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Royals top Blue Jays 3-1 without 10 unvaccinated players


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By Gregory Strong in Toronto

John Schneider’s debut as interim Blue Jays manager was a comfortable rout. His followup game Thursday was a 3-1 loss to a last-place Kansas City team missing almost half of its regular lineup.

“This is way worse than last night,” the affable Schneider quipped as he sat down for a post-game media availability.

Bobby Witt Jr., and Nate Eaton homered as the Royals used a patchwork crew to win the opener of a four-game series at Rogers Centre.

With 10 roster players not allowed to travel to Canada because of their COVID-19 vaccination status, Kansas City called up eight players from their minor-league affiliates before the game.

“You don’t want to say this was a letdown game,” Schneider said. “I think it was a little bit of an unlucky game and that’s going to happen over the course of the year, and it sucks that it happened tonight.”

Double-A call-up Angel Zerpa (2-0) took advantage of his opportunity by allowing just one earned run, four hits and two walks over five innings. Relievers Jackson Kowar and Taylor Clarke kept Toronto off the scoreboard from there and Scott Barlow closed it out for his 16th save.

“One of the best wins of the year, all things considered,” said Royals manager Mike Matheny.

One positive for Toronto was that Kevin Gausman (6-7) threw six innings in his first appearance since taking a liner off his ankle in a game on July 2. He allowed seven hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out six.

“Great to get him back out there before the (all-star) break,” Schneider said. “We liked what we saw obviously. Everything was there as it is usually is. Just a couple bad pitches – that’s it.”

Gausman said the ankle felt about 85 per cent, adding it was still a little swollen and bruised.

“It was just me knowing that this is going to be maybe painful but we need to get through it,” he said. “It has been 12 days and so I needed to get back out there.”

Matt Chapman hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays (47-43). Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk had two hits apiece.

Gausman gave up back-to-back singles in the second inning before spoiling the first big-league at-bats for Nick Pratto and Eaton with strikeouts. The veteran right-hander got Nicky Lopez on a groundout for the third out.

Kansas City (36-53) opened the scoring in the fifth after Lopez led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. He scored when Edward Olivares lined a ball to right field before being thrown out at second base.

Witt followed with his 13th homer of the season. Chapman answered in the bottom half with his 14th homer of the year.

With runners on the corners in the eighth inning, left-fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., kept the deficit at a single run with a nice diving catch on a sinking liner from Ryan O’Hearn.

Bo Bichette reached on a two-out walk in the Toronto half of the frame before being called out on a stolen base attempt. The call was overturned on review but he was left stranded when Teoscar Hernandez grounded out.

Anthony Banda gave up a solo shot to Eaton – his first career big-league homer – in the ninth inning.

Kansas City outhit Toronto 12-7. Announced attendance was 24,426 and the game took three hours to play.


Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday. He’s working his way back from a neck strain that landed him on the injured list last week.

Schneider said it had yet to be determined whether Kikuchi would pitch as a starter or a reliever when he returns.


Right-handers will square off Friday night as Toronto’s Alek Manoah (9-4, 2.34 earned-run average) starts against Zack Greinke (3-5, 4.52).

The Blue Jays have yet to confirm Saturday’s starter. Right-hander Jose Berrios (7-4, 5.38) will get the nod on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2022.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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Public hearings in Emergencies Act inquiry to start in September

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OTTAWA — The inquiry into Ottawa’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act during protests in February will start its public hearings next month.

The Public Order Emergency Commission announced today that it expects the hearings to run from Sept. 19 until Oct. 28 at Library and Archives Canada in downtown Ottawa.

Commissioner Paul Rouleau said in a statement that he intends to hold the government to account and wants the inquiry to be as “open and transparent” as possible.

Hearings will be livestreamed online and members of the public will have opportunities to share their views, with a final report expected early next year.

Parties to the inquiry including “Freedom Convoy” organizers, police forces and all three levels of government are expected to testify and contribute documentary evidence on the invocation of the act in February.

The federal Liberals made the move amid border blockades and the occupation of downtown Ottawa by protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Convoy Lawyer details how trucks were moving BEFORE PM Trudeau invoked Emergency Measures Act

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CBC news is reporting that court documents indicate “On the night before Justin Trudeau took the historic step of invoking the Emergencies Act during last February’s Freedom Convoy occupation of Ottawa, the prime minister’s national security and intelligence adviser told cabinet there was “potential for a breakthrough,” “

This has come to light thanks to court challenges from civil liberties groups who claim the federal government went too far by invoking the Emergencies Measures Act.

Various media outlets are reporting it was unclear whether the truckers would hold up their end of the deal negotiated with the City of Ottawa.  However an interview by commentator Viva Frei with Keith Wilson, lead lawyer for the Freedom Convoy makes it clear, trucks were already moving before the act was invoked.

The link above will take you to the youtube page of Viva Frei for a fascinating full length interview with Keith Wilson who talks about his 19 days in downtown Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy where he lead a team of lawyers representing the leaders of the trucker convoy in their dealings with the police, and the City of Ottawa.

Below is an 18 minute segment of that interview which focusses on the days immediately prior to the invocation of the Emergencies Measures Act.  Wilson details how when tensions were building, he tapped former Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford who helped to make a critical link to the office of the Mayor of Ottawa.  He goes on to share how the early meetings lead to an agreement to move all the trucks out of the downtown core to Wellington (in front of Parliament Hill), another road nearby, or a couple of areas on the outskirts of Ottawa.  The truckers would then have been bussed daily to Parliament Hill where they could join the ongoing demonstration.

As you’ll see in this video, the trucks were already moving before PM Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergency Measures Act.


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