In the News

Jul 07, 2020

Members of the public will see a larger number of military vehicles on the roads between Canadian Forces Base Borden and various units across Ontario on 8 July 2020.

Jul 07, 2020

>New York-based Clearview AI, pending the results of federal and provincial privacy investigations, is not making its facial recognition software available in Canada. The company came under scrutiny earlier this year when it reported having collected billions of images from the Internet. Its last client in Canada was the RCMP.

Jul 07, 2020

Citing unspecified “frequent violent actions” by Canadian police,China has warned its citizens to exercise caution in travelling to Canada. The advisory was posted on social media 6 July by its embassy in Ottawa. Bob Rae, the newly-appointed ambassador to the UN, calls the warning “bizarre” and suggests it should not be taken seriously.

Jul 07, 2020

Former military journalist Ivan Safronov, who joined the Russian space agency less than two months ago as an advisor to its director general, has been arrested for treason. Roskosmos says the arrest was not related to his job with the agency. Russian state security has accused Safronov of passing on information to an unspecified NATO member.

Jul 06, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t joining Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Donald Trump in Washington 7 July to celebrate the new North American trade agreement. “While there were recent discussions about the possible participation of Canada, the Prime Minister will be in Ottawa this week for scheduled Cabinet meetings and the long-planned sitting of Parliament,” a spokesperson explained. Also, Trudeau told reporters he is concerned about rumourfs of new U.S. aluminum and steel tariffs.

Jul 06, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent condemnation of China’s new security law for Hong Kong has drawn a predictably sharp response from Beijing. A foreign ministry spokesman said 5 July that Canada should “stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs in any way so as to avoid further damage to China-Canada relations.”

Jul 06, 2020

Veteran federal and Ontario politician Bob Rae, 71, has been appointed Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. He replaces Marc-Andre Blanchard who has served since April 2016 and who had indicated earlier that he would be leaving. Rae, 71, most recently served Trudeau as a special envoy for humanitarian and immigration issues.

Jul 04, 2020

A Manitoba member of the Canadian Rangers faces 22 criminal charges in relation to an attack on Rideau Hall, the estate housing the Governor General’s residence and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s temporary official residence. Corey Hurren, 46, was arrested after a pickup truck rammed through the estate’s main gate 2 July and the driver proceeded on foot toward the residences until a 90-minute negotiation with RCMP ended quietly. Most of the charges relate to possession and transportation of firearms and Hurren has been remanded in custody.

Jul 04, 2020

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, scheduled to present a federal government “economic and fiscal snapshot” on Wednesday 8 July, says that “as hard as it’s been over the last few months,” mainly due to COVID-19’s economic impact, “the really tough choices will still be to come.” The challenge, he explained, is that “we'll need to think about where we invest and how we support people without creating bad incentives.”

Jul 04, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the focus of an Ethics Commissioner’s inquiry over his decision to have a charity with which he and his wife have personal ties to manage a $900-million student support program, has ended the proposed arrangement.

Jul 04, 2020

In response to China’s increasing crackdown on Hong Kong, the Canadian government has suspended an extradition treaty with the former British colony and is restricting exports of sensitive goods. “This process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong's basic law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' framework,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said 03 July. “Hong Kong's role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing agreements.”

Jul 04, 2020

Zheng Yanxiong, a veteran Communist Party apparatchik perhaps best known for his role in quashing a 2011 land dispute in a Chinese village, has been put in charge of overseeing a new law providing up to life imprisonment for Hong Kong residents accused of “subversion” and “terrorism” activities. Zheng previously was secretary general of the party’s governing committee in the southern province of Guangdong.

Jul 04, 2020

An audio recording obtained by the Canadian government suggests that Iran permitted air traffic in and out of Tehran’s international airport during a period of intense military activity that saw a Ukrainian airliner downed by missiles six monhs ago. The recording is of a conversation between Iran’s accident investigation team and a Canadian family member of one of the 17 victims. The investigator, who explained that closing Tehran airspace could have exposed an imminent missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq, has since been removed.

