In the News

Mar 16, 2022

The campaign in Canada to do away with the annual shift to Daylight Saving Time just before spring has been given new life by the U.S. Senate, which vote unanimously March 15 pre-spring shift to scrap what has become an annoyance for many. Some Canadian provinces have already prepared the legal ground for a policy shift while others have adopted a wait-and-see attitude.

Mar 16, 2022

A former Canadian Space Agency engineer who allegedly used his position to act on behalf of a Chinese company was the subject of a Canadian Security Intelligence Service warning about his “reliability” as early as 2015. Court documents indicate that despite three warnings, Wanping Zheng, who is charged with breach of trust, had his security clearance renewed by the CSA in April 2017.

Mar 16, 2022

One of the protesters arrested after a weeks-long border blockade in southern Alberta faces new charges arising from stemming from an incident in which a police barrier was breached by trucks and tractors. Joanne Person, 62, who already faces weapons and mischief charges, now is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. Most of the 13 accused who appeared in court March 15 face charges of mischief to property and possession of a weapon but four are charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers.

Mar 16, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Defence Minister Anita Anand are among hundreds of Canadians sanctioned by Russia in retaliation for supporting Ukraine. The foreign ministry in Moscow said March 15 that the sanctions mean denial of entry to “top officials, parliamentarians and anti-Russian figures.”

Mar 14, 2022

Britain’s high court has refused to allow Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s latest appeal against extradition to the U.S. but the legal challenge isn’t over. A court official said today that the latest appeal did not raise “an arguable point of law,” which means his case reverts to the district court judge who had assessed the extradition request. Home Secretary is then expected to make a final decision.

Mar 11, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser, Jody Thomas, said March 10 that the Emergencies Act was an appropriate response to the three-week “freedom convoy” occupation of downtown Ottawa. Calling the convoy a protest was an “over-simplification,” the former deputy minister of national defence said, because it was a manifestation of “ideologically-motivated extremism . . . here to stay.”

Mar 10, 2022

The senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky belives there have been more than a dozen assassination attempts on his leader, not the “two or three” reported by foreign intelligence sources. Mykhailo Podoliak said Zelenskyy is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main target as Russian troops continued their invasion.

Mar 10, 2022

Pending further advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is extending its mandatory coronavirus mask requirement on public transport until at least April 18. Announced today, it applies to passengers on aircraft, trains and buses as well as in all transit hubs.

Mar 10, 2022

Beijing has seemingly adopted a neutral position on Russia’s war on Ukraine, neither condemning Moscow nor ruling out the possibility of mediation. However, China’s state media’s coverage of the invasion has tended to parrot Russian President Vladimir Putin’s characterization of his bloody assault as nothing more than a “special military operation” and largely echoing Russian state media or information from Moscow.

Mar 10, 2022

The coronavirus pandemic evidently has left many Canadians disaffected with a majority saying it has disrupted their lives significantly – severely in some cases – and driving wedges between segments of the population. This is according to the results, published today, of a national online poll coinciding with the second anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the pandemic.

Mar 10, 2022

As Ontario prepares to lift its requirement that masks be worn in most public places March 21, it follows the lead of several other provinces in winding down their coronavirus responses. Here’s a look at the current situation across the country today.

Mar 09, 2022

As the provinces and territories shift to “living” with the coronavirus and begin lifting mandatory mask requirement, their varied approaches effectively leave it to individual Canadians to decide what’s appropriate. On a federal level, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says agencies overseeing mask mandates for sectors such as domestic air travel could result in “policy adjustments as needed in the coming days and weeks.”

Mar 09, 2022

Politicians, influential oligarchs and media figures are among the Russians sanctioned by Canada and other countries over President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Poland and essentially wage all-out war. Canada has continued to add to its sanctions list in smaller and more thematically-targeted batches three times since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Mar 09, 2022

Six passengers on a Sunwing charter flight to Mexico from Montreal in December have been fined an undisclosed amount by Transport Canada. The department said March 8 that more penalties are to come as its investigation continues. The initial fines, which could be as much as $5,000, are in response to widely-documented “unacceptable behaviour” on the flight.

Mar 09, 2022

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has announced a presidential decree designed to stem the exodus of western companies over Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Accusing the companies of bowing to “political pressure” from home, the PM said the decree would enable them to make “informed decisions” and that “we expect those who have invested in our country will be able to continue working here.”

