Politics & Policy

Ortis’ fate in jury’s hands

The judge presiding over Cameron Ortis’ national security trial has told the Ontario Superior Court jury they are free to use “common sense’ in considering testimony during the former RCMP security official’s seven-week trial. Ortis has pled not guilty but Crown prosecutors insist he was trying to sell official secrets. [node:read-more:link]

PM speaks with Israeli minister

In an apparent bid to relieve tension with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister Trudeau told Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz that Canada supports Israel “and its right to defend itself in accordance with international law.” He also emphasized in his November 15 conversation with the retired army general “the importance of taking all possible measures to protect civilians and to minimize casualties” in the war against Hamas extremists in Gaza. [node:read-more:link]

Trade pact exclusion worrisome

Canada’s continued exclusion from a U.S.-led effort to expand economic cooperation among 13 Indo-Pacific allies and partners is a concern for the Business Council on National Issues. “Canada’s standing in the world is directly proportionate to how America perceives us,” Council President Goldy Hyder said November 16. “Other countries take us seriously when they see America take us seriously. “Being left out harms us.” [node:read-more:link]

No repatriation appeal for Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the case of four Canadians held by Kurdish forces in Syria for several years without charge or trial. The men had challenged a Federal Court of Appeal ruling in May (Docket No. A-32-32) which said the federal government is not obliged to repatriate them. As is usual in such rulings, the high court did not explain its November 16 decision (Docket No. 40851). [node:read-more:link]

Sharp practices pursued

Fred Sharp, a self-styled B.C. private banker being pursued for financial fraud in Canada and the U.S., can be pursued directly by Quebec’s stock market regulator, the Supreme Court ruled today (Docket No. 39920). Ending six years of jurisdictional squabbling, the 7-1 ruling written by Chief Justice Richard Wagner and Justice Mahmud Jamal agreed that “the allegations that the appellants used Quebec as the ‘face’ of their securities manipulation and injured Quebec investors” justified the provincial regulator’s intervention. [node:read-more:link]

Possible conflict of interest?

Federal Ethics Commissioner Konrad von Finckenstein is investigating the role of Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s chairwoman in approving $217,000 in grants to a Toronto company where she is the CEO. This is after Annette Verschuren’s recent disclosure to a parliamentary committee that she had participated in approving grants to NRStor in 2020 and 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Battery plants investment questioned

Federal and provincial governments’ financial backing of electric vehicle battery manufacturing will cost $5.8 billion more than forecast due to tax treatment of that support, the Parliamentary Budget Office said today. It said the shortfall will be due to lost corporate income because Canada must keep pace with U.S. subsidies. [node:read-more:link]

Anti-vaccine campaigner fined

A retired Army Warrant Officer and reservist has been fined $4,000 and reprimanded by a military court for his high-profile campaign against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations. The sentence was handed down November 16, two days after James Topp pled guilty to charges of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline for posting videos while in uniform. [node:read-more:link]

Plastics campaign suffers setback

Ruling on a challenge by major chemical manufacturers (Docket No. T-824-21), Federal Court Justice Angela Furlanetto said November 16 that the federal government’s broad characterization of plastics products as toxic is unconstitutional. Her ruling that there is “no reasonable apprehension that all listed are harmful” prompted Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault to respond that the government is “strongly considering an appeal.” [node:read-more:link]

First trek for Canada's new Husky

The first of five used Kuwaiti Airbus A-330-200s, purchased for RCAF VIP and other transport roles last year and rebadged as a CC-330 Husky, completed the first leg of its inaugural mission November 15. Officially designated Airbus 02, it carried Prime Minister Trudeau and his entourage to San Francisco for the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. [node:read-more:link]

UNSC weighs in on Gaza

The UN Security Council adopted its first resolution November 16 since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza to address the escalating crisis for Palestinians. Israel immediately rejected the resolution which had 12-0 support on the UNSC with the U.S., Britain and Russia abstaining. [node:read-more:link]

China restoring defence link

U.S. President Joe Biden says he and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jingping, have agreed to resume direct communications in an effort to ease tensions. “We're back to direct, open, clear communications,” Biden said November 15 after they met in San Francisco during the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. China severed the link last year when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan [node:read-more:link]

Finns closing some Russian border points

Finland will shut half of its crossings with Russia late November 17 due to an increase in undocumented migrants whom Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said are being “herded” to the border. Noting that the migrants arriving on new bicycles had Russian residency permits, she said today that the closures would remain in effect for three months while asylum applications are centralised at other locations. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-India impasse continue

Trade Minister Mary Ng is suggesting that Canada won’t restart trade talks with India until it cooperates with the investigation into the murder in Vancouvef lasgt June of a Canadian Sikh activist which sparked a diplomatic row. “The focus for Canada is to let the work of the investigation proceed,” she said November 15. “You've heard me and the government talk about how important it is that investigation happens.” [node:read-more:link]

RCMP bodycam plan stalls

More than three years after the federal govenment announced plans to equip RCMP officers with body cameras in 2023-2024, the procurement is on hold. Motorola was awarded the contract earlier this year but the RCMP now is considering the second-ranked bidder due to unspecified testing issues. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Politics & Policy