In the News

Feb 03, 2021

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, announced that 13 groups will be added to Canada’s list of Terrorist Entities. The new additions include 4 white supremacist groups, including the Canadian wing of Proud Boys, and 9 groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Being on the Criminal Code list allows the government to freezing assets and institute criminal sanctions on members. The Government is also working to add 4 "ideologically motivated violent extremist" organizations to the list.

Feb 03, 2021

The top civilian leaders in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, have been charged by police in the aftermath of the internationally-condemned Feb. 1 coup by military commanders alleging fraud in last year’s election. Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with breaching import and export laws, and possession of unlawful communication devices while Win Myint is charged with violating rules banning gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feb 02, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Russia may consider rejoin the Open Skies treaty and permit international surveillance flights over military facilities if the U.S. does. “The Russian Federation would be ready to constructively consider that new situation,” he said after talks in Moscow with his Swedish counterpart, chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The U.S. withdrew from the treaty last year and Russia followed suit last month.

Feb 02, 2021

In her first call to a foreign leader since taking office, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has reassured Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about perceived U.S. protectionism in the new U.S. administration. Trudeau’s office says there was consensus on the need to avoid “the unintended consequences” of President Joe Biden’s “Buy American” policies. A White house readout of the conversation reiterated Canada’s “deep importance . . . as an economic and strategic partner.”

Feb 02, 2021

Hundreds of members of Myanmar's parliament remain locked in their housing in the country's capital, a day after the military staged a coup and detained senior politicians including Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The military, which is guaranteed 25 per cent of the seats in parliament, justified its move by claiming that recent election results heavily favouring Aung San Suu Kyi's party, were fraudulent.

Feb 02, 2021

An 11th-hour move by his predecessor to rescind $27 billion in funding for 73 U.S. departmental and agency programs has been reversed by President Joe Biden. The Trump administration saw the funding, much of it tied to foreign aid, as “wasteful and unnecessary.”

Feb 01, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratified legislation which extends the 2010 New START nuclear arms agreement with the U.S. for five years. It had been due to expire Feb. 5. Putin signed off the measure just two days after the Federal Assembly had unanimously approved the extension and a day after he and U.S. President Joe Biden had discussed it.

Feb 01, 2021

A "vision council" of global "big thinkers" tackled the challenge of identifying pandemic-related issues in need of innovative solutions in the hope of opening businesses sooner. A group of 12 diverse companies was eventually set up to develop a pilot system for rapid testing: Air Canada, Rogers, Scotiabank, MLSE, Magna, CPP Investments, Genpact, Loblaw, MDA, Nutrien, Shoppers Drug Mart and Suncor. The first projects launched recently and about 2,000 screens had been administered as of 31 January.

Feb 01, 2021

Thousands of Russians continue to join protests to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny who was jailed upon his return to Russia after recovering from a poisoning attempt. More than 5,000 people have reportedly been detained nationwide during a sweeping security lockdown by police.

Feb 01, 2021

Myanmar’s military says it has taken control of country for one year based on election fraud allegations. The country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly been detained. The coup comes one year after the UN's top court ordered Buddhist-majority Myanmar to protect its Rohingya community from genocide, allegedly at the hands of the army.

Jan 30, 2021

European Union exports controls on COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in its member states are being criticized by the World Health Organization, which warns that the measures could prolong the pandemic. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called the EU decision a “catastrophic moral failure.”

Jan 29, 2021

Effective Feb. 1, Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat are suspending operations to the Caribbean and Mexico and all incoming passengers must be tested for COVID-19 and pay at least $2,000 to cover quarantine costs. “Now is just not the time to be flying,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Jan. 29 in announcing the latest measures to contain the pandemic, particularly the emergence of more contagious variants of the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced tough new border restrictions in a bid to contain COVID-19 but has resisted a national lockdown. Effective Feb. 1, all non-essential travel from outside the European Union will be prohibited and testing of travellers from within the EU will be stepped up.

