Who's Where

Leadership in the Safety & Security sectors

RCMP Commissioner retiring

Brenda Lucki, the first female RCMP Commissioner, announced today that she will retire March 17, one month short of her fifth anniversary on the job. Despite intense political criticism on several fronts in the past couple of years, she said the federal police force had made “some great progress” in meeting the expectations of Canadians, communities and policing partners. [node:read-more:link]

EU leaders visit Ukraine

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and 15 senior EU officials were in Kyiv today for meetings with the Ukrainian government to discuss economic ties and to show solidarity against Russia’s invasion. European Council President Charles Michel is scheduled to join them February 3 for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. [node:read-more:link]

Prominent Opposition MP quits

Manitoba MP Candice Bergen, interim leader of the Conservative Party between Erin O’Toole’s resignation and Pierre Poilievre’s election, announced February 1 that she had resigned her seat in the House of Commons after more than 14 years. She offered no specific reason for her decision. [node:read-more:link]

New Canadian envoy in New York

Former television journalist Tom Clark has been appointed by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly as Consul General in New York, responsible for cultural and economic relations in neighbouring states as well as Bermuda. [node:read-more:link]

Czech president a former NATO official

Petr Pavel, 61, a former Czech Republic army general and head of NATO’s military committee, was elected to the country’s presidency January 28. Campaigning as a social liberal, he promised to keep the country firmly anchored in the West and will take office in March. [node:read-more:link]

Canada countering Islamophobia

Human rights advocate Amira Elghawaby is Canada’s first special representative on combatting Islamophobia. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to appoint the Egyptian-born former journalist, who immigrated with her parents as an infant, is part of a move to stem hatred and discrimination after a series of attacks against Muslims in recent years. [node:read-more:link]

Kremlin coy about Putin’s future

The question whether Vladimir Putin will seek re-election in 2024 remains unanswered. Putin has led Russia as prime minister and president since 1999 and speculation has been building in Russian media, but a Kremlin official today said only that there has been no decision. [node:read-more:link]

Oil exec to lead climate talks

The United Arab Emirates has chosen the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to preside over the next UN climate summit, scheduled to begin at the end of November. Sultan Al Jaber, who served two tenures as the UAE’s special envoy for climate change, also is Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chair of a state-owned renewable energy company. [node:read-more:link]

Morneau felt like “rubber stamp”

Former federal finance minister Bill Morneau says that when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his top advisors favoured “scoring political points” over policy rationales in deciding how much pandemic economic relief the federal government would provide, it left him feeling like a “rubber stamp” as he prepared to quit politics in August 2020. “It was pretty inevitable that five years for me was a great run but it was time to move on,” he said in an interview broadcast today. [node:read-more:link]

Cold War spy released

Ana Montes, arrested in the U.S. in 2001 for spying on behalf of Cuba, has been released from prison. Now 65, she was working at the time as a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and Michelle Van Cleave, then head of counter-intelligence said Montes had “compromised everything - virtually everything - that we knew about Cuba and how we operated.” It turned out that she was motivated by ideology, partly her opposition to U.S. activities in Latin America. [node:read-more:link]

Aug San Suu Kyi’s sentence extended

Ignoring a UN Security Council resolution call for her release, a closed military court in Myanmar today extended an already lengthy prison term for former leader Aung San Suu Kyi whose government was toppled in a February 2021 coup. The latest of a series of trials widely derided as shams added seven years to the 26 years already imposed on the 77-year-old Nobel laureate. [node:read-more:link]

New Chinese foreign minister

China’s ambassador to the U.S. for the past 17 months, Qin Gang, has returned to Beijing for his new role as the country’s foreign minister. State media confirmed today that he is replacing Wang Yi, recently elected to the Politburo after nearly a decade as minister. [node:read-more:link]

Serbia boycotting EU-Balkan summit

Amidst increased tension between Serbia and Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic plans to boycott a meeting between the European Union and six Western Balkan. He evidently is outraged that Kosovo PM Albin Kurti chose a moderate Kosovo-Serbian politician as Minister of Communities & Returns, a post usually held by a member of the Serbian List party, which coordinates policies with Vucic’s government. [node:read-more:link]

Key U.K. ministers unchanged

Defence Minister Ben Wallace, Foreign Minister James Cleverly and Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt have retained their portfolios under the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. The PM is the third Conservative party leader and PM in 50 days. [node:read-more:link]


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