FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2019, file photo, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer take part in the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Quebec. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

What we are watching in Canada …

Justin Trudeau has emerged from a bruising 40-day election campaign with his image tarnished and his grip on power weakened, needing the support of at least one party to maintain a minority Liberal government in a country bitterly divided.

With results still trickling in early Tuesday, the Liberals had 156 seats — 14 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons.

Trudeau, whose Liberals entered the campaign with 177 seats, will need the support of either the NDP or the separatist Bloc Quebecois to command the confidence of the House of Commons, the first test of which will come within weeks on a throne speech to open a new session of Parliament.

Speaking to party faithful in Montreal, Trudeau asserted that the results give him “a clear mandate.”

“(Canadians) rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” he said.

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Also this …

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has spent his political life defying expectations but failed to achieve what could have been a career-defining one: toppling a first-term government.

Instead the Conservatives will settle back into Opposition status with nearly two dozen more MPs, emboldened by a number of symbolic victories in Monday’s vote and preparing for the day where in a minority government situation they will join other parties and defeat the Liberals.

“Tonight Conservatives have put Justin Trudeau on notice: Mr. Trudeau when your government falls Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” he said to loud cheers in a Regina conference centre.

The party swept nearly every seat in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including taking down a longtime and exceptionally popular Liberal, Ralph Goodale.

It was Goodale’s defeat that brought the loudest shouts of joy the entire night in Regina, with the crowd bursting into song at word he’d lost.

The Conservatives also defeated former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, who had started a splinter right-wing party, and they were ahead in the popular vote.

Altogether, they had won or were leaning in 122 seats by early Tuesday morning.

Jubilation over the blue wave in the West also exposed fears among Tory supporters about the division of the country.

READ MORE: Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

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What we are watching in the U.S. …

The nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker agreed to an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement over the terrible toll taken by opioids in two Ohio counties, averting the first federal trial over the crisis.

The trial, involving Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County and Akron’s Summit County, was seen as a critical test case that could have gauged the strength of the opposing sides’ arguments and prodded the industry and its foes toward a nationwide resolution of nearly all lawsuits over opioids, the scourge blamed for 400,000 U.S. deaths in the past two decades.

The agreement was struck in the middle of the night, just hours before a jury that was selected last week was scheduled to hear opening arguments in federal court in Cleveland.

Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson will pay a combined $215 million, said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Cuyahoga County. Israeli-based drugmaker Teva will contribute $20 million in cash and $25 million worth of generic Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

“People can’t lose sight of the fact that the counties got a very good deal for themselves, but we also set an important national benchmark for the others,” Shkolnik said.

READ MORE: Companies reach $260 million deal to settle U.S. opioids lawsuit

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On this day in 2002 …

Lawrence MacAulay resigned as Canada’s solicitor-general after the ethics counsellor concluded he twice breached conflict of interest rules. Prince Edward Island MP Wayne Easter replaced MacAulay.

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Your health …

Episiotomies during childbirth have declined in Canada, but a new report says the surgical cuts could reduce the chance of a mother being severely injured when forceps or a vacuum are involved.

A large study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found episiotomies reduced the risk of injury by as much as 42 per cent for first-time mothers required.

In contrast, a surgical cut posed greater risk of injury when forceps or a vacuum were not involved.

Study author Giulia Muraca, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, says guidelines that discourage routine episiotomies have been overgeneralized to apply to all vaginal deliveries, when data suggests they could help in assisted births.

An episiotomy is a surgical cut made to the opening of the vagina when the baby’s head appears.

It’s meant to create more room and minimize severe tears, which could include obstetric anal sphincter injury and cause pain, infection, sexual problems and incontinence.

READ MORE: Study finds episiotomies reduce severe tearing risks in assisted births

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The Canadian Press


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