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Canadians await U.S. election in fear, as poll reveals anxieties about aftermath

MIKE BLANCHFIELD, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 3rd, 2020

OTTAWA — Canadians are watching in fear today as their American neighbours vote, capping a campaign marked by voter intimidation, threats of postelection violence, and concern about the potential breakdown of democracy itself.


That view is reflected in a new poll from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies that found a clear majority of Canadians surveyed worry that the United States will suffer a breakdown of its system marked by “social chaos” if no clear winner emerges.


That fear is being driven by the assumption that U.S. President Donald Trump won’t accept defeat if he is in fact defeated, or may prematurely declare victory on election night before all votes, including mail-in ballots, can be legally counted.


Canadians are not oblivious to a chaotic final weekend of campaigning that saw Republican supporters block highways, including surrounding a Joe Biden campaign bus on a Texas interstate, as gun sales soared, businesses boarded up in cities across the country, and Republican lawyers stood ready to contest the results. 


“It’s a bit like watching your neighbour’s roof catch fire,” said Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 


“You’re both fascinated and horrified.”


The Leger poll found that three-quarters of those surveyed in Canada are worried about the U.S. election, and 68 per cent worry that there will be a “complete breakdown of the political system in the U.S. leading to a period of social chaos.”


“Who would have ever thought we would ever ask the question? But that’s where we are,” said pollster Christian Bourque.


Four out of five respondents said they were concerned that increased racial tension would lead to protests and violence.


The survey of 1,516 Canadians selected from an online panel was conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Polls conducted this way do not come with a margin of error, since they are not considered random.


The survey delved deeper into Canadians’ anxiety: The possibility of “significant civil unrest or violence” in the streets on election day or the following days worried 77 per cent of respondents; 72 per cent were concerned that Trump wouldn’t accept the election result if he lost; 62 per cent were worried about a stock market crash.


Beatty, who was a cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney recalled the words of former Liberal prime minister John Turner, who died last month, and whom Mulroney defeated in 1984: “The people have decided, and the people are always right.”


“That’s what a democrat does,” Beatty said, and “that will be the test” for the United States tonight.


Georganne Burke, an Ontario-based dual Canadian-American citizen who has campaigned for Trump in the U.S., blamed the Democrats for stoking fears of unrest and violence.


“The Democrats have a cohort of people that are very violent, and don’t have any problems about rioting and looting,” Burke said.


“The Republicans have a cohort of people who talk about their guns, but what they’re going to do is just retreat — move away from participation in American society. And I don’t know which is worse.”


Burke is deeply troubled by the chaos she is viewing from abroad, and said the only comparison in her lifetime is the race riots in the late 1960s.   


“Cities were burned down and had to rebuild, and some of them never really recovered,” she said.


Burke said it was “hype” that Trump would refuse to accept a defeat. 


“That’s garbage. Will he be unhappy? Sure, he’ll be unhappy. Will he say outrageous things? Probably. But he’ll leave.”


But if Trump wins, that will just embolden Democrats to spend four more years trying to undermine his presidency, she said.


The Leger poll left no doubt who Canadians want to win the White House — 80 per cent favoured Biden.


Colin Robertson, a retired diplomat who served in multiple U.S. postings, said Canadians have every reason to be concerned about what’s unfolding south of the border, but now is not the time to take sides.


“Despite Trump, the U.S. is still the leader of the free world, so any internal turmoil inevitably has collateral damage to the western alliance,” said Robertson 


“What can we do? Keep calm, consult with the allies and, as (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau said, prepare for all contingencies.”


Sarah Goldfeder, now an Ottawa-based consultant and former U.S. diplomat under two American ambassadors, said Canadians must be vigilant to guard against the ideological infiltration of extreme, divisive politics into Canada. 


“Literally, stores are boarded up across America right now, in anticipation of civil unrest in the streets. And that’s not good for anybody that has a has to do business with the U.S.” 


Bruce Heyman, who was Barack Obama’s second ambassador to Canada, said Americans are equally worried but only a “handful” of the 330 million of them are troublemakers.


“Canadians should sit back and take note that the United States-Canada relationship is our most important relationship. But Donald Trump has done damage to the trust part of that relationship,” Heyman said.


“We have a chance to turn the ship around and head in the direction we were progressing along, regardless of party, Republican or Democrat,” he added.


“I hope that we can put this in the dustbin of failed presidencies and bad periods.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

Trump, Biden cede stage to voters for Election Day verdict


After a campaign marked by rancour and fear, Americans on Tuesday decide between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, selecting a leader to steer a nation battered by a surging pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 people, cost millions their jobs and reshaped daily life.

Nearly 100 million Americans voted early and now it falls to Election Day voters to finish the job, ending a campaign that was reshaped by the coronavirus and defined by tensions over who could best address it. Each candidate declared the other fundamentally unfit to lead a nation grappling with COVID-19 and facing foundational questions about racial justice and economic fairness.