Jul 04, 2020

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's legal battle over access to more than $1 billion in gold stored at the Bank of England has been rebuffed by Britain’s High Court of Justice which explained in its ruling that the U.K. had “unequivocally recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president.” Maduro had said he needed the gold to fund its COVID-19 but Guaidó warned that it would be used for corrupt purposes.

Jul 04, 2020

A bill drafted by Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies to require masks in public during a growing COVID-19 crisis has been vetoed by President Jair Bolsonaro, a persistent pandemic denier. His country ranks second only to the U.S. globally in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. Bolsonaro also rejected a proposal to distribute masks to the poor.

Jul 03, 2020

Another attempt by First Nations to block expansion of the TransMountain pipeline between Alberta and a B.C. export terminal has been shut down by the Supreme Court of Canada. Without giving reasons, as usual, the court has refused to hear the challenge by the three appellants which now are considering other unspecified legal options.

Jul 03, 2020

Manitoba resident Corey Hurren, a Canadian Ranger and former regular member of the Canadian Armed Forces, is being held by RCMP after a pickup truck was used 02 July to ram through the games at Rideau Hall. The driver, who was reportedly armed with a long gun, was arrested without incident after moving on foot toward the official residences of the Governor General and the Prime Minister, neither of whom was home.

Jul 02, 2020

A member of the Canadian Armed Forces, identified only as an armed member of the Canadian Rangers, is in RCMP custody after a pickup truck registered in Manitoba was used to ram the gates at Rideau Hall early 02 July. after which the driver proceeded on foot toward the official residences of the Governor General and the Prime Minister, neither of whom was at home. The Department of National Defence confirmed the suspect’s military status but declined further comment “at this time” as it is an RCMP investigation.

Jul 02, 2020

Nearly 78 per cent of Russian voters have backed constitutional reforms which, among other things, are designed to keep President Vladimir Putin in office until 2036. He is already the longest-serving leader in modern Russia since Soviet-era dictator Joseph Stalin and his political opponents say his aim is to be “president for life.”

Jul 02, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neanyahu’s latest push to annex parts of the occupied West Bank was not implemented July 1 as expected even as his British counterpart urged him to call off the internationally-condemned plan. A member of the Israel cabinet says officials were still working on details with the U.S. administration, a staunch supporter of the annexation despite concerted Palestinian opposition.

Jul 02, 2020

The renegotiated North American trade agreement came into effect on Canada Day. Signed in November 2018 and then reworked slightly to satisfy some protectionist U.S. interests, the new agreement includes some sector-specific changes from the original 1994 accord.

Jul 02, 2020

Rules barring most foreign travellers from entering Canada have been extended by a month until at least 31 July as the federal government steps up its COVID-19 countermeasures. The restrictions apply to everyone except Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and U.S. citizens entering Canada for “essential” reasons. Closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all but essential workers and trade is covered by a separate order.

Jul 02, 2020

Former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton says his country continues to use its global clout to support Canada amid tensions with China, notably over Beijing’s continued detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in response to Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Washington’s request. “When they put pressure on a small country like Canada, it's important for all of us to stand together.”

Jul 02, 2020

The multinational Airbus consortium has announced plans to lay off 11 per cent of its global workforce, mainly in the commercial aircraft division which, like other original equipment manufacturers, has been hit hard by COVID-19’s impact on international travel. The move affect–s 15,000 of its total workforce of some 134,000.

Jul 02, 2020

A series of flight tests involving software updates designed to correct a controls conflict on Boein737 MAX airliners has been completed by the company and the Federal Aviation Administration. The results are key to returning the aircraft to service after the global fleet was grounded in the aftermath of fatal crashes in Malaysia in October 2018 and in Ethiopia March 2019.

Jul 02, 2020

There are growing concerns that anthropogenic climate change is a bigger factor than expected in Antarctica. Newly-published data indicate the region has warmed at three times the global average over the last three decades up through 2018, the which was the continent’s hottest year on record.

