National Newswatch

Canada grants asylum to 14 Hong Kong dissidents, activists say

Jan 13 2021 — Steven Chase — Canada has granted asylum to 14 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists fleeing Beijing’s crackdown in the former British colony, according to a Canadian group supporting dozens of refugee claimants. Jane Lee is co-founder of New Hong Kong Cultural Club, a group of Canadian supporters of democracy in Hong Kong that has branches in Toronto, Calgary and […]

Canada and U.K. unveil measures to ensure domestic firms are not complicit in China’s forced labour camps

Jan 12 2021 — Steven Chase — Canada and the United Kingdom announced measures to ensure Canadian and U.K. companies are not complicit in human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, the focus of growing international attention over mass detentions, forced labour and alleged genocide. The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang, a region […]

Canada pressing Michigan to avert shutdown of pipeline critical to fuel needs in Ontario and Quebec

Jan 7 2021 — Steven Chase — The federal government and several provinces are pressing the United States in hopes of averting the ordered May shutdown of a pipeline in Michigan, which business groups call a key fuel conduit for Ontario and Quebec. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns of significant disruption to fuel supplies to Canada’s two most populous provinces if […]

Ottawa urged to set up independent scrutiny of arms exports

Dec 10 2020 — Steven Chase — Human-rights and arms-control advocates told MPs Thursday they fear the department of Global Affairs cannot be relied upon to effectively police exports of military goods and suggested ways to boost or augment scrutiny. They told members of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee that they believe Global Affairs is grappling with accommodating competing interests […]

MPs urged not to tie hands of future Canadian trade negotiators

Nov 30 2020 — Steven Chase — One of Canada’s largest farm groups is urging members of Parliament not to back legislation that would prevent federal negotiators from granting further tariff-free access to this country’s heavily protected dairy, eggs and poultry markets in future trade negotiations. If the private member’s bill sponsored by Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon were it to pass, […]

Victims of foreign-state sponsored harassment in Canada recount threats of rape, murder and harm to families

Nov 26 2020 — Steven Chase — Victims of foreign-state sponsored harassment recounted threats of rape, murder and harm to family from supporters of authoritarian governments in Iran, Russia and China Thursday as they spoke out in an effort to convince Ottawa to take new steps to fight foreign interference on Canadian soil. Javad Soleimani, a graduate student at the University of […]

Trial of Saudi women’s rights activist moved to terrorism court

Nov 25 2020 — Steven Chase — Three days after it hosted world leaders at a virtual Group of 20 summit, Saudi Arabia has transferred the trial of Loujain al-Hathloul, a women’s rights activist and University of British Columbia graduate, to a terrorist court. Ms. al-Hathloul’s case was among those that the Global Affairs department championed in 2018, posting statements on Twitter […]

Canada will not bar entry to Hong Kongers arrested for taking part in ‘peaceful protests,’ Immigration Minister says

Nov 16 2020 — Steven Chase — Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says Hong Kongers who were arrested or charged after “taking part in peaceful protests” in the former British colony would not be deemed inadmissible to Canada, but he declined to say if this covers specific charges such as rioting or unlawful assembly. Human rights groups and civil liberties have accused Hong […]

Canada condemns China’s ouster of Hong Kong lawmakers but offers no asylum plan

Nov 12 2020 — Steven Chase — The Canadian government denounced China for removing four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong’s legislature but gave no indication of whether it would unveil a special plan to grant asylum to those who want to flee the former British colony. Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne condemned Beijing’s ouster of the legislators, calling it a “further assault” […]

Foreign-affairs committee to begin probing Ottawa’s approval of arms exports to Turkey

Oct 30 2020 — Steven Chase — A parliamentary committee is set to begin probing Canada’s approvals of arms exports in a study that will include the greenlight Ottawa gave to shipments of Canadian-made air strike targeting gear, allegedly used by Azerbaijan to attack Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This development could bring more political pressure to bear on the Canadian government, […]

Canadian-made targeting gear used in air strikes against Armenians, evidence shows

Oct 30 2020 — Steven Chase — The Armenian government is in possession of pieces of a Turkish-made military drone that includes air strike-targeting gear manufactured in Canada, The Globe and Mail has independently confirmed. This equipment is at the centre of allegations that Azerbaijan is using drones, in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, that contain restricted Canadian military technology originally approved for […]