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Back on the campaign trail and Meng Wanzhou's case is back in court; In-The-News for Sept. 23

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his wife Jill arrive to make a campaign announcement in Saint John, N.B. on Friday September 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

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. 23.

What we are watching in Canada …

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Liberal rival Justin Trudeau are both hoping to discover a bountiful crop of support as they focus today’s federal campaign efforts on the vote rich suburbs north of Toronto and the rest of the so-called Golden Horseshoe.

For Trudeau, it’s his second straight day courting suburban family voters; he spent Sunday in Brampton, Ont., promising a big-ticket tax cut worth billions and a 25 per cent reduction in cellphone bills.

For Trudeau, who’s in Hamilton today, it’s not surprising he’s opening the treasure chest: the questions about last week’s shocking blackface controversy may have abated, but they have not disappeared, and this week a clearer picture of the extent of the damage is sure to emerge.

Scheer, meanwhile, arrives in the suburban community of Vaughan, Ont., after a visit to Prince Edward Island, where he made a commitment of a  different kind: a pledge to veterans to personally oversee efforts to reset the Conservative party’s relationship with Canada’s ex-soldiers.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and the Green’s Elizabeth May take their undercard battle to Atlantic Canada, where Singh is introducing a new “star candidate” in Bathurst, N.B., before moving on to Halifax; May makes an announcement in Fredericton.


Also this …

VANCOUVER – Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s case is scheduled to return to court in Vancouver today, when arguments over the disclosure of documents are expected to be heard ahead of her extradition trial.

Meng’s lawyers claim the CFO of the Chinese tech giant was unlawfully detained at Vancouver’s airport last December at the direction of American authorities. They allege Canadian officials acted as “agents” of the F-B-I in what they describe as a “scheme.”

Meng, whose father is Huawei’s founder, was arrested at the behest of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges in violation of sanctions with Iran.

Her arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China.

Both Meng and Huawei have denied any wrongdoing, and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

Her extradition trial won’t begin until Jan. 20. Meng is currently free on bail and living in Vancouver.

What you may have missed

VANCOUVER – A national research group is recommending health-care providers offer injectable medical-grade heroin or another prescription drug to severely addicted patients if treatment with oral medication fails and they’re at risk of dying from toxic street drugs.

Doctor Nadia Fairbairn, an addiction specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital, says a guideline published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal outlines best practices for treatment that has been lacking during an overdose crisis that killed nearly 45-hundred people in Canada last year. 

Key recommendations include the use of the injectable opioids diacetylmorphine, or pharmaceutical-grade heroin, and hydromorphone for patients who have not responded to the most effective oral treatments.

The Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver is currently the only facility in North America that provides both injectable drugs recommended by the initiative, which has 32 members including health-care practitioners, opioid users and their families.

Online training to prescribe the drugs is provided in British Columbia by the B-C Centre on Substance Use and is available to doctors and nurse practitioners across Canada.

What we are watching in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he raised former vice-president Joe Biden and Biden’s son in a phone call with Ukraine’s new leader, as Democrats pressed for investigations into whether the president improperly used his office to try to dig up damaging information about a political rival.

Trump told reporters the July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was “congratulatory” and focused on corruption in the East European nation. He then raised Biden as an example, although there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Biden, who is among the front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination, accused Trump of making a baseless political smear.

The matter has sparked a fierce debate over whether Trump misused his office for political gain and whether his administration is withholding from Congress critical information about his actions. The incident is part of a whistleblower complaint, but the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to share details with lawmakers, citing presidential privilege.

What we are watching in the rest of the world

LONDON – British tour operator Thomas Cook has ceased trading and all of its hundreds of thousands of bookings have been cancelled after the firm failed to secure rescue funding.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced the firm’s collapse early Monday.

More than 600,000 vacationers had booked through the company and the CAA said 150,000 are British customers now abroad who will have to be repatriated.

The group’s four airlines will be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will be left unemployed.

The debt-laden company had said on Friday that it was seeking 200 million pounds (US$250 million) to avoid going bust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2019.

The Canadian Press