Human Rights

Israel agrees to pause assault

The U.S. said today that Israel has begun daily four-hour pauses in fighting in northern Gaza to allow residents to flee. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said each pause would be announced at least three hours in advance. “We’ve been told […] there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

More Canadians out of Gaza

Canada’s ambassador to Egypt, Louis Dumas, says 31 more Canadians were to leave Gaza today, bring the total number of citizens, permanent residents and family members so far to 106. Evacuees generally have three days to arrange travel from Cairo. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign worker policy change?

Canada’s temporary foreign worker program could be revised to prevent exploitation of migrants under a system that ties them to a single employer, according to Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Marc Miller. Responding November 7 to accusations by a UN special rapporteur that some workers are “vulnerable to contemporary forms of slavery,” Miller told a parliamentary committee he is willing to examine “a more open form, a more regional form of permit.” [node:read-more:link]

Criticism a crime in Turkey

A 2022 Turkish law which mandates prison for persons deemed to have been spreading “disinformation” survived a legal challenge today. The country’s Constitutional Court dismissed the political opposition’s call for the law, which has been used punish journalists and other critics, to be struck down because it could be used by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to further silence critics by cracking down on social media and independent reporting. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine closer to EU membership

A European Commission invitation today to Ukraine to begin EU membership talks is seen by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “strong and historic step” for his country. Formal discussions would begin once Kyiv convinces the EU that it has addressed corruption and legislated EU-compatible lobbying rules and safeguards for minorities. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa staying in housing market

Despite calls by provincial premiers to stop sending funds directly to municipalities, Housing, Infrastructure & Communities Minister Sean Fraser says that’s not going to happen. “There is no circumstance in which I’m willing to slow down when it comes to building houses in this country in the middle of the housing crisis,” he said November 7. [node:read-more:link]

“Urgent action” needed in Gaza

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and her G-7 counterparts called today for “urgent action” to help civilians trapped in Gaza. In a statement released after two days of talks in Tokyo, they balanced support for Israel’s right to defend itself while condemning Hamas and seeking a “humanitarian pause” in Israel’s siege. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians still stuck in Gaza

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families who had hoped to leave Gaza on the weekend were unable to do so after the only border crossing into Egypt was closed again. Global Affairs Canada November 5 that it had no information about when the crossing would be reopened. [node:read-more:link]

UN agencies call for ceasefire

Despite Israel’s refusal, the heads of 18 UN agencies and non-profit organizations called November 5 for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas war which has killed thousands of civilians. Expressing “shock and horror”, they said in a joint statement that “enough is enough” in the month-long siege of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ brutal attack in northern Israel. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous over-represented in prisons

Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger said today that indigenous persons are over-represented in Canada’s prison population. “The steady and unabated increase in the disproportionate representation […] is nothing short of a national travesty,” he said in a new report. Moreover, he said, it “remains one of Canada's most pressing human rights challenges.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign nationals leaving Gaza

Global Affairs Canada expects the exodus of foreign nationals to Egypt from war-torn Gaza to continue in the coming days even as stranded Canadians were warned that their safety could not be guaranteed if they opt not to leave. “Canada has one of the largest contingents of nationals in Gaza,” GAC said November 1. “We expect further crossings daily.” [node:read-more:link]

Israel moots Gaza expulsion

Six days after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the country’s Intelligence Ministry drafted a document that broaches the possibility of a forced relocation of Gaza’s 2.3 million people to the Sinai Peninsula in northern Egypt. Described by Israel as a “concept”, the idea was immediately denounced by Palestinian and Egyptian leaders. [node:read-more:link]

Class-action lawyers unreasonable

Lawyers who represented First Nations in their successful $23-billion lawsuit against the federal government over child welfare funding are requesting $80 million in fees. The Justice Department senior general counsel suggests that about half would be more appropriate. [node:read-more:link]

Israel blocks UN officials

Reacting to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ observation that the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel did not happen “in a vacuum” and that Palestinians had been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation”, Israeli’s UN ambassador said today his country will refuse visas to UN officials. [node:read-more:link]

Israel urged to ease blockade

Humanitarian assistance to Gaza remains hobbled by Israeli restrictions, but the U.S. says Israel should lift its ban on hospitals’ generator fuel supplies. Three days of limited aid convoys have seen only 54 truckloads of emergency materials enter from Egypt but no fuels out of concern that it would be seized by Hamas militants. [node:read-more:link]


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