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Members of Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (Ireland) assist a casualty.
A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter sits at the Jarvis Lake SAR Training Facility. (Photo: LS Zachariah Stopa)
Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S helicopter in the North Cascades National Park. Photo:Ignacio D. Perez
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IN THE NEWS

Oct 01

As Moscow prepares to assume the chair next year of the eight-nation Arctic Council, which includes Canada, growing military and economic interest in a region made increasingly accessible by global warming has prompted a warning from the internationally-respected journal Nature. “It is imperative that both the incoming chair and the . . . member countries oversee a smooth handover (from Iceland) and ensure that the council’s vital scientific work isn’t disrupted,” it says.

Oct 01

British Chief of Defence Gen Nick Carter wants his government to “fundamentally change” how it counters spreading authoritarianism rivals or risk being overwhelmed. His advice coincides with publication of a new Integrated Operating Concept which underscores the value of improved domestic and international cooperation and equipment modernization. “In an era of persistent competition, our deterrent posture needs to be more dynamically managed and modulated,” Carter says.

Sep 30

Health Canada has approved a new rapid COVID-19 swab developed by U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories and said to deliver results within minutes. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it will be available across the country “in the coming weeks.”

Sep 30

Rob Anders, an Alberta MP who helped found the Conservative Party of Canada and made a name for himself campaigning for lower taxes, has been charged with five tax-related offences. He has declined comment. 

Sep 30

As she lay dying in a Quebec hospital bed, a 37 year old Atikamekw woman clicked her phone to broadcast a Facebook Live audio of being insulted and sworn at by hospital staff. Joyce Echaquan's death on Monday prompted an immediate outcry from her home community of Manawan, about 250 kilometres north of Montreal, and has spurred unusually quick and decisive action on the part of the provincial government in the form of a coroner's inquiry and an administrative probe.

Sep 30

In a rare display of unanimity, the House of Commons has voted 360-0 in favour of Bill C-4 which would authorize new benefits for persons whose income has been affected by COVID-19. The vote had been considered a confidence measure.

Sep 30

The first presidential candidates’ debate in the runup to the U.S. election saw President Donald Trump acting as “a perfect caricature of himself” with sound-bites and frequent interruptions of his Democratic challenger, former vice-president Joe Biden. The latter countered by calling the incument a “clown” twice as well as a liar directly and indirectly several times.

Sep 30

Overseas reaction to the first 2020 U.S. presidential debate was generally negative with one Chinese editor saying it was filled with “chaos, interruptions, personal attacks and insults” while an Australiana counterpart described it as “swamped” by the “rancour engulfing America.”

Sep 30

The Liberal government has survived a confidence vote early Wednesday morning as the House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-4 legislation authorizing new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill replaces the $500-per-week Canada emergency response benefit (CERB).

Sep 29

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux is projecting that the federal deficit for this fiscal year will reach $328.5 billion, due in no small way to an estimated $225.9 billion in emergency benefits due to COVID-19. Expected to be a major factor in future spending government-wide, it would represent 15 per cent of gross domestic product, the largest in more than 50 years of comparable data. The government said in July that the deficit would be $343.2 billion, but that did not include either new spending or emergency measures which came in under budget.

Sep 29

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand has announced a plan to buy some 7.9 million rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests from U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories but procurement is subject to Health Canada regulatory approval. Reporting results from other testing can take days but the molecular ID NOW test can yield results within minutes.

Sep 29

A Quebec woman suspected of sending ricin-laced envelopes to the White House and to law enforcement officials in Texas remains in custody in New York. Pascale Ferrier, 53, has pleaded not guilty but a judge says there is “convincing material” that she continues to pose a threat. When arrested 20 September at the Buffalo border crossing from Fort Erie, Ont., she had a loaded pistol and other weapons in her possession as well as a forged Texas driver's licence.

Sep 29

Canadian softwood lumber is trapped in a World Trade Organization logjam created by the U.S. The White House has announced that it will appeal a recent WTO decision favouring Canada in the decades-long softwood lumber dispute but the WTO is unable to appoint the required judges because the U.S. has blocked their appointment. Ottawa’s response is that Washington’s move “significantly reduces the security and predictability that we collectively value in international trade.”

Sep 29

The Finnish telecom giant Nokia has contracted with British Telecom to provide 5G technology for BT’s “radio access network” as well as replacing its Chinese competitor, Huawei, in BT’s other networks. The government announced in July that all service providers would be prohibited from installing new Huawei technology next Jan. 1 and remove all existing installations by 2027 due to U.S.-driven national security concerns.

Sep 29

Mamadou Konaté, a refugee from Ivory Coast who worked as a custodian in Montreal long-term care facilities during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, now is in a migrant detention centre pending deportation. As an undocumented alien, he evidently is not covered by a provincial exemption for other asylum-seekers such as nurses and orderlies who worked in the facilities.

Sep 29

Draft legislation tabled in the new parliamentary session would set up what the minority government describes as a “safe bridge” for Canadians still losing income due to COVID-19. The proposed suite of measures in Bill C-2 would transition them from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to a modified employment insurance regime. It also would establish a 10-day sick leave benefit demanded by the NDP in return for its support to keep the Liberals in power.

Sep 29

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has weighed in on complaints that RCMP policy requiring front-line officers to wear tight-fitting medical grade face masks discriminates against personnel who don’t shave their beards for cultural reasons. “The presence of diverse Canadians in our police force and all our systems of authority is something extremely important for all Canadians and it is something that I certainly hope the RCMP rectifies quickly,” he said.

Sep 29

The federal government is investing $440 in the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, an international program designed to ensure that vaccines are not acquired only by wealthier countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced a deal for up to 20 million doses of an AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, now in final clinical trials, bringing its total commitment in six such arrangements to more than $1 billion.

Sep 29

An already shaky global order will deteriorate further if leaders fail to come together on human rights, climate change and other challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned. “The world is in crisis, and not just because of the last few months,” he said in a recorded message to the UN General Assembly. “Not just because of COVID-19, but because of the last few decades -- and because of us.”

Sep 28

U.S. President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016, the year he ran for office, as well as in his first year in the White House, the New York Times says in a report dismissed by Trump as “fake news.” It cites two decades of tax records which also indicated that he paid no taxes at all in 10 of the 15 previous years.

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Sep 23)
Scott Newark's picture

The following extracts from today's Speech from the Throne examines how it impacts the safety and security of Canadians.

(Sep 10)

The language used to describe ‘homegrown terrorism’ may reveal as much about those who coined it as it does about Canadian-born extremists.

(Aug 24)

On 21 Aug 2020, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced that the Government of Canada has filed an appeal of the 2020 Federal Court decision related to the Safe Third Country Agreement.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 1 - 2020