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Liberals to win most seats in 2021 federal election

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OTTAWA — 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.

The Canadian Press projects that the Liberals are leading in 148 ridings, the Conservatives in 103, the Bloc Québécois in 28 and the NDP in 22.

The Liberals enjoyed a healthy lead Monday night as early poll results started trickling in across the country.

The party’s share of the vote in the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, was well ahead of what polls heading into the election had forecast.

The Grits were hanging onto their commanding position in Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives made modest gains.

The NDP lost its lone Atlantic seat, St. John’s East, to the Liberals. It had been held by New Democrat Jack Harris, who did not seek re-election.

Trudeau cabinet ministers Seamus O’Regan, Dominic LeBlanc and Lawrence MacAulay cruised to victory.

But Bernadette Jordan, who served as fisheries minister, lost to her Conservative rival in Nova Scotia’s South Shore-St. Margarets, evidently hurt by the lobster fishery dispute between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers in the region.

In Fredericton, N.B., Jenica Atwin, the former Green MP who defected to the Liberals last spring, was in a tight, see-saw battle with the Conservatives.

Green support largely collapsed throughout the region.

Heading into Monday night, polls suggested a dead heat across Canada between the Liberals and Conservatives — neither of them within reach of the 170 seats needed to form a majority government.

Trudeau pulled the plug on his minority Liberal government on Aug. 15, a little less than two years after Canadians first reduced the Liberals to a minority.

He argued that Canada was at a pivotal moment in history and Canadians deserved a chance to decide how they wanted to finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back the shattered economy.

But the timing of his election call, coming as a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus was beginning to sweep the country, quickly sapped the good will Trudeau had built among Canadians for his government’s handling of the pandemic over the previous 18 months.

And it gave rival leaders an opening to attack Trudeau’s character, describing him as a selfish egoist who can’t be trusted to put the interests of Canadians ahead of his personal ambition to secure a majority.

At dissolution, the Liberals had 155 seats, the Conservatives 119, the Bloc Québécois 32, the NDP 24 and the Greens two. There were also five independents and one vacancy.

While another minority seemed likely, it was a toss-up heading into Monday night whether it would be a Liberal or Conservative minority.

Which of the two front-runners ultimately forms government doesn’t necessarily depend on who wins the greatest share of the popular vote or even who wins the most seats.

Rather, it depends on which party can muster enough support from one or more smaller parties to survive crucial confidence votes in the House of Commons.

Canadians may well have to wait until Wednesday to learn which party will form the government.

There are almost one million mail-in ballots that election officials won’t start counting until Tuesday. Elections Canada has said it expects to finish the mail-in count in most ridings by Wednesday, but some may take another day or two.

According to Elections Canada, almost 6.8 million people voted early, most of them at advance polls over a week ago, and the rest through special ballots cast by mail or at Elections Canada offices.

Canada has more than 30 million eligible voters.

Elections Canada had previously warned that the pandemic could lead to longer waits for voters compared to past elections. Public health protocols involve keeping people at a distance and collecting extra information for contact tracing purposes, which could take extra time.

The polling stations themselves were also likely to be farther away, as many schools and landlords opted out of hosting crowds of voters during the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Elections Canada encouraged voters to wear masks but only required them in places where they were mandated by provincial rules. Proof-of-vaccination regulations do not apply at polling stations in any province where they currently exist.

George Walker cast his ballot in Toronto Monday afternoon. He described the experience as “smooth,” and he called the safety precautions taken at the polling station “wise.”

“But it took longer than it has in the past, mainly because of COVID,” Walker said, adding he didn’t mind the extra 15-minute wait.

Shannon Fernandez said voting on election day was “super easy,” “stress free” and “very straightforward.”

“I felt like it was very well-organized,” Fernandez added. “No complaints at all.”

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

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Edward Rogers files B.C. court petition to have newly formed board declared valid

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TORONTO — The son of late Rogers Communications Inc. founder Ted Rogers is seeking a ruling from B.C.’s Supreme Court that would legitimize a company board he formed by replacing five of its members.

Edward Rogers’ mother Loretta Rogers and sisters Melinda Rogers-Hixon and Martha Rogers claim the board is illegitimate and does not comply with laws in B.C., where the company is incorporated.

They and several other associates say the only legitimate version of the Rogers board is the one that existed last week, before Edward Rogers replaced five directors with people of his choosing.

Edward Rogers was ousted from his role as board chair, but he remains at the helm of his family’s trust, which controls 97 per cent of the firm’s Class A voting shares and 10 per cent of outstanding Class B shares.

He has been at the centre of a power struggle since media reports revealed he was plotting to give Rogers’ former chief financial officer Tony Staffieri the job of CEO Joe Natale, a move some family and board members oppose.

The ongoing feud has left Rogers in a state of uncertainty as it awaits regulatory approvals for a $26-billion takeover of rival Shaw Communications Inc.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI)

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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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