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iN THE NEWS: 54,000 new jobs last month and Trump sees opportunity

Host Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada, centre, introduces Federal party leaders, left to right, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet before the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, October 10, 2019.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
October 11, 2019 - 7:30 AM

In-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 11.

What we are watching in Canada ...

With the last debate of the federal election campaign behind them, the leaders are beginning sprints to the finish line.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is leaving Ottawa for the West Coast today, though he's saying goodbye with an exceptionally early morning rally at a downtown food court before he departs.

After the 7:30 a.m. event, Trudeau flies west to the Vancouver area, taking advantage of the time-zone change to squeeze in multiple appearances with local candidates and then an evening rally in Burnaby.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also starts his day in Ottawa, releasing the financial elements of his party's platform before zipping east to Montreal for some mid-day mainstreeting and then back west to Brampton, Ont., for the evening.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is also in B.C. today, where he's to reveal his party's full platform after holding off longer than the other party leaders.

People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier is on the other coast, staging a rally of his own in Halifax, and Green Leader Elizabeth May is lingering in Ottawa for an announcement on foreign and security policy.

Voting day is Oct. 21.


Also this ...

The national statistics office says Canada's unemployment rate nudged down to 5.5 per cent in September as the economy added 54,000 net new jobs, driven by gains in full-time work.

Statistics Canada says the jobs growth was largely concentrated in the health-care sector, and notes gains in the number of public-sector and self-employed workers.

The report says 70,000 of the new jobs were full-time, as the number of part-time workers declined.

The agency's latest labour force survey says the country saw a rush last month of 49,400 new positions in services industries, but a drop of 21,000 jobs in the private sector.

Young workers aged 15 to 24 years old saw drops in the ranks of full- and part-time workers, inching their unemployment rate to 11.9 per cent — not all that dissimilar from the same time one year ago.

Compared with a year earlier, the numbers show Canada added 456,000 jobs, for an increase of 2.4 per cent.


ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

Fredericton's only abortion clinic is closing because the New Brunswick government fails to fund abortion services in private clinics, the clinic's director says.

Medical director Adrian Edgar announced that Clinic 554 cannot afford to stay open because the province refuses to cover abortion procedures that don't take place in a hospital.

He says many patients can't pay the out-of-pocket costs for the procedure.

Edgar says abortion services are currently provided in just three hospitals in New Brunswick, and the closest is in Moncton, 150 kilometres from the capital.

The Health Department is defending its policy.

"Abortions are available in publicly funded hospitals in New Brunswick. The Department of Health, in accordance with the Canada Health Act, does not fund private health care services," department spokesman Bruce Macfarlane says.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

President Donald Trump sought to convert the impeachment investigation in Washington into a political asset on the campaign trail, telling supporters at the first of three reelection rallies over the next eight days that Democrats want to "erase" their vote by removing him from office.

The Thursday night rally in Minneapolis was the first since Democrats began proceedings two weeks ago to remove him from office. It served as a proving ground for the president as he tries to use the impeachment inquiry to energize supporters for his 2020 campaign.

"They want to erase your vote like it never existed," Trump said. "They want to erase your voice and they want to erase your future."

He added, "The Democrats' brazen attempt to overthrow our government will produce a backlash at the ballot box the likes of which they have never ever seen before in the history of this country."

The rally, scheduled before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the impeachment investigation, came at a pivotal moment for Trump. His campaign strategy is focused on motivating his core supporters, rather than trying to win over a diminishing number of undecided voters, and the resonance of his appeal to the faithful may determine his second-term chances.

Trump has lashed out in acerbic tweets and public statements at Democrats, the media and even some Republicans as impeachment has dominated the national headlines. He has claimed that he is the victim of a "coup," although impeachment is a constitutional process, and accused Democrats of trying to undo the 2016 election.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

Turkey pressed its air and ground assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria for a second day, pounding the region with airstrikes and an artillery bombardment that raised columns of black smoke in a border town and sent panicked civilians scrambling to get out.

Amid the fierce fighting, residents fled with their belongings loaded into cars, pickup trucks and motorcycle rickshaws, while others escaped on foot. The U.N. refugee agency said tens of thousands were on the move, and aid agencies warned that nearly a half-million people near the border were at risk.

It was a wrenchingly familiar scene for many who had fled the militants of the Islamic State group only a few years ago.

There were casualties on both sides: Turkish officials in two border provinces said mortar fire from Syria killed at least six civilians, including a 9-month-old boy and three girls under 15. On the Syrian side, seven civilians and eight Kurdish fighters have been killed since the operation began, according to activists in Syria.

The Turkish offensive was launched three days after U.S. President Donald Trump opened the way by pulling American troops from their positions near the border alongside their Kurdish allies.


On this day in 1996 …

Canadian-born William Vickrey died in a car accident in New York at the age of 82, three days after winning the Nobel Prize in economics.


Weird and wild ...

REGINA — A Saskatchewan museum wants safe crackers to help them unlock a mystery.

The Civic Museum of Regina is looking for people to figure out the combination of a safe that's been locked up in its collection for 18 years.

Outreach co-ordinator Rob Deglau says the safe was manufactured in 1901 and donated by a family who used to run the old Regina Furniture Company.

Deglau says he doesn't know for sure how long the safe has been locked, but says it could have been since 1979.

As for what may be inside, Deglau says he's not optimistic.

"We can only hope for incredible treasures. But if it was donated, I bet you it was cleaned out."


Celebrity news ...

Celebrity stylist Jessica Mulroney is bringing her wedding expertise to a new reality TV series.

The Instagram influencer, best known for being friends with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, says "I Do, Redo" will help 10 couples who had disappointing first weddings renew their vows.

The 10-episode, 30-minute series is currently in production in Canada and the United States.

It's set to air next year on CTV, where Mulroney's husband Ben is a fixture as co-anchor of the daily current affairs show "Your Morning" and the celebrity newsmagazine "Etalk."


The games we play ...

CALGARY — Calgary's 33-year-old sliding track, built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, has been the home base of the national bobsled, skeleton and luge teams for three decades.

But it closed in March and remains shuttered until there's money to pay for a $25-million renovation.

Olympians are expressing concern and frustration about the future of sliding sports in Canada.

The federal and provincial governments committed $17 million to Calgary's track overhaul. WinSport has yet to find the remaining money.

Chief executive officer Barry Heck says WinSport remains committed to rejuvenating the track as part of a larger $100-million capital renewal at Canada Olympic Park.

An application has been made to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to get the funds, he says.


Getting ready for the long weekend ...

Politics will likely be on the table when families sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend.

But, depending on the company, hot potatoes such as climate change, corruption, and the Trans Mountain pipeline are generally best left alone, say various etiquette experts.

It's unlikely your guests have much appetite for a screaming match, notes Leanne Pepper, general manager and protocol consultant for the Faculty Club, a private event space on the University of Toronto campus.

She advises declaring politics off-limits when the invitations are sent, and asking guests to come ready to share what they're thankful for this year.

The host should set the tone, says Pepper, and be ready with an anecdote or fresh conversation topics in case innocuous chit-chat starts to run off the rails.

If things do get contentious, etiquette coach Louise Fox says you may have to bite your tongue. Some people just want to bait others into an argument, and a family reunion is not the time to battle.

"Sometimes you have to say those platitudes like, 'Oh, that's pretty interesting.' 'Oh, I never thought of that,' rather than, 'I don't like this,'" says Fox.

"A sense of humour is your biggest asset when the going gets tough."


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2019.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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