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Canadian Forces helicopter approaches debris field following a Ruby Creek landslide in BC. (Tom Zajac)
Members of Canada Task Force 1, Vancouver Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team debrief following a rescue at Ruby Creek landslide outside Agassiz, BC. (Photo Tom Zajac)
COVID-19 vaccine now approved for children aged 5-11 says Health Canada.
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IN THE NEWS

May 13

Historically neutral Finland and Sweden confirmed today that they will apply for NATO membership, a political shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland, which shares a 1,300km border with Russia, announced its decision first and was followed within hours by Sweden. Russia has threatened unspecific “consequences.”

May 13

A 1995 Criminal Code amendment which barred extreme intoxication as a defence was struck down today by the Supreme Court of Canada. Ruling unanimously on three appeals, the court said the law is a Charter violation because a person's decision to become intoxicated does not mean they intended to offend. It called on Parliament to consider new legislation which could hold persons accountable while protecting victims.

May 13

The Israeli surveillance company NSO Group is being sued by Apple Inc. in U.S. federal court in a bid to hold it accountable for surveillance and targetting the San Francisco-based giant’s customers with NSO’s Pegasus spyware. Seeking unspecified damages and costs, Apple said it would donate the proceeds its suit to organizations that expose spyware.

May 13

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today his country is “not of a favourable option” about the prospect of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, but he stopped short of saying that he would exercise Turkey’s veto. He cited, among other things, alleged Scandinavian support for Kurdish militants and other groups Turkey sees as terrorists.

May 13

With Finland’s parliament expected to formally approve a request for NATO membership, a decision expected to be matched by Sweden this weekend, Russia’s foreign ministry said today there is a threat to security and stability in northern Europe. “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature,” it added without being specific.

May 13

The European Union is giving Ukraine another €500 million to buy heavy weapons to fend off the Russian invasion, the bloc's foreign policy head said today against the backdrop of a G-7 meeting in Germany. Also, Canada and the other bloc members are planning to examine how to gain access to millions of tonnes of globally-critical grain in the besieged country.

May 13

Canada’s dairy supply management program can now add New Zealand to the roster of countries challenging its legitimacy. New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor said May 12 that his government has initiated dispute settlement proceedings under the 2018 Trans-Pacific Partnership accord. “Our priority is to ensure that New Zealand exporters have meaningful access to the benefits negotiated under CPTPP, and that all parties fulfill the commitments they have made to each other.”

May 12

Profanity-laden harassment of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in Ontario this week “would rank among the worst experiences” of his political career. He said May 11 that the incident in Peterborough as he was campaigning for a provincial candidate reflected a worsening trend. “We should be able to disagree as a society respectfully, maybe even angrily, but it doesn't have to come to the point where it's getting so polarized that people's safety is at risk.”

May 12

The Finance Department has approved a $10-billion loan guarantee for Trans Mountain to help the pipeline company finish its expansion work. Responding to suggestions that this was tantamount to a fossil fuel subsidy, the department pointed out that “it does not reflect any new public spending” and that guarantees are “a common practice which puts in place an insurance policy for the institutions that have invested in the project.”

May 12

California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic firearms to Americans under 21 has been declared unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision by a state appeals court. The tribunal said the 2019 law, the state’s response to a Republica-dominated Congress failure to address gun violence, was “an almost total ban” on the weapons. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote in restoring the age limit to 18.

May 12

Having reported what it claims to be its first confirmed coronavirus case since the pandemic began more than two years ago, North Korea is in national lockdown. State media say the Omicron outbreak occurred in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not disclose the number of cases. North Korea has rejected vaccination even when offered supplies by other countries.

May 12

As Canada continues to grapple with its history of residential schools’ abuse of indigenous children, U.S. government investigators reported May 11 that they had found at least 53 separate burial sites at Native American boarding schools where families were forced to send their children as part of an assimilation program. The initial findings have prompted officials to speculate that the number of victims could be in the tens of thousands.

May 12

The federal government has committed $3.5 million on two projects designed to improve abortion access in Canada. This comes as the U.S. seems headed for a judicial reversal of a decades-old Supreme Court legalizing the process and a potential increase in the number of American women seeking services in Canada.

May 12

A report released by two think-tanks May 11 states that senior government officials feel they are ill-equipped to gather evidence for policy advice and that they seem afraid to tell politicians the hard truths when evidence is found. The conclusions are based on mid-pandemic interviews with 42 senior bureaucrats and 2,355 public servants in various departments and agencies.

May 12

Poor management of personal protective equipment procurement in the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic wasted nearly $1 billion, Quebec’s auditor general said May 11. Guylaine Leclerc also reported that despite a rapidly-aging demographic, the province’s health ministry’s projected health care needs are 15 years out of date.

May 12

Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre said May 11 that he wins the leadership and a future general election, he would fire Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklim, deriding him as an “automated teller machine” for the Liberal government. “I would replace him with a new governor who would reinstate our low-inflation mandate,” the Ottawa MP said during a leadership debate.

May 12

The president and prime minister of historically non-aligned Finland today announced their support for the nation to apply for NATO membership, setting the stage for a parliamentary vote within a few days. There has been a dramatic shift in public support for the decision due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and similarly neutral Sweden is expected to follow suit.

May 11

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that the federal government overstepped its constitutional authority with its Impact Assessment Act which would subject energy development to increased scrutiny. However, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is confident that a further appeal will uphold the constitutionality of the legislation passed by Parliament in June 2019.

May 10

The namesake son of Ferdinand Marcos, the former Philippines dictator, evidently has scored a landslide win in the presidential election. Unofficial results today show that he captured 97 per cent of the vote. His running mate, Sara Duterte, daughter of the outgoing, had a formidable lead in the separate vice-presidential race.

May 10

Larisa Galadza, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, has returned to Kyiv to reopen the embassy but there’s no indication about full diplomatic restoration. The staff withdrew before Russian began its invasion Feb. 24 and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says consular services will continue out of Poland for the time being.

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Nov 26)
Scott Newark's picture

As a general description of the Government’s intended policy agenda going forward, the following Throne Speech extracts are of potential relevance to Safety & Security readers.

(Nov 14)
Scott Newark's picture

It has been five years since ‘The Three Amigos’ (leaders of Canada, U.S. and Mexico) last held a face-to-face meeting. What should this week's meeting in Washington cover?

(Sep 28)
Scott Newark's picture

Cases like this highlight a pressing need for Canada to modernize its Extradition Act and the Treaties under it. The questions are piling up, and a review is clearly warranted.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 1 - 2021