Jan 29, 2021

As in Internal Combustion Engine! General Motors Corp. says it will phase out ICEs in its veicles by 2035 as well as going completely carbon neutral. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole,” Chief Executive Officer Mary Barr said Jan. 28.

Jan 29, 2021

An appeals court in The Netherlands has ruled that the Nigerian branch of Royal Dutch Shell is responsible for environment damage caused by leaks in the Niger Delta. The company has been ordered to compensate farmers and take measure to prevent further damage. Shell argued that the leaks were due to “sabotage”, a reference to years of local populations stealing fuel, but the court said the company had not proven its case “beyond reasonable doubt.”

Jan 28, 2021

Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a truck with 228.14 kilograms of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $28.5 million, at the Alberta border. The truck was listed as hauling produce, deemed essential goods during COVID restrictions, but was referred for further inspection. The driver was arrested and the evidence turned over the Alberta RCMP. Charged with two counts pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Amarpreet Singh Sandhu, 38, of Calgary, is scheduled to appear in court on Feb 11 in Lethbridge.

Jan 28, 2021

An Ottawa nurse has tested positive for the novel coronavirus just a few days after having received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As one of Ottawa’s front-line health-care workers, he had received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec 18th and second dose exactly three weeks later, on Jan 8th.

Jan 28, 2021

A Russian court has rejected opposition politician Alexei Navalny's appeal against his arrest even as authorities detained several of his allies and issued warnings to social media companies after thousands of his supporters swarmed the streets in Russian cities last weekend. Reiterating that his detention is politically motivated, he warned by video from jail today that the system “won’t succeed in scaring tens of millions of people who have been robbed by that government.”

Jan 28, 2021

After a B.C. couple flew to the Yukon for COVID-19 vaccinations, pretending to be locals, the territorial government is limiting the procedure to Yukon residents. “Outraged" by the pair's “selfish behaviour”, Community Services Minister John Streicker announced the decision Jan. 27.

Jan 28, 2021

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been told by Federal Court that it needs a warrant when using a particular technology to “learn about an individual's private activities and personal choices” from mobile sources as part of its intelligence-gathering mandate. Information about the technology was redacted from the just-released ruling handed down last summer.

Jan 28, 2021

When it comes to consumer technologies such as smart phones and tablets, U.S. Presidents have to put up with strict limits on what they may use – and how they use them.

Jan 28, 2021

Nine days before the new U.S. administration was sworn in and some 18 months after it was proposed, a new State Department cybersecurity bureau evidently was set up without evidence of its need. The Government Accountability Office said today that it has “recommended that State use evidence to justify its proposal.”

Jan 27, 2021

The symbolic Doomsday Clock remains 100 seconds shy of midnight in what The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Humanity said Jan. 27 is confirmation that the world is still is perilously close to apocalypse. They said that the threats presented by climate change nuclear weapons has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 27, 2021

The U.S. Department of Defense is incorporating climate analysis into its policy and strategic planning. “We will include the security implications of climate change in our risk analyses, strategy development, and planning guidance,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed.

Jan 27, 2021

The Dutch government has no plans to lift a COVID-19 curfew after several days of often violent protests an looting in several cities. More than 180 persons described as “scum” by Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra have been arrested.

Jan 27, 2021

The European Aviation Safety Agency has lifted a 22-month ban on airlines operating the Boeing 737 Max in its airspace. A global ban followed two crashes but the aircraft has already been recertified for flights in the U.S., Canada and Brazil after software upgrades and new crew training. “We have every confidence that the aircraft is safe,” EASA says. “But we will continue to monitor 737 Max operations closely.”

Jan 27, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians can be reassured that vaccine supplies will continue to arrive even as the European Union threatens restrict exports by its manufacturers, requiring them to seek EU permission. “Europe is determined to contribute to this global common good but it also means business,” says Ursula von der Leyen, German president of the European Commission.

