Politics & Policy

No clear winner in Turkish election

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main opposition rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, are headed for a May 28 election run-off vote. Erdoğan led the first round in the May 14 general election with 49.51 per cent of the vote to the National Alliance leader’s 44.88 but needed a clear majority to extend his 20-year [node:read-more:link]

Pipeline project on life support?

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to triple Alberta’s petroleum shipments to a B.C. export terminal already owes lenders at least $23 billion and is looking to take on more debt as construction costs soar. The federal government purchased the project through the Canadian Development Investment Corporation in 2018 to keep it “alive” but the CDIC now says there is “material uncertainty” about meeting obligations this year. [node:read-more:link]

Privacy Commissioner pursues Facebook

A recent Federal Court decision in favour of Facebook (now Meta) in a case tied to a British consultancy is being appealed by Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne. Justice Michael Manson (Docket No. T-190-20) dismissed Dufresne’s request for a declaration that Facebook broke privacy laws by facilitating Cambridge Analytica’s access to subscribers without their consent. [node:read-more:link]

Military sexual offence cases updated

The Canadian Armed Forces’ Provost Marshall, Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau, reports that 93 cases of criminal sexual offences have been referred to civilian police since December 2021 and 64 are under investigation. The others were declined and while Trudeau offered no explanation, some police had concerns about the strain on their resources. An additional 97 cases reported to Military Police were not referred outside. [node:read-more:link]

Bodycams field-tested by RCMP

RCMP officers in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Nunavut are about to begin field-testing up to 300 vest-mounted cameras which will capture audio and video for uploading to a digital evidence management system. Depending on the results, national deployment of at least 10,000 cameras is expected to begin in late 2024. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS didn’t brief Harper government

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s deputy chief of staff, Jenni Byrne, has told a parliamentary that, as he current administration has insisted, it was not warned by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service about Chinese interference in Canada’s electoral processes. “I can tell you with all certainty that I was never briefed on foreign interference,” she said May 11. [node:read-more:link]

India wants Canadians extradited

Two Vancouver residents face extradition to India in connection with the case of four Indian nationals who froze to death last winter while trying to cross into the U.S. from Manitoba. “We need to interview them,” said a deputy police commissioner in Gujurat state. Two other suspected members of a human smuggling operation were arrested earlier this year in India. [node:read-more:link]

Utility of Arctic Council questioned

Russia’s two-year term as Arctic Council chair ended today, leaving the body’s role for international collaboration in doubt. Now chaired by Norway, Russia’s leadership waned as the seven other Arctic states suspended cooperation when it invaded Ukraine. “It leaves the concept somewhat in tatters,” a U.S. analyst says. “Russia makes up about half the Arctic. You can't really have an Arctic Council without Russia.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada a “boy scout” in China

Stewart Beck, a former Canadian diplomat whose postings included China and Taiwan and who later presided over the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, says Canada was “boy scoutish from the outset” of relations with China by “not defining what we wanted.” Calling China’s hostage diplomacy and aggression a “wake-up call” for Canada,he urges closer alignment with U.S. foreign policy “when it is in our interest.” [node:read-more:link]

Passport renewal going on-line

The federal government plans to take passport renewals on-line this fall. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced the move today when he unveiled a new passport design with upgraded security features. Applications for new passports, including for children, would still be handled in-person. [node:read-more:link]

Russia’s future “rests” in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s future “rests on” the outcome of its invasion of Ukraine. “There is nothing more important now than your combat effort,” he said in addressing a May 8 parade in Moscow to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany. He also accused “western global elites” of provoking conflict and said civilization is “at a dedisive turning point.” [node:read-more:link]

China expels Canadian diplomat

As expected, China has declared a Canadian diplomat persona non grata in retaliation for Canada’s expulsion of a Chinese consular official over allegations of foreign interference. The foreign ministry says Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, Canada’s consul in Shanghai, has been asked to leave May 13. [node:read-more:link]

Judicial shortage “disconcerting”

Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner says a chronic shortage of judges in the federal court system is putting trials at risk and could undermine public confidence. “The current situation is untenable,” he advised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a May 3 letter, noting that 85 of some 1,200 superior and appeal courts are vacant. [node:read-more:link]

More federal gun control funding

The federal government is earmarking $390 million over the next five years for provinces and territories to renew the fight against illegal firearms and gang violence. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said May 8 that the money includes support for police and prevention programs. [node:read-more:link]


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