Protester Throws Stones At Canada’s Trudeau At Campaign Stop

Canada’s Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on August 31, 2021 in Ottawa, Canada. – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party appears to be ceding popularity to its Conservative rivals, according to polls published August 28, 2021, with early elections only weeks away. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seeking a third term in office in snap elections later this month, has repeatedly faced off against angry protesters on the campaign trail. And now, one has even thrown stones at him.

The incident happened on Monday as the Liberal Party leader was leaving an event at a microbrewery in London, a city southwest of Toronto in Ontario province. Someone in the crowd threw what appeared to be a handful of gravel at the prime minister, TV images showed.

Trudeau, members of his security detail and journalists were reportedly struck. No one was injured.

The incident drew condemnation from Trudeau’s main rival, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, and New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh.

Trudeau — who has slipped in the polls and is now in a statistical dead heat with O’Toole — has faced off on several recent occasions with what he described as “anti-vaxxer mobs” angry with his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Protesters enraged over proposed mandatory coronavirus vaccines and other crisis measures have shouted racial and misogynist slurs at his entourage.

Last week, he was forced to cancel an event over security concerns.

“Yes, there is a small fringe element in this country that is angry, that doesn’t believe in science, that is lashing out with racist, misogynistic attacks,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop.

“But Canadians, the vast majority of Canadians, are not represented by them, and I know will not allow those voices, those special interest groups, those protesters — I don’t even want to call them protesters, those anti-vaxxer mobs — to dictate how this country gets through this pandemic.”

AFP

Canada’s Trudeau Survives Vote Of No Confidence

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

 

 

The minority government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau survived a parliamentary vote of no-confidence Wednesday in a face-off over the proposed budget, eliminating the possibility of early elections this summer. 

The House of Commons voted 211 to 121 in favor of approving the budget, which was proposed in April and contains a plan to spend CAN$101.4 billion (69 billion euros) over three years.

The conservative opposition voted together against Trudeau, who was able to hang on thanks to the support of three other smaller blocs in the lower chamber.

The 2021-2022 budget, which began April 1, must still be approved by the Senate — a formality expected Friday, ahead of the summer recess.

After clearing this hurdle — and with Canada’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign progressing rapidly — Trudeau, who enjoys a high approval rating, could be tempted to call for snap elections at the end of the summer in an effort to regain a parliamentary majority, which his Liberal party lost after October 2019’s general election.

The budget’s flagship provision is a CAN$30 billion investment over five years to establish a network of low-cost, high-quality public daycares to encourage the participation of women in the labor market.

Some CAN$17.6 billion are earmarked for green initiatives, including helping companies reduce their carbon footprints and supporting public transport projects in large cities.

Trudeau Calls Killing Of Muslim Family ‘Terrorist Attack’

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday labeled as a “terrorist attack” the killing of four members of a Muslim family, who were run down by a man driving a pick-up truck.

“This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Trudeau said during a speech at the House of Commons.

The 20-year-old suspect, arrested shortly after the attack, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, while several leaders of the Muslim community have called on the courts to classify the episode as an act of terrorism.

Officials have already said the Sunday evening incident in the city of London in Canada’s central Ontario province was premeditated and motivated by “hatred.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair described the attack as a “horrific act of Islamophobia.”

“They believe the family was targeted because of their faith, and that the attacker was motivated by his hatred of Muslims,” he said.

The attack occurred as five family members were walking together along a sidewalk when a black pick-up truck “mounted the curb and struck” them as they waited to cross the intersection, according to police.

– ‘Targeted because of Muslim faith’ –
The four people killed represent three generations of the same family, according to London Mayor Ed Holder.

A nine-year-old boy was also hospitalized following the attack and was recovering.

“We all hope the little boy can recover from his injuries quickly, even though we know he will live a long time with the sadness, incomprehension and anger caused by this cowardly Islamophobic attack” Trudeau said, briefly switching to French.

The Muslim Association of Canada has called on authorities to “prosecute this horrific attack as an act of hate and terrorism.”

The suspect, identified as Nathaniel Veltman, who was wearing a vest “like body armor,” was arrested at a mall seven kilometers (four miles) from the intersection where the attack happened, said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight.

