Fulham have again been linked with a move for Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe.The Daily Mirror say the Whites, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all keen on the England international.QPR and West Brom are on the trail of Argentina star Cristian Ansaldi, according to The Sun.The Rubin Kazan full-back, 25, is said to have been attracting attention from a host of top clubs, including Chelsea.Meanwhile, a number of today’s papers pick up on comments made by Joey Barton’s agent Willie McKay, who believes the QPR midfielder may join Marseille with Stephane Mbia moving in the opposite direction.Chelsea are considering making a final improved offer for Bayer Leverkusen’s Germany international André Schürrle, according to The Guardian.The Bundesliga outfit are reported to have turned down a £16m offer for the 21-year-old forward.The Sun say Chelsea’s Michael Essien is being lined up for a £10m move to Fenerbahce.The Daily Mail say the Turkish club are preparing an £8m bid for Essien and have also enquired about Blues midfielder Raul Meireles.This page is regularly updated.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
23 May 2008There is currently unprecedented interest in news from Africa, especially from investors who watch for both good news and bad, Reuters Africa editor Barry Moody told delegates at the International Media Forum South Africa (IMFSA) conference in Johannesburg this week.“Africa is no longer a distant curiosity, now it’s a place of expanding potential,” Moody told local and international media and government communicators at the two-day forum that was held to discuss South Africa and Africa’s media coverage abroad.Reuters covers stories related to investment opportunities such as Nigeria’s oil, Kenya’s coffee market, Malawi’s tea farms and Mauritius’ fishing industry.Africa was also a fascinating place to work because of its volatility, he said, adding that Kenya was a good example of this, following the post-election violence.The ‘next big deal’Wall Street Journal Africa Africa bureau chief Chip Cummins said it was his responsibility to find out what sort of news from Africa the publication’s two million print and one million online subscribers were interested in.“There is an insatiable appetite for African stories. Africa is fascinating with many political moving parts. A lot of our readers are looking for what stocks they can invest in,” he said.Africa was seen as the new exploration frontier, he said, where one could find investment opportunities and the “next big deal”.The Journal did not have a sub Saharan Africa-based reporter until late last year when a correspondent was sent to Nigeria and Cummins added that he would like to have a correspondent based in Johannesburg soon.Eyewitness accountBBC News Africa editor Joseph Warungu said the rest of the world was watching South Africa with a keen eye due to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. “It will be a big story and we will be putting a lot of resources into covering it,” he said.The BBC has 250 reporters and 70 bureaus in Africa. “There is nothing that can replace an eyewitness account of an event,” he said, adding that the BBC stood by the principles of evidence and transparency.South Africa The Good News editor Ian MacDonald said there were only a handful of correspondents reporting on a complex continent, which could result in superficial stories, and reporters not covering Africa the best they could.He said South African journalists had a social obligation to report on positive stories. “It can be a harrowing experience to read through a newspaper. There are vast stories that are positive that can be covered,” he said.Tackling major topicsReuters Africa website editor John Chiahemen said they had tried to break new ground when they launched the Africa website because of the growing demand for news from Africa, with the site currently attractive over two million visitors per day.Reuters readers, who are mostly the top 10% of influential people in the world, had been particularly interested in the site’s investing pages. At the click of a button, visitors to the site can find information on mining, oil, agriculture as well as get updates on key African markets and stock listings.Reuters had also recently introduced blogging on all its sites. “It has seen massive success with numerous comments flooding in,” he said.Also attending the IMFSA, was CNN Africa bureau chief Kim Norgaard, who said there was no better feeling than telling successful stories from Africa and changing peoples perceptions.“However, we have to report on the big negative stories too, we can’t ignore them. Our audience expects that of us,” he said, adding that it was important not to squeeze coverage of Africa into one small programme.“We tackle major topics and themes from all over the world to show people how similar we all are.”Source: BuaNews
