In the News

Jul 14, 2021

An Ontario teenager is worried that a prank involving a $6.49 Nerf gun could hinder his chances of a Canadian Armed Forces career. He and a friend were arrested and charged with assault with a weapon and criminal harassment after they had driven around a nearby community, firing rubber darts at residents.

Jul 14, 2021

Canada's Department of National Defence is taking steps to "green" defence infrastructure and reduce its carbon footprint while providing military personnel with sustainable and efficient facilities in which to work and train.

Jul 14, 2021

A Utah company has received a “cease and desist” letter for modifying a Glock pistol to look like it was built from Lego. The Danish manufacturer of the globally-popular building blocks was alerted by the heard of a firearms safety group. Culper Precision says its modification was supposed to “highlight the pure enjoyment of the shooting sports.” It’s illegal in the U.S. to produce realistic toy guns but there’s no explicit ban on doing the opposite.

Jul 14, 2021

A European Union plan to phase out sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035 is facing pushback from France, which wants a more flexible approach and an extension for hybrid vehicles. French President Emmanuel recently met with company and union representatives to discuss an eventual transition to electric vehicles.

Jul 14, 2021

As the economic outlook improves, the Bank of Canada reduces emergency stimulus. As inflation continues to run above target, prices are projected to rise more than 3% in 2021 before easing back toward 2% in 2022 – yet risks are skewed to the upside.

Jul 14, 2021

Mounting concern about Chinese influence The European Union’s foreign ministers are pressing for more global linkages as a potential counter to China's Belt and Road Initiative to link Asia with Europe. “We must offer alternatives,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass told reporters July 12. “It is important that the European Union . . . coordinates them very closely with the United States.”

Jul 14, 2021

Responding to pressure from the U.S., the European Commission is delaying the planned introduction of a tax on digital services. Some European officials also are questioning the proposed levy.

Jul 14, 2021

North Korea’s foreign ministry is promoting a claim that offers of aid, including coronavirus vaccines, are a part of a plot to influence other governments. It has posted an ostensibly independent commentary that the offer “vividly reveals that the American ulterior intention of linking ‘humanitarian assistance’ with ‘human rights issue’ is to legitimise their pressure on the sovereign states and achieve their sinister political scheme.”

Jul 14, 2021

President Joe Biden has signed off on an executive order his administration says is aimed at “promoting competition” in the U.S. economy by curbing “the trend of corporate consolidation.” It calls on the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law “vigorously” and for agencies to “challenge prior bad mergers.”

Jul 13, 2021

Faced with pushback from some provinces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is developing an “internationally accepted proof of vaccination” for international travel, it’s up to the provinces to handle travel within Canada. “Different provinces will be doing different things.”

Jul 13, 2021

The pace of science and technology breakthroughs are so dramatically redesigning the global security outlook that an Australian think-tank is urging the country’s military, defence industry and universities to pool their resources. It envisages the equivalent of the U.S., Defence Applied Research Projects Agency, calling it “a significant opportunity” to cooperation within the Five Eyes nations.

Jul 13, 2021

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has flatly rejected suggestions that his province follow other provinces’ lead on introducing documents showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination. “We will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports,” he said July 12. “I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”

Jul 13, 2021

Ruling on a reference by Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien (Docket T-1779-18), Federal Court Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné said the results of Google searches should be subject to privacy legislation. Effectively a ruling on how companies handle personal information, it is seen as a partial victory for individuals seeking to be “forgotten” on social media. It originated from a man’s complaint that search results had yielded damagingly inaccurate information about him. Google had argued privacy law did not apply because its search engine was not a “commercial activity.”

Jul 12, 2021

A Manitoba judge hearing a case brought by groups opposed to COVID-19 restrictions was followed by a private investigator looking for potential breaches of those limits by the judge. The lawyer representing several rural churches and individuals, admitted in court July 12 that he had hired the investigator but insisted it was not an attempt to influence the judge’s decision.

Jul 12, 2021

University researchers seeking federal government grants are now required to complete a security risk assessment and work with national security agencies and the federal government in a bid to prevent foreign interests from acquiring Canadian intellectual property. The decision, initially applicable to the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council but expected to be broadened, was announced today by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Jul 12, 2021

Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways have been ordered by the federal government to step up their fire prevention efforts as wildfires continue to scorch British Columbia. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said July 11 that the companies must ensure a 60-minute response time to any fires detected along their rights-of-way.

Jul 12, 2021

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has suggested that Iran's incoming president, Ebrahim Raisi, should be treated as an international pariah for his record of human rights abuses. “Shame on any government in the world that would sit down and try to negotiate anything with an administration led by Ebrahim Raisi,” Harper said in a speech to a July 10 virtual Free Iran World Summit.

