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Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S helicopter in the North Cascades National Park. Photo:Ignacio D. Perez
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IN THE NEWS

Jun 18

More than 20 countries, with Canada in the forefront, are preparing to demand “meaningful and unfettered access” to China to investigate “credible reports” of widespread human rights violations against a Muslim minority in Xinjiang province. They are expected to deliver their demand June 21 to the UN Human Rights Council headquarters in Geneva.

Jun 18

Canada’s border with the U.S. will remain to non-essential travel until July 21and restrictions on visitors from other countries also are being extended by an additional month. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair used social media today to confirm the government’s decision, adding that more details would be forthcoming June 21 on easing restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians and others currently unable to return to or visit Canada.

Jun 18

A federal government push to regulate online services such as Netflix in much the same way it oversees conventional broadcasters is encountering stiff resistance in the Senate. Most feel that the government’s draft legislation, Bill C10, introduced last November, requires more detailed study. Conservative Leo Housakos referring to conversations with others, says “there doesn’t seem to be any momentum to . . . rubber-stamp this.”

Jun 18

A House of Commons committee is suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic has disclosed flaws in the unemployment insurance system, saying in a June 17 report that EI “no longer reflects the realities of today's labour market.” The committee chairman says that when the pandemic erupted, “the system didn't have a chance of covering off the people that were thrown out of work through no fault of their own.”

Jun 18

As the RCMP is pressed to be more sensitive to racial issues and other, a House of Commons committee says the government should consider ending contract policing by the RCMP. “A transformative national effort is required to ensure that all . . . racialized people . . . are not subject to the discrimination and injustice that is inherent in the system,” the committee says in a June 17 report.

Jun 18

The World Economic Forum says putting a price on carbon-based fuels is an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global pollution. Moreover, it says carbon taxation can generate significant revenues which then can be used to address the economic harm from fossil fuels. It cites, among others, British Columbia’s implementation of a tax in 2008 as “a textbook example” of how to tackle the issue.

Jun 18

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot, now retired, who gained global fame for safely ditching his disabled Airbus A320 in New York’s Hudson River after it was disabled by bird strikes in 2019, has been chosen by President Joe Biden as the next U.S. ambassador to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.

Jun 18

The federal government is expected to begin issuing COVID-19 vaccination verification documents next month. The initial focus would be on visitors and the app, ArriveCan, evidently will enable travellers to take a photo or upload a shot of their vaccination documentation before going through customs.

Jun 18

The UN General Assembly today appointed António Guterres to a second five-year term as Secretary General, effective next January. The Security Council had already recommended reappointment of the former Portugese prime minister.

Jun 17

An all-party House of Commons committee says the government should give more weight to national security than costs of information technology and security hardware procurements. In its report to Parliament, the committee expressed concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises and recommended more rigorous screening of contractors who install and maintain equipment in sensitive facilities such as embassies.

Jun 17

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pulling his MPs out of the National Intelligence and Security Committee, saying it has been used to cover up sensitive documents about the National Microbiology Laboratory. The Conservatives have been pressing the government for weeks for details about the removal of two Chinese employees from the Winnipeg facility and its relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Jun 17

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated an Ontario appellate court judge, Mahmud Jamal, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella. The Kenyan-born judge was educated at Christian schools but raised at home as a Muslim and family immigrated to Canada in 1981. A veteran litigator before his appointment to the Ontario court two years ago, he also was involved in dozens of appeals heard by the SCOC.

Jun 17

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say in a joint report that Canada detains thousands of asylum seekers every year in often abusive conditions where people of colour appear to be held for longer periods. Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary-General of AI Canada, says the system contrasts starkly with the country’s rich diversity and values of equality and justice.

Jun 17

A federal government bill designed to bring Canadian law into line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples now needs only Royal Assent to take effect. Bill C-15 had been resisted by Conservatives in the House of Commons and Senate who shared the concerns of six provincial premiers about the implications for their jurisdictions.

Jun 17

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, an Inuit MP first elected to the House of Commons in 2019, says she does not plan to run again due to the “intimidating” behaviour of Parliamentary Protective Service personnel. “I've had security jog after me down hallways, nearly put their hands on me and racial profile me,” the New Democratic Party MP said this week when telling the House about her decision. The PPS responded with a statement that it is committed to its security role while ensuring “a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment” in the parliamentary precinct.

Jun 17

Two Vancouver residents who sneaked into a small Yukon community, flouting quarantine and posing as local motel workers to get early COVID-19 vaccinations have been fined a total of $2,300 after pleading guilty. “There was harm, but the harm wasn't anyone catching COVID,” Territorial Court Judge Michael Cozens said in sentencing Rod and Ekaterina Baker. “It was certainly psychological.”

Jun 17

North Korea Leader Kim Jong-un says his counry is facing food shortages due to crop losses from last year’s typhoons and a drop in trade with China possibly due to North Korea’s border closures due to COVID-19. “The people's food situation is now getting tense,” he disclosed at this week’s meeting of his ruling Workers' Party central committee in Pyongyang.

Jun 17

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, said today that a European Union plan to impose carbon emissions costs on imports is a potential breach of global trading rules and threat to energy security. “Artificial restrictive measures of the traditional fuel and energy sectors may reduce the profitability and investment attractiveness of the sector, and as the result, the threat to the safety of energy supplies will emerge,” the former energy minister added.

Jun 17

U.S. and Russian officials agreed June 16 to open the lines of communication about their nuclear weapons stockpiles in the hope of reducing the risk of an accident. U.S. President Joe says the dialogue on the sidelines of the recent NATO Summit is “diplomatic-speak for getting our military experts and our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to the control of new and dangerous and sophisticated weapons that are coming on the scene now that reduce the times of response, that raise the prospects of accidental war.”

Jun 17

China’s mission to the European Union has denounced as “slander” a NATO declaration that it is a “constant security challenge.” Instead, the mission states, the alliance’s position is “a misjudgment of the international situation and its own role, and a continuation of the Cold War mentality.”

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(May 18)
Chris's picture

DND alerted media Friday evening that MGen Dany Fortin, the public face of the federal vaccine rollout, is under investigation. Zero details. Short and cryptic. CTV News jumped into action and the details they uncovered highlight how damaging unnamed allegations can be.

(May 12)
Ken Pole's picture

A political and now legal pipeline scrap between Enbridge and the government of Michigan has exposed the vulnerability of much of Eastern Canada’s economy.

(Apr 29)

A serving police officer reflects on the state of policing today with a message to colleagues: "We can't be defensive." This highlights, for Canada as well, the critical thinking that must sweep aside any remnants of the culture that has mangled the concept of equal Justice.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 2 - 2020