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Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford – Abbotsford News

October 23rd, 2019

A man in his 20s is being treated in hospital following a shooting that occurred in Abbotsford just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The shooting took place in the 31700 block of South Fraser Way at the Esso gas station. A green car on the scene has bullet holes in it.

“The events that are unfolded are currently being investigated and updates will be provided when available,” the release states.

South Fraser Way is closed between Hilltout Street and Janzen Street and to the north to Union Avenue, police say.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text 222973 (abbypd) or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.



newsroom@abbynews.com

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Man dead, two other people critical after triple shooting in Mississauga – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

October 22nd, 2019

Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 10:27PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:00AM EDT

A man has been pronounced dead and two other people are in hospital in critical condition following a triple shooting on a highway in Mississauga Tuesday night.

Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to the northbound Highway 410 ramp to Derry Road for reports of a shooting at around 9:48 p.m.

Three victims – two men and a woman – were found inside a vehicle at the scene.

One of the men was found without vital signs, Peel Regional Paramedic Services said. The other two victims were both rushed to hospital with critical injuries.

Peel police later confirmed that the man who was found without vital signs was pronounced dead.

Ontario Provincial Police said it was not immediately clear where the shots came from.

There is a heavy police presence and some road closures are in effect in the area as officers investigate. 

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Greta Thunberg says she didn’t know about Victoria invite, but ferry emissions not an issue – CBC.ca

October 22nd, 2019

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg is disputing stories about an invitation to speak to British Columbia’s provincial legislature, saying she wasn’t aware of the invite and “definitely” didn’t turn it down because of concern over ferry emissions.

On Tuesday, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said he extended an invitation to visit Victoria to the 16-year-old Swede. 

But rumours quickly spread through Victoria’s political circles that Thunberg wouldn’t be coming to Victoria because there’s no way to get there without burning fossil fuels either by ferry or flight.

Mayor Lisa Helps said that although she hadn’t heard from Thunberg directly, one of her councillors learned the news from the climate activist’s team.

Thunberg dismissed the rumours in a tweet on Tuesday evening, writing that she didn’t know about the invitation and “have definitely not declined it because of ’emissions’ from the public transport ferry.”

Thunberg eschewed flights to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a zero-emission sailboat to attend the UN Climate Action Summit in September. She has travelled in an electric Tesla in her trips across North America. 

Greta Thunberg waves from the Malizia II in Plymouth, England, before her departure on Aug. 14. She crossed the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat to attend the UN climate summit in New York in September. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press)

Earlier Tuesday, some Vancouver Islanders came up with creative solutions for bringing Thunberg to Victoria. Helps said Olympic rower Adam Kreek offered to row Thunberg to Vancouver Island and back again.

While BC Ferries’ long-term plan is to have the company’s entire fleet powered by electricity, the fleet currently runs on diesel fuel. 

It announced its first wave of hybrid electric vessels in September, the first of which are expected to be in operation by 2022, with the first two expected to be in service in 2020.

Climate rally planned in Vancouver

Thunberg also confirmed Tuesday that she will be joining a climate strike outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday.

Sustainabiliteens, a group of teenagers that has organized previous climate strikes in Vancouver, says youth are pushing for cross-party collaboration to tackle the climate crisis from a newly elected minority federal government.

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‘Albertans feel betrayed’: Jason Kenney, Scott Moe warn Trudeau of growing Western alienation – The Globe and Mail

October 22nd, 2019

Premier Jason Kenney says if the prime minister doesn’t keep his word on supporting the West, there will be lasting damage to national unity.

AMBER BRACKEN/The Canadian Press

The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about growing Western alienation on Tuesday in the wake of a federal election result that saw the governing Liberals lose all four of their seats in the two provinces.

Voters returned Mr. Trudeau to Ottawa on Monday with diminished power, as the Liberals dropped to minority from majority status. A day later, premiers Jason Kenney and Scott Moe renewed their demands for the fast tracking of pipeline construction and the end of Liberal policies such as the federal carbon tax.

Mr. Moe and Mr. Kenney were echoed by local mayors in the region who called on Mr. Trudeau to take the concerns seriously and act to bridge the deepening divide between the federal Liberals and the Prairie provinces.

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“Many Albertans feel betrayed,” Mr. Kenney told the provincial legislature in Edmonton.