Jan 27, 2021

Dominion Voting Systems, an electronic voting hardware and software company founded in Toronto in 2002, is suing former U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, for US$1.3 billion. It accuses him of defamation for his “big lie” campaign about widespread electoral fraud in last November’s presidential election. “There are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion's business or to impugn Dominion's integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” the company says. “Giuliani's statements were calculated to . . . provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm.”

Jan 27, 2021

In the run-up to former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, set to begin Feb 8, all but five U.S. Senate Republicans voted Jan 26 to block the trial on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters attacked the Capitol three weeks ago. But while the proceedings have been declared constitutional, there now are questions whether the Democrats in the Senate can secure enough Republican support for a two-thirds majority vote to convict, which would prevent Trump from seeking federal public office ever again.

Jan 27, 2021

Despite having been freed by a lower court due to a lack of evidence three years ago, Canadian academic Hassan Diab has been ordered by France's court of appeal to stand trial in connection with a bomb attack on a Paris synagogue in 1980. His French lawyers plan to appeal the decision, which would require his extradition, to France's Supreme Court. Diab, who was never formally charged, spent three years in prison before the original prosecution collapsed.

Jan 26, 2021

Pharmaceutical companies have been told by the European Union that they must deliver promised supplies of COVID-19 vaccine amid fears that production cutbacks could undermine its inoculation drive. The EU also has raised the prospect of limiting exports in an attempt to ensure it has enough to meet its internal needs.

Jan 26, 2021

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to begin an impeachment trial Feb. 8 of former President Donald Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” arising from an inflammatory speech three weeks ago to supporters who then rioted on Capitol Hill. The charge was delivered to the Senate by House of Representatives Jan. 25.

Jan 26, 2021

A West Virginia woman who once served in the U.S.Air Force, working with the National Security Agency, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Monday for planning to offer NSA information to Russia. She pleaded guilty last year as part of a plea agreement.

Jan 26, 2021

Janet Yellen, a labour economist and former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, has been confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury. Her immediate challenge is helping President Joe Biden’s new administration to prepare a $1.9-trillion economic stimulus package.

Jan 26, 2021

Lynn Beyak, a controversial senator from northwestern Ontario with a history of inflammatory remarks about indigenous peoples, is resigning three years short of her mandatory retirement. Appointed in 2013 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, she has opted to quit as other Senators were preparing her formal ouster.

Jan 26, 2021

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland apparently is not fazed by President Joe Biden’s new “Buy American” initiative, says that Ottawa knows “how to deal with” protectionism. “This is not a new thing for any Canadian government,” says Freeland, who also is Finance Minister. “It is something we know how to deal with, we know how to push back on.”

Jan 25, 2021

Last year’s SolarWinds cyberattack and its impact on U.S. agencies and IT companies is being assessed within a “full assessment” of alleged Russian involvement. The new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a former State Department spokesperson, says the review ordered by President Joe Biden also will look into “Russian interference in the 2020 election, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Nevalny and the alleged bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.”

Jan 25, 2021

Discrete reviews by the World Health Organization and an independent panel are aimed at coming up with explanations of why many countries ignored a WHO declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern as COVID-19 began to spread. Part of the discussion is whether the PHEIC, which some critics say came too late to prepared for the pandemic, might not have conveyed an appropriate sense of urgency.

Jan 25, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is examining how to improve its vetting protocols as it considers potential successors to Governor General Julie Payette, who resigned last week amid allegations that she had created a “toxic” working environment in Government House. Issues at two former places of employment evidently had not figured in her appointment in 2017.

Jan 25, 2021

An agreement the former U.S. administration made with the Taliban in Afghanistan is being reviewed. President Joe Biden’s top security advisor confirmed the review, having spoken with Afghan officials, and the White House says it wants to ensure that the fundamentalist group was “living up to its commitments.”

