Monthly Archives: August 2019
PHILADELPHIA — Closing out a wildly unpredictable White House race, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump blitzed through battleground states Monday in a final bid to energize supporters. Clinton, backed by an emotional appeal from Barack Obama, urged voters to embrace a “hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America,” while Trump vowed to “beat the corrupt system.”
The candidates rallied voters late into the night, a frenzied end to a bitter election year that has laid bare the nation’s deep economic and cultural divides. Clinton and Trump were both nostalgic at times, looking back fondly at a campaign that has put each on the brink of the presidency.
Clinton campaigned with confidence, buoyed by FBI Director James Comey‘s announcement Sunday that he would not recommend criminal charges against her following a new email review. The FBI inquiry had sapped a surging Clinton momentum at a crucial moment in the race, though she still heads into Election Day with multiple paths to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the nation’s first female president.
WATCH: Trump, Pence brings out their families day before election
Clinton closed her campaign alongside the last two Democrats to occupy the Oval Office, Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as first lady Michelle Obama. In a nod to the deep divisions that await the next president, Clinton said she’d come to “regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” She cast the choice facing voters Tuesday as a “test of our time.”
READ MORE: Where US presidential candidates stand on eve of election day
“We know enough about my opponent, we know who he is,” Clinton said, addressing tens of thousands of people sprawled across Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. “The real question for us is what kind of country we want to be.”
Obama’s address amounted to a valedictory for a president whose popularity has grown in his final year in office.
“America, I’m betting on you one more time,” Obama said. “I am betting that tomorrow you will reject fear and choose hope.”
Trump, who sped through five rallies Monday, recalled the rivals he’d vanquished and how far he’s come since launching his improbable candidacy. As he surveyed the crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he declared, “It’s been a long journey.”
READ MORE: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: The most memorable, cringe-worthy moments from the 2016 campaign
Still, Trump was aggressive to the end, slamming Clinton as the “face of failure.” Having made the new FBI review a centerpiece of his closing case to voters, he argued that the Democrat was being protected by a “totally rigged system.”
“You have one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system and deliver justice,” Trump said. “Do not let this opportunity slip away.”
The comments were a reminder that Comey’s news, delivered in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday, was a doubled-edged sword for Clinton. While it vindicated her claims that the emails would not yield new evidence, it ensured that a controversy that has dogged her campaign from the start would follow her through Election Day.
Across the country, nearly 24 million early ballots were cast under the shadow of Comey’s initial announcement of a new email review. That number represents about half of the nearly 45 million people who had cast votes by Monday, according to Associated Press data.
WATCH: Donald Trump goes after blue States in final push
The inquiry involved material found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide. Comey said Sunday the FBI reviewed communications “to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state.”
Clinton tried to fly above the controversy Monday, making no mention of the FBI during her rallies. She was closing out her campaigning with a midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.
READ MORE: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump make last push as tight race for White House hits final day
Clinton is banking in part on high turnout — particularly among Obama’s young, diverse coalition of voters — to carry her over the finish line Tuesday. Roughly half the states with advance voting have reported record turnout, including Florida and Nevada, which have booming Hispanic populations, a possible good sign for Clinton.
In Florida alone, Hispanic participation is up by more than 453,000 votes, nearly doubling the 2012 level. Black turnout is up compared to 2012, but that share of the total vote is lower due to bigger jumps among Latinos and whites, according to University of Florida professor Daniel Smith
In Nevada, where more than three-fourths of expected ballots have been cast, Democrats also lead, 42 percent to 36 percent.
WATCH: Can Hillary Clinton claim the battleground States?
Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie downplayed the impact of increased Hispanic participation, telling reporters on a conference call, “We feel that we’re going to get a good share of those votes.” However, he sidestepped two questions about the level of Hispanic vote Trump needs to win the presidency.
Without victories in Florida and Nevada, Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes would be exceedingly narrow. He already must win nearly all of the roughly dozen battleground states.
Trump had planned to keep up his breakneck travel schedule deep into Election Day, but aides revised plans, keeping the businessman in New York.
Midway through his final day of travel Monday, Trump praised his supporters for having created a “movement.” But he warned it would all slip away if he loses Tuesday.
“Go vote,” he urged. “Or honestly, we’ve all wasted our time.”
WINNIPEG —; With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers failing to get any help over the final weekend of the regular season, they’ll open the playoffs on the road. The Bombers will travel to Vancouver to tangle with the B.C. Lions in Sunday’s West Division Semifinal and there’s a new feeling of excitement around the team as they begin the quest for the Grey Cup.
“You definitely don’t take these opportunities for granted,” said veteran receiver Weston Dressler.
Dressler is in his ninth season in the CFL. He won one Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and knows these chances don’t come along every day.