He said the 40-day election campaign, in which several parties attacked the province’s oil sector, confirmed Albertans’ views that they aren’t treated fairly in the federation.

The Prime Minister didn’t speak with reporters Tuesday, but in response to the two premiers’ demands, Mr. Trudeau’s office referred The Globe and Mail back to his speech Monday night in Montreal.

In it, Mr. Trudeau promised to “fight for all Canadians” and called on people in Alberta and Saskatchewan to “work hard to bring our country together.”

“Know that you are an essential part of our great country. I’ve heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you,” he said.

In order to ensure Alberta’s oil reaches tidewater and the accompanying higher prices, Mr. Trudeau has promised to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built. But construction has progressed in fits and starts and now that Mr. Trudeau will have to govern with the support of other parties, there’s concern it will never be completed.

To avoid that outcome, Mr. Kenney called on the Prime Minister to not strike any formal deals with the NDP, Bloc Québécois or Greens, all of which have been hostile to pipelines and other oil infrastructure.

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“Albertans feel like everywhere we turn, we are being blocked in, pinned down and even attacked within our own country,” he said.

Martha Hall Findlay, president and chief executive of the Canada West Foundation, cautioned that the Liberal government needed to take the concerns bubbling over in Alberta and Saskatchewan seriously.

“This has to be the Prime Minister’s number-one task,” said Ms. Hall Findlay, a former Liberal MP.

“It’s far more serious than people outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan realize and that’s probably what makes it even more dangerous,” she said

In Saskatchewan, Mr. Moe wrote a letter to Mr. Trudeau asking for a “new deal” for his province that would include cancelling the carbon tax, transforming the equalization program and getting natural resources to market. He described a country at a “crossroads” and said it was up to the Prime Minister to repair divisions that, he argued, were the product of four years of Liberal government.

“There is a fire burning here in the Prairie provinces,” Mr. Moe said. “What I am doing is handing him a fire extinguisher and asking him not to show up with a gas can.”

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Alberta and Saskatchewan aren’t historically fertile territory for the Liberals, but the party’s wins in 2015 helped bring legitimacy to the rookie government, allowing Mr. Trudeau to say his administration represented every region of the country.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called on the Prime Minister to find a way to include voices from Alberta in his office and cabinet, highlighting the challenges of a sputtering economy and high unemployment.

“There really is a feeling that no one is noticing or caring that we actually really need some help here,” Mr. Nenshi said.

The mayor of Medicine Hat, Ted Clugston, said Albertans are past the “West wants in” mantra of the 1990s and is at the point where “the West wants out.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he raised his concerns about the “troubling” regional divides directly with Mr. Trudeau during a phone call on Monday after the Prime Minister secured a second mandate.

“More words and platitudes will not cut it. He must be willing to change course, to stop his attacks on the energy sector,” Mr. Scheer said in Regina on Tuesday.

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Despite his second-place finish, Mr. Scheer confirmed that he would stay on as leader. However, he might still have to persuade party faithful that he should continue in his post. In an interview with the CBC, Conservative MP Erin O’Toole avoided directly saying whether Mr. Scheer should stay on. Mr. O’Toole did not reply to a Globe request for an interview.

Mr. Scheer will face a leadership review at his party’s convention in Toronto next spring.

While Mr. Trudeau faces a deepening divide in the West, he must also grapple with a resurgent Bloc Québécois.

At a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday, Leader Yves-François Blanchet said finding a way to make a fractured Parliament function is Mr. Trudeau’s job.

“It is their responsibility, not ours, not the responsibility of the NDP or the Conservatives,” Mr. Blanchet told reporters.

In Burnaby on Wednesday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tried to position the near halving of his caucus and the drop to fourth party status in the House of Commons as a victory.

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Mr. Singh was asked whether he would try to seek a deal with the Liberals or take an issue-by-issue approach, but he didn’t give a direct answer, instead telling reporters “we’re not going to negotiate that here.”

With reports from Bill Curry, Daniel Leblanc and Janice Dickson

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Madu fires shot at city hall spending ahead of Alberta budget – Calgary Herald

October 22nd, 2019

Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu. Postmedia

Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu has lobbed a grenade at Alberta’s big cities just days ahead of the provincial budget with an op-ed in the Calgary Herald, accusing Calgary and Edmonton of “excessive” spending.