Jan 25, 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says the federal government will not rule out invoking the Emergencies Act, the 1988 replacement for the War Measures Act, to restrict travel to contain the spread of COVID-19. “We are looking at all potential actions,” he said Jan. 24, stressing that the sweeping legislation “is something you don't consider lightly.” Provincial governments were unanimously opposed to its use when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau consulted them last April.

Jan 22, 2021

In response to multiple appeals from community groups to change the way police respond to mental health calls, the Ottawa Police announced it will establish a 'guiding council' to oversee the development of a community-led mental health strategy. A secretariat funded by police, public health and the city, will also be created.

Jan 22, 2021

In an executive order signed within hours of his inauguration, President Biden set out sweeping ethics rules for his administration, stating that they “are designed to ensure that executive branch employees act in the interest of the American people and not for personal gain.” It followed a last-minute decision by his predecessor to waive ethics limits on his administration’s officials, freeing them to become lobbyists without a waiting period.

Jan 21, 2021

Governor General Julie Payette and her Secretary, Assunta Di Lorenzo, both resigned Jan. 21. The development was prompted by an external review into allegations of a “toxic” workplace at Rideau Hall. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Supreme Court of Canada Justice Richard Wagner would take over Payette’s duties until a successor is chosen.

Jan 20, 2021

Within hours of being sworn in as the 46th U.S. President Jan. 20, Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders designed to undo many key policy decisions by his Republical predecessor, including some affecting Canada. Most notable was his reversal of Donald Trump’s renewal of a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

Jan 20, 2021

Conservative MP Derek Sloan was kicked out of the Conservative caucus today, sending a strong message to right wing extremists that leader Erin O’Toole will not tolerate the types of "destructive behaviour" exhibited by the MP who, among other things, had accepted donations from an avowed white supremacist. This follows a decision last week to distance the party from Rebel News, a provocative far-right media group.

Jan 20, 2021

Parliamentary budget Officer Yves Gioux says that reforms to a federal support program for provinces will rise sharply in fiscal 2021-2022. He projects them at some $4.5 billion, up $2.9 billion as Ottawa transfers cash to provinces suffering steep declines in their own revenues.

Jan 20, 2021

The Bank of Canada elected Jan. 20 to maintain its benchmark overnight lending rate at 0.25 per cent, determined to keep it there until an economic recovery” is well underway.” It has cut the rate several times since the COVID-19 pandemic was evolving early last year. The bank also forecast 2.5 per cent GDP shrinkage in the first quarter of 2021 but is looking to an overall rebound of four per cent this year.

Jan 20, 2021

James Cross, the British diplomat whose kidnapping in 1970 by radical Quebec separatists triggered the October Crisis and caused the federal government to invoke the War Measures Act, has died at the age of 99. His son attributed his death to COVID-19.

Jan 20, 2021

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in without incident Jan. 20 as President and Vice-President of the U.S. Their inauguration ceremony on was held under unprecedented levels of security around the Capitol precinct, including a massive National Guard deployment and barriers topped by razor wire, after the Jan. 6 riot and invasion of by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who broke with tradition by not attending the inauguration.

Jan 20, 2021

Conservative MPs will vote today on whether to expel eastern Ontario MP Derek Sloan from the party caucus in response to Sloan accepting a donation from a notorious white nationalist. “Racism […] has no place in our country. It has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada,” O’Toole said in the statement. Sloan has already been nominated to run again as the party’s candidate in the Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington. Will the party embrace or distance itself from far-right extremism? 

Jan 20, 2021

In one of his last acts as U.S. President, Donald Trump has released current and former members of his administration from the terms of their ethics pledge, which included a five-year ban on lobbying their former agencies. His order was released by the White House early Jan. 20 despite having been signed the previous day.

Jan 20, 2021

A two-week extension of British Columbia's 44-week state of emergency has been extended for another two weeks as the province tries to contain the spread of COVID-19. The 23rd renewal of the directive, it is up for regular review Feb. 2.

Jan 20, 2021

Former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon is among 140 persons pardoned by U.S. President Donald Trump in the dying hours of his administration. Others political and business allies are on his list as are former members of Congress, rap musicians, and imprisoned individuals whose cases have been championed by criminal justice advocates.

