Politics & Policy

More Belarusia sanctions

Nine Belarusian nationals and seven military entities have been added to Canada’s list of sanctions three years after Russian ally Alexander Lukashenko won a presidential election widely construed as rigged. [node:read-more:link]

Major plug for electricity

Nearly 85% of Canada’s electrical power grid is already “clean” but the federal government today released a proposed regulatory framework designed to further reduce carbon emissions from non-renewables even as demand is projected to surge. Already opposed by Alberta and Saskatchewan which both rely heavily on natural gas-fired generation, the draft is open for comment until late October, potentially setting the stage for a final version in January. [node:read-more:link]

Covid-19 legal saga ends

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today (Case No. 40622) that it would not hear an appeal by some B.C. religious leaders who challenged limits on indoor services during the pandemic. The province’s appeal court had ruled last December that the restrictions were justified on health grounds even if they did infringe on constitutional freedoms. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa threatening Alberta?

Alberta Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz has suggested that federal Energy & Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is being disingenuous about funding electricity projects that do not curb carbon emissions “We see Wilkinson saying it isn’t his style to have fights and wanting to work with the provinces,” she said August 8. “Announcing in a press conference a threat to withhold funding isn’t really the right way to start a conversation.” [node:read-more:link]

More Iranians sanctioned

The federal government imposed sanctions on seven more Iranians August 8, boosting the total to 170 individuals and 192 Iranian entities. The targets are deemed to be involved in activities Global Affairs says “gravely threaten international peace and security or that constitute gross and systemic violations of human rights.” [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand outlines priorities

Three defence and national security documents released by New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little outline the general challenges facing his country as well as military principles and ways to improve the forces. [node:read-more:link]

Deciphering Conservative foreign policy

A perceived lack of clarity about Conservative Party foreign policy has some foreign ambassadors looking for clues as Pierre Poilievre offers few hints about how he might approach the world stage. One lobbyist says the Conservative Leader “is trying to establish his domestic economic narrative and leaving heavy lifting on the foreign-policy side to others” in his caucus. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. admits water pollution

A month after farmers and officials in neighbouring Washington state complained about fecal pollution of a river, British Columbia has admitted that it has identified “multiple sources of poor water quality.” The province says it is reviewing permits for discharge limits for various operations in the watershed feeding the river. [node:read-more:link]

Aid to Niger government stopped

Canada has suspended direct financial assistance to Niger’s government in the aftermath of a coup but said August 6 that it will maintain aid for vulnerable civilians. Coup leaders rejected a weekend deadline from Economic Community of West African States to reinstate the deposed government. [node:read-more:link]

Some RCMP armour deficient

RCMP Commissioner Michael Duheme says some of his personnel are deployed into dangerous situations with expired hard body armour. Some manufacturers say ceramic or steel plates can degrade and be less effective after several years but others argue that they remain “stable and resistant to degradation” beyond the designed 10-year lifecycle. [node:read-more:link]

“Ghost guns” rule contested

Pending the outcome of a legal challenge, the U.S. Supreme Court today narrowly upheld a 2022 regulation designed to address a growing “ghost gun” market. The regulation does not ban the sale or possession of kits or components but does require manufacturers and sellers to obtain licences, mark products with serial numbers and conduct background checks. [node:read-more:link]

West Coast ports dispute ends

Months of uncertainty at 30 B.C. ports are over, including at Canada’s largest cargo facility in Vancouver. International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada said late August 4 that 74.66% cent of its 7,400 members had voted in favour of a new contract negotiated with the help of the Canada Industrial Relations Board after intermittent strike action. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference inquiry hindered?

The New Democrat Party’s call for the list of countries accused of interfering in Canada to be expanded is being frustrated by other parties, says NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. House leaders have been meeting over the summer to set the terms and timeline for the inquiry and to appoint a potential leader and the NDP would like to see India, Iran and Russia join China on the list. [node:read-more:link]

Commonwealth Games costs problematic

Alberta Tourism & Sport Minister Joseph Schow said today that his province has withdrawn from the race to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, explaining that that limited corporate sponsorship model and broadcast revenues would have left taxpayers footing 93% of the bill. Australia recently withdrew its bid for the 2026 games due to cost concerns. [node:read-more:link]

Shift to “dictatorship” challenged

Israel’s highest court heard a petition August 3 against a proposed amendment to legislation passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his religious-nationalist coalition government. The amendment would limit the reasons for removing a leader from office to physical or mental incapacitation, which benefits Netanyahu, who could have been removed from office for conflict of interest due to his pursuit of judicial changes while he is on trial for corruption. [node:read-more:link]


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