Continuing its attempts to curb inflation, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest a quarter-point to 4.5 per cent today, the eighth increase in less than a year. Governor Tiff Macklem said he expected to “pause rate hikes while we assess the impacts of the substantial monetary policy tightening already undertaken” and “if we need to do more to get inflation to the two per cent target, we will.”
A Quebec woman accused of mailing ricin to Donald Trump in 2020 pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington today and agreed to a sentence of nearly 22 years. Pascale Ferrier, 55, of Saint-Hubert, who was arrested at a border crossing in 2020, also pled guilty to eight charges related to similar offences against law enforcement and corrections officials in Texas in 2019.
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.
The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear a case brought by the government of The Netherlands against Russia over the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 as it overflew Ukraine in 2014. A missile fired by Moscow-backed Ukrainian separatists was confirmed as the cause and the suit argues that Russian disinformation about its role violated the human rights of victims’ families.
Boeing today reported a fourth-quarter 2022 loss of US$650 million, blaming “abnormal production costs” as it tried to deliver a backlog of 737 Max jets, accelerate 787 Dreamliner deliveries and address lagging 787 production. “We continue to face a few too many stoppages in our lines . . . as we run into supply chain shortfalls,” CEO Dave Calhoun said, expecting a first-quarter 2023 loss.
Before hearing arguments January 24, Federal Court of Appeal David Stratas dismissed the Competition Bureau's effort to overturn Competition Tribunal approval of Rogers Communications’ $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications. The takeover now needs only only cabinet approval to proceed.
The Federal Court of Appeal today heard arguments on whether the proposed Rogers Communications $20-billion bid for Shaw Communications can proceed. The Competition Bureau opposes the deal on grounds that it will mean less competition and potentially increased costs to consumers who already pay some of the highest rates in the world, but that argument was rejected by the Competition Tribunal.
The deaths of eight persons in a California mass-killing January 23 was the state’s third in eight days. Six persons died January 16 in a suspected gang-link shooting at a home and then on January 20, 11 died on a shooting at a dance club. The deaths boosted the U.S. total for the year so far to 39, eliciting what has become a predictable call for tighter firearms controls.
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.”
UN Secretary General António Guterres wants an international specialized armed force deployed to Haiti as gang violence and human rights violations have reached a critical level. His call is part of a report January 23 by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, which says killings surged by 35 per cent last year while kidnappings more than doubled. “There are also allegations that a significant number of national police . . . may be associated with gangs,” Guterres said.
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
The prospect of a Turkish veto on Sweden’s application for membership prompted Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto to call for a “time out” until “dust has settled after the current situation.” Haavisto, who has suggested in the past that his country could go it alone on its NATO application but prefers simultaneous applications, was responding to Turkey’s concerns about Kurdish demonstrations in Sweden.