Politics & Policy

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]

South Africa backtracks on ICC

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said today that his government will not quit the International Criminal Court as he had suggested April 25. It blamed “an error in a comment made during a briefing.” The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Putin who is scheduled to attend a South African summit with Brazilian, Chinese and Indian leaders. [node:read-more:link]

Increased airline passenger protection

Proposed improvements to the rights of airline passengers announced April 24 by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra would put the onus on airlines to show a flight disruption is caused by safety concerns or reasons outside their control. “It will no longer be the passenger who will have to prove that he or she is entitled to compensation,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

PM welcomes Biden announcement

U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to seek a second term was welcomed today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “This is a leader that is needed, not just by the United States, but by the world,” the PM said. “I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him for many years,” said Trudeau. [node:read-more:link]

MPs warned about interference

Members of the House of Commons and Senate were warned by CSIS ahead of the 2021 election that they could expect to be monitored by hostile states and that their staff could be targetted. While this has been known for some time, talking points prepared for the MPs shed light on what was said behind closed doors and raises questions about the briefings’ effectiveness. [node:read-more:link]

Putin protected by South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his government has decided to quit the International Criminal Court after it issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. That meant that South Africa, which has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, would have had to detain him when he meets Ramaphosa and their Brazilian, Chinese and Indian counterparts for an upcoming summit. [node:read-more:link]

Some Canadians out of Sudan

Fifty-eight Canadians and one German were evacuated from Sudan today on a German aircraft and an RCAF CC-117 Globemaster III was on standby in the region to help evacuate more as a military conflict continued to escalate. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly had said earlier in the day that there were talks with “like-minded countries” to help others. [node:read-more:link]

No Trudeau Foundation audit planned

Auditor General Karen Hogan said today that will not investigate how the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation handled donations with possible Chinese government links. “This decision is based on the scope of my authority under the Auditor General Act and our review of the endowment agreement between the government of Canada and the foundation,” she said. [node:read-more:link]


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