Mar 08, 2022

Eight days after Canada announced that it would stop buying Russian crude oil, Britain and the the U.S. announced today that they were following suit and the EU said it would end its reliance on Russian natural gas. Energy exports are a key revenue source for Russia but the move will impact Western consumers too. Meanwhile, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are among the latest western brands to pull out of the Russian market.

Mar 08, 2022

Having disclosed that it had purchased a cargo of Russian crude oil last week, Shell apologized today and promised to stop the practice and suspend all refining and retail activities there. “We are acutely aware that our decision . . . was not the right one,” CEO Ben van Beurden said.

Mar 08, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian counterparts today that Canada will stand with the Baltic states against not only the war in Ukraine but also Russia’s cyberattacks on their countries. “You have been living not just with the military threat, not just with the history of occupation, but also, the daily use of propaganda and disinformation to try and undermine the democracy and the values you have,” he said during a visit to Latvia.

Mar 08, 2022

Germany, possibly the most pacifist European power as it spends 1.5 per cent of its GDP on defence, has reversed long-standing policy by shipping weapons to Ukraine and promising to meet NATO's two per cent target. Canada currently spends 1.39 per cent and despite sundry promises, continues to fall short. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau possibly signalled a renewed effort March 7, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the global “context.”

Mar 08, 2022

Canada’s five major banks have agreed to waive or reverse wire transfer fees to Ukraine after a Toronto woman challenged TD Bank’s $50 fee for donating $1,600 to a Ukrainian relief effort. Krystyne Rusek, whose fee was refunded, argues that it was “not right” to be charged for donations during what the UN has condemned as an act of aggression that violates international law.

Mar 08, 2022

Tamara Lich, the Alberta woman who became the face of the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks, has been released from jail and told to get out of town. Arrested Feb. 17 and charged with counselling to commit mischief, she initially was denied bail because a judge was not convinced she would go home. The judge who ordered her release March 7 acknowledged that Lich “does require some supervision.”

Mar 08, 2022

Despite the perception that Russian ground forces’ invasion of Ukraine seems to have stalled after 12 days of intense bombardments, Ukrainian officials say the humanitarian crisis continues to grow. Nearly two million Ukrainians have fled to neighbouring countries and one official says his country expects that “the catastrophe in Ukraine will lead to a catastrophe in the world with food because Ukraine was a major supplier of wheat and grain.”

Mar 07, 2022

Russia today announced yet another ceasefire in its invasion of Ukraine and opened a few humanitarian corridors as a prelude to a third round of talks. However, previous measures have fallen apart as bombardments resumed shortly thereafter; hundreds of thousands of fleeing civilians were forced to shelter March 6 as Russians shelled several cities. Some of the new corridors would funnel Ukrainians toward Russia or Belarus, a prospect rejected by Ukraine.

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that two former CIA contractors cannot be questioned in a Polish criminal investigation into the interrogation of a suspected high-ranking al-Qaeda figure. The court ruled 6-3 that the U.S. government could assert “state-secrets privilege” to prevent the contractors from being questioned. Poland is believed to be the location of a “black site” where the CIA interrogated Abu Zubaydah, who now has spent more than 15 years at Guantanamo Bay.

Mar 07, 2022

A lawyer for Cameron Ortis, the former director general of the RCM:’s intelligence coordination centre charged with violating the Security of Information Act, wants at least part of the case against him stayed. Arrested in 2019, Ortis is accused of trying to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization. Federal Court has been looking into whether sensitive and potentially injurious information could be disclosed in open court or should be protected for national security reasons.

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. crowdfunding site GiveSendGo says the Canadian government did not ask it to stop collecting donations for the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks. A parliamentary committee also was told “that the suppression of speech is much more dangerous than speech itself” and that GSG would host fundraisers for extremist organizations if their plans were legally authorized.

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted to helping to carry out the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. The six conservative members of the bench outvoted the three liberals. The March 4 ruling comes as President Joe Biden presses on with his bid to abolish federal executions on which the Justicee Department has imposed a moratorium.

Mar 04, 2022

A suicide bomber struck inside a Shiite Muslim mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar during Friday prayers, killing at least 56 worshippers and wounding 194 people, hospital officials said. An armed attacker opened fire on police outside the mosque in Peshawar’s old city. One police officer was killed and another wounded before the attacker ran inside the mosque and detonated his suicide vest.