“Playing as long as I have, been in the playoffs quite a bit but I’ve also missed a couple times. And it’s not fun to be at home.” Dressler said.
RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers Kevin Fogg to miss Western Semi-Final: CJOB
“It’s what you always play for,” said quarterback Matt Nichols. “You don’t know how many times you get an opportunity like this, so you know that this exact team isn’t going to be together next year, so just as a team we’re excited to go on this journey together.”
The Bombers are listed as five point underdogs for the division semifinal but defeated the Lions in both their regular season meetings.
“This team has the talent and has the want to, to go in and win and we feel like we can play with anyone,” Nichols said. “Your goals is to get into the playoffs because you never know what can happen in the playoffs. We feel very confident in our abilities to go in and win this football game.”
When the Bombers face the Lions on Sunday it’ll be the first playoff game for the franchise since the 2011 Grey Cup game which was also coincidentally against the Lions. For many on the team this will be their first taste of the playoffs, but there’s still plenty of post-season experience around the dressing room.
“I played in the Western semifinal against Saskatchewan,” said Nichols. “I think it was -20 degrees or something and I think we won that game like 18-5, so I do have a playoff start.”
RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers look forward to Western Semi-Final against BC Lions
“I think the biggest thing for me as a younger player when I experienced my first time in the playoffs, you notice just how much the intensity level of the game has risen,” said Dressler. “You feel like you’re giving everything you got throughout a season, once you get to the playoffs you find a way to dig a little deeper.”
Playing on the road is obviously not ideal but keep in mind this is a Bombers team that went 7-2 on the road in the regular season.
“We don’t look at it as a road game or a home game,” said defensive back Chris Randle. “We go out there and try to prepare for each game the same and go out there and give maximum effort. It’s something about how we execute in road games that’s been working well for us.”
The Bombers won’t practice again until Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm central time on Sunday.
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview
The Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni declared a State of Emergency on Friday. Today, members are just trying to stay one step ahead of the rain.
“We’ve got Sproat River, Stamp River, Ash River – all feeding into the Somas. It’s those headwaters that we’re most concerned about,” said emergency preparedness coordinator Hugh Braker.
Portions of Highway 4, connecting to Tofino and Ucluelet, is expected to flood, resulting in either one-lane alternating traffic and possibly a total closure.
So far, six families from four homes have already been evacuated. Many others located along the river bank are on alert.
“If the river rises as predicted, I anticipate we will be evacuating homes again late Tuesday,” said Braker.
But the weather system is starting to shift north. Courtenay and Comox are expected to be the hardest hit. Only 35 millimetres of rain is in the forecast, but up to another 125 millimetres of runoff from the nearby mountains could compound the situation.
Further north at Elk Falls near Campbell River, the levels are already high. The BC Hydro dam upstream is planning to increase the flow. Between that, the potential for storm surge, strong winds and high tides over the next couple of days, it makes it an area to watch.
But the storm is expected to shift south again, picking up in Port Alberni overnight. Fifty to 100 millimetres of rain could fall.
WATCH: A First Nation near Port Alberni has declared a state of emergency. As Kylie Stanton reports, the community has been busy sandbagging, preparing for potential flooding.
It’s not the first time the region has dealt with massive flooding. In 2014, the event was referred to as “The Flood of the Century.” It prompted the City to move forward with the Dry Creek Improvement Project, meant to protect Port Alberni’s commercial district from flooding.
“It’s handled the amount of rain we’ve had over the last two or three weeks quite well. We’ve had no issues in this area where we would’ve had issues in the past,” Port Alberni’s manager of operations Wilf Taekema said.
But that’s of no help to the First Nation, left filling sandbags and doing everything they can to protect their homes.
Braker said, “It’s not looking very good at all. We’re rather pessimistic right now.”
While speaking in the province of B.C. on Monday, Prime Minister Trudeau promised the federal government would do more to ease a mental health crisis in B.C. and across Canada.
The issue of mental illness has sparked up after the death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer, who was allegedly stabbed in her Abbotsford high school last week by Gabriel Klein.
READ MORE: Did the Abbotsford stabbing suspect fall through the cracks of our mental health system?
Trudeau acknowledged it is time for Canada to step up and address the issue that affects so many Canadians.
“There is no Canadian who doesn’t have a friend or family member affected by mental health,” Trudeau said. “We know the challenge it poses to our communities, our families, to our economy. It is long past time Canada stepped up, in terms of mental health, in terms of fighting addiction, in terms of working to heal the ills that aren’t always visible to the naked eye.”
While mental illness may not be an issue many Canadians can see with their own eyes, its prevalence is undeniable.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says one in five Canadians will experience a mental health or addiction problem in their lifetime. Furthermore, people with a mental health disorder are twice as likely to have a substance abuse problem than those without.
