Politics & Policy

Canada mends fences with Saudis

Nearly five years after Canada and Saudi Arabia broke off most relations when Canada criticized the Saudis’ human rights record, they announced today that full diplomacy has been restored. Career diplomat Jean-Philippe Lineau, a former trade commissioner and most recently Consul General in Dubai, has been appointed ambassador to Riyadh. [node:read-more:link]

CHINA: Friend or Foe?

Investigators around the world have long been uncovering criminal Triad activity, but many countries do not seem to have the political will to effectively try to thwart the se finely honed organizations. [node:read-more:link]

Trusted traveller program revamped

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced today that the trusted-traveller program at airports in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Montreal is being reworked over two weeks starting June 7. It will relax rules about the content of carry-on baggage and enable children younger than 18 and adults 75 and older to accompany verified travellers on the same reservation to move quickly through security. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians critically indebted

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation reported today that Canadian households are carrying more debt than their counterparts in the other G7 countries. Their debt is equal to 107% of the country’s gross domestic product and CMHC’s deputy chief economist warned that it “makes the economy vulnerable to any global economic crisis.” [node:read-more:link]

PM supports Johnston conclusions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he will not overrule former Governor General David Johnston’s decision not to hold an Inquiries Act probe into foreign meddling in Canadian politics. Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre reiterated claims that Johnston’s report “was rigged from the start” because Trudeau and Johnston are long-time family friends. [node:read-more:link]

No public inquiry into interference

Former Governor-General David Johnston, the prime minister’s special rapporteur on foreign interference in Canada, is opting for public meetings rather that a formal inquiry. “Foreign governments are undoubtedly attempting to influence candidates and voters,” he said today. [node:read-more:link]

EU fines Meta €1.2 billion

The European Union has fined Facebook’s Meta, €1.2 billion for how it transferred subscribers’ data between the U.S. and Europe. The California-based company says it will appeal what is the largest fine imposed under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. [node:read-more:link]

Assad back in Arab League

Suspended from the Arab League in 2011 when civil war erupted, Syria has been readmitted, prompting President Bashar al-Assad to call it an “historic opportunity” for Arab states to remake their region “with the least amount of foreign interference.” [node:read-more:link]

More sanctions against Russia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other G7 leaders kicked off their summit in Japan today by announcing new sanctions against 17 Russian individuals and 18 “entities” due to human rights abuses in Ukraine. They also announced new funding they said will help to guard against nuclear weapon proliferation. [node:read-more:link]

Commons passes gun bill

The federal government’s latest attempt to tighten firearms controls, Bill C-21, was passed by the House of Commons today. Now bound for the Senate and potential amendment, it was approved by most MPs except the Conservatives and two Liberals who represent northern ridings [node:read-more:link]

Veil of secrecy over scientists’ firing

Nearly four years after two Chinese researchers were escorted out of Canada’s highest-security laboratory and subsequently fired amidst tight security, it will be up to three retired federal judges to decide how much information will be made public. Former Supreme Court justices Ian Binnie and Marshall Rothstein, and Federal Court of Appeal justice Eleanor Dawson will assist an committee of MPs in reviewing the records. [node:read-more:link]

Poilievre declines Johnston meeting

Former Governor General David Johnston, tasked with looking into foreign interference in Canada, has met with the leaders of the other federal political parties but Conservative Leader Pierre’s office says he has refused. A spokesman says Poilievre considers the inquiry a “fake job” assigned by the Prime Minister to someone is not impartial due to a long-time family friendship with the PM. [node:read-more:link]

PM in Hiroshima for G7

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Japan today for the opening of a G7 summit in Hiroshima. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida chose his hometown for the meeting to highlight the risk of a nuclear confrontation as Russia ramps up its rhetoric about Ukraine and its allies. [node:read-more:link]

WestJet swoops toward strike

Pilots at WestJet and its Swoop discount division are set to strike ahead of the May long weekend. The company responded May 15 by announcing that it would lock out the 1,850 pilots after receiving a 72-hour strike notice. Their union said pay, job security and scheduling issues remain unresolved. [node:read-more:link]


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