Jul 12, 2021

After another major international ransomware attack by Russian hackers, U.S. President Joe Biden has threatened President Vladimir Putin with unspecified “consequences” if he fails to intervene. “I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it's not, not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information,” Biden said July 9.

Jul 09, 2021

A 13-member U.S. Marine Corps diplomatic protection unit has been sent to the embassy in Eswatini, the small southern African country previously called Swaziland. They were deployed as government security forces cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators in increasingly violent confrontations.

Jul 09, 2021

Members of a Taliban delegation visiting Moscow said today that the “Islamic emirates” control 85 per cent of Afghanistan’s territory and about 250 of the country’s 398 districts. One also said the government in Kabul controls only the administrative centres.

Jul 09, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said July 8 that it will be “quite a while” before Canada welcomes any tourists who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. “We need to continue to ensure that the safety of Canadians, of all the sacrifices that so many people have made over the past many, many months, are not for nothing,” he said, addressing presume from the tourism industry to reopen borders.

Jul 09, 2021

Five rounds of voting over two days at a virtual meeting of the Assembly of First Nations has given the organization its first female national chief. RoseAnne Archibald, a former Ontario regional chief, eventually prevailed when her main rival conceded. bowed out. A member of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation in northern Ontario, she was the first woman and youngest chief of the TTN in 1990 at the age of 23.

Jul 09, 2021

Haitian police say that a group of foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers and a couple of Haitian-Americans, were among those responsible for assassination of President Jovenel Moïse the day before. Seventeen have been arrested, three were killed and a number of others were still at large.

Jul 09, 2021

Even if a significant number of Canadian become fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, health officials now are considering the possibility that booster shots will be needed as more aggressive variants emerge. There’s general consensus that the current two-shot regime offers excellent protection but experts have questions about the duration of that protection.

Jul 08, 2021

Confirmation that Iran has begun producing enriched uranium, insisting it ys for reactor fuel research, is worrying the U.S. and some European countries because of the potential for nuclear weapons development. Iran resumed its nuclear metallurgy program after the former U.S. administration arbitrarily withdrew from an international accord which the European partners want to revive.

Jul 08, 2021

A report that the U.S. is revoking three times as many NEXUS cards as Canada has prompted former deputy prime minister John Manley, who negotiated the trusted traveller program, to call for a review of how they are managed. “It's stunning that the numbers are as great as they are and the exercise of the authority to cancel is being done in a manner that seems somewhat capricious and unjustified,”, he said July 7. “I think it would be only with pressure from Canada that the U.S. would change their procedures.”

Jul 08, 2021

The Japanese-owned container ship which blocked the Suez Canal in March was permitted to leave today after its owners and insurers had signed a compensation agreement with Egypt. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jul 08, 2021

Volkswagen and BMW were respectively fined €502 million and €373 million today by the European Commission for colluding to curb the use of emissions-cleaning technology the companies developed a decade ago. “This is a first,” European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. “We have never had a cartel whose purpose was to restrict the use of novel technology.”

Jul 08, 2021

New data released July 7 by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. indicate that COVID-19 has killed more than four million persons worldwide. The U.S. tops the list at 606,000 followed by Brazil and India. The daily count over the past week has average 7.900.

Jul 08, 2021

Mary Simon, the Quebec Inuk leader and seasoned diplomat nominated as the next Governor General, is vigorously defending herself against predictable criticism that she doesn’t speak French. “Based on my experience growing up in Quebec, I was denied the chance to learn French during my time in the federal government day schools,” she says. Fluent in Inuktituk and English, she is “firmly committed” to learn Canada’s other official language.

Jul 08, 2021

A U.S. Marine Corps officer serving as general counsel at U.S. Cyber Command has suggested that says some transnational criminal hacking could warrant a military response. “Under ideal conditions, law enforcement organizations would address any type of criminal activity,” LCol Kurt Sanger argues in a co-authored article, noting that ideal conditions are rare in cyberspace. “Operational opportunities often must be seized immediately by whatever entity is best positioned to do so.”

Jul 08, 2021

Former South African president Jacob Zuma presented himself to police today to begin serving a 15-month jail term for contempt of court. He had defied a court order to testify before a judicial commission investigating widespread allegations of corruption during his time in office.

Jul 07, 2021

Section 34 of Canada’s Immigration Act, which states that anyone who acted to overthrow a democratically-elected government, is presenting a huge hurdle for an Ivory Coast refugee facing deportation. Mamadou Konaté originally was deemed “imadmissible” because of his involvement in a civil war 20 years ago. His lawyer says Section 34 technically means that Nelson Mandela and even opponents of Adolf Hitler could have been denied residency status by Canada.

Jul 07, 2021

A business and environmental strategy designed to promote hydrogen as a renewable and low-carbon energy source has been rolled out by the B.C. government. Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation, said July 6 that short-term goals include regional supply hubs and measures to increase the numbers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles powered by hydrogen. His department estimates the gas could reduce the province’s annual carbon emissions by 7.2 million tonnes by 2050.