The BRICS leaders’ summit in Hangzhou, China on Sunday 4 September 2016. From left, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Indian President Narender Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma. (Image: The Presidency)Global political, security, economic and governance issues was the focus of discussions between leaders of the BRICS grouping of major emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – held on the margins of the Group of 20 Summit in Chinese city of Hangzhou on 4 September 2016.To further strengthen the partnership, the BRICS leaders reaffirmed that cooperation would be based on principles of openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation between them.Access to international law courts would improve the state of developing economies and the citizenry. Corruption, illicit cross-border financial-flows, and ill-gotten wealth derived from illegal activities are challenges that can best be tackled through enhanced cooperation between G20 countries.Wealth looted from developing economies, often invested through financial institutions in developed economies, robs developing economies of funding institutional and infrastructure development.Macroeconomic policy coordination between G20 member countries would ensure the benefits of any economic recovery would be sustainable and more equitably shared. Focused national growth strategies would only achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth if G20 members worked together.The G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth could be a driver for mid and long term growth and sustainable development. Its recognition of the importance of innovation in growth was welcomed.New trade protectionist policies being implemented across the globe was a concern to the BRICS leadership. Strengthening the role and negotiation functions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would allow the regulatory body to facilitate market inter-linkages and an inclusive, rules-based and open world economy.BRICS leaders stressed the importance of the WTO adherence to a rule-based, open, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive global trading system. However they believe the WTO needs to put development at the centre of its policies.Implementation of the outcomes reached by trade ministries in Bali and Nairobi would go a long way to creating a more equitable global economy. The BRICS governments have called for early ratification and enforcement of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.International Monetary Fund (IMF) allocation quotas did not reflect present-day global economic realities. BRICS leaders are calling on the IMF to review the way resources are distributed, and increase their funding reserves. Direction from G20 members could ensure a fairer reflection of emerging and developing economies.Completion of the 15th General Review of Quotas – including a new quota formula – by the 2017 annual meeting would create a more effective and efficient global economic architecture, this would create the environment for resilient growth.BRICS leaders also congratulated India for the speed of its implementation and the expansion of the BRICS cooperation agenda. As chair of the grouping, India will host the upcoming 8th BRICS summit in Goa between 15-16 October.Progress in the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership underscored the importance of the 2020 BRICS Roadmap on Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation. This has strengthened trade, business and tourism ties between BRICS nations.India has been at the forefront of strengthening of these ties through the ongoing series of people-to-people exchanges across the provinces and cities of India.The New Development Bank’s approval of its first set of loans also drew praise from the assembled leaders. The first loans as well as the successful issuance of the Bank’s first funded programmes in the renewable and green energy sectors. Leaders applauded the Bank’s potential as a source for bridging finance for infrastructure projects.Universal access to energy and energy security are critical to shared prosperity and the future of the planet. They acknowledged the importance of affordable, clean and renewable energy to sustainable development.The success of the G20 Hangzhou Summit earned the Chinese government plaudits from the BRICS leadership. They applauded the emphasis placed on a development agenda and encouraged all G20 members to strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, promote innovation, robust and sustainable trade and investment growth.BRICS governments reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. BRICS leaders expect that the agenda in China would encourage a new vison of inclusive growth from G20 governments. In this regard, they welcomed the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries.Cooperation and ongoing dialogue with other emerging market economies would be strengthened. Fostering innovation between interconnected, inclusive and invigorated usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development.International cooperation would blunt the threat of international terrorism and the risk of destabilization these heinous acts represent. BRICS leaders united to condemn terrorist violence that continue to disrupt global peace and security and undermine social and economic confidence.In expressing sympathy and support to innocent victims, they reiterated their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification for terror or violence whether based on ideology, religion, politics, race or ethnic identity. They emphasised that a united effort guided by international law, with the United Nations playing a central role, was needed to combat terrorism.
