NEWS BRIEFS: CANADA

31 January 2023   (Ottawa Citizen)
A Public Service Alliance of Canada unit representing more than 10,400 federal workers who operate government buildings and services is asking for a 47 per cent increase in total compensation over three years. A Public Interest Commission tribunal says the proposal “would result in an increase to compensation far beyond what is reasonable.”
30 January 2023   (Globe & Mail)
Researchers at 50 Canadian universities have collaborated for nearly two decades with Chinese military scientists at the National University of Defence Technology, according to Strider Technologies, a strategic intelligence company headquartered in Utah. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has warned that China increasingly uses joint academic research to obtain innovative science and technology. NUDT was blacklisted by the U.S. in 2015 because it posed a “significant risk” to national-security or foreign-policy interests.
30 January 2023   (CP)
The latest annual Public Accounts of Canada show that the federal government failed to spend $38.2 billion in approved funds in 2021-2022, a record amount which eclipsed $32.2 billion in the previous fiscal year. Departments blame a range of factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, but point out that much of the unspent money remains available for subsequent years.
29 January 2023   (CBC)
A Canadian Army trooper faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and forcible confinement following an Ontario court’s hearing in a private prosecution. The accuser’s lawyer said the civil action was initiated after the Department of National Defence declined to prosecute after an investigation in 2018. A warrant has been issued for Corporal Oleksii Silin, based at CFB Gagetown.
27 January 2023   (CTV)
When Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country needed fighters, including foreigners. Canadians were among the earliest to heed the call, alone or in groups, and the Ukrainian Foreign Legion said a short while later that they were “one of the most numerous nationalities” in its ranks. Several have died in combat but the federal government says it is not monitoring anyone going to Ukraine.
25 January 2023   (CTV)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he has invited premiers to Ottawa for a February 7 “working meeting” he hopes will address country-wide health care funding problems. The federal government also is looking for a national accord on data and health information as well as long-term deals which would include specific metrics relevant to individual provincial and territorial needs.
24 January 2023   (National Post)
The legal and safety implications of a Federal Court order to the government to repatriate four alleged Canadian members of ISIS are quickly becoming an issue for debate at home. The Ottawa lawyer who represented the men and other Syrian-held captives says the government can prosecute them if they’re held responsible for terrorist activitities but a former CSIS officer says an effective prosecution needs evidence and witnesses in Syria. Moreover, says Phil Gurski, “the supporters of these men and women have portrayed them as victims that need to be rescued.”
24 January 2023   (Ottawa Citizen)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada announced today that strike votes by the 120,000 employees it represents in four bargaining units will begin in February. “We need to hold the line on fair wages that will prevent . . . falling further behind as the cost of living increases,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. The monetary goal is annual 4.5 per cent salary increases over three years; the government has offered 8.5 per cent compounded over four years
24 January 2023   (CBC)
Seven weeks after a Quebec civil court found Major-General Dany Fortin not guilty of sexual assault more than three decades ago, the Department of National Defence has effectively echoed that ruling, saying January 23 that there would be no administrative action. But Fortin said his professional situation remains unresolved and he is continuing with an official complaint about how Military Police handled his case.
23 January 2023   (Stars & Stripes)
Micheline Pollock, a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist who pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Army and Navy in connection with her Dubai-headquartered company’s construction projects in Africa, has been sentenced to time served and ordered to pay nearly $7.2 million in restitution. Arrested in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September 2020, she was extradited almost immediately and, after her grand jury indictment, was held pending trial.
23 January 2023   (CP)
A peace process aimed at resolving the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon after years of civil will see Canada take a lead role, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has announced. “Canada has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process, as part of our commitment to promote peace and security and advance support for democracy and human rights,” she said January 20.
23 January 2023   (CTV)
Fresh from a meeting with her NATO counterparts in Germany last week, Defence Minister Anita Anand said in a January 22 broadcast that she had “no news to share” on whether Canada will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as repeatedly requested by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Canada has 82 of the German tanks but has said it has said it needs permission from Germany to ship them to a third country.

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