Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Citing China’s new national security law and its impacts on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Canada says it will halt extraditions and military exports to the city. From 2014 to 2019, Canada’s military exports – which included small arms, light weapons and aircraft – have gone to Hong Kong police as well as marine and flying services. It seemed that there have also been exports of tear gas or riot control equipment as well as electronic jamming equipment, but they cannot be confirmed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Ottawa is considering additional measures on immigration in the near future, as Hong Kongers seek a way to flee the city, but didn’t offer any details.
These actions are similar to measures that have already been announced by lawmakers in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. The British government said that up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for the British National Overseas passport can get residency rights, while the Australian government said it is considering similar options. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representative and Senate have voted to sanction Chinese officials who help with the implementation of China’s national security law; however, the U.S. bill requires the President’s signature to go into effect.
Currently, there are already almost 50 Hong Kongers seeking asylum in Canada due to experiences of Hong Kong police brutality and fears of unjust prosecution if they stay in the city.
- Andrew Coyne: Freedom is dying in Hong Kong, if anybody cares
- Philip Calvert: Canada, and the world, must respond to China’s ominous actions in Hong Kong
Liberals cancel WE Charity contract to deliver $900-million student grant program
The Liberal government has called off the deal for WE Charity to administer the $900-million Canada Student Service Grant, a week after the contract was first announced. The decision was mutual, according to statements from both the government and WE Charity.
Prior to cancellation, the deal faced significant scrutiny. Given the close ties between the charity and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, there were immediate accusations of cronyism and opposition parties have also called for an ethics investigation into the arrangement.
WE Charity also raised questions when it said it was offering 450 virtual volunteer positions at its own organization as part of the grant. Earlier this year, WE Charity also saw an internal shakeup of its board – including the resignation of Michelle Douglas as board chair – although the organization said it was part of a planned renewal.
The program itself faced criticism from Volunteer Canada about blurring the line between volunteering and paid work, as it allows for pay of $10 an hour – less than the minimum wage in all provinces. It’s currently unclear how the grant will go forward.
- Campbell Clark: Why the secrecy surrounding Ottawa’s agreement with WE Charity?
RCMP lays 22 charges against Manitoba man over security breach at Rideau Hall
Corey Hurren, a Canadian Forces member who was arrested Thursday on Rideau Hall’s grounds and a Manitoba resident, is now facing 22 charges. They include one count of uttering threats, while most charges revolve around possession and transportation of firearms. These offences could result in jail time, with a maximum of 10 years for firearm offences.
Due to his involvement in Operation Laser, which responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurren was considered to be “on duty” at the time of the incident. The Ottawa branch of the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Team is handling the investigation.
Officials said he had “several weapons” on him at the time, including at least one gun, but was not known to the RCMP prior to the incident.
His next court appearance is scheduled for June 17.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Alberta First Nation investigating COVID-19 cases: Siksika Nation, which is located east of Calgary, said it has nine active COVID-19 cases while investigating 258 more – up from 58 in less than a week. More than 2,000 tests have been conducted so far, but Chief Ouray Crowfoot said a shortage of throat swabs has hindered testing efforts and forced health officials to limit testing to people with symptoms. He expects more supplies next week.
Aluminium tariffs threat: Despite the signing of a new North American trade treaty, U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened new aluminium tariffs against Canada. Industry insiders are unsure of the exact reason but pointed to the combination of COVID-19, international metals arbitrage, Trump’s re-election campaign and Russian aluminum as a likely cause. Citing the tariff threat and COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that he’s unsure about going to Washington D.C. next week to celebrate the new trade treaty.
India-China border dispute: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to a military base in Ladakh region on Friday, meeting with soldiers and making a speech punctuated with nationalist fervour. The region has seen a deadly border standoff between India and China, which has been the worst confrontation between the two countries in over four decades. Talks about ending the dispute have been inconclusive.
Woman sentenced for plotting suicide attack in London: A woman has been sentenced to life in prison on Friday after being arrested in October, 2019, for planning to blow up St. Paul’s Cathedral, a nearby hotel and a subway train in London. A supporter of the Islamic State, she also pleaded guilty to dissemination of a terrorist publication.
Canadian cannabis company layoff: Organigram, a Moncton-based cannabis company, said it is laying off at least 220 workers – a quarter of its staff. The company also announced that it will cultivate less cannabis than originally intended and focus on using new strains of plants to meet emerging consumer demand. Other Canadian cannabis companies have similarly turned to restructurings and layoffs to keep their companies afloat.
The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, holding on to this week’s rally as it kept to a narrow trading range with U.S. markets closed in observance of Independence Day.
Canada’s main stock index wrapped up a solid week on a down note without the leadership of U.S. equities, which were closed for the Independence Day holiday. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.2 per cent at 15,596.75 but ended the week up 2.7 per cent.
If Hong Kong burns: What happens when a city caught in the middle loses hope?
“Hong Kongers have been here before: We have long protested the violation of our rights and rallied against social injustices, only to be met with half-hearted concessions, branded as rioters and provocateurs or crushed with violent policing.” — Nick Tang
Under pressure: Have we arrived at another turning point in American history?
“Regardless of whether the U.S. president after the coming November election proves to be Joe Biden or Donald Trump, he will have to grapple with a host of daunting challenges. They include COVID-19; a staggering economy; a fragmented electorate, Congress and Supreme Court; and the pent-up rage of all those Americans who have already been driven to protest or to riot.” — Jared Diamond
Gone with the Wind is terrible and important, all at once
“In this way, art becomes a useful metaphor for life itself. Nothing ever becomes less complicated. But for that reason, it’s also more interesting. The next time I have four hours to watch Gone with the Wind, or a week to read it, I’ll see something I didn’t before. It will probably be something ugly, but that’s part of the whole picture.” — Elizabeth Renzetti
If you care about the source of the ingredients on your dinner plate, why not your skin?
Following the footsteps of early adopters and indie skincare businesses, big beauty brands are now changing how they source ingredients and inviting consumers to learn about the process. Much like the appreciation for the farm-to-table dining, the farm-to-face approach in beauty is here to stay.
Pickles, pesto and jam: Quick fixes in the kitchen to add flavour to your meal
The pandemic is bringing out the do-it-yourself attitude in many of us, especially when it comes to cooking. If that’s you, here are 10 recipes — from pesto to strawberry jam to quick dry-aged steak — to help you take your quarantine cooking up a notch.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Researchers find clues of Ice Age people mining for ochre in Mexican caves
Finding out what humans were doing in the now-submerged depths of the Yucatan Peninsula was an exercise in patience under pressure for divers and archaeologist, including Canadians. Through a series of spectacular finds, an international team of divers and scientists has revealed what drew at least some ancient people into those labyrinthine depths: They were mining for ochre.
Read the story here.
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