Mar 03, 2022

Throughout the Cold War and the decades since, Finland and Sweden remained resolute in their political independence but recent public opinion polls indicate significant support for NATO membership as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has change Europe’s security outlook. The polls indicate indicate unprecedented support of more than 50 per cent among Finns and a similar result in Sweden.

Mar 03, 2022

In an attempt to curb surging inflation, the Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate for the first time since reducing it to near zero at the start coronavirus pandemic. Effective March 2, it rose by a quarter of a point to 0.5 per cent, prompting major banks to increase their lending rates.

Mar 02, 2022

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, has indicated that he plans to increase interest rates. He told Congress March 2 that he favours a 0.25-point increase later this month in an effort to contain inflation and is open to further hikes.

Mar 02, 2022

Russia’s war on Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the global community of wealthy Russians who are feeling the effect of international sanctions that threaten their foreign mansions, superyachts and their children’s places at elite European schools. Some of the oligarchs with close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin are beginning to speak out against the war, albeit tentatively for the time being.

Mar 02, 2022

A senior Iranian security official said today that broken U.S. promises essentially compel his country to defend its interests by securing a reliable nuclear agreement abandoned by the U.S. in 2018. “Bitter experience with the U.S. breach of promises and European inaction have made it inevitable to meet the requirements for a reliable, balanced and sustainable agreement,” said Ali Shamkhani, a two-star General and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

Mar 02, 2022

Two Ontario churches that challenged the province's coronavirus-related restrictions on constitutional grounds lost in court March 1. Judge Renée Pomerance of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice agreed the restrictions on indoor gatherings did constrain the congregations’ activities but pointed out that “despite the claimants’ characterization as such, there was never a complete ban on religious gatherings or religious activity.”

Mar 02, 2022

Police in the New Zealand capital had to resort to pepper spray today as they began clearing hundreds of sometimes violent opponents of mandatory coronavirus vaccination away from in front of the parliament buildings where they have camped for more than three weeks. Invoking memories of the recent “freedom convoy” blockade in Ottawa, the NZ police also began towing some of the protesters’ 300 vehicles.

Mar 01, 2022

Forty-three years after Iranians celebrated the end of the Shah’s regime and welcomed the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Michael Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and an authority on rogue regimes, says Iran has become an illegitimate “zombie state” set to fail. A key element is the way the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has gained significant control of the country’s economy without political oversight.

Feb 28, 2022

Switzerland, a favorite financial for oligarchs, announced today that it was departing from its traditional neutrality by freezing Russian assets in the country, joining the EU and a growing list of countries critical of Russia’s “unprecedented” invasion of Ukraine. The measure applies to President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as 367 others sanctioned by the EU last week.

Feb 28, 2022

A report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says countries are not doing nearly enough to protect against disasters expected as global warming continues. UN Secretary General António Guterres calls the report compiled by 270 researchers from 67 countries “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”

Feb 28, 2022

As international sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began to affect their economy, ordinary Russians are faced with higher prices for just about everything as the value of the Ruble plunged. The currency fell some 30 per cent against the dollar today and the U.S. Treasury Department announced new measures to freeze Russian central bank assets in the United States or held by Americans.

Feb 28, 2022

Canada has joined western allies in cutting off “selected” Russian financial institutions’ access to the global SWIFT program where international transactions are expedited, effecting hamstringing the country’s economy. “We are resolved to continue imposing costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia,” the allies said in a weekend joint statement.

Feb 26, 2022

Following the lead of Britain and several European countries, Canada closed its airspace to Russian airlines Feb. 27. Aeroflot usually operates multiple overflights daily.

Feb 25, 2022

Antigovernment protests that jolted Canada this month have been quashed but a similar occupation in New Zealand’s capital is now in its third week. The occupation in Wellington initially had a carnival atmosphere but has deteriorated into a violent pushback against police attempts to clear the area.

Feb 24, 2022

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, points out that rights are interwoven with responsibilities. “Freedom is not absolute,” she writes, commenting on the protests against mandatory coronavirus vaccination. She notes that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms makes it clear that freedoms are not absolute because “governments, it proclaims, can limit freedoms, provided the limits are ‘reasonable’ and can be ‘justified in a free and democratic society’.”