Yet funding by provinces and territories is on average only seven per cent of all health-related spending, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In B.C., that amounted to $945 million in 2013/2014 for mental illness and addictions, as noted by a 2016 report from the auditor general.
“It is something that I have had many long conversations with our Minister of Health Jane Philpott on, and one in which we are of one mind. Canada needs to work with provinces to do more on mental health, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he continued.
“Health ministers are in discussions on the future of health accords in Canada and how we’re going to make sure that we’re responding to the needs of Canadians, but quite frankly, it is time that the federal government be a supportive and active partner respecting the province’s jurisdiction in delivery of health care. But the federal government can and must do more, and I look forward to doing more.”
The issue of mental health isn’t foreign to Trudeau. His mother, Margaret, ex-wife of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has spoken publicly about her battle with bipolar disorder.
“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I wasn’t a strong advocate for mental-health and de-stigmatization of mental health,” he said back in April.
WATCH BELOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers Global News reporter Aaron McArthur’s question about how the federal government plans to help B.C.’s growing mental health care crisis.
Read Trudeau’s full statement on mental health below:
“There is no Canadian who doesn’t have a friend or family member affected by mental health. We know the challenge it poses to our communities, our families, to our economy. It is long past time Canada stepped up, in terms of mental health, in terms of fighting addiction, in terms of working to heal the ills that aren’t always visible to the naked eye. It is something that I have had many long conversations with our Minister of Health Jane Philpott on, and one in which in we are of one mind. Canada needs to work with provinces to do more on mental health, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Health ministers are in discussions on the future of health accords in Canada and how we’re going to make sure that we’re responding to the needs of Canadians, but quite frankly, it is time that the federal government be a supportive and active partner respecting the province’s jurisdiction in delivery of health care. But the federal government can and must do more, and I look forward to doing more.”
When voter Betsy Winsett cast an early ballot for Hillary Clinton, she did so with as much exhaustion as exhilaration. “I am so ready for this to be over,” Winsett, a semi-retired business owner in Del Mar, California, said.
And though John Barnes, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, retiree, would disagree vehemently with her politics, he seconds the sentiment. Regardless of what happens Tuesday, Barnes, who voted early for Donald Trump, said that he’ll stay mad at a neighbour who’s a Clinton supporter for just one day.
“Then, we all have to move on,” he said.
The campaign for the White House – seemingly interminable and bitterly divisive – has at last reached the eve of decision-making. But across the country, Winsett, Barnes and millions of other Americans continue to arrive at early polling sites, determined to play their part, despite misgivings about the outcome.
In Wakarusa, Kansas, machine operator Edwin Sedam said his experience as a Marine in Afghanistan was central to his decision Monday to vote for Trump.
“I’ve seen good men killed…, maimed. I’ve seen young kids come home completely screwed up,” and some candidates, he said without naming them, have allowed service personnel to “die needlessly… That’s greatly influenced how I’m going to vote because it hits home for me.”
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, though, Russell Allen, a 22-year veteran of the Navy, said he voted for Clinton because he believes she would be better at keeping the country safe and working with U.S. allies.
“I feel like she has the background, she has the experience, she has the ability to reach across to our allies in Europe and around the world to keep our country safe, and I don’t believe that the other candidate has that ability, nor do I trust him to create those kinds of unions,” Allen said.
READ MORE: Early advanced voting numbers strong for Hillary Clinton in NC, Donald Trump in Iowa
By Monday, at least 43.2 million people had cast early ballots by mail or at polling stations, according to Associated Press data, with records in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
The heavy turnout was evident Monday in a number of places, including Bismarck, North Dakota, where waits of an hour or more at the county’s only early polling precinct convinced some voters to give up and make plans to return Tuesday.
“I thought I could come today and save time,” said Natalie Krein, 42, a retail manager who was willing to wait. “I’m really surprised by the turnout.”
Many early voters explained choices based not just on support for one candidate, but rejection of the other.
“I was anti-Trump because I can’t support someone who has promoted hate,” said Roz Booker, 56, a Clinton backer in Tallahassee, Florida who joined members of her church Sunday at a “Souls to the Polls” event to promote turnout.
Danessa Decosta, 20, of Albuquerque, said she voted for Trump “just because I don’t agree with Hillary’s (position on) abortion and her lies.”
WATCH: How would a Clinton or Trump presidency affect the economy?
The split in public opinion, and the animosity the campaign has fueled, won’t be easily resolved, said Michelle Broadnax, 48, a teacher and entrepreneur in Sacramento.
“The division is real. And so I’m really curious to see what and how America’s going to get past this,” said Broadnax who voted early for Clinton last week. “How do we come back together again, and how do we heal after so much?”