Politics & Policy

“Naïvety” at Trudeau Foundation?

Morris Rosenberg, the former president and CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, has acknowledged that he may have been “naïve” in accepting a donation from a businessman with ties to the Chinese government in 2016. “Was that naïve at the time?” he said May 2 during a parliamentary committee hearing. “In hindsight, probably it was," said Rosenberg. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. cracks down on scams

Unsolicited calls offering consumers financial or insurance products are to be prohibited by the British government as part of a crackdown on the increased prevalence of fraud. The initiative is to be backed by an increase in the government’s fraud squad to 500 personnel from 120. [node:read-more:link]

Dispute over drug pricing

A former member of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board has suggested that Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos made the board’s work difficult by asking that consultations on drug pricing be suspended. Matthew Herder, who quit the board in February, told a parliamentary committee May 2 that the industry knows that it can “get the minister to do its bidding.” [node:read-more:link]

MP not informed of threat

Ontario Conservative MP, a former cabinet minister and unsuccessful party leadership candidate, says he was not informed by CSIS about potential threats to his family through a Chinese diplomat. Chong, who has been barred from visiting China but has family in Hong Kong, says any attempts to intimidate or coerce people in Canada constitutes a national threat. [node:read-more:link]

Gun control plan revised

Three years after it had announced a sweeping ban on some 1,500 makes and models of “assault style” firearms, the government today introduced revised amendments to Bill-21 in response to owners’ criticism. They include a new definition Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said would keep AR-15s “off of our streets while at the same time respecting gun owners [node:read-more:link]

Foreign agent registry discussed

The U.S. used a recent visit to Ottawa by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the prospect of a Canadian registry of foreign agents. “We shared some of the practices and laws that we have in place to see if they would be of utility to our partners in Canada,” Mayorkas said during an April 30 broadcast interview. [node:read-more:link]

No change for Mexican visas?

In a bid to curb illegal crossings from Canada, the U.S. has asked Canada to reinstate visa requirements for visiting Mexican nationals. The former Conservative government began requiring visas in 2009 but the current Liberal government relaxed the requirement in 2016 and evidently is unreceptive to the latest request. [node:read-more:link]

PSAC strike tentatively over

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the government, setting the stage for most members to begin returning to work today. Meanwhile Canada Revenue Agency workers remain on strike. [node:read-more:link]

DFO obstructing energy project?

The federal fisheries department is being accused by a company of frustrating its plan to harness the energy of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy off Nova Scotia. Sustainable Marine Energy Canada is pulling a successful test platform from the area after investing $60 million. “Something is wrong here, and it needs to be investigated,” CEO Jason Hayman says. “It’s either there's something fishy going on, or it’s just complete ineptitude.” [node:read-more:link]

Political heat in Ring of Fire

Ten First Nations in northern Ontario are suing the federal and Ontario governments for $95 billion in damages and threatening to block mining critical minerals in the “Ring of Fire” in the province’s north. “We hear so much about building mines and roads, but not without our community's permission,” one chief said April 26. “Our community is not against development (but) now we're at the point where we say, ‘we do this together or we don't do it’.” [node:read-more:link]

Gun control initiative developing

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said today that the government is working with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association on how to compensate retailers whose inventories include an estimated 11,000 prohibited weapons. Part of the government’s broader buy-back agenda, the $700,000 contract with the association is designed to ensure retailers “are informed of their options and receive their full compensation.” [node:read-more:link]

Curious court ruling by Iran

Without indicating how it might enforce its decison, an Iranian court has ruled that the U.S. government and a number of individuals and entities, including former President Barack Obama, must pay nearly US$313 million in compensation for Islamic State attacks in Tehran 2017. Among other things, the court accuses the Central Intelligence Agency of “organising and guiding terrorist groups.” [node:read-more:link]

NATO expansion worries Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there is little difference between an increasingly “militarized” EU and NATO. Speaking at UN headquarters in New York April 25, he said the two “cooperate on issues” and that NATO “never had any intention of stopping” its eastward expansion. [node:read-more:link]

Fiscal brinkmanship slammed

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen worries that if Congress fails to raise the government’s $31.4-trillion debt ceiling, the resulting default could trigger “economic and financial catastrophe.” She says Congress has a “basic responsibility” to increase or suspend the cap unconditionally and “not wait until the last minute.” [node:read-more:link]

Zelenskyy talks with Xi

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had had “a long and meaningful phone call” today with his Chinese countertpart, Xi Jinping, their first since Russia invaded Ukraine. China is trying to position itself as a potential peacemaker but Zelenskyy has reiterated that “there can be no peace at the expense of territorial compromises.” China’s foreign ministry said Xi told Zelenskyy that “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political basis of China-Ukrainian relations.” [node:read-more:link]


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