Even as the Maharashtra government begins direct purchase of land from farmers for the proposed 800-km Mumbai–Nagpur super expressway, farmer organisations are unhappy with, what they are calling, Shiv Sena’s “double standards”. This follows Sena minister Eknath Shinde’s direct involvement in the sale process, months after the party voiced its opposition to the project.On Thursday, Ram Sahu – a farmer in Nagpur district became the first to sell 1.25 hectare for the project for around ₹59 lakh. Mr. Shinde signed on the sale deed as a witness in an effort to encourage more farmers to sell their land to the government for this project. Ironically, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had not only met farmer organisations which are agitating against the proposed project assuring absolute support but its leaders in Thane, and Nashik have joined the farmers’ protests.“Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde have back-stabbed farmers. Uddhav Thackeray has said that the road will not be constructed without taking farmers into confidence but his minister is promoting the road. Whom should we believe? Whose interests are being served by the minister” asked Baban Harne, convener, Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti – a farmer body protesting against the project.Mr. Shinde said he is taking note of all reservations raised against the project by farmers. “I have been informing all these issues to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and working towards solving it,” We stand with development, but at the same time we believe that not a single farmers should face injustice,” he said, adding that the government will complete the project only after every farmer is satisfied.Meanwhile, Mr. Fadnavis has cancelled a special meeting called on Friday with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and agitation farmers to discuss issues raised by farmers. The CM’s office In a message conveyed to farmers, CM office said in a statement that the meeting will now be held after the presidential poll. Sources in the CMO said that the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind will be visiting Mumbai on Saturday and Mr Fadnavis would be busy on Friday.“It just shows the casual attitude of this government regarding farmer issues. Date of presidential poll was announced much before, but still the meeting was scheduled on Friday. What was so pressing for the CM that he had to cancel it? This is not only our insult but also of senior leader like Sharad Pawar,” said Mr Harne
A side is only as good as its leader. Now we have heard comments like “my grandmother could have led the Australian sides in the 1990s to victory”, but they belittle the role of a captain in sport. The captain’s role in any international team is absolutely critical. The captain has to bring the best out of his players. His job is not to teach them how to play but to encourage them to give their best. It may or may not result in a match-winning performance on a certain day but pays off in the long run.Mike Brearley, in his Art of Captaincy, has done a wonderful job in highlighting the role of a captain. When a side is habitually winning, as was common for the West Indies under Clive Lloyd and Australia under Steve Waugh, it is easy to miss the importance of leadership. One has to only look back at West Indies cricket before Lloyd took over to see his contribution. He was able to get the players to rise above their inter-island (inter-country) rivalries and perform under the West Indies flag to become possibly cricket’s greatest team ever. Waugh raised the level of Australia a notch when he took over captaincy.Who would have imagined India winning the World Cup in 1983, or Sri Lanka in 1996? But leaders like Kapil Dev and Arjuna Ranatunga were able to rally their forces admirably, winning the small battles as well as the final frontier by beating seemingly invincible teams. In all World Cups, it’s not about winning the first few games but peaking at the right time. Sides such as South Africa have peaked early and then gone on to lose crucial semi-finals. The World Cup is a marathon, not a sprint. The side that plays best when it reaches the quarter-finals with its players peaking at the right time will be the one that comes out on top.advertisementEach successful captain brings something special to the table, something he shares only with his team members. Different captains have different styles. When I became England’s captain, they had hit rock bottom and needed a firm leader to give them a push up. By the end of my reign, they needed a captain such as Michael Vaughan to help them to go out and express themselves in a carefree manner as they did in the 2005 Ashes series. For this World Cup, all captains will be working out their plans. A captain’s success also depends on his equation with the coach. India and England owe a lot of their recent successes to their respective captain-coach combines. The coach is an integral part of a captain’s success.(Top left) Kumar Sangakkara, M S Dhoni, Andrew Strauss and Ricky PontingA lot will rest on the shoulders of the men I consider as the top four captains of this World Cup. M.S. Dhoni has led India admirably over the past few years. He is calm and unflappable under pressure and seems to be enjoying captaincy. The Indians will be under a lot of pressure at home, and Dhoni will have to alleviate the pressure from his boys. That will hold the key to India’s success in the World Cup. His very successful partnership with coach Gary Kirsten will be put to its toughtest test yet.Kumar Sangakkara is captain of a young and strong Sri Lankan side, which is ranked third on the icc’s odi charts. Like Dhoni, he is also going to feel the “home” pressure, but the Lankans have a solid record at home.Ricky Ponting and Australia can never be counted out. The Aussies are no longer a “great” side, but they are still the world’s top-ranked odi team. Ponting has the capability to inspire his boys and lead a final onslaught but it’s not going to be as easy as it was in the previous three World Cups.Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower have worked brilliantly as a team and inspired England to become the No. 3 Test team. Despite their recent loss to Australia in the odi series, after retaining the Ashes convincingly, England will be a dangerous side. They can beat anyone on their day and Strauss has his team’s backing to the hilt.The dark horse of the tournament is definitely Pakistan. They may be down in the rankings but can never be underestimated. They have been through much turmoil and scandal. Shahid Afridi and his boys will be itching to set things right.The writer is a former captain of the England cricket teamadvertisement
SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kai Sotto had 22 points, 19 in the second half, with eight rebounds while rookie Ian Espinosa had 19 points, four assists, and two steals.The two teams will start their three-game series on Monday at Filoil Flying V Center.NU swept the season series against Ateneo.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel PLAY LIST 01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:12Minors joining leftist groups worse off than drug users, parent says at Senate probe02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Yeng Guiao ‘confident, happy’ with Gilas roster ahead of final Fiba qualifying window Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments Terrence Fortea lit up for 30 points to lead last year’s runners-up with 22 of those coming in the first half to put the Bullpups up 54-35, essentially setting up their return to the title round.“He really played well. Day in and day out, that’s how he is. He will try his best,” said NU coach Goldwin Monteverde of Fortea. “We really played well, we executed our plays, but the most important thing is we’re preparing for the Finals.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe reigning champions Blue Eaglets staved off Far Eastern University’s furious comeback to come away with a 90-82 win and a chance for a title repeat.FEU was down by as much as 21 points but the Blue Eaglets were able to hold off the Baby Tamaraws in the final seconds. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants FILE — Terrence Fortea leads the way for NU anew. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It’s going to be a championship rematch as National University and Ateneo handled its respective foes in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 81 junior’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Center.The Bullpups had themselves a feast after an easy 94-72 victory over Adamson University.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ
Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,770.36, up 42.04 points):Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down eight cents, 2.64 per cent, to $2.95 on 5.6 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up 50 cents, or 1.97 per cent, to $25.93 on 4.12 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up four cents, 1.81 per cent, to $2.25 on 4.1 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 14 cents, or 0.99 per cent, to $14.23 on 3.8 million shares.Hydro One Ltd. Instalment Receipts (TSX:H.IR). Utilities. Up five cents, or 0.13 per cent, to $37.30 on 3.4 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 35 cents, 2.80 per cent, to $12.83 on 3.1 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Magna International (TSX:MG). Auto parts. Up $1.45, 2.14 per cent, to $69.13 on 896,483 shares. The Canadian auto parts maker says it’s joining BMW and Intel Corp. to develop a self-driving system for the global vehicle marketplace by 2021.
OTTAWA – The co-founders of a Canadian firm tied to the international Facebook data controversy argued Tuesday that their seven-employee political consultancy has never broken the law — and only offers electoral support comparable to traditional door-knocking, phone canvassing and lawn signs.In testimony before a parliamentary committee, Jeff Silvester of B.C.-based AggregateIQ also insisted his company’s services, which he said include digital ads, website creation and software development, are already widely used by Canada’s major political parties.“We are not data harvesters by any stretch of the imagination and, certainly, we don’t do psychographic profiling or profiling of any other type,” he told the House of Commons committee.“We’re not psychologists, we’re tech guys.”Silvester also described AggregateIQ’s services as straightforward, saying they help political customers craft messages for online political ads and to effectively manage data that they’ve already collected themselves.“We are not a practitioner of the so-called digital dark arts,” he said.In recent weeks, however, allegations have surfaced that say the firm has been involved in something much bigger.The appearance by Silvester, AggregateIQ’s chief operating officer, and CEO Zack Massingham came a couple of weeks after their Victoria firm was suspended by social-media giant Facebook following reports of its alleged connection to British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.AggregateIQ is also under investigation by privacy commissioners in Ottawa, B.C. and the United Kingdom for its alleged role in the controversy that has engulfed Cambridge Analytica, which has been accused of improperly using private Facebook information from millions of users to influence voters and give the “Leave” side a win in the U.K.’s 2016 Brexit referendum.Cambridge Analytica has also been accused of using private Facebook data to help Donald Trump’s winning 2016 U.S. presidential bid.The Cambridge Analytica controversy has forced policy-makers and regulators around the globe to consider how to better protect users’ online data. Facebook estimates the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada — and nearly 87 million worldwide — was accessed by Cambridge Analytica without authorization.AggregateIQ was connected to the scandal following allegations made by Canadian data expert and whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, who was once a friend and colleague of Silvester and