Politics & Policy

Yellowknife a “ghost town”

Thousands of residents of Yellowknife and nearby communities threatened by an encroaching wildfire continued to leave the Northwest Territories capital today after a noon evacuation target. Officials said roads would remain open and flights would continue as long as it is safe. Meanwhile, Mayor Rebecca Alta sought to reassure the evacuees that their properties would be protected by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

Ricin letter sender sentenced

A Montrealer who pleaded guilty to sending Donald Trump a ricin-laced letter in 2020 has been sentenced in Washington to nearly 22 years in prison. However, Pascale Ferrier, 56, who also was charged with sending similar letters to police and prison officials in Texas, told the presiding judge that her actions were “activism” rather than terrorism. [node:read-more:link]

Spending cuts plan clarified

Treasury Board President Anita Anand said August 17 that her planned government-wide spending cuts, which would amount to more than $15 billion, should not result in job losses beyond “normal attrition or redeployment.” [node:read-more:link]

Plea deals for 9/11 accused?

Plea agreements are being considered for the group of men detained in Guantanamo Bay after the September 11 attacks against the U.S. in 2001. The FBI and the Department of defense have advised families of some of the victims that the deals would negate the possibility of capital punishment. [node:read-more:link]

New Ukrainian grain option

Romania signed an agreement today with Ukraine which will give Ukraine an alternate grain export route after Russia essentially blocked shipments from Black Sea ports. Romanian PM Marcel Ciolacu said he hoped it would facilitate more than 60% of Ukrainian grain exports. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference debate continues

The leaders of the New Democratic Party and the Green Party in the House of Commons have received security clearance to be briefed on possible foreign interference in Canadian politics. However, the Conservative and Bloc Québécois leaders rejected the offer, arguing that it was a Liberal ploy to prevent them from publicly discussing the alleged interference. [node:read-more:link]

Russians weaponize food chain

Grain storage facilities and Danube River ports Ukraine relies on to export grain were attacked by Russian drones August 16. Air defences did manage to intercept 13 which targetted the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. [node:read-more:link]

New U.S. steel tariffs

Canadian producers of tin-plated steel are now subject to a 5.29% anti-dumping tariff announced today by the Commerce Department. The ruling, which also applies higher tariffs on Chinese and German steel used in a wide range of products, was in response to a petition by a U.S. company. [node:read-more:link]

Yellowknife evacuation ordered

An encroaching wildfire has prompted the Northwest Territories to order a phased evacuation of the capital city and environs by noon August 18. “The fire continues to advance and now burns approximately 17 kilometres outside the city,” Environment & Climate Change Minister Shane Thompson said August 16. “Without rain, it is possible it will reach the city outskirts by the weekend.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa fixed on immigration goals

There’s a growing consensus that a nationwide housing crisis is exacerbated by federal immigration targets as well as growing number of foreign students and temporary workers, but the government is holding to its target of 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025. We can’t afford currently to reduce those numbers,” says Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Marc Miller, because as the population continues to age and the tax base shrinks, financing of public programs would be at risk. [node:read-more:link]

EU carbon emissions decline

European Union greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.9% in the first quarter of 2023 from year-earlier levels even as the bloc's economy grew by 1.1% in the same period. As the EU pushes toward net-zero emissions by 2050, its statistics agency reported August 16 that 21 of its 27 members had reported reduced emissions in the latest period. [node:read-more:link]

First Nations split on fish farms?

A coalition of 19 First Nations and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs have applied to the Federal Court to intervene in a case involving open-net fish farms off northern Vancouver Island and their impact on wild salmon. They say they are obliged to protect wild salmon for current and future generations. The closures are being challenged by two other indigenous communities in the area as well as three fish-farming companies. [node:read-more:link]

PSAC says spending cuts “rushed”

The president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada says the government has not consulted the union about a plan to trim more than $15 billion from its spending plans. “The government needs to pause these cuts until it has conducted a whole-of-government review of staffing and service needs, with bargaining agents involved throughout,” Chris Aylward said August 15. [node:read-more:link]

Canada snubbed by China

China has left Canada off a list of approved destinations for tour groups, ostensibly because Ottawa has “repeatedly hyped” the foreign interference issue. However, the U.S., which also has strained relations with China remains on the list, as do several allies. [node:read-more:link]


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