The minister said tax bills in Calgary and Edmonton have been climbing at a pace disproportionate to population growth — a claim disputed by mayors in both cities — according to figures Madu took from right-leaning, business advocacy group the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“This massive and unsustainable growth in city spending has led to a never-ending reliance on property tax increases for Edmontonians and Calgarians,” Madu wrote, accusing city councils of placing an “undue burden” on their residents.

The minister’s comments were seized upon by Calgary city council members Tuesday as a sign that this week’s provincial budget could be particularly tough on Alberta’s big cities.

“I think that this is the most worrisome budget from the tone that’s coming from the top,” said Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart at city hall Tuesday. “It’s no coincidence that he puts this editorial out on Oct. 22, two days before the budget is coming.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi told Postmedia Tuesday afternoon that the figures quoted by the minister were “wrong” — that they selected specific years and left out spending figures since the downturn that show municipal spending increases remained below population plus inflation.

“There were a number of factual errors in it and it’s interesting that he would choose to pick a fight with municipalities just before the budget, I think that’s a pretty strong signal,” said Nenshi. “Since the economic downturn, we have in fact increased our spending by less than growth and inflation and we found over $600 million in cuts and efficiencies. So why would you use numbers from way back when if you’re trying to encourage change today?”


Mayor Naheed Nenshi, pictured on Sept. 12 at city hall.

Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia Calgary

CFIB figures claim municipal spending in Calgary increased by 58 per cent between 2006 and 2016, while population growth increased by just 25 per cent.

However, city data suggests that growth in total municipal expenditures in that same period was actually 48 per cent — largely consistent with population growth (25 per cent) and inflation pressures combined, amounting to 51.25 per cent.

Coun. Shane Keating said the CFIB research contained inaccurate information and called it “irresponsible” of the minister to “quote a third-party, special-interest group as fact” without talking to cities to see if it was accurate.

Not all members of council objected to the minister’s op-ed, however.

Coun. Sean Chu said he “welcomed” the criticism from the provincial government. “I think the minister is a new sheriff in town and Alberta voted the UCP in for this reason and we have to tighten our belts,” said Chu. “We have to cut wasteful spending and the stuff we do not need: the Peace Bridge, the arts, the Blue Circle (Travelling Light), the (new) central library — do we really need it? If we really want to serve the citizens of Calgary, we don’t need a big, fancy library like the Taj Mahal.”

Asked about his support of spending on other major projects, Chu said council’s decision to help fund the construction of a new arena isn’t wasteful spending since it could generate revenue for the city as more development occurs in East Victoria Park.

Coun. Joe Magliocca similarly hailed the minister’s comments, calling him a “smart guy.”

“He’s echoing that exactly from Jason Kenney’s administration and he’s echoing that we should live within our means and our budget should reflect that too,” he said.

Related

Nenshi said he worries the UCP will break their campaign promise to maintain the capital transfers to cities that were pledged previously under the NDP — a plan that would have seen Calgary and Edmonton taking significant cuts over the next decade.

He also fired back at the minister, defending Calgary council’s record on fiscal management.

“I’m not sure it’s wise to pick a fight with a government that on every measure has been more fiscally responsible and has performed better than any provincial government that I’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

mpotkins@postmedia.com
Twitter: @mpotkins

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What does a Liberal minority government mean for the issues that matter to B.C.? – Global News

October 22nd, 2019

Justin Trudeau opened the federal election in British Columbia.

He finished in British Columbia.

Now he is expected to deliver on many of his promises to the province. With the Liberal minority government expected to work with the NDP on the issue of affordability, expect that to be one of the things the two sides will focus on first.

“I think it is really positive,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said.

“I think first of all we will see the continued investment in infrastructure in Victoria and cities across the country; the NDP will support those investments. I think things that improve the quality of life for Canadians, there is strong alignment between the NDP and Liberals.”

READ MORE: Trudeau’s Liberals have won a minority. Here’s what they’re promising on the economy

The New Democrats pledged to create 500,000 units of affordable housing across Canada in the next decade. The Liberals promised to build 100,000 units.