Massingham. Wylie worked for Cambridge Analytica.Last month, Wylie told the media committee of the British parliament that he believed AggregateIQ drew on Cambridge Analytica’s databases when it worked on the Leave campaign. He said the data could have been used to micro-target voters in the narrow referendum that eventually produced a win for the campaign fighting for Britain’s exit from the European Union.Wylie said it was “incredibly reasonable” to say that AggregateIQ had a very significant role in the Leave side’s victory. He also told Britain’s Observer newspaper that the companies shared underlying technology and had a working relationship so tight that Cambridge Analytica staff often referred to the Canadian firm as a “department.”On Tuesday, while under questioning by MPs, Silvester maintained his company did contract work for Cambridge Analytica’s parent company SCL, but that it had never been part of either firm.AggregateIQ has never violated laws in Canada or abroad, nor does it retain or share any data provided to it by clients, he said.Silvester compared AggregateIQ’s work to the campaign efforts of volunteers and of political candidates themselves to woo voters.“The ads that we show — it’s the digital equivalent of an ad on someone’s lawn or on a street corner,” he told the committee on access to information, privacy and ethics, which has been holding hearings on the scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.“You choose where you want it go, you put your message on there and people drive by and see it. And it’s the same for the Internet and same with going door to door and the same with making phone calls.”MPs peppered Silvester and Massingham with questions about allegations of their firm’s connection to Cambridge Analytica. Many committee members seemed unconvinced by the responses.“I just would say as the chair of this committee … I think we’re all saying the same thing and we’re all concerned — something doesn’t smell right here,” said committee chair Bob Zimmer, a Conservative MP.In a news conference that followed the committee meeting, Silvester told reporters his company creates software for clients that’s similar to tools designed for and used by Canada’s three major political parties.For example, he insisted it enables volunteers to enter voter information they collect on door steps on tablets rather than with paper. It’s more reliable, faster and helps them avoid duplicating efforts during the rush of election campaigns.“We’ve got nothing to hide — we make websites, we make software and we do online advertising,” Silvester said.“We’re confident we’ve done nothing wrong and we feel that at the end of this, once everything all works out, that that will come to the fore.”When asked about his relationship with Wylie, he said the last time he spoke to him was September 2017 when they exchanged pleasantries and had what he called a “great conversation.”“It’s somewhat baffling to me that he would be saying these things — I don’t know why he’s saying them,” said Silvester, who’s known Wylie since 2005 and helped him land a job in the office of former federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion.Wylie continued working for the Liberal leader’s office under Michael Ignatieff until 2009, when his contract wasn’t renewed.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter— with files from Associated Press
VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new video has been released showing methane leaking from gas wells in the Montney Basin.In December, non-profit organization Earthworks and the Pembina Institute used optical gas imaging cameras to document methane leaking from polluting gas wells and other facilities.According to scientists, methane is a greenhouse gas that traps 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. It is invisible to the human eye but responsible for 25 percent of already observed changes to Earth’s climate. “With the release of the CleanBC climate plan this month, the government re-energized its global leadership on climate change. We trust that B.C. will apply that same ambition and strengthen the draft methane pollution framework to ensure industry is a responsible partner in the province’s climate plan.”Although there are strong elements to reduce reported and vented emissions, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission’s draft regulatory framework would exempt 93 percent of sites from frequent leak detection and repair and 35 percent of sites from modern instrument-based inspection.The B.C. Government plans to finalize methane regulations in 2019.You can view the methane gas leak video below. The images of leaking methane come in the wake of the David Suzuki Foundation’s peer-reviewed research showing methane pollution from B.C.’s oil and gas industry is much higher than reported. According to the research, 47 percent of active oil and gas wells in the study area were found to emit methane-rich plumes.Jan Gorski, of Pembina Institute, says oil and gas projects release methane pollution into the atmosphere through intentional venting and unintentional leaks.“Oil and gas operations, including those that will supply future LNG projects, release methane pollution into the atmosphere through intentional venting and unintentional leaks. B.C.’s draft regulations do not address the full scale of the province’s methane pollution problem.”In early 2018, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission said it would be developing new ways of monitoring methane emissions and implementing a fugitive emissions management program after a report from the David Suzuki Foundation confirmed the findings of a study released in 2017.The report suggests the regulations under development should include more frequent site inspections of oil and gas operations and stronger policies to address intentional methane venting.Ian Bruce, David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director, says the Foundation trusts that the Province strengthen the draft methane pollution framework to ensure the industry is a responsible partner in the province’s climate plan.