Jul 07, 2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has begun producing enriched uranium which could lead to weapons development.

Jul 07, 2021

The heightened U.S. military presence along the border with Mexico is entering its fourth year with as many as 3,000 troops deployed through September 2022. They comprise mainly National Guard units controlled by U.S. Northern Command.

Jul 07, 2021

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s counterterrorism coordinator says his country has never faced terrorism challenge as tough as the homegrown variety. “This is the most dynamic, complex and rapidly evolving threat I think we’ve faced,” John Cohen told a virtual conference, explaining that it originates mainly from disaffected people radicalized by consuming inflammatory online misinformation.

Jul 07, 2021

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada suspects that the failure of a critical Bell Helicopter rotor pin caused the death June 28 of a B.C. pilot fighting forest fires in Alberta last week. In an emergency airworthiness directive, the board says failure of the component frees the rotor head and blades to separate from the aircraft.

Jul 07, 2021

Calgary-based TC Energy is trying to recoup more than $15 billion in damages from the U.S. over the administration’s cancellation of construction permits for the Keystone XL pipeline project. In a claim filed with the State Department, the company says the decision breached bilateral free trade rules.

Jul 07, 2021

Trying to deflect international condemnation of its own human rights record, China is urging the UN Human Rights Council to carry out a “thorough and impartial investigation” into Canada’s treatment of indigenous peoples after the remains of hundreds of children were found in former residential schools. “Simply apologizing is not enough,” Jiang Duan, China’s representative on the Geneva-based council, said July 6. “Canada must take actual actions to correct its mistakes,”

Jul 07, 2021

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was shot to death at home early today in an attack that also wounded his wife. “A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a statement.

Jul 06, 2021

A decades-old and periodically revived proposal to upgrade passenger rail service between Toronto and Quebec City was brought back to life again July 5 by the federal government. Costing up to $12 billion and scheduled for completion by 2030, it would include some rights-of-way designated for passenger traffic rather than the current delay-plagued mix which gives goods traffic priority.

Jul 06, 2021

All 28 persons aboard an Antonov An-26 twin turboprop died in a crash in northeastern Russia today. It reportedly struck a cliff due to poor visibility en route to a village on the Kamchatka peninsula from the regional capital.

Jul 06, 2021

As various jurisdictions, including the U.S. and Britain, plan to ease mask and social distancing requirements even as the aggressive COVID-19 Delta variant spreads, the World Health Organization says local conditions must be considered. “That should only be done in the context of considering both the intensity of transmission in the area and the level of vaccine coverage,” says Dr. Mike Ryan, the Irish epidemiologist who heads the WHO Health Emergency Program.

Jul 06, 2021

Iceland says its experiment with a four-day week has been an “overwhelming success” as pay was not reduced, workers reported better work-life balance, and productivity was at least stable if not improved. Similar trials are under way in other countries, including Spain and New Zealand.

Jul 06, 2021

Sixteen members of three indigenous families have filed a constitutional challenge in B.C. Supreme Court over the federal government’s cancellation of their ancestors’ status in the 1800s. The government says the program was voluntary but the plaintiffs argue that their families, trying to keep children out of residential schools, were coerced.

Jul 06, 2021

Quebec Inuk Mary J. Simon was appointed today as Canada’s 30th Governor General. The former CBC North producer and announcer went on to become Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs in 1994 and was a lead negotiator for the creation of the Arctic Council. She also later served two years as ambassador to Denmark.

Jul 05, 2021

Effective today, Canadians and permanent residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer must quarantine for two weeks, and eligible air travellers are exempt from having to spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel. All must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal prior to departure to log COVID-19 vaccination details as well as the results of a negative test less than three days old. However, the Canada Border Services Agency says travellers ineligible to travel before today still would not be able to enter the country.

Jul 05, 2021

A fire which destroyed most of the southern B.C. town of Lytton last week, killing two residents, was probably human-caused and originated within the community. This is according to a B.C. Wildfire Service officer who stressed July 4 that the fire remains under investigation.

Jul 05, 2021

About 200 U.S. companies using the services of a Florida-based IT company, Kaseya, have been hit by a “colossal” ransomware attack. The cybersecurity company, Huntress Labs, says the July 2 hack by a suspected Russia group was spread through corporate networks which used Kasey’s software.

Jul 05, 2021

A former Toronto police officer has won a long fight with Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board over compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder accumulated during his 29-year career. Ralph Thistle, who was driven into poverty and homelessness since quitting the force in 2007, has received $630,000 from the Board, which waited more than nine months to settle after its own appeal tribunal approved his claim.

Jul 05, 2021

Facing widespread international condemnation of his country’s human rights record, Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that any attempts by the West to interfere would mean “heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel.” The Community Party leader also use the party’s centennnial celebrations last week to claim responsibility for the “great rejuvenation” of his country.