Jul 02, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others accused by Iran in the January death of a senior military officer in January are the targets of an arrest warrant issued in Tehran, which is vowing to pursue Trump whenever he leaves the White House. While Interpol has said it would not consider Iran’s request, the development underscores the growing tension between Tehran and Washington.

Jun 30, 2020

Washington-based Human Rights Watch is accusing Canada of flouting its international obligations by failing to repatriate and provide adequate consular assistance to 47 citizens, including 26 children, detained in northeast Syria. The adults, linked to the Islamic State terrorist organization, are being held by Kurdish forces. The Canadian government said it will not put its personnel at risk to gather evidence and repatriate the combatants.

Jun 30, 2020

Auditor General Karen Hogan has been asked by the Conservatives to look into a government decision to have an international charity manage a $900-million student support fund during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conservatives say “outsourcing” to WE Charity undermines Parliament's ability to monitor the aid program. Prime Minister Justin, who a personal tie to the charity, says a public service review of potential managers concluded that WE was uniquely suited.

Jun 30, 2020

Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta says his government is adding $3 billion to a budgeted $6.9 billion infrastructure fund in a bid to reboot his province’s economy, which has been hit hard by depressed world oil prices and COVID-19. He also has committed to reduced corporate income tax and to more incentives for industry generally.

Jun 30, 2020

As expected, China has adopted a contentious security law tightening its grip on Hong Kong. President Xi Jinping’s signature on the measure effectively amends a constitutional arrangement dating to 1997 when Britain returned colonial sovereignty. British Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has described any move to tighten control as “a grave step.”

Jun 30, 2020

The U.S. has imposed new export controls on military and some high-technology products destined for Hong Kong. The administration decided several weeks ago that the former British colony no longer had sufficient autonomy as Beijing consolidated its hold.

Jun 30, 2020

Even though Covid-19 remains a global threat, Canada is on a European Union list of 14 from which visitors are deemed “safe” due to the success of their governments in dealing with the pandemic. So, too, are Australia and Japan, among others, but the U.S., Brazil and China are not.

Jun 29, 2020

The U.S., Europe and Japan are pooling satellite data and opened a public web portal which enables users to monitor and chronicle planetary shifts in socioeconomic activities and the environment as the world deals with COVID-19. The goal is to hopefully enable various levels of government to assess and possibly plan for the pandemic’s short- and long-term impacts

Jun 29, 2020

A 2021 National Defense Authorization Act endorsed by a U.S. House of Representatives panel includes no mention of a proposal for a national security coordinator as recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. A Senate version of the bill simply calls for a study of the benefits of having a coordinator who would report directly to the White House.

Jun 29, 2020

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders from Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, downed by Iranian missiles after takeoff from Tehran nearly six months ago, will be shipped to France for analysis in July, the International Civil Aviation Organization has announced. While French investigators will lead the analysis, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada also will be involved because many Canadians died in the attack.

Jun 29, 2020

Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have tabled drft legislation designed to prohibit federal agencies’ use of facial recognition technologies without explicit congressional approval.

Jun 29, 2020

Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have tabled a bill which would ban federal agencies’ use of facial recognition technologies without explicit congressional approval.

Jun 29, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s rejection of calls to intervene in the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, in the hope of China reciprocating by releasing detained Canadian Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, has majority support among Canadians. Some 72 per cent of respondents to an Angus Reid Institute poll agree that the Meng case should be allowed to play out in the courts while 28 per cent want the government to negotiate an exchange.

Jun 27, 2020

Off-duty Toronto police officer found guilty of assault, but he and his brother acquitted of aggravated assault and obstruction of justice for chasing down and delivering a brutal beating on Dafonte Miller, a young black man. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says he'll stay neutral.

Jun 26, 2020

A Transport Canada plan to permit some types of remotely piloted aircraft system to be flown out of sight of their operators, and at higher altitudes, is a concern for the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. Drone advocates complain that current regulations have not kept up with advances in drone technology but COPA “is taking a position against the proposed amendments on safety grounds.”

