U.S. election day and a Trump impersonator in Canada: In The News for Nov. 3, 2020

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 Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 …

What we are watching in Canada …

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People across Canada will be gathering tonight to watch the results of the divisive U.S. presidential election.

Watching particularly closely will be Americans living here.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, most get-togethers will be virtual but some in-person events are planned.

A spokeswoman for Democrats Abroad says the organization is holding a Canada-wide Zoom watch party. She says more than 400 people have said they will attend with others expected to join as well.

Several pubs and restaurants across the Prairies are hosting some form of election-night party.

It's unlikely, however, that even those hanging in all night will know whether Republican President Donald Trump keeps the White House or loses it to Democrat former vice-president Joe Biden. Most experts believe it will still take days if not months to get the final results of the vote.

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Also this …

A new poll from Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies says a clear majority of Canadians surveyed worry that the U.S. will fall apart if no clear winner emerges in today's presidential election.

The Leger poll found that three-quarters of those surveyed are worried about the election, and 68 per cent worry that there will be a "complete breakdown of the political system in the U.S. leading to a period of social chaos."

The survey found that the possibility of significant civil unrest or violence in the streets on election day or the following days worried 77 per cent of respondents, while 72 per cent were concerned that Trump wouldn’t accept the election result if he lost, and 62 per cent were worried about a stock market crash.

Four out of five respondents said they were concerned that increased racial tension would lead to protests and violence.

The poll also left no doubt who Canadians want to win the White House — 80 per cent favoured Democrat Joe Biden.

The survey of 1,516 Canadians was conducted using an online panel between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1.

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More Canadian news …

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island's governing Progressive Conservatives have won a crucial byelection that will transform their minority government into a slim majority.

With the election of Zack Bell in the district of Charlottetown-Winsloe, the Tories will now have 14 seats to the combined 13 held by opposition parties.

Premier Dennis King has said his government would continue to take a collaborative approach if the Tories formed a majority.

Going into Monday's vote, the Tories had 13 seats while the Greens under Peter Bevan-Baker had eight seats and the Liberals under interim leader Sonny Gallant had five.

In the 2019 general election, the Tory candidate in Charlottetown-Winsloe finished third behind the Green candidate and the winning Liberal, Robert Mitchell, who stepped down last month after representing the riding for 13 years.

Bell took slightly more than 49 per cent of the votes compared with 27 per cent for Green party candidate Chris van Ouwerkerk, 22 per cent for Liberal Zac Murphy, and one per cent for New Democrat Lynne Thiele.

Nearly 40 per cent of registered voters cast ballots during three days of advance voting for the byelection, and another 5.6 per cent voted by mail.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world …

VIENNA — Austrian authorities say five people died, including an assailant, and 17 others were wounded in a shooting in the heart of Vienna hours before a coronavirus lockdown started.

The country's interior minister says the dead attacker was a 20-year-old Austrian-North Macedonian dual national who had a previous terror conviction.

Karl Nehammer says two men and two women have died from their injuries in the attack Monday evening. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.

Vienna’s hospital service said seven people are in life-threatening condition today after the attack.

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On this day in 1978 …

Wayne Gretzky scored his first goal for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The 17-year-old had been sold to the Oilers by the Indianapolis Racers the previous day. In his first game with Edmonton, Gretzky wore number 20 instead of 99 for the only time in his pro hockey career.

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Health news …

Federal regulators have approved the first HIV self-test in Canada in a long-awaited move that experts have called critical to reaching people who don't know they have the virus.

Health Canada granted a medical device licence on Monday to a one-minute, finger-prick blood test manufactured by Richmond, B.C.-based bioLytical Laboratories.

Canada follows dozens of other countries in greenlighting the technology, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization as a tool to reduce the number of people with undiagnosed HIV.

The principal investigator of a study that was submitted to regulators as part of their review says the approval of HIV self-testing could "open incredible doors" to increasing access to life-extending treatments and preventing the spread of infection in Canada.

Dr. Sean Rourke, a scientist with the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, says he's working with community organizations across the country to launch a telehealth program in January that will distribute 60,000 self-tests and connect people with care.

Rourke says the need for self-testing has become even more important as a recent survey of roughly 300 front-line providers suggests the COVID-19 crisis has cut access to clinical HIV testing services nearly in half.

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ICYMI …

LONDON, Ont. —A Canadian Donald Trump impersonator says business has been slow ever since COVID-19 shut down the U.S.-Canadian border.

Donald Rosso from London, Ont., goes by the stage name Billionaire Donald.

He is one of several Trump impersonators working around the world, and says his features are so similar to the real deal, he hardly has to put in any effort.

The 63-year-old is 11 years Trump's junior, about an inch shorter, with the same build.

And his natural blond hair can be easily made to look like Trump's famous comb-over.

Rosso says that before the pandemic, 99 per cent of his work was done in the United States.

Since the border shut down, most of his impersonations of Trump have been done virtually.

He says he's hoping for a Trump win in tomorrow's election and a quick reopening of the border so his business can be booming again.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

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