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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

Nov 30

Promising that the federal government will do “whatever it takes”, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland closed out November with an economic statement which includes a short-term stimulus package valued at up to $100 million. “Spending roughly three to four per cent of GDP, over three years, our government will make carefully judged, targeted and meaningful investments to create jobs and boost growth,” she said. The 2020-2021 deficit was already forecast to top $381 billion.

Nov 30

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team evidently has cybersecurity a priority if impending cabinet nominees are any indication. The named individuals would begin “working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time.”

Nov 30

A German administrative court has ruled that the government cannot be compelled ensure that U.S. drone strikes controlled from Ramstein comply with international law. The case was brought by human rights groups on behalf of Yemenis whose relatives were killed in a 2012 strike. The ruling restores a lower court’s finding that the government could balance its legal obligations with “foreign and defense policy interests.”

Nov 30

An Ottawa-based military family has filed a complaint with the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board, alleging that the Saudi Arabian embassy evicted them in bad faith. They say that Chargé d'affaires Sulaiman AlAqeel had said he planned to move into the property but that it was subsequently listed for sale.

Nov 30

Canada is extending its ban on non-essential entry by most travellers who are not Canadians, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. The ban on entries from the U.S. is extended to Dec. 21 and on others until Jan. 21, as are 14-day quarantine requirements.

Nov 30

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wants to rule out mandatory vaccinations in his province. He plans to have the Public Health Act amended so as to remove a section which authorizes the government to immunize persons during an emergency.

Nov 30

Transiting WestJet passengers at Vancouver International Airport can opt for rapid COVID-19 testing as a part of a joint study with the airline. The test can yield results in 15-20 minutes, which the airport says makes then “a feasible option for study in the live airport environment.”

Nov 30

Responding to a U.S. plan to import of Canadian prescription drugs from Canada in a bid to reduce prices in the U.S., Canada has blocked bulk exports which would result in domestic shortages. “Companies will now also be required to provide information to assess existing or potential shortages, when requested, and within 24 hours if there is a serious or imminent health risk,” says Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

Nov 30

An Ottawa Police Service officer who had been suspended after being notified of a disciplinary investigation, has committed suicide. His death comes as the service has attempted to improve officer mental health and wellbeing while grappling with a year of repeated misconduct allegations.

Nov 30

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is blaming Israel for last week’s killing near Tehran of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. “Iran's enemies should know that the people of Iran and officials are braver than to leave this criminal act unanswered,” he says. “In due time, they will answer for this crime.”

Nov 30

Nearly two years after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the U.S., a company spokesman says it put Canada in a “very difficult” position. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by China days after Meng’s arrest. The Huawei spokesman says China respects “the rule of law” and that while he understands that their families are hopeful for their repatriation, China is hopeful to see Meng released.

Nov 30

In the runup to the release of the federal government’s fiscal update, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre says rebuilding the economy in a post-pandemic environment will require a huge overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. “We don't need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer,” he says. “That will only indebt us further, and all the jobs they temporarily create will disappear when taxpayer money runs out.”

Nov 27

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen former NATO commander MGen Dany Fortin to spearhead the government’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Most recently chief of staff for Canadian Joint Operations Command, he becomes vice-president for logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Nov 27

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his provincial counterparts held a virtual meeting Nov. 26 to discuss distribution of COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. The premiers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick say per capita distribution will be based on vulnerability. “We expect certain vaccines to become available in early 2021,” says Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, meaning that six million Canadians could be vaccinated by March.

Nov 27

Unlike many other nations struggling to contain COVID-19, Australia mounted an aggressive campaign after a surge in cases in late July. Roadblocks in many cities ensured residents stayed home and when the initial second-wave lockdown was eased, nightly curfews and travel restrictions were enforced by stiff fines.

Nov 27

North Korean hackers are said to have tried to hack into companies developing coronavirus vaccines in South Korea, says a member of the latter’s parliament. Ha Tae-keung says his National Intelligence Service did not specify how many and which manufacturers were targeted. The disclosure came after Microsoft had reported that North Korean and Russian hackers had tried to break into the research and corporate networks in Canada, France, India, South Korea and the U.S.

Nov 27

At least two people have been executed, fishing has been banned and the country’s capital locked down as North Korea tries to contain COVID-19 and its economic impact. This is according to South Korean intelligence officials who also said North Korean diplomats have been told not to do anything to provoke the U.S.

Nov 27

An Iranian diplomat posted to Austria is on trial in Belgium, together with two Belgian nationals of Iranian origin, for their alleged involvement in a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian expatriates in in France. They were arrested after European intelligence agencies tracked the couple to a meeting in Luxembourg with the counsellor from the Iranian embassy in Vienna.

Nov 26

In the first ruling by a Canadian court on the constitutionality of consecutive sentencing, Quebec’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the 40-year prison sentence of Alexandre Bisonnette, who killed six persons and critically injured several others at a Quebec City mosque in 2017, was “cruel and unusual.” Employing Criminal Code amendments passed by Parliament in 2011, the trial judge imposed five concurrent 25-year sentences and added 15 years on behalf of the survivors. The appellate court said he should have been sentenced to 25 years without parole.

Nov 26

Subject to Health Canada approval, the government is eyeing January 2021 to begin working with the provinces and territories to distribute “the first millions” of COVID-19 vaccines. In announcing the timeline, Dominic LeBlance, Privy Council President and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc also disputed reports that Canada is at the back of the international distribution line.

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Nov 06)
Chris MacLean's picture

6 Nov 2020 – By banning the wearing of poppies by its employees, Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) had wandered onto a reputational minefield. It had to calculate its next move very carefully. (new update 7 Nov).

(Oct 26)
JOE SPEARS's picture

Canada’s National Search and Rescue (SAR) regime requires a reboot. In British Columbia, an ongoing Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) mission is currently highlighting gaps in the existing system. The Vancouver police remain adamant that they will not use federal SAR air assets. It doesn't make sense.

(Oct 14)
JOE SPEARS's picture

It is time for frank discussions of the risks related to recreational activities around powerful rivers in populated areas.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 1 - 2020