Jun 26, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says yielding to China’s calls for the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanhzou in order to secure the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from detention in China could set a dangerous precedent. “The first priority of any government is to protect its citizens,” he acknowledged 25 June. However, if other countries “realize that by arbitrarily arresting random Canadians, they can get what they want out of Canada politically . . . that makes an awful lot of Canadians who travel around the world vulnerable.”

Jun 26, 2020

Colin Robertson, a former Consul in Hong Kong and now vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says the federal government has three broad options for securing the repatriation of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from arbitrary detention in China. They are: continue having allies speak out, stop the U.S.-requested extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, or respond to China’s “bullying” by revoking the prized visas of Chinese students in Canada.

Jun 25, 2020

A study released 25 June by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that the proportion of COVID-19 deaths in Canada’s long-term care facilities has been roughly twice that found in other developed nations. They accounted for 81 per cent of reported deaths in Canada compared with an average 42 per cent in 16 other members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Jun 25, 2020

Effective 3 July and barring any COVID-19 resurgence, the four Atlantic provinces plan to permit their residents to travel between and within them without any requirement for self-isolation.

Jun 25, 2020

A 19-year-old former political intern is at the centre of a police investigation into claims that Conservative leadership candidate Erin O'Toole's video conferencing account had been hacked. The unidentified former employee of Calgary MP Greg McLean has said that a member of O'Toole's own team gave him the password, a situation which prompted O’Toole to accuse challenger Peter MacKay’s team of an illegal act.

Jun 25, 2020

The German chemical giant Bayer is to pay the equivalent of up to more than $14 billion to settle cancer claims linked to the herbicide Roundup, which it acquired in a 2018 takeover of Missouri-based Monsanto. The glyphosate-based product, which has been banned in many countries, has been subject to about 125,000 lawsuits over its alleged carcinogenicity and while Bayer has agreed to a settlement, it denies any wrongdoing.

Jun 25, 2020

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are asking visitors from states with resurgent COVID-19 cases to self-isolate for 14 days. New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy says the three northeastern states have gone to “hell and back” with the initial outbreak and do not want “another round.” The U.S. to date has recorded more than 2.3 million cases and more than 121,000 deaths and health officials say the coming weeks will be critical.

Jun 25, 2020

A special prosecutor at The Hague has accused Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and others of war crimes during the country’s 1998-1999 independence war with Serbia, which resulted in more than 10,000 deaths and ended only after NATO intervention. The accusations are being assessed by a judge.

Jun 25, 2020

Twenty major Chinese companies have been identified by the U.S. Department of Defense as being either owned or supported by the Chinese military. The list includes several telecom giants, including Huawei, and could be the basis for U.S. sanctions.

Jun 25, 2020

Faced with a resurgence of COVID-19 diagnoses since it relaxed its lockdown earlier this week, Texas began freeing up hospital space 25 June. More than 4,300 victims are hospitalized, more than double the count at the beginning of June and Gov Greg Abbott has suspended elective hospital procedures in four counties. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” he said. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”

Jun 25, 2020

Thirteen Senators, including several of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s appointees, want Canada to sanction Chinese officials for “gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” In a 23 June letter to the PM, they cite China’s detention of Uighur Muslims, its crackdown in Hong Kong, its decades-long repression of Tibet, and its imprisonment of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

Jun 25, 2020

Justice Minister David Lametti is being urged by a group of former parliamentarians and senior diplomats to end U.S.-requested extradition proceedings for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. In their letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 23 June, they say Canada has a legal right to intervene and also should take time to “re-define its strategic approach to China.”

Jun 25, 2020

The International Monetary Fund warned 24 June that the global economy faces an even deeper downturn than previously forecast as COVID-19 continues to sow uncertainty. Projecting 4.9 per cent shrinkage this year, a downgrade from its previous 3 per cent outlook, it said that even as some countries begin reopening for business, the recovery will be uneven and protracted.

Jun 25, 2020

In their latest annual summit, held by by videoconference 22 June, the European Union and China discussed not only bilateral issues in their complex relationship but also regional and international issues, including COVID-19 and economic recovery. The EU also raised concerns about human rights in general, including the detention of a Swedish citizen as well as Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Jun 25, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been directed to exempt Canadians from new restrictions on foreign professionals’ access, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. An executive order announced 22 June by the White House blocks entry for most H, J and L visa holders for at least the rest of 2020; President Donald Trump’s rationale is that it would provide job opportunities for U.S. citizens.