But the NDP also spent $1.4 million more than it had in revenues last year.New Democrats are facing a number of uphill battles that have blunted the competitive edge they had the start of the 2015 election race, when the party began in a virtual three-way-tie with the Liberals and Conservatives — the first time ever the NDP was in true contention for government.After peaking early in that campaign, New Democrats suffered a devastating loss of dozens of seats across Canada, bottoming out notably in Quebec — the region of the country that helped the “Orange Wave” of 2011 deliver them to Official Opposition status.The party’s fortunes were further hampered after members unceremoniously ousted their leader, Thomas Mulcair, at the 2016 party convention in Alberta, but then left him in place as a lame duck for more than a year.A steady stream of recognized and well-respected NDP MPs have since left their seats or decided not to run again. In total, 11 sitting NDP MPs are not running in this race — the highest attrition rate of any party with official status in the last six elections. This, coupled with a turnover of trusted internal staff, hasn’t helped morale.But despite all of this, party executives insist they have every reason to enter the race with a spring in their steps.Members and volunteers have been bolstered by Singh, who won a seat in the House of Commons ahead of the election, offering Canadians a glimpse of a confident leader at work in Parliament, ready to go head-to-head with Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.Supporters are drawn to Singh’s youthful energy, his unabashed style of brightly coloured turbans and bespoke suits and his passion for riding his bicycle to political events, New Democrats say.“I think the opportunity in front of them is real,” says outgoing NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who, after 15 years in office, decided not to seek re-election.Voters upset with Trudeau’s record on issues like Indigenous reconciliation, climate change and health care represent an opening for New Democrats, he says. He also believes Scheer’s political troubles on ideological issues like abortion and same-sex marriage make him vulnerable.“I think Jagmeet represents something completely different in politics, and why not lean into that?”While the party is quick to sing the praises of their leader, Singh’s race and religion — he is a practising Sikh — have been an issue the party has had to stickhandle from the time he ran for the leadership.Howard says she believes Singh’s ethnicity is an asset.“I think lots of people are excited to be working on the campaign of the first-ever person of colour who is running to be prime minister of the of the country.”The party’s decision to run an ad in Quebec that explicitly opens a dialogue about his religion allows Singh to show voters how his multicultural identity is part of what sets him apart, Cullen says.Even the party’s challenges could actually be a strength for the NDP.“With expectations, I would argue, being low right now in terms of the party and his performance, this is a real opportunity,” Cullen says.“I think Mulcair suffered from too-high expectations, in the debates and the outcome, where even 44 seats looked like a failure. But I think with Jagmeet going into these debates and his performance on the campaign, he could far exceed expectations and maybe surprise people and have people surprise themselves.”—Follow @ReporterTeresa on TwitterTeresa Wright, The Canadian Press “We will be making some choices where we will be focusing our resources more.”Planes and buses will be used to tour NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh all around the country. Areas with key candidates or where the party believes it has the best opportunity to win seats will be the primary focus, however. Those include vote-rich areas with populations most likely to have become disenchanted with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on issues of affordability, housing, transit and pharmacare.Expect to see Singh spend much of his time in British Columbia and in Ontario, especially in areas around Toronto such as Brampton and the union heartland of Hamilton. The party hopes especially to appeal to factory workers and farmers upset over the impacts of trade disputes with the U.S. and China. “We are going to be spending the campaign talking to Canadians who are concerned with those issues and talking to them about what the NDP would bring — that we would be a government that would be on the side of people and not on the side of wealthy corporations,” Howard says.Organizers plan to deliver this message not just through traditional television ads, but by buying more digital advertising. The party will also try to speak directly to their audiences through direct social media content.Dedicated social-media staff will be on the leader’s tour to capture pictures and videos of Singh interacting with voters on the ground — something Singh has already been doing on his own with regular behind-the-scenes videos on platforms like Instagram. OTTAWA — As Liberals and Conservatives prepare to launch their well-funded election machines to fight for the highest political office in the land, federal New Democrats are taking a much less ambitious approach: try to outperform lowered expectations.The party will run a national campaign, with promising a full roster of 338 candidates. But with fewer resources than its two main political rivals, the plan is to be more targeted in areas where the NDP can get the best bang for its buck.“I think it just means being more focused, more strategic, more effective,” says Jennifer Howard, the party’s campaign director. Being more creative with party resources during this race will be necessary, due to a dismal party balance sheet.The NDP finished 2018 with nearly $4.5 million in negative net assets, the third year in a row the party has filed an annual financial return with total assets that were less than overall liabilities.It is the worst balance sheet the party has had since 2001, which is the earliest year for which the reports are available online.Donations and contributions were up a little, with the NDP receiving about $5.2 million in 2018, compared to $5.1 million the year before — thanks in part to a return to the “Jagmeet-and-greets” that proved popular fundraisers during his leadership campaign.