Biden entered Election Day with multiple paths to victory while Trump, playing catch-up in a number of battleground states, had a narrower, but still feasible road to clinch 270 Electoral College votes. Control of the Senate was at stake, too: Democrats needed to net three seats if Biden captured the White House to gain control of all of Washington for the first time in a decade. The House was expected to remain under Democratic control.

Voters braved long lines and the threat of the virus to cast ballots as they chose between two starkly different visions of America for the next four years. The record-setting early vote — and legal skirmishing over how it will be counted — drew unsupported allegations of fraud from Trump, who refused to guarantee he would honour the election’s result.

Fighting to the end for every vote, Biden was headed to Philadelphia and his native Scranton on Tuesday as part of a closing get-out-the-vote effort before awaiting election results in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. His running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, was visiting Detroit, a heavily Black city in battleground Michigan. Both of their spouses were headed out, too, as the Democrats reached for a clear victory.

Trump, after a morning appearance on his favoured network, Fox News, planned to visit his campaign headquarters in Virginia. He invited hundreds of supporters to an election-night party in the East Room of the White House.

The hardfought campaign left voters on both sides eager to move on.

“I just want it to be done,” said Starlet Holden, a 26-year-old medical biller from Queens, New York, who planned to vote for Biden but spoke for many on both sides of the campaign.

On their final full day on the campaign trail, Trump and Biden broke sharply over the mechanics of the vote itself while visiting the most fiercely contested battleground, Pennsylvania.

The president threatened legal action to block the counting of ballots received after Election Day. If Pennsylvania ballot counting takes several days, as is allowed, Trump claimed without evidence that “cheating can happen like you have never seen.”

In fact, there are roughly 20 states that allow mail-in ballots received after Election Day to be counted — up to nine days and longer in some states. Litigation has centred on just a few where states have made changes in large part due to the coronavirus.

Biden told voters in Pennsylvania that the very fabric of the nation was at stake and offered his own election as the firmest rebuke possible to a president whom he said had spent “four years dividing us at every turn.”

“Tomorrow’s the beginning of a new day. Tomorrow we can put an end to a president that’s left hardworking Americans out in the cold!” Biden said in Pittsburgh. “If you elect me as president, I’m gonna act to heal this country.”

Trump argued, at a stop in Wisconsin, that Biden was “not what our country needs.” He added: “This isn’t about — yeah, it is about me, I guess, when you think about it.”

For Trump, the election stood as a judgment on his four years in office, a term in which he bent Washington to his will, challenged faith in its institutions and changed how America was viewed across the globe. In a country divided along lines of race and class, he often acted as an insurgent against the very government he led, undercutting its scientists and bureaucracy and doing battle with the media.

The nation braced for what was to come — and a result that might not be known for days.

A new anti-scale fence was erected around the White House. And in downtowns ranging from New York to Denver to Minneapolis, workers boarded up businesses lest the vote lead to unrest of the sort that broke out earlier this year amid protests over racial inequality.

Just a short walk from the White House, for block after block, stores had their windows and doors covered. Some kept just a front door open, hoping to attract a little business.

Both candidates voted early, but first lady Melania Trump was set to cast her ballot Tuesday near Mar-a-Lago, the couple’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

The candidates blitzed through the battleground states on Monday, with Biden also pushing into Ohio, a state once thought to be safe for Trump. The president, for his part, packed in five rallies, Air Force One streaking across the sky as he drew crowds in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and then back in Michigan again.

His finale stretched past midnight in Grand Rapids, where he had also held his last rally in 2016. It marked the end of an era in American politics, one in part defined by the massive and exuberant gatherings that the president continued to hold despite warnings from his government’s own public health experts to avoid crowds during the pandemic.

The next president will inherit an anxious nation, reeling from a once-in-a-century heath crisis that has closed schools and businesses and that is worsening as the weather turns cold.

Trump in Grand Rapids insisted anew that the nation was “rounding the turn” on the virus. But Dr. Deborah Birx, the co-ordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, broke with the president and joined a chorus of Trump administration scientists sounding alarm about the current spike in infections.

“We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic,” Birx wrote in a memo distributed to top administration officials. She added that the nation was not implementing “balanced” measures needed to slow the spread of the virus. One recipient confirmed the contents that were initially reported Monday by The Washington Post.

The pandemic has shadowed the campaign, which has largely been a referendum of Trump’s handling of the virus.

In Concord, New Hampshire, 70-year-old Linda Eastman said she was giving her vote to Trump, saying, “Maybe he wasn’t perfect with the coronavirus, but I think he did the best that he could with what he had.”