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One isse where the NDP and Liberals disagree is Trans Mountain. The Liberals purchased the existing pipeline with the plan to expand it. Singh and the NDP have pushed back against the pipeline expansion and have promised to cut subsidies to energy companies.

“I think the pipeline will sort itself out. The First Nations are taking a very active role in court,” Helps said.

“If I was the prime minister and Jagmeet Singh, it’s not the first conversation I would have. The first conversation I would have is how can we work together to deliver affordability, to deliver prosperity, to delivery climate action, to deliver those things that Canadians need to have a high quality of life.”

READ MORE: What the parties have said about working with a Liberal minority government

UBC political scientist Kathryn Harrison said she was surprised to see the Liberals hold on to seats close to the pipeline terminal in Burnaby. This includes electoral victories in Burnaby-North Seymour, North Vancouver and West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.

“The big questions on Trans Mountain will remain what happens in court and the potential for civil disobedience,” Harrison said.

British Columbians also have a vested interest in what sort of infrastructure projects will be funded by Ottawa.

Prior to the election, The Mayors’ Council was concerned about what impact a Conservative government could have on the Broadway SkyTrain extension.

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WATCH (aired October 16): Vancouver Mayor goes off on federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer

1:21Vancouver Mayor goes off on federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer

Vancouver Mayor goes off on federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer

There is more confidence the project will be funded by a Liberal minority government.

“Once the government is formed we are looking forward to engaging with them and turning those election promises to real commitments,” Mayors’ Council chair Jonathan Cote said.

WATCH: Federal Election 2019: Voter turnout and western alienation

4:08Federal Election 2019: Voter turnout and western alienation

Federal Election 2019: Voter turnout and western alienation

The Conservatives may not have any influence on government but they have substantially grown their seat count in British Columbia.

The party added seven seats, winning Cloverdale-Langley, Kelowna-Lake Country, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, Port Moody-Coquitlam, South Surrey-White Rock and Steveston-Richmond East.

The NDP and Liberals will also have a discussion about electoral reform.

“The New Democrat party will be constructive and will respect the choices Canadians have made,” Singh told reporters Tuesday. “The results show a broken electoral system and it’s certainly clear we need to fix it. I’ve long called for and will continue to call for true electoral reform.”

The Liberals under Justin Trudeau eked out a minority government victory, and managed to do it with just 33 per cent of the popular vote, compared with 34 per cent for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives.

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— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Liberal minority could be an opportunity for Alberta, if played right – CBC.ca

October 22nd, 2019

A Trudeau-led Liberal party won government, but Alberta didn’t send a single Liberal MP to Ottawa. The year? 1972. Or 1974. Or 1980. Or 2019. Take your pick.

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford said her reaction to the “stark regionalism” represented in Monday’s election results was a bit of déjà vu.

But, she said the position this leaves the re-elected Justin Trudeau in is one of opportunity — to address Alberta’s concerns and work to heal those regional divides.

“A minority government is an opportunity for government to do things differently,” she told CBC News. “There is an opportunity to do things on a completely non-regional and non-partisan basis.

“I actually think the number of young people that voted sent a message that that’s what they want us to do.”

How Trudeau can accomplish that is another question.

In 1980, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau attempted to tackle the problem by appointing western senators to cabinet.

That option isn’t really there for his son, who has implemented reforms to make the senate non-partisan, according to Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt.

“He’s in a really difficult spot,” said Bratt.

Bratt suggested that one move would be to give opposition MPs the chance to play a bigger role in parliamentary committees. 

“You’re not going to see Liberal majorities on every committee. That’s an opportunity for voice,” he said. 

Redford said another approach could be to ensure issues like climate change, First Nations reconciliation, or even pipelines are no longer treated as partisan problems, instead creating citizen forums by reaching out to groups like industry, workers and students.

“It really is about trying to come together in a different way to solve these problems,” she said. “People may not get everything they want, but it is an opportunity to have a different conversation.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses Calgary supporters during a rally in the city late Saturday night. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said wherever the prime minister goes from here, his biggest role will be to listen.

“It’s really important that those Alberta voices get heard in the centre,” he said.

The province’s biggest voice could be a complicating factor.

Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party urged supporters to protest Trudeau when he made a last-minute campaign stop in Calgary, days before the election. 

On Tuesday, the premier wrote a five-page letter to Trudeau outlining ways he can support the province with “more than words.”

