The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that mandatory minimum sentences for convicted criminals who use firearms are constitutionally valid. In handing out its decision, the court was ruling on separate appeals (Docket Nos. 38438 and 39338) by two Alberta men sentenced for armed robbery.
Personal information on thousands of Green Party of Canada members and supporters were published online for an indefinite period of time in violation of the party’s own rules but the party closed down access to the Google Drive document January 26. Anne Cavoukian, a former Ontario information and privacy commissioner, called it an “appalling” breach of trust
Fiji’s new government, elected in December, today suspended its police commissioner and its elections supervisor as it beefs up ties with Australia and New Zealand and prepares to terminate a contentious policing agreement with China. “Our system of democracy and justice systems are different so we will go back to those that have similar systems with us,” explained Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.
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.
U.S. Commerce Department signals that it will maintain a protectionist tariff on Canadian softwood lumber have sparked a quick response from the federal and B.C. governments. Their common reaction was to reiterate that the protectionist tax hurts consumers in both countries. Federal Trade Minister Mary Ng says the federal government is prepared to litigate under the auspices of the North American free trade agreement.
The Council of Canadian Academies says coronavirus misinformation fostered vaccine hesitancy and contributed to more than 2,800 Canadian deaths as well at least $300 million in hospital and intensive care costs. It reports that 2.35 million people postponed or refused vaccination between between March and November 2021, effectively setting themselves up for infection.
Federal Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne disclosed January 26 that Home Depot shared details from customers’ electronic receipts with Meta, the corporate parent of the Facebook social media platform. The information included encoded email addresses and purchase details which the social media used to target the chain’s customers with specific advertising.
In what is being described as the deadliest Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in years, nine Palestinians were killed January 25. The military said it went in the town of Jenin to arrest Islamic Jihad “terror operatives” it said were planning “major attacks.” The Palestinian presidency accused Israel of a “massacre” and announced it had ended security coordination with Israel.
A Texas court preparing to hear accusations that Boeing concealed flight control systems information in the aftermath of 737 Max jetliner crashes in October 2018 was told by the company January 26 that nothing had been withheld. Relatives of the 346 victims want to reopen what they say was a “sweetheart agreement” with the Justice Department in 2021 whereby Boeing paid $2.5 billion in fines and compensation.
Today’s announcements that Germany, Poland and the U.S. as well as other NATO members would be sending up to 88 main battle tanks to Ukraine yielded a predictable initial response from Russia. “This extremely dangerous decision takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation,” said its envoy in Germany, Sergei Nechayev, warning that it would lead to “the death of not only Russian soldiers, but also the civilian population.” He also said Ukraine’s allies are “not interested in a diplomatic solution.”
Meta, the corporate parent of Facebook and Instagram, announced today that it will reinstate Donald Trump’s accounts “in the coming weeks” after shutting him down over his inflammatory posts about the January 2021 assault on Capitol Hill . However, Global Affairs President Nick Clegg said there will be “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offences.” Trump continues to insist he did nothing wrong.
The Boeing 737 Max crashes in October 2018 off Indonesia and February in Ethiopia killed all 346 crew and passengers and led to a 22-month global fleet grounding as investigators uncovered flaws in the flight control systems. The company avoided a trial by agreeing to pay US$2.5 billion in fines and compensation but now the victims’ families want a Texas court to reopen the settlement.