all eligible Canadians having at least one dose, and 83 per cent of them being fully vaccinated.

More than 414,000 Canadians have now received a third dose, mainly people with compromised immune systems and some residents in long-term care homes, for whom two doses did not give the same level of immunity as they did to most healthy adults.

Pfizer spokeswoman Christina Antoniou said the pediatric doses will come in vials of 10 doses, with a unique label for children and a different coloured cap to ensure it is differentiated from the vials of adult doses.

The adult doses are shipped in vials with six doses in each.

Moderna is also testing its vaccine on children, with results expected later this fall.

Pfizer and Moderna are both testing the vaccine on children younger than five as well, with clinical trials underway but no certainty on when the data will be ready.

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

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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