Jun 24, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it has long been “obvious” that China’s detention of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor since December 2018 is linked to the Vancouver arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou for possible extradition to the U.S. “This was a political decision made by the Chinese government and we deplore it, and have, from the very beginning,” he said. The “Two Michaels” were only recently charged with espionage.

Jun 24, 2020

Juan José Gómez Camacho Mexico’s ambassador to Canada, has suggested that his government might keep migrant workers away from Canadian farms which fail to follow COVID-19 rules. He was commenting on the death of a third worker in Ontario who likely was exposed while on a farm, having been quarantined for 14 days beforehand.

Jun 24, 2020

An extension of its ban on the issuance of green cards outside the U.S. has cast a cloud of uncertainty among Canadians and other nationals employed by multinational companies, notably in the tech sector. In announcing his decision, President Donald Trump characterized it as a way to free up jobs in the U.S. economy for Americans.

Jun 24, 2020

Results of a national Internet survey indicate that 66 per cent of Canadians do not want an easement of the distancing rules designed to curb COVID-19. Moreover, even if the rules were relaxed, most would not be comfortable participating in activities which they feel would put them at risk.

Jun 24, 2020

China has orbited the final satellite in its 35-platform BeiDou-3 navigation system, which means it no longer relies on the U.S.-managed Global Positioning System used by militaries and civilians worldwide.

Jun 24, 2020

The largest single-day increase in global COVID-19 cases has been reported for last Sunday by the World Health Organization. There were more than 183,000 new cases, topping the previous record of 181,232 reported just two days earlier. The biggest surge was in Brazil, followed by the U.S. and then India.

Jun 24, 2020

The largest single-day increase in global COVID-19 cases has been reported for last Sunday by the World Health Organization. There were more than 183,000 new cases, topping the previous record of 181,232 reported just two days earlier. The biggest surge was in Brazil, followed by the U.S. and then India.

Jun 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to track all federal employees and contractors in its hunt for “insider threats” regardless of whether they require security clearance. It had focused initially on government agency employees with clearance who might pose a threat even inadvertently.

Jun 24, 2020

European Union countries are considering banning visitors from the U.S. because that country has fundamentally failed to control COVID-19. This is according to draft lists which would lump Americans with the citizens of Russia and Brazil, two other countries with rising infection rates.

Jun 24, 2020

The senior White House health advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told a House committee 23 June that state governments’ decisions to reopen their economies have resulted in a “disturbing surge” in COVID-19 infections. He also said the next few weeks would be “critical in our ability to address those surges.”

Jun 24, 2020

Seven U.S. citizens permitted to travel to Alaska from the southern states have been ticketed by police and face stiff fines for unauthorized stopovers in Banff National Park. “They’re not criminal violations or criminal charges or anything,” an RCMP spokesperson said 22 June. “Those are fines under the Public Health Act. . . . It’s up to the discretion of the RCMP officer.”

Jun 22, 2020

The Department of National Defence has given Ontario motdorists a heads-up about increased military traffic in some regions as some 500 military personnel return to base from being deployed to assist with the response to COVID-19 issues at five long-term care homes in April. “Drivers and pedestrians are asked to remain patient and show their support to the troops as they conduct this road move,” DND said.

Jun 22, 2020

Tension between the two perceived front-runners to replace Andrew Scheer as Conservative Party leader heightened over the weekend with former Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole accusing former Defence Minister Peter Mackay’s campaign of stealing confidential information. The allegation is being dismissed as preposterous even though a member of MacKay’s team has been specifically named.

Jun 22, 2020

China plans to establish a special bureau in Hong Kong to investigate and prosecute crimes considered threatening to national security, according to details of a controversial new national security law China is imposing on the semi-autonomous former British colony. Moreover, all Hong Kong government departments will be directly answerable to Beijing.

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