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Tonight’s French debate, Thursday’s English debate pivotal for federal leaders

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Sep 8th, 2021


Millions of voters are expected to tune in for tonight’s two-hour French debate and Thursday’s English debate

Both debates, organized by consortiums of broadcasters, are being held at the Museum of Canadian History

The French debate is on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, the English debate is on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET

Five federal party leaders will face off in the first of two official election debates Wednesday night in what may well be their best chance to sway voters before election day on Sept. 20.

With less than two weeks to go, millions of voters are expected to tune in for tonight’s two-hour French debate and Thursday’s English debate.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul will participate in both debates.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier did not meet the criteria established by the independent leaders’ debate commission for participation.

Both debates, organized by consortiums of broadcasters, are being held at the Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau, Que., just across the river from Parliament Hill.

The debates come as opinion polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are stuck in a tight two-way race, with the NDP and Bloc poised to determine which of the two main parties emerges victorious.

Last week’s TVA French debate, to which neither Paul nor Bernier was invited, appears to have done little to move the needle for any party.

In 2019, some 7.5 million Canadians tuned in to the English debate across all traditional and social media platforms while some three million tuned in to the official French debate.

Surveys conducted by the debates commission afterwards suggested that “the debates were central to the electoral process,” according to a commission report on the process.

“On balance, the debates played an important role in increasing engagement with the issues, leaders, and choices before voters.”

That said, the commission reported that its surveys found no measurable difference in intended turnout or change in vote intention between Canadians who watched the debates and those who didn’t.

Tonight’s French debate begins at 8 p.m. ET.

Topics to be discussed are climate change, the cost of living and public finances, Indigenous Peoples and cultural identity, justice and foreign policy, and health care and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The English debate on Thursday starts at 9 p.m.

The topics for that debate are affordability, climate, COVID-19 recovery, leadership and accountability and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Tory, de Villa to update Toronto’s COVID-19 response

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Sep 8th, 2021

Toronto’s mayor and its top doctor will provide an update today on the city’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Tory and Dr. Eileen de Villa are holding a news conference at 2 p.m.

Toronto Public Health says the city has logged an average of 150 new cases per day for the last four days.

Yesterday, Ontario reported 564 new infections for the previous day — 434 of them people who were not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown.

Man shot, killed near Driftwood Avenue and Jane Street, police say

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Sep 8th, 2021

Toronto police are probing a deadly shooting in a North York neighbourhood.

Police said they were called at around 9 p.m. Tuesday to the Driftwood Avenue and Grand Ravine Drive area for a report of gunshots.

When officers arrived they found a man in his 30s with gunshot wounds.  The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene, police said.

Investigators from the homicide division have now taken over the investigation.

The suspects fled the scene, police said. No description has been released by investigators at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police directly. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers.

Some areas of Toronto without power after Tuesday’s thunderstorms

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Sep 8th, 2021

Environment Canada has lifted its severe thunderstorm watch for Toronto, but some areas of the city are without power after Tuesday evening’s storms.

Toronto Hydro said it is responding to two major outages on Wednesday morning, one in Leslieville and the other in Leaside.

The Leslieville outage is affecting upwards of 5,000 homes and businesses in the area bounded by Gerrard Street East south to Queen Street East, and Leslie Street east to Woodbine Avenue.

Up to 1,000 homes and businesses in Leaside are in the dark, in an area bounded by Broadway Avenue south to Millwood Road and Bayview Avenue and east to Laird Drive.

Toronto and the GTA were under a severe thunderstorm warning, which was then downgraded to a severe thunderstorm watch late Tuesday evening. The watch was lifted just after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday evening saw a series of storms move through the province, which saw hail, high winds, downpours, thunder and lightning. There were even unconfirmed reports of tornadoes in some parts of Southwestern Ontario.

Wednesday will see some rainstorms in Toronto, but they won’t be as severe in nature says CityNews weather specialist Natasha Ramsahai.

Here are some images from the storm system which came through southwestern Ontario earlier in the evening:



For the latest weather updates, check out our weather page.

Child found safe after overnight Amber Alert

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Sep 7th, 2021

A three-year-old girl at the centre of an Amber Alert overnight has been found safe.

According to Barrie police, the child had last been seen with a 27-year-old man on Monday afternoon in the Lampman Lane Park area.

The Amber Alert was issued just before 2 a.m.

Police had said at the time that there was no indication the two of were in a car and believed they were either in Barrie or Guelph.

The Amber Alert was cancelled just before 5 a.m.

Barrie police said the girl had been found safe and was being returned to the area.

More details are expected to be released later today.

Third pandemic-altered school year gets underway in many Ontario boards

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 7th, 2021

It’s the first day back to school after the summer break for many Ontario students.

Classes resume today in boards including the Bluewater District School Board, the District School Board of Niagara and the Halton District School Board.

Some other boards — including the largest, the Toronto District School Board — will start classes on Thursday.

This will be the third school year in which classes are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario’s Ministry of Education has sent guidelines to schools in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, which include requirements that staff and students self-screen for COVID-19 each day and wear masks indoors.

The ministry has also required that all boards offer an remote learning option for students who don’t feel comfortable in the classroom due to the pandemic.

Woman stabbed to death at King Street law office identified

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Sep 7th, 2021

Toronto police have identified the woman who was fatally stabbed at a law office in the King Street East area on Sept. 2.

Police were called to 238 King Street East just before 2 p.m. for reports a man had entered the building and stabbed a worker.

Paramedics rushed the 29-year-old victim to hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was later pronounced dead.

She has been identified as Julia Ferguson of Toronto. A Go Fund Me page for the Ferguson family identifies the facility as a law office.

The suspect, who fled the scene, surrendered to police after the incident.

Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, was charged with second-degree murder. The charges are expected to be upgraded, police said.

He has been remanded in custody.

Investigators said in a news conference Monday the law office was the target of the attack. It was not a random attack and there’s no threat to public safety, police said.

Party leaders in Central Canada as election campaign enters fourth week

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 7th, 2021

OTTAWA — The main federal party leaders are in Central Canada as the election campaign enters its fourth week.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau starts the day on home turf, making an announcement in Montreal.

Later in the day, he’s due to travel to Ottawa, where he’ll participate in a virtual town hall with volunteers.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is spending a second day at his Ottawa home base, a ballroom in the Westin Hotel.

He’s scheduled to make an announcement in the morning, and hold a virtual telephone town hall with Ontario residents in the evening.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, is campaigning in Toronto, where he’s set to make an announcement on climate action this morning.

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