The episode brought back painful memories of a Quebec City mosque mass shooting in January 2017 and a driving rampage in Toronto that killed 10 people in April 2018, among others.

“They were all targeted because of their Muslim faith,” Trudeau said. “This is happening here, in Canada. And it has to stop.”

Bouquets of flowers of flowers have been placed at the scene of the attack and a vigil in memory of the victims is set to take place later Tuesday.

General Leading Canada Vaccine Drive Steps Aside Amid Probe

(FILES) Formerly, commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, Major-General Dany Fortin has left his public health assignment “pending the results of a military investigation,” authorities said in a brief statement, without elaborating. (Photo by SABAH ARAR / AFP)

 

 

The general in charge of coordinating Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has left his post in the Public Health Agency as he is being investigated by the military, the Department of National Defence said Friday.

Formerly, commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, Major-General Dany Fortin has left his public health assignment “pending the results of a military investigation,” authorities said in a brief statement, without elaborating.

Fortin was appointed last November by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to coordinate the logistics of the largest vaccination campaign in Canadian history.

The Canadian military is responsible, in collaboration with the public health agency, for distributing the vaccine in remote communities of this vast country.

The military has been shaken in recent months by a series of investigations into high-ranking officers accused of sexual misconduct.

They include retired general Jonathan Vance, a former chief of the defense staff, who has denied the allegations against him.

His successor, Admiral Art McDonald, left office a few weeks after his appointment, following the opening of an investigation into similar charges.

Last month, the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan instructed Louise Arbour, a prosecutor before the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia, to conduct an independent investigation into the handling of sexual harassment cases within the military.

Top Court Upholds Canada’s Federal Carbon Tax

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday upheld a national carbon tax that is the centrepiece of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate plan, rejecting a constitutional challenge by several provinces.

The federal government imposed the levy in 2019 in order to meet its obligations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, from 2005 levels.

Initially set at Can$20 (US$16) per tonne of emissions, the carbon pricing scheme — which applies to a range of fuels and sources of CO2 emissions — is to incrementally rise to Can$170 per tonne by the end of the decade. This would be equivalent to about 28 cents per liter of gasoline.

“Addressing climate change requires collective national and international action… because the harmful effects of GHGs (greenhouse gases) are, by their very nature, not confined by borders,” the court said in its decision.

It found that the federal parliament “has jurisdiction to enact this law as a matter of national concern under the peace, order and good government clause of the constitution.”

READ ALSO: EU Regulator Calls In Experts Over AstraZeneca Jab

Oil-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces, as well as Ontario, rejected the federal backstop on their own carbon pricing schemes that don’t measure up to the federal minimum price on carbon.

Federal opposition leader Erin O’Toole, meanwhile, vowed this week to get rid of the national carbon tax if his Tories unseat Trudeau’s Liberals in the next election.

Ottawa argued in court that climate change is a national threat requiring a federal response, but the provinces pushed back at the feds’ intrusion on their jurisdiction over the environment.

The court noted that provinces left to regulate emissions on their own risked failing to address this “existential threat.” It said it could take just one of the 10 provinces to straggle for nationwide efforts to collapse, threatening “Canada as a whole.”

As such, federal intrusion on provincial jurisdiction in this specific case is justified, it concluded.

The most recent report presented b
y the Canadian government showed that Canada’s CO2 emissions increased by two percent between 2017 and 2018.

AFP

Biden, Trudeau Go Online For US-Canada Bilateral

US President Joe Biden speaks about lives lost to Covid after death toll passed 500,000, in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, February 22, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

 

President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will lay out a “roadmap” for rebuilding US-Canada relations Tuesday during their first bilateral meeting, a senior official said, although the scrapped Keystone pipeline could present a hurdle.

Following the turbulence of Donald Trump’s presidency, Biden would have hoped to use his well-honed skills of personal connection while meeting face-to-face with the leader of the key ally to the north.

However, the meeting will occur virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the neighboring states to build on their common values from afar instead of in person, a senior US administration official told reporters on the eve of Biden’s first bilateral event as president.

“I think the biggest deliverable from the trip, or from the meeting, is going to be essentially… a roadmap to reinvigorate US-Canada collaboration,” the official said Monday.

Announcements on “next steps” will be made in multiple areas such as diplomacy, transportation or infrastructure, and battling Covid-19, the official said.

