Politics & Policy

Gaza evacuees increase

The number of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members evacuated from Gaza rose to 453 November 12 when 237 crossed into Egypt. They joined 107 last week, according to Global Affairs, which also said nine others crossed with the help of an undisclosed third party. [node:read-more:link]

Population tops 8 billion

The U.S. Census Bureau says the global population has topped eight million as longer average lifespans add to the impact of declining birth rates. However, it added November 9, there is a long-term trend of decelerating growth as birthrates decline. [node:read-more:link]

Parliamentary accord on “coercive control”

A private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by B.C. New Democratic Party MP Laurel Collins is designed to make controlling and coercive behaviour by domestic abusers a criminal offence. In a rare display of parliamentary unanimity, Bill C-322 has the backing not only of her own party but also the Liberal government and the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois. [node:read-more:link]

Air India threats investigated

Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez says his department and the RCMP are investigating “recent threats circulating online” against Air India, including a video warning not to fly November 19. The original remarks were made by a U.S. organizer of unofficial referenda on Sikh independence, including recent votes in Surrey, B.C. [node:read-more:link]

Air Canada mishandled accessibility

A series of high-profile incidents involving disabled passengers has forced Air Canada to apologize and to accelerate an accessibility plan. “The first thing we told Air Canada was that was unacceptable […] and they agree,” said Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez after he and other ministers met with the carrier’s executive this week. “We're going to meet again in December to see how things improve.” [node:read-more:link]

Ortis insists he did nothing wrong

Cameron Ortis, the former RCMP intelligence official accused of leaking secrets, has told a closed-door court hearing in Ottawa that his actions were “not wrong.” According to a redacted transcript of his testimony, his “mission was to meet the threats to the security of Canada” and that he had no regrets other than how the four-year legal proceedings had affected him professionally and personally. [node:read-more:link]

Problems with federal health insurance

Thousands of members of the federal Public Service Health Care Plan have been denied coverage since the July 1 transfer to Canada Life from Sunlife. The plan ostensibly provides drug and medical coverage to some 1.7 million current and retired employees as well as spouses and dependents. public servants and retirees, their spouses and dependents. Winnipeg-based Canada Life says it’s working to address the problems. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary resists Ukraine EU membership

Two days after the European Commission proposed discussion of EU membership for Ukraine, Hungary’s frequently pro-Russia prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said today that talks cannot proceed because “Ukraine is in no way ready.” Membership requires the unanimous support of the 27 member countries. [node:read-more:link]

More Gaza evacuees listed

Some 266 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members were added today to the list of foreign passport holders permitted to leave the Gaza Strip. If all were able to cross into Egypt, it would bring the total so far to more than 370. [node:read-more:link]

First tranche of spending cuts

Supplementary spending estimates for the current fiscal year, tabled in the House of Commons today by Treasury Board President Anita Anand, include what she said is the “first tranche” of planned government spending cuts. Totalling $500 million out of a budgeted $443 billion, they affect a broad spectrum of departments and agencies. “Generally speaking, the exercise is for each department to take a look within their departments, not to take all of it from operating budgets but to look across their spend to see where savings can be had.” [node:read-more:link]

Government “scab” bill tabled

More than two years after raising the possibility in the last election campaign, the Liberals today introduced draft legislation designed to ban the use of replacement workers when a employer in a federally-regulated industry locks out unionized employees. Bill C-58, which does not apply to public sector workers, also would prohibit employers from using new hires, contractors or employees in the same bargaining unit from doing the work of union members. [node:read-more:link]

Border wall for Canada?

Vivek Ramaswamy, an outlier in the race for the U.S. Republican Party leadership, has suggested that a wall along the Canadian border would address drug smuggling and illegal immigrants. Ramaswamy, an Ohio pharmaceuticals industry executive, ignored statistics which indicate that both issues are relatively minuscule. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta health care restructured

According to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, November 8, her province’s key healthcare gateway is too large and increasingly unaccountable. “This isn't change for the sake of change,” she said, announcing a comprehensive restructuring plan. “The current […] system is one that has forgotten who should be at the centre of its existence: patients and the health-care experts who look after them.” [node:read-more:link]

Israel agrees to pause assault

The U.S. said today that Israel has begun daily four-hour pauses in fighting in northern Gaza to allow residents to flee. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said each pause would be announced at least three hours in advance. “We’ve been told […] there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

More Canadians out of Gaza

Canada’s ambassador to Egypt, Louis Dumas, says 31 more Canadians were to leave Gaza today, bring the total number of citizens, permanent residents and family members so far to 106. Evacuees generally have three days to arrange travel from Cairo. [node:read-more:link]


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