Nenshi said “there are always opportunities to build bridges,” but he’s not sure how that will play out.

“Maybe there’ll be a grand alliance between Premier [Jason] Kenney and the prime minister to get stuff done. But in these political times, I’m not sure that that will happen.”

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The key Liberal wins and losses in B.C. this federal election – The Globe and Mail

October 22nd, 2019

Jody Wilson-Raybould, once a prominent Liberal cabinet minister, was re-elected as an Independent in Vancouver-Granville.

JIMMY JEONG/The Canadian Press

The Liberals did not receive the drubbing they were expected to get in Monday’s federal election in British Columbia, where the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the party’s support for pipelines were predicted to cost seats.

The Liberals held onto 11 seats, far less than the high-water mark of 17 they received in 2015, but still well above the two they won in 2011 and five in 2008. On Monday, they won some competitive areas of the 42-seat province, sometimes defying predictions, although two long-shot bids to win Tory and NDP seats flopped.

Gerald Baier, acting director at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, said he was surprised that B.C.’s four cabinet ministers were re-elected – a result he said would give Canada’s westernmost province “a fair bit of influence within the cabinet.”

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Meanwhile, the Conservatives surged from 10 seats won in 2015 to a total of 17 seats, and the NDP, who won 14 seats in 2015, ended Monday night with 11.

The Greens saw the re-election of their two B.C. incumbents on Vancouver Island, one of them party leader Elizabeth May. Jody Wilson-Raybould, once a prominent Liberal cabinet minister, was re-elected as an Independent in Vancouver-Granville.

Political scientist Hamish Telford of the University of the Fraser Valley noted that B.C. is a four-party province where parties won where expected, and the Conservatives regained seats in Vancouver suburbs and elsewhere.

But some ridings produced particularly dramatic storylines.

BURNABY NORTH-SEYMOUR

This riding is ground zero for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline project because it is home to the tank farm.

However, Liberal Terry Beech managed to win re-election here, fending off New Democrat Svend Robinson who was aiming for a comeback 15 years after he ended a high-profile political career. Mr. Beech won 36 per cent of the vote compared with 32 per cent for Mr. Robinson. Heather Leung was dropped as Conservative candidate over homophobic remarks, but too late to remove her name from the ballot. She won 20 per cent of the vote.

In election-night remarks, Mr. Beech said he had worked, throughout the debate over Trans Mountain, to ensure that he served his constituents regardless of their view on the pipeline. He said the close results would encourage him to reach out to voters who did not support him.

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On Tuesday, Mr. Robinson said he had yet to figure out specifically what went wrong, but the North Shore part of his riding north of Burrard Inlet may have been more supportive of the pipeline expansion than the Burnaby part of the riding. “The pipeline issue wasn’t as salient there, which frankly surprises me,” he said, “On the doorstep, it didn’t come up as often.”

The Liberals held two other North Shore ridings previously represented by the Conservatives. One was West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, previously held by Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, who didn’t seek re-election. Liberal Patrick Weller won 35 per cent of the vote, compared with 27 per cent for the Conservative candidate. The other North Shore riding is North Vancouver, represented by Jonathan Wilkinson, who has been fisheries minister. He was re-elected with 43 per cent to 27 per cent for Conservative Andrew Saxton, seeking a political comeback after being defeated in 2015.

KAMLOOPS THOMPSON-CARIBOO/VANCOUVER KINGSWAY

The Liberals bet on winning two long-shot ridings, and deployed Leader Justin Trudeau to rally support in the ridings.

Still, former provincial cabinet minister Terry Lake lost in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo by more than 12,000 votes to Conservative incumbent Cathy McLeod, who has held the riding since 2008. And former broadcaster Tamara Taggart lost Vancouver Kingsway to New Democrat Don Davies by 11,138 votes. Mr. Davies was also first elected in 2008. “Star candidates really aren’t as powerful and bright as we like to think that they are,” Mr. Telford said.

Mr. Lake said Tuesday that he underestimated the enmity toward Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals in the B.C. Interior over such issues as deficit spending. “It’s Alberta-like in its intensity,” said Mr. Lake. “To lose by 11,000 votes? I was shocked.” He urged the Liberals not to give up on his riding though he ruled out running again. “You need to give room and support younger people coming through,” he said.