Feb 24, 2022

Russia’s pre-dawn kinetic invasion of Ukraine today was accompanied by a massive cyberattack which rendered strategically-key Ukrainian ministry websites unavailable or extremely slow to access. In addition, unidentified hackers had spread malware not only in Ukraine but also neighboring Latvia and Lithuania

Feb 24, 2022

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s has suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach to Ukraine is a “genius” tactic and that Putin’s declaration of two breakaway regions as independent states was “wonderful.” His comments present a huge internal challenge to the Republican Party, which used to be staunchly anti-Soviet, as the U.S. faces mid-term elections tis year.

Feb 24, 2022

Just before his forces invaded Ukraine early today, Russian President called on “dear comrades” in the Ukrainian military not to follow the “criminal orders” of Kyiv and to “lay down your weapons and go home.” He also told his home audience that his actions “are self-defense.”

Feb 24, 2022

Explosions could be heard Wednesday in Kyiv, Odessa and several other Ukrainian cities as Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a “special military operation” against Ukraine, the scope of which wasn’t immediately clear. Just before dawn, residents of Kyiv were ordered into bomb shelters amid reports of incoming air attacks.

Feb 23, 2022

Now that order has been restored in Ottawa and at key border crossings, the Prime Minister says the government can revoke the Emergencies Act. The House of Commons had just approved the strong measures on Monday night. The crisis had raged at full bore and full volume for 20 days previous to the announcement of emergency powers which immediately froze financial support and made tow trucks into essential services.

Feb 23, 2022

Some of the “freedom convoy” protesters who paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks have relocated to private properties in surrounding rural areas, prompting concerns that they might gry to mount a fresh blockade in the capital. Police continue to monitor the situation.

Feb 23, 2022

The department of finance has begun unfreezing the accounts of individuals who supported the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa. Under the auspices of the Emergencies Act, the government gave financial institutions the power to suspend the accounts, without a court order, of individual or business affiliated with the three-week occupation of downtown Ottawa.

Feb 22, 2022

Two incidents reported during police clearance of the last of the protesters from the so-called “freedom convoy” which paralyzed the capital’s core for three weeks are being investigated by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. One incident resulted in a woman’s fractured collar bone and the other involved police use of “non-lethal” Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield baton rounds.

Feb 22, 2022

A motion affirming the government's invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with protests in the capital and elsewhere was approved by the House of Commons Feb. 21 by a vote of 185-151 with the Liberals supported by the New Democratic Party. Immediately afterward, a bid by the Conservatives to recall the invocation was ruled out of order.

Feb 22, 2022

Two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, home to many ethnic Russians and the focus of repeated military confrontations, prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize them as “independent” and to deploy “peacekeeping” troops. The U.S. has derided the deployment as “nonsense” while Ukraine’s president says his country is “not afraid of anything or anyone.”

Feb 21, 2022

Data analysis techniques are critical in maximizing opportunities and strengthening the business case for a data analysis strategy, yet Accenture reports that only 32% of companies can currently extract business value from their data. This report defines different categories of data analysis, then examines quantitative, qualitative and statistical data analysis techniques, and wraps up with advice on how to unlock the business value of such techniques.

Feb 19, 2022

More than 100 members of the so-called “freedom convoy” were arrested Feb. 18 as police moved in on protesters in what acting police chief Steve Bell said was a “methodical” approach to ending the three-week downtown blockade. There was occasional aggressive pushback and police reported that some protesters tried to grab officers’ firearms.

Feb 19, 2022

Even as many provinces are easing pandemic restrictions, a highly contagious Omicron coronavirus sub-variant known as BA.2 is gaining a foothold in Canada. New data indicate that it could be 1.4 times as contagious as BA.1 and as it becomes dominant in the coming weeks, it could undo progress to date, as evidently has been the case in Denmark, which lifted all pandemic restrictions in January.

Feb 19, 2022

As much as $20 million in bank and cryptocurrency accounts linked to the “freedom convoy” protest in Ottawa were frozen by judicial order Feb. 18. “It’s the first time in Canadian legal history that bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been subject to a freezing order,” said Paul Champ, the lawyer representing Ottawa residents’ class-action suit. If an appeal fails, it could mean some of the funds could be used to compensate residents affected by the three-week protest that has paralyzed the capital’s downtown core.

