National Newswatch

Canada failing to address rising complaints about foreign intimidation of rights activists, Amnesty International says

Aug 12 2020 — Steven Chase — Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Ottawa will not tolerate the intimidation of human rights activists in this country by foreign governments after a democracy activist told a parliamentary committee she and her family have faced threats from Beijing over the past year. But Amnesty International said Wednesday that Canada’s response to rising complaints about […]

Calls for further action on Hong Kong spark concern over impact on detained Canadians in China

Aug 11 2020 — Steven Chase — The Canadian government is being urged to do more than issue written condemnation of China’s crackdown on Hong Kong, but a governing Liberal MP says he’s concerned how further action might imperil efforts to free two Canadians locked up by Beijing. A parliamentary committee holding hearings Tuesday on the deterioration of civil rights in Hong […]

Barred from public office, Hong Kong legislators with Canadian ties now afraid to ask international community for help

Aug 3 2020 — Steven Chase — Two Hong Kong legislators with significant Canadian ties were among 12 pro-democracy candidates recently stripped of the right to run for office in the former British colony as the Beijing-led crackdown on opposition and dissent continues. Both Dennis Kwok and Alvin Yeung are former Canadians who relinquished their citizenship to enter public life in Hong […]

Grocery executives defend decision to cut COVID-19 pay premiums for workers

Jul 10 2020 — Steven Chase — Senior executives at three major Canadian grocery store chains appeared before a parliamentary committee to defend cutting COVID-19 pay premiums for workers, saying the wage bump was always intended as a short-term measure and was withdrawn as pandemic-instigated lockdowns eased across the country. “It was a temporary program – during the heat of the pandemic […]

Champagne not ruling out sanctions against Chinese officials over Hong Kong, Xinjiang

Jul 8 2020 — Steven Chase — Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne isn’t ruling out sanctions on Chinese government officials found to be responsible for gross violations of human rights in Xinjiang or Hong Kong. Asked on Wednesday during Question Period whether the Canadian government would consider Magnitsky-style sanctions against Chinese officials, Mr. Champagne replied:

Crown company responsible for Saudi combat vehicle deal failed to screen for human rights risks: Auditor-General

Jul 8 2020 — Steven Chase — The Canadian government entity responsible for brokering export agreements with foreign governments, including a $14-billion deal to sell combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, has not paid sufficient attention to potential human-rights risks in sales contracts, a federal watchdog says. A report published Wednesday from the Auditor-General’s office said the Canadian Commercial Corp. was not properly […]

Canada urged to amend refugee, immigration rules to welcome Hong Kongers fleeing Chinese crackdown

Jun 30 2020 — Steven Chase — Pro-democracy groups are urging Canada to modify immigration and refugee rules to accommodate a possible exodus of Hong Kongers as China’s parliament passed national-security legislation Tuesday for the former British colony. Hong Kong Watch, a Britain-based watchdog group, is pressing Canada and other Western countries to provide safe harbour elsewhere in the world for residents […]

Grocery executives may be called to testify on pay cuts for workers

Jun 15 2020 — Steven Chase — An MP from the governing Liberal Party is proposing a parliamentary committee summon major Canadian grocery company executives to explain why they’re cutting COVID-19 pay premiums for workers. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has put forward a motion at the House of Commons standing committee on industry, to be voted on Thursday. Both Conservative and NDP […]