PORT MOODY-COQUITLAM

One of B.C.’s tightest races was in Port Moody-Coquitlam, where Conservative Nelly Shin won a three-way battle by eking out a lead of less than one percentage point over her NDP rival, Bonita Zarrillo.

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The race in this suburban Vancouver riding was close the whole evening and Ms. Zarrillo led for a while. But Ms. Shin eventually secured the victory with 16,588 of the votes, only 333 more votes than Ms. Zarrillo, a three-term city councillor for Coquitlam. Liberal candidate Sara Badiei, who ended up in third place, also claimed near one third of the votes.

The riding had been held by NDP MP Fin Donnelly, who chose not to run for re-election late last year.

Ms. Shin, a parachute candidate from Ontario, moved to Coquitlam last year. She is an entrepreneur, educator, humanitarian and musician. Her family immigrated to Canada from South Korea in the late 1970s to flee political tension. According to Korean media, Ms. Shin’s victory made her the first Korean-Canadian to be elected to the House of Commons.

The Port Moody-Coquitlam riding, which has a population of 110,817, has seen NDP, Reform Party, Canadian Alliance, Tory and Liberal MPs in the past three decades.

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‘That has never happened before’: Leaders’ overlapping speeches were a messy end to divisive election – National Post

October 22nd, 2019

The 2019 federal election campaign was described as many things — nasty, divisive, and messy were some. And then came the final speeches which were, well, nasty, divisive and messy.

In a surprising move, viewers watched as Conservative leader Andrew Scheer took to the podium to begin his concession speech, while NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was still winding down his address. But just as Scheer started on his opening remarks in Regina, out came Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who launched into his victory speech in Papineau.

“It was unprecedented,” said Christopher Cochrane, a political professor at the University of Toronto. “To my knowledge, that has never happened before … at the provincial or federal level.”

It is unclear what the reasons were behind the mix-up, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives responded to requests for comment. While a surprising and not exactly winning move for either political party, according to experts, it will likely be overshadowed by the events to come in the weeks ahead.

It was all over the place

Normally, the convention followed is that the smaller parties go first, followed last by the winning party leader. However, while the speeches started out with Maxime Bernier — the only leader to lose in his own riding — the pattern that followed didn’t appear to sync with usual protocol.

“You didn’t hear from Elizabeth May until after all the leaders spoke,” said Christo Aivalis, who teaches Canadian politics at the University of Toronto. “Then you saw the Bloc leader speak, who technically had more seats than the NDP, but way less national support.”

“It was all over the place,” he said.

Time zones, the speed at which results roll in, etc — the ill-timing could be due to a combination of various factors, he said. “When it comes to timing their speeches, it’s a mixture of when they get their results, when they have a general idea of what’s happening in the night and combining it with ‘okay, we’re all in this part of the country, how do we time the speeches’.”

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Cochrane, who watched the speeches Monday night, said the NDP leader’s speech was a “longer” speech and was unsure if he would call Scheer coming out during the speech “unusual.

“I noted it certainly,” he said. However, it was another matter altogether when Trudeau stepped out amidst Scheer’s opening remarks, which divided national audience.

“I don’t know if it’s uncoordinated or intentional,” added Cochrane. “If it’s intentional, it’s unfortunate. If the PM went out intentionally to interrupt the concession speech of the opposition leader, then that’s spectacularly petty.”

The timing, if intentional, could point to the highly contentious nature of the election, particularly between the two candidates, according to Cochrane. “In the debate, Scheer called the PM to his face, a phony and a fraud,” he said. “I don’t remember anything really as hostile in a Canadian election.”

“It’s a case of pox on both their houses,” he said.

Daniel Béland, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, said it doesn’t paint a good scenario for Canadians. “Especially on people staying up really late, to have them speak at the same time, it’s certainly not the way it’s normally done.”

But while It may not send a good message about how the parties will work in a minority parliament, it’s nothing for people to “make a big fuss about,” he added. “Frankly I think there are more important things that we have to deal with right now, like the rural divide, the policies we could enact going forward, whether the Liberals and NDP can work together, and would that have a negative impact in Alberta where they don’t have much support.”

“Sounds like a tempest in a teapot,” he said.