In Virginia Beach, it was a vote for Biden from 54-year-old Gabriella Cochrane, who said she thought the former vice-president would “surround himself with the brightest and the best” to fight the pandemic.

The challenge of counting a record-setting early vote added a layer of uncertainty to an election marked by suspicions fueled by an incumbent who has consistently trailed in the polls.

Trump, in Pennsylvania, zeroed in on the state’s process to count mail-in votes that arrive after Election Day, vowing that “we’re going in with our lawyers” as soon as the polls close. He tweeted — without evidence — that “violence in the street” could follow the Supreme Court’s decision to grant an extension to count the votes arriving after Tuesday.

Trump offered himself to voters as the same outsider he first pitched to voters four years ago, insisting he’s still not a politician. Presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces, he repeatedly tried to portray Biden, who is considered a moderate Democrat, as a tool of extreme leftists.

Biden, for his part, cast Trump was an incompetent leader in a time of crisis, trying to connect what he saw as the president’s failures in containing the virus and on other matters to the everyday lives of Americans.

Jaffe reported from Pittsburgh. Miller reported from Grand Rapids, Mich. Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

RECIPE: Breakfast Better with Adrian Forte

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Nov 2nd, 2020

A nourishing breakfast with high-quality dairy protein is key to setting your foundation for the day, giving your body the energy and protein it needs to fuel the morning and prevent the mid-morning crash. TODAY: We’ve invited board member chef Adrian Forte to help us breakfast better and to demonstrate a nutritious, simple and (most importantly) delicious breakfast recipe that you can introduce to your morning routine.

For more information about the Breakfast Better Board guidelines and the complete breakfast recipes, ​check out www.breakfastbetter.ca


Chef Adrian’s Lemon Curd Chia Pudding  

(20.25 grams of protein per serving)

Prep Time: 10min

Cook Time: 17min


  • 2 1/2 cup Yogurt (50gs)
  • 1 cup white chia seeds (24gs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 7 (108g) Graham crackers (7gs)
  • 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) or more turmeric
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter (cubed, cold) Materials
  • Mason Jar
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment


  1. In a mixing bowl add 350ml (1 1/2 cup) yogurt, chia seeds, honey and vanilla and whisk
  2. Add Lemon juice, zest and turmeric and whisk to combine
  3. Pour chia mixture in major jar or ramekin, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight for best results
  4. Pulse graham cracker in processor until flour-like consistency, add sugar and continue to pulse
  5. Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes a cookie dough consistency
  6. Freeze until dough is completely firm, Once completely frozen add dough to a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for 10-15 mins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  7. Sprinkle graham cracker crumble over lemon curd chia pudding and serve

‘Multiple victims’ and 1 dead in two separate shootings in Niagara region

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Nov 2nd, 2020

Niagara police say “multiple victims” have been seriously injured following a late night shooting in Niagara Falls.

Police say they were called to the area of Centre Street and Ellen Avenue just before midnight following reports of gun shots.

Police have not released any further details except to say that “multiple victims were located suffering from gunshot wounds” and that all the victims were taken to hospital suffering from serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Police have not revealed the number of victims or their ages or genders.

The circumstances leading up to the shooting are also unknown but police say it appears to be a targeted incident. No suspect description has been released.

Meanwhile, Niagara police were called to a separate shooting in the town of Lincoln just after midnight that has left one person dead.

Investigators were called to Fracchioni Drive and Cachet Court around 12:10 a.m. following reports of a suspicious person in the area.

A search of the area turned up a deceased male within a residence.

Police have yet to release any suspect information but say it appears to be a targeted shooting at this point.

Faces change but fight remains the same for land defenders in Caledonia


The more things change in Caledonia, Ont., the more one group of long-standing land defenders says things stay the same.

Tense tableaus played out for months in the southwestern Ontario town in 2006 as Indigenous protesters clashed repeatedly with provincial police over the rights to land located near Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. Fourteen years later, some of the same protesters are experiencing deja-vu as they take up similar positions to continue the same fight.

“It was very, very similar,” Skyler Williams, 38, recalls, standing by the intersection that divides the scenes of past and present protest sites. “I was much younger (in 2006), and so my back hurts a little bit more some days.”

The present-day dispute is playing out across the road from the scene of the 2006 protests at a proposed housing development known as McKenzie Meadows.

Williams has been acting as a spokesperson for the land reclamation camp known as 1492 Land Back Lane at the site of the project being led by Foxgate Developments Inc.

The 2006 occupation dragged on for months, prompting political mudslinging between the provincial and federal governments. The 2020 iteration passed the 100-day mark last month, with protesters showing no signs of heading home.

Work was underway last Thursday on a wooden shelter at the demonstrators’ tent camp that’s also home to lively pets, works of art in progress, small gardens and a campfire. Funds are being raised to build tiny homes as winter weather approaches.

