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In the news today: Conservatives gaining support across Canada, according to new poll

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. A new poll suggests support for the Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre is still trending upward. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

Support for Tories still growing, poll suggests

A new poll suggests support for the Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre is still trending upward.

Polling firm Leger surveyed just over 15-hundred Canadians last weekend about their preferred choice for prime minister and the state of their finances.

Poilievre was the top pick for 27 per cent of respondents -- putting him 10 points ahead of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

41 per cent of those surveyed say they'd vote Tory if an election was held today, compared to a quarter who support the Liberals.

Ottawa rejects tracking of 'safer supply' drugs

The federal Liberal government is rejecting a proposal from the Alberta government to consider adding a "unique chemical identifier" to the pharmaceuticals being offered to users as an alternative to street drugs.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Ya'ara Saks wrote Monday to her counterpart in Alberta, saying that while she takes concerns about diversion seriously, the province's proposal raises practical concerns.

Critics, including some addiction specialists, want the federal government to reconsider its support for programs that offer drug users pharmaceuticals like hydromorphone as an alternative to street drugs.

Experts say the country's overdose crisis is largely being fuelled by an increasingly toxic drug supply. The majority of overdose deaths recorded from January to June 2023 involved fentanyl.

Here's what else we're watching ...

Inquest into killer's death enters third day

A Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest is expected to hear more from officers and paramedics who responded as a mass killer was taken into police custody.

Myles Sanderson had been on the run for several days when police caught up to him on Sept. 7, 2022.

Jurors were shown video from RCMP dashboard cameras of a high-speed police pursuit that ended with Sanderson losing control of the truck he was driving, travelling into a ditch on a highway north of Saskatoon.

The inquest heard Sanderson had a medical emergency while he was taken into custody and died in hospital.

A forensic pathologist said Tuesday that Sanderson had overdosed on cocaine.

Cancer society urges Ontario to cover oral drugs

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on Ontario to fund take-home cancer drugs in the same way as cancer medications that are administered through I-V in hospital.

The society's Ontario advocacy manager says Ontario is one of the only provinces, other than those in Atlantic Canada, that does not cover oral cancer medication, which can cost patients thousands of dollars a month.

Hillary Buchan-Terrell says the cancer society has been advocating for coverage for oral medication for more than a decade.

There was a glimmer of hope in the 2022 budget, which promised an advisory table to explore improving access to the drugs, but she says to date no progress has been made.

Alberta legislature spring session begins

The Alberta legislature's spring session is set to start today, with health care expected to be a main focus.

Premier Danielle Smith's government is planning to dismantle Alberta Health Services and has indicated legislation is coming to begin the process.

AHS is to be replaced by four agencies while being reduced to the role of service provider in acute care.

Thursday will see the release of the 2024 provincial budget.

Can your paycheque look different in a leap year?

We all get an extra 24 hours with the leap year and salaried employees might be wondering whether they will be getting paid extra for working on February 29th.

Employment lawyer Brittany Taylor says this isn't the first time we've had a leap year but it's one of the first times she's heard questions about a leap day paycheque.

She says hourly workers come out the winners because they will get paid for the hours they work on February 29th but it could look different for those on salary.

Taylor says salaried workers are not entitled to receive extra compensation just because there's an extra day in a month every four years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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