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Wexit: How a political divide in Western Canada is driving calls for separation – CTV News

October 22nd, 2019

Wedged between the federal government’s climate policy and the politically driven oil-and-gas economy in the west lies a deep-seated regional divide that some believe has reached a breaking point.

As calls for a so-called “Wexit” began trending on social media, a newly re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to the stage to acknowledge the frustration felt by voters in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“To Canadians in Alberta and Saskatchewan, know that you are an essential part of our great country. I’ve heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you,” Trudeau said during his victory speech.

But the sentiment did not reach some Conservatives, including Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who renewed his calls for Trudeau to cancel the federal carbon tax, rework the equalization formula and build pipelines to reach international markets.

“There is a fire burning here in the Prairie Provinces… What I am doing is handing him a fire extinguisher and I’m asking him not to show up with a gas can,” Moe said Tuesday.

A quick glance at Canada’s new electoral map points towards a growing frustration in the western provinces.

Though the Liberals won a minority government in Monday night’s election, the party was shown the door in Alberta and Saskatchewan where the Conservatives picked up 47 out of 48 possible seats.

Most of that frustration can be linked back to Alberta’s oil industry, where tens of thousands of people have been laid off and pipeline projects remain up in the air. But experts say calls for western independence stem from far beyond the current state of the oil industry — it’s an issue that spans generations.

“It’s not just oil and gas; it’s also the equalization payments, the premise of which is oil and gas. Without the resource wealth from Alberta, the equalization program would not exist and everybody knows that — especially the recipients in Ontario and Quebec,” Barry Cooper, political scientist and professor at the University of Calgary, told CTVNews.ca by phone Tuesday.

“It’s about the bizarre ingratitude of Laurentian Canada and what they have taken from here. People are saying, ‘What is the point of belonging to a political organization where we are donors and no one says thank you.’”

Cooper is linked to the “Calgary School,” a group of Conservative-linked academics at the University of Calgary whose work largely focuses on Western Canada interests.

He notes that the region has always had different interests from the rest of the country, pre-dating confederation. But renewed motivation for a separatist movement is likely thanks to increased polarization between federal climate policy and oil industry.

“What’s new is this ideological attack on the Alberta and Saskatchewan oil-and-gas industry, motivated by what many people here think are fraudulent complaints about the environment,” he said.

“This time it might be a little bit different because so much of the economy of the country relies on the oil sands.”

‘The concept of Canada has died in people’s hearts’

At the helm of calls for an independent west is Peter Downing, founder of Wexit – as in “western exit” – Alberta.

Downing created the group in a bid to bring together the small, fractured parties all calling for independence and harness their collective frustrations to create a larger group that would vie for party status, eventually bringing together similar movements in B.C., Saskatchewan and western Manitoba to form Wexit Canada.

“People are heartbroken,” Downing told CTVNews.ca by phone Tuesday. “The concept of Canada has died in a lot of people’s hearts.”

He says that many at the heart of the movement feel that the votes of those in Western Canada, and Alberta in particular, don’t count federally, with many growing tired of having “money and resources” stripped from the province.

“We really do have a pioneer mindset, we have an expectation of taking care of ourselves,” Downing said.

Wexit’s Facebook page experienced a surge of support in the hours following news of a Liberal minority win on Monday, growing from just 4,000 members to over 171,000 by Tuesday.

The attention has already sparked controversy, raising allegations of Russian backing thanks to a recent article by Russian news agency Sputnik — allegations Downing calls entirely false. But Downing hopes this surge of attention will put further pressure on the provincial government.

“Wexit Canada will be the Reform Party 2.0.,” he said. “Their slogan was ‘The West Wants In,’ but ours is ‘The West Wants Out.’”

According to Angus Reid polling released in February, 50 per cent of Albertans believed separation was a real possibility, compared to 68 per cent of Canadians who thought it unlikely.

That same poll found that 60 per cent of Albertans would either strongly or moderately support the province joining a Western separatist movement.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, however, is largely seen as a federalist and has addressed calls for separation in social media campaigns.

“Albertans have been rightfully frustrated by the unfair deal we are getting in the Federation going as far as to even express support for separation,” Kenney tweeted in August.

“I don’t want to let @JustinTrudeau push us out of our country. I’d rather focus on separating him from the Prime Minister’s office.”

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