Biden and Trudeau will address several mutual priorities, including tackling climate change, revving up the North American economy, the Arctic, and threats to democracy in Myanmar and Venezuela.

“By being on the same line on several subjects, like climate change or economic revival, we can do more together,” Trudeau’s office said, offering similar broad brush strokes.

But the sides will also wade into the thorny issue of China’s “unfair economic practices,” its human rights record and Beijing’s continued detention of two Canadian nationals, according to the senior US official.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were arrested in China in 2018 in what was seen as likely retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou that year on a US warrant.

“Certainly we expect the prime minister to raise it, and the president is ready to discuss it,” the official said.

The official would not be drawn on how US-Canada ties might have been damaged during the four-year Trump administration, opting instead to highlight the various “shared interests” between the two countries.

One sticking point that is likely to come up: Biden’s decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project fiercely opposed by environmentalists but backed by Ottawa.

Biden rescinded the permit by executive order on his first day in office, fulfilling a campaign commitment, and “the decision will not be reconsidered,” the official said.

The summit begins with a 45-minute closed-door bilateral meeting with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, along with their Canadian counterparts.

It will then be expanded to a broader bilateral discussion.

Biden’s First Foreign Leader Call Will Be To Canada’s Trudeau – White House

US President-elect Joe Biden answers questions from the press at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on November 16, 2020. ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP
File photo: ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

 

President Joe Biden’s first call to a foreign leader will be to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday — with the fate of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on the agenda.

“His first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau,” Psaki told reporters at her first White House briefing.

She said they would discuss their “important relationship,” and the Biden administration’s decision to halt further construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States.

Trudeau said he was “disappointed” by the move, which came shortly after Biden took office.

“While we welcome the president’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight Covid-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone.”

TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the pipeline, suspended construction of the partially completed oil conduit earlier Wednesday, saying the move would mean thousands of lost jobs.

“The decision would overturn an unprecedented, comprehensive regulatory process that lasted more than a decade and repeatedly concluded the pipeline would transport much needed energy in an environmentally responsible way while enhancing North American energy security,” it said.

Canadian regulators approved the project in 2010 but it was blocked by president Barack Obama in 2015 due to environmental concerns — a decision that his successor Donald Trump reversed in 2017.

While Ottawa has always supported the project, environmental groups and indigenous groups have steadfastly cried foul.

The 1,210-mile (1,947-kilometer) pipeline, starting in 2023, was to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Alberta oil sands to Nebraska and then through an existing system to refineries in coastal Texas.

Canada Extends UK Flight Suspension Until Jan 6

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on COVID-19 situation in Canada from his residence March 23, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Credit: AFP
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on COVID-19 situation in Canada from his residence March 23, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada.

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday his country would prolong its suspension of passenger flights from the UK until early January in light of a new fast-spreading coronavirus strain sweeping Britain.

The North American nation is among dozens to have imposed travel restrictions as Britain, already one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, grapples with the novel strain.

“Today, I can announce that we will extend this temporary suspension of passenger flights from the UK to Canada for another two weeks until January 6, so we can prevent this new variant of Covid-19 from spreading in Canada,” Trudeau said during a press conference.

Canada had already halted the entry of commercial and passenger flights from Britain for 72 hours from midnight Sunday.

The new strain of the virus, whose discovery set off alarm bells worldwide, appears to spread more easily than other types but experts say there is no evidence it is more lethal or resistant to vaccines.

Canada meanwhile became the second country to green light the Moderna vaccine Wednesday, just two weeks after it authorized immunizations with the Pfizer/BioNTech shot.

The country began vaccinating people in high-risk categories — including frontline health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities — on December 14, with its relatively limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

Spread of the coronavirus accelerated in Canada as the holiday season approached, with the country having now recorded more than 523,000 cases and nearly 14,500 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Canada, US Border To Stay Closed Until January 21

(FILES) The longest international border in the world, between Canada and the United States, will remain closed until January 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on December 11, 2020. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP)

 

The longest international border in the world, between Canada and the United States, will remain closed until January 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.

“Canada and the United States agreed today to keep our shared border closed until January 21,” Trudeau told a news conference.

