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Squash regatta squished and a cougar in the loo; In the news for Sept. 18

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a campaign stop at a daycare in St. John's on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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 Sept. 18.

What we are watching in Canada …

OTTAWA — The federal election campaign marks a milestone today — one week down, four-and-a-half to go.

The first week has seen Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau criss-cross the country. He launched his campaign in Vancouver, and continued with swings through Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. He has appearances scheduled today in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has focused his energies on getting to know voters and announcing a range of tax credits targeted at families. He is campaigning in and around Toronto today.

The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh has focused his campaign in Ontario and in Quebec, where he launched a platform directly aimed at reigniting the passion for his party in that province. Today, he is expected to make a dental care announcement in Sudbury and will then move on to Barrie and Toronto.

The Green party has released its national platform, a document leader Elizabeth May says seeks to show that all national policy must now be considered as a means to respond to the current climate emergency. She is back today in Vancouver today.

Also this …

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is to hold a media teleconference today from New York City, where he is trying to encourage investment in the province’s oilpatch.

It comes a day after the B.C. Court of Appeal decision ordering B.C. to reconsider environmental assessment certificates for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman said the province is working on a plan to conduct the review and consult with Indigenous communities.

“It’s not our goal to use this court decision as a tactic,” he said, adding that any power to stop the project lies with the federal courts and government.

“We believe this is a wrongheaded project, we believe it’s bad for British Columbia, but that decision was taken by the federal government. We’re exercising every jurisdiction we can to defend British Columbia’s environment, our coast, our jobs with regulations and with environmental assessment conditions as appropriate.”

The project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Alberta’s oilpatch to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The federal government bought the existing pipeline and the unfinished expansion work for $4.5 billion last year, promising to get it past the political opposition that had scared off Kinder Morgan Canada from proceeding.

ICYMI (In case you missed it) …

WINDSOR, N.S. — It’s been a bad growing year in many parts of the country.

In Nova Soctia, it has “squashed” an annual spectacle.

The province’s Pumpkin Regatta has been cancelled following a disastrous season in the pumpkin patch.

Each regatta requires about 60 gourds, each of them weighing up to 800 pounds. They are hollowed out and raced across Lake Pesaquid.

But organizers say the October event has to be cancelled because the pumpkin-growing season was hurt by a wet spring, followed by a dry summer.

Then post-tropical storm Dorian left the struggling crop badly damaged.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

The proposed settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma would raise money to clean up the opioid mess by … selling more opioids.

That would amount to blood money, in the opinion of some critics. And it’s one reason two dozen states have rejected the settlement.

The proposed settlement could be worth $10 billion or more over time. The company is making a case for it in bankruptcy court as a way to end some 2,600 lawsuits, most of them from state, local and tribal governments seeking to hold the company accountable for an opioid crisis that has claimed 400,000 lives in the U.S. in the last two decades.

Under the deal, a reformed version of the company could keep selling the drug, with profits helping fund the settlement.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Britain’s Supreme Court resumes its historic three-day hearing to determine whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.

The case resumes today for a full day of testimony and is expected to conclude Thursday.

Judges must determine if Johnson overstepped his authority by suspending Parliament for a five-week period during the run-up to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline for Britain to leave the European Union.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker says the risk of Britain leaving the European Union without a divorce deal remains “very real.”

He made the comment at the European Parliament in France as EU lawmakers debate the ramifications of a no-deal Brexit.

On this day in 1992 …

Nine miners were killed in a violent explosion inside the strike-torn Giant gold mine in Yellowknife, N.W.T., RCMP believed the explosion was deliberately set.

A miner, Roger Warren, was later convicted of first-degree murder.

Weird and wild …

SONORA, Calif. — You don’t see this in your bathroom everyday.

Authorities say a mountain lion wandered inside a California house and lounged out on a bathroom floor.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff say the big cat wandered into the home when the door was opened to let in cool air and the family ran out.

Sheriffs’ deputies and state wildlife officers were able to coax the mountain lion out of the bathroom window and off it went.

Your money …

TORONTO — Residents in a handful of Canadian municipalities have a new, if risky, payment option for property taxes.

The Ontario cities of Richmond Hill and Innisfil have become the first in the country to accept cryptocurrency. Other cities, including Toronto, have explored the option, but have yet to implement it.

Maggie Xu, with Toronto-based blockchain company Decentral, says before you take the step of paying this way, you should know most Canadian municipalities accepting cryptocurrency only accept Bitcoin for now.

To make a Bitcoin purchase, Xu says to register with a credible digital currency platform, which allows you to buy cryptocurrency through electronic bank transfer, credit card or wire transfer and store it what they call a digital wallet.

“When you want to pay for your property taxes, (the city) will have a special address, so you go into your wallet, copy and paste the address and that’s it,” says Xu. “It is pretty simple.”

The value of most cryptocurrencies fluctuates like a regular currency, Xu notes, so it’s important to know that if the value of your cryptocurrency drops between when you made a payment and when your transaction was processed.

Celebrity news …

LOS ANGELES — “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek says he’s in chemotherapy again after he had a setback in his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek, who is Canadian, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that after a short period of optimism when he stopped chemotherapy, doctors ordered him back on the treatment.

The 79-year-old game show host announced in March that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. But he hasn’t missed a day on the show, which tapes its episodes in advance.

The games we play …

HALIFAX — Rugby has been reinstated at Nova Scotia high schools, with some changes aimed at making the game safer.

The executive director of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Stephen Gallant said the federation worked with Rugby Nova Scotia on changes to the sport after it was banned last spring over safety concerns.

They include reducing the number of games per season and requiring all players to attend a safe-tackling seminar before taking the field.

“We’ve addressed the issues the board, principals and schools had regarding high school rugby, and so we are very optimistic that we’ve made some positive changes, and we’re excited to have it back,” Gallant said.

Jack Hanratty, the provincial coach for Rugby Nova Scotia, said it’s important players learn ball-handling and evasion skills before they move into rugby’s more physical aspects.

“The more we can teach them at a younger age, the better it will be and the more positive it will be,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2019.

The Canadian Press