Feb 19, 2022

Facebook is being pressed by members of the U.S. Congress for details on how many of the social media giant’s accounts were created by foreign entities promoting coronavirus vaccination protests in Canada. The representatives were responding to reports that Facebook had confirmed fake user profiles set up in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Romania.

Feb 19, 2022

London’s city council is being petitioned to ban hate symbols such as the Confederate flag. Members of the city’s black community have been dismayed by the display of the symbol of U.S. slavery and the petition leader, Melissa Ng, said Feb. 18 that she was inspired by a ban imposed last year by Collingwood council last year. “No hate symbol should be on public display,” she said. “Why would you fly a flag that harms others in the community?”

Feb 18, 2022

A 31-year-old Windsor, Ont., woman has been charged after a bomb threat against her city’s mayor was posted this week on a social media threat about coronavirus restrictions. The threat targeted a residence owned by the mayor.

Feb 18, 2022

A U.S. grand jury has indicted a Florida resident arrested Jan. 19 near the Manitoba-U.S. border last month and accused of involvement in human smuggling. Steve Anthony Shand was arrested shortly after RCMP found the bodies of a family of four from India who froze to death a few metres north of the border after being separated from others in their party found in a van driven by Shand.

Feb 18, 2022

Canada is being urged by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares to resume the search, weather permitting, for 12 crewmembers missing after a 50-metre trawler sank Feb. 15 off Newfoundland. The search, which involved two RCAF aircraft and a Coast Guard vessel, was called off late Feb. 16. Three crewmembers were rescued and the bodies of nine others were found at the site about 460 kilometres east of St. John's.

Feb 18, 2022

Despite calls for an immigration freeze to allow time for addressing an already problematic backlog of applications, the latest federal plan calls for some 448,000 citizenship applications, 519,030 permanent residency applications and 848,598 temporary residency applications to be processed. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser says the current backlog is due to a surge in applications issues he says are “a direct result of the virus blocking our operations.”

Feb 18, 2022

As hundreds of protesters in the so-called “freedom convoy” of coronavirus vaccination opponents continued late Feb. 17, police made several arrests, including two key protest organizers. Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, who called others to “hold the line” as she was being taken into custody, face charges of mischief and counselling to commit mischief.

Feb 18, 2022

The so-called “freedom convoy” which paralyzed Ottawa’s downtown core for three weeks has elicited “a lot of respect” from Donald Trump, who infamously called Black Lives Matter protesters in his own country “thugs” and anarchists.” The fact that he was supported by his political followers and right-wing news media, prompted accusations of hypocrisy.

Feb 18, 2022

RCMP say that a “calculated and organized violent attack” on a Coastal GasLink drill site in northern B.C. Feb. 17 “left its victims shaken and a multi-million dollar path of destruction.” The site was attacked by about 20 people, some wielding axes, and the company said that among other things, “an attempt was made to set a vehicle on fire while workers were inside” and flare guns were also fired at workers.”

Feb 18, 2022

An Alberta judge has refused to release a controversial preacher accused of inciting violence during the recent border blockade at the province’s border with Montana. Art Pawlowski of Calgary, charged with public mischief and interrupting essential operations, had encouraged protesters to withdraw, saying that “for freedom to be preserved, people must be willing to sacrifice their lives.”

Feb 18, 2022

Food, energy and housing costs remain the key factors behind Canada's annualized 5.1 per cent inflation rate in January, its highest since 1991. Statistics Canada says supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic, coupled with stimulus spending, have driven up inflation in most areas; it was 7.5 per cent in the U.S. in January.

Feb 16, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was cautioned by House of Commons Speaker, Ontario Liberal MP Anthony Rota about using “inflammatory” language Feb. 16. Responding to comments by Toronto-area Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman, who is Jewish, Trudeau said the Conservatives had aligned themselves with “people who wave swastikas” during the vaccination protests.

Feb 16, 2022

The ongoing occupation of downtown Ottawa by coronavirus protesters has cost the Ottawa Police Service more than $14.1 million as the protest nears the end of its third week There are still hundreds of trucks and other vehicles on Wellington Street, in front of the Parliament buildings and the Prime Minister's Office, but police say the number of occupiers has dwindled significantly since last weekend.

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