Jan 20, 2021

A new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act which went into effect in Nova Scotia Jan. 18 includes presume consent for donations. It is the first jurisdiction in Canada or the U.S. to eschew a legal requirement for expressed consent for harvesting.

Jan 19, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Jan. 19 that the government could impose new travel restrictions “without advance notice” at any time to curb COVID-19 transmission. “It’s not the time to be travelling abroad,” he said, concerned about the emergence of more contagious variants and urging that any booked trips should be cancelled.

Jan 19, 2021

China was accused by the U.S. State Department Jan. 19 of genocide and crimes against humanity through its repression of Uighurs and other mostly Muslin ethnic minorities. The statement on the second-last day of President Donald Trump’s administration echoes one by President-elect Joe Biden last year.

Jan 19, 2021

Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole wants to expel Eastern Ontario MP Derek Sloan from the parliamentary caucus for receiving a donation from an acknowledged white nationalist during an abortive bid for the party leadership last year. Sloan, a social-conservative first elected in 2019 who plans to fight the expulsion, points out that his donor was one of thousands and that he personally was unaware of the contribution.

Jan 19, 2021

Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario have delayed or paused their COVID-19 vaccination programs after Pfizer reduced vaccine shipments for several weeks as it overhauls its production process.

Jan 19, 2021

Transport Canada has given the Boeing 737 Max clearance to fly again, ending a 22-month grounding that followed two disastrous foreign crashes that killed 346 crew and passengers. WestJet is expected to be the first domestic carrier to resume 737 Max service with Air Canada to follow suit.

Jan 19, 2021

Taken immediately into custody on his voluntary return to Russia after months of treatment for neurotoxic poisoning by Russian agents, opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been arrested and detained for 30 days after court hearing inside a police station. He and his supporters insist that his prosecution is politically motivated by President Vladimir Putin.

Jan 18, 2021

After 2020 criticism of its procurement policies, Global Affairs Canada paid $250,000 to consulting firm Deloitte for a report that, as Conservative MP Kelly McCauley put it, "essentially says, ‘Don’t buy sensitive security equipment from despotic regimes that spy on you and keep your citizens in their jails.'"

Jan 18, 2021

Seven weeks after the U.S. formally exited from the Open Skies treaty, Russia has confirmed plans to follow suit. The announcement by the foreign ministry sets in motion a months-long notice period. Russia ratified the reciprocal overflight pact in 2001.

Jan 18, 2021

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey has called a general election for Feb. 13 in a bid to convert his government’s 19-seat Liberal minority in the legislature to a majority. It will be Furey's first election since he replaced party leader Dwight Ball in August.

Jan 17, 2021

Aleksei Navalny, the Russian opposition politician, has been arrested immediately on his return to Moscow from Germany, where he had been treated for neurotoxin poisoning blamed on Russian agents. He was taken into custody at passport control and evidently is slated to stand trial on alleged corruption charges.

Jan 15, 2021

Facing a corruption investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the National Rifle Association is declaring bankruptcy and plans to reincorporate in Texas. James, who says she will continue her efforts to have it dissolved, commented Jan 15 that “the NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt.”

Jan 15, 2021

The federal government’s international travel restrictions, a key element of its COVID-19 campaign, will keep the Canada-U.S. border closed to non-essential travel until at least Feb 21.

Jan 15, 2021

New federal regulations are designed to ensure that Canadian companies are not complicit in human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang province. Exports of Canadian products to China would be prohibited if there is a chance they could be used for surveillance, repression, arbitrary detention or forced labour.

Jan 15, 2021

The union representing more than 19,000 RCMP personnel is pressing for clearer guidelines on when body-worn cameras can be turned off. National Police Federation President Brian Sauvé says that while they “contribute to a greater level of context, transparency and accountability for both police and citizens,” there also are “very real privacy issues” to resolve.

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