The border was initially closed in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The closure has been renewed monthly since then. Only trade in goods and merchandise and essential travel are allowed.

A second wave of Covid-19 infections in Canada — with a total of nearly 450,000 cases reported as of Friday — has forced several regions to reintroduce pandemic measures.

The United States is the worst-affected country in the world, with almost 300,000 deaths from 15.7 million cases.

The border between the US and Mexico will also remain shut until the same date, said Chad Wolf, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, on Twitter.

“In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Jan. 21. We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus,” he tweeted.

Pfizer To Deliver First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses To Canada In December – PM

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 14, 2020 Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press conference at the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany. Thomas KIENZLE / AFP.

 

Pfizer and BioNTech will deliver the first doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to Canada this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday, with inoculations to start as early as next week.

“Canada has secured an agreement with Pfizer to begin early delivery of doses of their vaccine candidate,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“We are now contracted to receive up to 249,000 of our initial doses of Pfizer BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in the month of December,” he said.

Pending Health Canada regulatory approval, expected this week, the prime minister said the first shipments to 14 sites across Canada could be delivered next week, with millions more doses to follow in 2021.

The federal government has contracted with several pharmaceutical companies — including AstraZeneca, Pfizer and BioNTech, Sanofi and GSK, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Medicago and Moderna — to secure more than 400 million vaccine doses for its population of 38 million.

The US giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech’s vaccine is at the most advanced stage, having proved 95 percent effective in late-stage clinical trials and already secured approval in Britain where its world-first rollout is to begin Tuesday.

Ottawa in August signed a deal with Pfizer for 20 million doses plus options for millions more.

It poses some logistical challenges, however, including that it must be stored at extreme sub-zero temperatures and requires two doses given a week apart to be effective.

Major-General Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s vaccine rollout, said it will take only one or two days after it arrives to “unpack, thaw, decant, mix” and inject it into the arms of Canadians.

 

Canada Grants Poultry, Egg Producers Aid Over Free Trade Losses

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
Dave Chan / AFP

 

Canada on Saturday announced aid of Can$691 million (US$531 million) to its poultry and egg producers for losses caused by free trade deals with Europe and Asia-Pacific countries.

Canada controls the production and price of eggs, poultry and milk through annual quotas and import taxes — a system deemed protectionist by its foreign partners.

But with the entry into force in recent years of free trade deals with the European Union (CETA) and another with a dozen Asia-Pacific countries (TPP), Ottawa has agreed to open further its market to foreign producers, angering Canadian farmers.

By announcing these breaches of the supply management system, in place since the 1970s, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had promised that compensation would be paid to breeders.

Federal aid to some 4,800 egg and poultry producers will extend over 10 years, said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Bibeau also announced an acceleration in disbursements of the Can$1.75 billion pledged in 2019 to compensate dairy farmers over eight years.

More than 10,000 farmers had received a first aid tranche of Can$345 million last year.

The remaining Can$1.4 billion is to be paid to them over the next three years.

Bibeau cited an example payment, saying the owner of an 80-cow farm would receive compensation of about Can$38,000 per year.

Bibeau also reiterated the government’s intention to offer compensation to producers affected by a greater opening of the Canadian market under the new free trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico, in force since earlier this year.

AFP

Canada Spends On Infrastructure To Boost Jobs, Cut CO2 Emissions

In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP
In this file photo Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on January 9, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. Dave Chan / AFP

 

Canada announced billions of dollars in spending on infrastructure projects Thursday that will support a transition to a low-carbon economy during pandemic recovery and create 60,000 jobs over three years.

The government’s nascent Canada Infrastructure Bank will oversee the spending, which totals Can$10 billion (US$7.5 billion) and is meant to fund electric buses, renewable power generation and building retrofits.

It is hoped the projects will also attract private investment.

“Families and businesses want to locate and build where they know infrastructure is modern, clean and resilient,” Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna told a news conference.

“And Canada has an excellent opportunity to be the low-carbon economy that global investors beat a path to if we keep making smart choices right now,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government last week said it would aim to beat its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, Ottawa committed to slash CO2 emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The infrastructure money will also go to connect about 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in underserved communities and to irrigate 700,000 more acres (283,300 hectares) of land to allow Canadian farmers to produce more food.

AFP