Emergency/ Crisis Management

Emergency Act invocation warranted

The Public Order Emergency Commission has concluded that the government met a “very high” threshold with its unprecedented invocation of the 1988 Emergencies Act to end last year’s “Freedom Convoy” protests and border blockades. “Lawful protest descended into lawlessness, culminating in a national emergency,” Commissioner Paul Rouleau said today in his report to Parliament. Citing “a failure in policing and federalism,” the Ontario Court of Appeal judge acknowledged it was a “drastic move” but said it was “not a dictatorial one.” [node:read-more:link]

What to do about Haiti?

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the crisis in Haiti with Caribbean leaders this week, he evidently remained resistant to suggestions, including from the U.S., about military intervention. During a multilateral meeting today, he told Haiti’s unelected leader, Ariel Henry, who has UN support for external security forces to combat endemic gang violence, only that Canada has “much to do” to offer support and stability. [node:read-more:link]

No trial change for convoy organizer

James Bauder of Calgary, one of the leaders of last winter’s disruptive convoy protest in Ottawa, has lost his bid to have his criminal trial moved out of the city. He argued unsuccessfully in Ontario Superior Court that he wouldn’t get a “fair trial in Ottawa because I participated in a very high-profile, highly politicized, lawful protest directed at the federal government in Ottawa.” [node:read-more:link]

Earthquake death toll mounting

More than 11,000 people in Turkey and Syria are now confirmed dead and thousands more remain missing today after a earthquakes and aftershocks in their border region February 6. International rescue teams are racing against time, their work hampered by winter weather, to find survivors in devastated communities but logistics and politics in war-torn Syria exacerbate the difficulties. [node:read-more:link]

Aurora returning from Haiti mission

An RCAF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft headed back to base in Atlantic Canada today after intelligence gathering flights over Haiti. The aircraft was retasked from a U.S.-led counter-narcotics mission and a Canadian Armed Forces official said the data collected over two days would be used by the government “to further assess the situation in Haiti,” which has requested military help in dealing with endemic gang violence. [node:read-more:link]

“Thousands” of jailed Iranians freed

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners, including many linked to anti-government protests in recent months, on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Persons charged with offences such as espionage, murder or destruction of state property, some of whom face the death penalty, are not being pardoned. [node:read-more:link]

Jamaica prepared to help Haiti

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said February 1 that his government is willing to send troops and police to Haiti as part of a proposed multinational security force. The UN special envoy for Haiti said a week ago that she hoped the Security Council would deal “positively” with the request from Haiti’s government which has been dealing with widespread gang violence. [node:read-more:link]

Drug deaths persist in B.C.

On the same day it decriminalized small amounts of drugs in a bid to prevent deaths among users, B.C. reported 2,272 deaths attributed to illicit drugs in 2022. It said January 31 that Fatalities in November and December alone totalled 182 and 210, respectively, and the daily average for the year was 6.4, roughly the same as the previous year, with victims aged 30-59 accounting for 70 per cent of the toll. [node:read-more:link]

Bolsonaro wants more time in U.S.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who left his country after losing last October’s election, claiming it was fraudulent, has applied for a six-month U.S. tourist visa. He arrived in Florida on a diplomatic visa before supporters rioted in Brasilia and Democrats in Congress say the U.S. “must not provide shelter for him, or any authoritarian who has inspired such violence against democratic institutions.” [node:read-more:link]

Drugs decriminalization tested in B.C

Effective January 31, British Columbia begins a three-year experiment in decriminalizing small amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA possessed by persons 18 and older. The federal government granted an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act last May and while it is not expected to stop users from being killed by tainted drugs it is considered a step forward. [node:read-more:link]

Trump’s social media access renewed

Meta, the corporate parent of Facebook and Instagram, announced today that it will reinstate Donald Trump’s accounts “in the coming weeks” after shutting him down over his inflammatory posts about the January 2021 assault on Capitol Hill . However, Global Affairs President Nick Clegg said there will be “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offences.” Trump continues to insist he did nothing wrong. [node:read-more:link]

Canada involved in Cameroon

A peace process aimed at resolving the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon after years of civil will see Canada take a lead role, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has announced. “Canada has accepted the mandate to facilitate this process, as part of our commitment to promote peace and security and advance support for democracy and human rights,” she said January 20. [node:read-more:link]

Judicial interference alleged in Alberta

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has ordered an independent review of emails between her office and Crown Prosecution Service ors last fall. She was responding to a report which suggested that the prosecutors were being politically pressed on cases arising from last year’s border blockades and protests. “As soon as we see if the emails exist, then we'll make sure that we have a presentation to the public,” Smith said. [node:read-more:link]

Brazil arrests security chief

Anderson Torres, formerly the public security chief in Brasília, has been arrested by Brazil’s federal police. Torres ostensibly was in charge when thousands of rioters stormed key government buildings in the capital January 8. He is accused of failing to act against the rioters and beind in collusion with them. [node:read-more:link]


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