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Blackface, a wounded tiny horse and a wayward walleye; In-The-News for Sept. 20

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau reacts as he makes a statement in regards to photo coming to light of himself from 2001 wearing "brownface" during a scrum on his campaign plane in Halifax, N.S., on Sept. 18, 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. 20.

What we are watching in Canada …

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in Toronto today, hoping to take back control of his re-election campaign after spending yesterday apologizing for donning blackface when he was younger.

He scrapped his plans on a visit to Winnipeg, instead using the time to call supporters and leaders in minority communities, after images came out of him as a dark-skinned Aladdin at a party when he was 29 and made up like Harry Belafonte at a talent show when he was a student.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is in Atlantic Canada, with plans to make an announcement at the University of New Brunswick and then make campaign stops with candidates there and in Nova Scotia.

The Greens’ Elizabeth May is spending her day in Calgary, starting with a transportation announcement at a CTrain station and then a visit to a climate-change demonstration at city hall.

People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is trying to hold onto his own seat in Quebec and is spending today campaigning there, though he has a swing to Western Canada coming up next week.

Also this …

Students in Canada are expected to participate in climate demonstrations beginning today, and some school boards are moving to allow — even encourage — them to miss class for the cause.

The University of British Columbia, the Toronto District School Board and Montreal’s Dawson College are among the institutions taking measures to support students who plan to walk out of class as part of a global call to action.

The TDSB, Canada’s largest school board, said it has asked its schools to avoid scheduling tests and other assignments next Friday to ensure students aren’t penalized academically for participating in a rally outside the Ontario legislature.

The weeklong rallies — dubbed Global Climate Strike — are timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York next week.

The movement is partly inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations over the past year under the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, calling on world leaders to step up efforts against climate change.

ICYMI (In case you missed it) …

A miniature horse faces a long road to recovery after being mauled by two dogs on Vancouver Island.

Eileen Stevens said her 76-centimetre-tall horse, Hali Berry, was attacked in its corral this week when two pit bulls broke out of a fenced, neighbouring property south of Nanaimo.

Hali’s left ear was completely severed, and she suffered other deep bites and gashes,

But Stevens said the little horse is doing well.

“She’s so bright. She’s got her voice back. She’s talking to anyone who comes around at the vet’s hospital,” said Stevens in a phone interview from her hobby farm.

As for the neighbouring farmer whose dogs attacked the horse, Stevens said he immediately surrendered the dogs to be euthanized and offered to pay all the vet bills.

“He’s a very, very kind man, he’s a good man,” she said.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

Owners have pulled boats from the water and shopkeepers put plywood over windows and doors as tropical storm Lorena bears down on Mexico’s resort-studded Los Cabos area, predicted to arrive Friday at hurricane force.

The storm is forecast to pass over or near the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula later in the day with heavy winds and soaking rains.

In the Atlantic, hurricane Jerry has been gaining strength on a track that is predicted to carry it near the northern Leeward Islands on Friday and north of Puerto Rico on Saturday.

In Texas, the slow-churning remnants of tropical storm Imelda that flooded parts of state left at least two people dead and rescue crews with boats scrambling to reach stranded drivers and families trapped in homes.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that by Thursday night, floodwaters had started receding in most of the Houston area. Police Chief Art Acevedo said law enforcement officers planned to work well into the night to clear freeways of vehicles stalled and abandoned because of flooding.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Iran says its president and foreign minister have received visas from the United States to attend next week’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

A spokesman at Iran’s mission to the UN said Thursday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would arrive in New York today, and President Hassan Rouhani on Monday.

Their visit comes as tension between the U.S. and Iran has risen following the weekend attack on oil installations in Saudi Arabia, which says Iran is behind it.

On this day in 1867 …

The first general election in Canada, won by the Conservatives under Sir John A. Macdonald, was completed.

Confederation, achieved earlier in the year, had set out the mandate for the formation of a federal government to unite the four provinces in the Dominion at the time.

Macdonald formed a coalition cabinet almost equally split between Liberal and Conservative ministers and representing different regions, religions and cultures.

Weird and wild …

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Now that’s a fish fry. 

North Bay Hydro says a power outage Thursday morning was caused by a walleye that landed on a pole-mounted transformer.

Hydro officials say the fish was likely dropped by a bird, though they joked that a strong-armed resident at loose ends might have also been throwing fish around.

Crews restored power to the affected area within about an hour.

Your health …

OTTAWA — Health organizations in Canada want urgent action on vaping. 

Eight leading Canadian health organizations are asking the federal government for an interim order to curb the marketing of vaping products, restrict the flavours available and regulate nicotine levels.

Vaping products, the organizations say, should be treated the same way as tobacco products.

“Youth vaping has become a public health crisis,” Dr. Sandy Buchman, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said at a news conference.

The call comes after the news of a serious vaping-related illness in London, Ont., as well as hundreds of cases in the United States, including seven deaths.

Your money …

TORONTO — As the immediate impacts of hurricane Dorian fade from the East Coast, its effects on home insurance profiles will linger on.

The claims made by homeowners for storm-related damage are added to a long-term profile of their properties, which, like a credit report, creates an overall picture of risk that can sway how much they may have to pay in premiums or if they can get coverage at all.

“I can tell you it’s a phenomenon from Halifax to Victoria, where there are sections of cities, or homeowners who have found themselves in a position that they can’t get insurance coverage for any amount of premium, because their probability for flooding is simply too high,” says Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.

For homeowners, the shifting risk profile means they need to be mindful of potential preventative measures, like making sure drain-spouts are directed away from the house, window wells are covered and sealed, and that their sump pump is working and has a backup power source.

Such measures could lead to discounts for insurance premiums, which have been on the rise in recent years as claims increase. In just the last five years, premiums have gone up 20 to 25 per cent, with water damage accounting for about 60 per cent of that rise, said Feltmate.

Celebrity buzz …

MONTREAL — Canada Post is set to honour the late singer Leonard Cohen with a new set of stamps to be revealed today.

The three-stamp set — distinct designs celebrating the life and work of the beloved Montreal-born artist — will be unveiled at an event at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this afternoon.

Cohen died in Los Angeles on Nov. 7, 2016, at age 82.

Canada Post says it will produce four million stamps, a number it believes will be sufficient for fans and collectors worldwide.

The stamps will be available to the public as of Saturday — which would have been Cohen’s 85th birthday — with Canada Post hosting a special event at a downtown Montreal post office.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2019.

The Canadian Press