Politics & Policy

Ottawa called too secretive

The federal government’s secrecy about its contracting processes is said to undermine public trust and makes it harder for innovative companies to compete. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says companies seeking to do business with government need to know “that decisions are being made without bias, undue influence or, in the worst cases, malfeasance” and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls for full disclosure of contract details. [node:read-more:link]

PM and wife separating

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, announced today that they have decided to separate after 18 years of marriage. “As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and will continue to build,” they wrote on media. [node:read-more:link]

Criminal charges for Trump

Former U.S. President Donald has been charged with four criminal offences by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has been investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020. The 45-page indictment released August 1 alleges a broad conspiracy to keep the Republican leader in power after he lost the presidency to Democrat challenger Joe Biden. [node:read-more:link]

Voting machine plot unravels

Two Michigan allies of Donald Trump have been charged in connection with attempting to tamper with the state’s voting machines after the 2020 presidential election. Lawyer Matthew DePerno and former state representative Daire Rendon, the latest of nine persons identified with the alleged plot, are charged with conspiracy. [node:read-more:link]

Nav Canada tracking flight delays

The not-for-profit corporation that oversees Canada’s air traffic control, has launched a new social media account to track and publicize the causes of delays at four major Canadian airports. A post-pandemic shortage of controllers is blamed for some delays but Nav Canada says its “new communication protocol” should “ensure air passengers have access to accurate and timely information.” [node:read-more:link]

“Screaming into the wind” at CBSA

Three years after the Auditor-General said the Canada Border Services Agency did not adequately deal with workplace harassment, discrimination and violence, one of the agency’s veteran dog-handlers has gone public with ongoing issues. [node:read-more:link]

No G-20 climate consensus

Environment and climate change ministers from Canada and the other members of the G-20 group ended their latest summit July 28 without an agreement or joint statement despite calls for a united front. Their countries emit some 80% of global greenhouse gases. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. port woes continue

Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan has directed the Canada Industrial Labour Relations Board to determine whether striking B.C. port workers’ rejection of a mediated contract offer has “eliminated the possibility of a negotiated resolution.” The on-and-off-again strike by 7,400 workers has stalled cargo movements in 30 ports, including Vancouver, the country’s largest. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese foreign minister replaced

Less than seven months after his appointment, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been replaced by veteran Communist Party foreign affairs chief Wang Yi. The 57-year-old Qin had vanished from public view a month ago and the decision to replace him, signed by the man who appointed him, Leader Xi Jinping, was not explained. [node:read-more:link]

Preparing for the next pandemic

An independent inquiry into Canada’s Covid-19 response is being recommended in a series of papers published in the British Medical Journal. Written by its international editor, they are based on input from Canadian healthcare providers and researchers as well as legal and humanitarian specialists. One contributor in Toronto called it “the start of preparing for the next emergency.” [node:read-more:link]

Israeli protests involve reservists

The right-leaning Israeli coalition government’s ramrodded legislation to curb Supreme Court jurisdiction took place against a backdrop of widespread protests and now the leadership is concern about the role of military reservists. More 11,000 have threatened to end their voluntary service and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is seeking consensus to ensure the military is “separate from political discourse.” [node:read-more:link]

Four federal ministers quitting

Two days ahead of an expected federal cabinet shuffle, four ministers confirmed July 24 that they would be stepping down. They include Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Public Services & Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek and Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, all from Toronto ridings, and Fisheries & Oceans Minister Joyce Murray of Vancouver, who also is responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard. [node:read-more:link]

Business seeks federal forgiveness

Organizations representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses want more time to repay billions of dollars in loans received through the Canada Emergency Business Account during the pandemic. “With each passing day, entrepreneurs who collectively maintain a very considerable workforce, face increasingly daunting financial pressure,” they say in a letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. "Ottawa needs to act now […] to “extend the CEBA repayment deadline.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian charged in U.K

Khaled Hussein, 28, of Edmonton, was charged today under British terrorism legislation along with Anjem Choudary, 56, whom Crown prosecutors is a radical preacher previously convicted of aiding the Islamic State. Arrested last week on arrival at Heathrow Airport, Hussein is charged with membership in a proscribed organization. [node:read-more:link]

Tyranny of the minority in Israel?

Despite historically large public protests, Israel’s parliament today approved legislation which will prevent the Supreme Court from overruling the government. The 64-0 vote was boycotted by the opposition, which calls the measure “a takeover by an extreme minority over the Israeli majority.” [node:read-more:link]


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