Central to the Haudenosaunee land defenders’ fight is a 1784 agreement with the British known as the Haldimand Proclamation, promising lands along the Grand River they maintain were never surrendered.

Over his lifetime, Williams has watched housing developments pop up across the farm town of Caledonia, encroaching on the territory he and others are fighting to protect.

“We have to be able to say no,” he said. “If they’re going to continue to push into Six Nations territory and hem us in, you can expect resistance.”

Thirty-three people, including Williams, have been arrested since the protests began in the summer. Most have been charged with violating a court order.

Tensions flared again briefly in recent weeks when an Ontario judge issued a permanent injunction ordering people off the land indefinitely.

Hours after the Oct. 22 ruling, the demonstrators accused police of firing rubber bullets and using a stun gun, injuring two. Police, in turn, alleged protesters damaged a cruiser.

Blockades went up later that day, with portions of road dug up with machinery and a school bus bearing the words “Land Back Tours” parked in the middle of Argyle Street.

Signs of the standoff were still visible one week later. Provincial police cars were stationed near the Argyle Street bus blockade on Thursday and by the main entrance to the camp off McKenzie Road.

Three cruisers were parked a few metres from Nancy Chalmers’ driveway.

“I’m kind of sitting in the middle of this stew,” Chalmers said from her front doorway.

The Caledonia resident of more than 20 years said she sympathizes with her neighbours’ cause, but she’s frustrated with both the predictable cycle and the disruptions to her daily life.

“I just wish this would get resolved peacefully,” she said.

Caledonia mayor Ken Hewitt has taken a harsher line with the demonstrators, calling for their arrests.

He’s also asked the federal government to take a hand in negotiations.

Kahsenniyo Williams, Skyler’s wife, spoke about the aggression her family has faced during a spoken word poetry performance from inside the blockaded area on Thursday.

She performed for a university class via Zoom, with the Grand River as her backdrop, a waterway she calls “the map of the land that we’re responsible for.”

She said online connectivity has been helpful with reaching supporters who can’t make it down to the site.

“Everyone’s been doing the best that they can to manoeuvre through COVID, and it also opens up the opportunity for more creative settings,” she said.

But in-person supporters have trickled in as well, bringing fresh perspectives on the long-time fight along with supplies and companionship.

Jace House from the Quebec Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi arrived last week. He was part of a community-led action this fall about over-hunting of moose in his area, and dealt with an injunction himself at the time.

He sees similar tactics being used against Indigenous land defenders across the country, and said he’s been welcomed by the people at the Land Back Lane camp.

“We really are in the same boat,” House said.

He said unity across Indigenous communities will be important as people continue advocating for their land, water, hunting and fishing rights.

“I think we’re all coming to the conclusion that the Canadian government’s not going to fix it for us, so we’re trying to do our best with what we have to just assert ourselves,” House said.

Haudenosaunee lawyer Beverly Jacobs said the federal government needs to get involved in resolving the dispute, starting with a moratorium on all developments.

“Canada needs to come to the table with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and they need to negotiate,” the associate dean at the University of Windsor’s law faculty said by phone.

“The deeper underlying land issues need to be addressed. Otherwise, this is going to continue to be a cycle, because our people are tired of being silent.”

A statement from the office of the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations said Canada is committed to “continuing to work collaboratively to address Six Nations’ historical claims and land rights issues.”

“We are actively working with the community and look forward to meeting at the earliest opportunity,” the statement said.

Seeds planted at the McKenzie Road camp have sprouted into tomato plants and sunflowers in the months since the occupation began.

When asked what he’d like to see on the land, Williams pointed to the return of natural life at the 2006 protest site which was eventually purchased by the province to end the dispute.

“Fifteen years have passed and all the topsoil has regrown, trees have grown there, animals are coming back,” he said. “If that’s what needs to happen, then that’s what needs to happen. Just to let nature take its course.”

Man seriously injured in stabbing near Queen and Jarvis

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Nov 2nd, 2020

A man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries following a stabbing downtown.

Police said they were called to the Queen Street East and Richmond Street East area at around 2:20 p.m. Sunday for a report of an altercation between two people

The victim was stabbed and also sprayed with an unknown substance, police said.

EMS said they transported the victim to a trauma centre with serious injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

Snow, windy conditions make for challenging driving conditions

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Nov 2nd, 2020

You might wake up to a winter wonderland on Monday as the season’s first snow fell across the Greater Toronto Area Sunday evening.

A special weather statement for Toronto was issued by Environment Canada on Sunday, with one-to-three centimetres expected in some areas.

The federal weather agency also warned of strong winds and low visibility in some areas.

Areas north of Toronto reported blustery conditions and heavy snow squalls.

Power outages were also reported in some areas of the city and across the province.

You can check out the complete weather forecast here.

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