Jul 05, 2021

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, a Liberal MP, is facing a court challenge by the government over his approval of an Opposition motion demanding that the Public Health Agency of Canada hand over documents arising from the dismissal of two Chinese scientists at the country’s most secure virology laboratory. The government wants judicial confirmation that it has the legal authority to withhold the documents.

Jul 05, 2021

European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager expects a levy on hundreds of digital companies to offset some of the cost of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Commenting on an OECD agreement on a minimum 15 per cent tax, she said the European Union would follow suit but did not say at what rate.

Jul 05, 2021

As the World Health Organization plans the next phase of its investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are questions about the process. Some scientists, including within the UN agency, are pressing for an independent inquiry, saying that tensions between the U.S. and China undermine the WHO’s ability to find credible answers.

Jul 02, 2021

The Turkish government has officially withdrawn from an international treaty to prevent violence against women, a convention signed in Istanbul in 2011. President Tayyip Erdogan had announced the decision in March and this week a court rejected an appeal.

Jul 02, 2021

Ongoing protests across the country over the treatment of government-mandated but church-run residential schools for indigenous children saw two regal statues toppled in Winnipeg on Canada Day. One was a statue of Queen Victoria erected in 1904 in front of the Manitoba legislature, the other of Queen Elizabeth on the grounds of the Lieutenant Governor’s residence.

Jun 30, 2021

Two former allies of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic were convicted June 29 of having aided and abetted crimes committed by Serb paramilitaries in a Bosnian town in 1992. Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic originally were acquitted in 2013 but that was overturned on appeal in 2015, setting the stage for retrial at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague.

Jun 30, 2021

A Muslim former officer at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says systemic racism and a lack of diversity constitute a national security threat at the agency. Huda Mukbil says she was treated as an internal threat and interrogated about her religion during her 15-year career as well as forced to cut ties with Muslim organizations.

Jun 30, 2021

The federal government’s omnibus budget implementation bill and a couple of key pieces of legislation were approved by the Senate only a few hours before adjourning June 29 for the summer. Other bills that cleared the Upper House included one to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century and another to amend the Broadcasting Act.

Jun 29, 2021

Persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are being advised by he World Health Organization to continue wearing face masks and follow social distancing measures as the highly infectious Delta variant spurs new outbreaks around the world.

Jun 29, 2021

The annual cost of dealing with natural disasters attributable to extreme weather now averages $1.9 billion or nearly five times as much as a decade ago, and Natural Resources Canada says current efforts to address the impact on infrastructure are “insufficient in the face of rapidly accumulating social and economic losses” and “the window to reduce increasingly severe impacts is rapidly closing.”

Jun 28, 2021

Catherine McKenna, first elected to the House of Commons in 2015 and now in her second cabinet post, has decided mainly for family reasons not to seek reelection in her Ottawa riding. She first held the Environment and Climate Change portfolio and was shuffled to Infrastructure. There is speculation that it could create an opportunity for former Finance Minister Mark Carney to return to Parliament.

Jun 28, 2021

A New Brunswick couple who “purposefully drove around the check stop” on the bridge to Prince Edward Island despite COVID-19 rules have been charged with various offences by PEI police. They were eventually found in Charlottetown where police say they were “uncooperative and would not identify themselves.”

Jun 25, 2021

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Hours before the hearing, Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin's motion for a new trial, saying his attorney failed to prove either abuses from the court or prosecutorial or juror misconduct.

Jun 25, 2021

With U.S. plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from Afghanistan well on track, nearly 1,000 are expected to stay, mostly providing diplomatic security but also helping Turkish forces to protect Kabul Airport until its NATO ally sets up a formal security arrangement.

Jun 25, 2021

A European Council rejection of a French-German proposal for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin has prompted the Kremlin to suggest that a “fragmented” European Union is problematic “fragmented.” A Kremlin spokeman said today that Putin generally is “interested in improving working relations” but that “the European position is fragmented, not always consistent and sometimes unclear.”

Jun 25, 2021

Sending a strong message that Canada will not tolerate hate-based violence, the Government of Canada has placed four new terrorist entities, which includes one individual, on the Criminal Code list.

Jun 25, 2021

A Canadian government report into the January 2020 downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight minutes after it had taken off from Tehran International Airport faults Iranian authorities’ “recklessness, incompetence and wanton disregard for human life.” However, in the absence of full cooperation from Iran, the June 25 report does not say the missiles which shot down Flight PS791 were fired deliberately. Fifty-five 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and 53 others with links to Canada were aboard.

Jun 24, 2021

Contemplating the almost inevitability of future coronavirus or other pandemics, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reported to have reorganized and assembled a security and intelligence section mandated to provide more effective warnings about future outbreaks.

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