Prime Minister Justin Trudeau challenged Beijing to establish its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the mistreatment of Uyghurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang region, after China called for a probe into the remains of Indigenous children buried at former residential school sites across Canada.
“Where is their truth?” Trudeau said, alluding to the condemnation China has faced from Western leaders over its refusal to grant independent observers access to Xinjiang, where Beijing is accused of committing crimes against humanity.
The latest flare-up in tensions between Ottawa and Beijing began at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday, when Canada led a coalition of 40 other countries urging China to allow “unfettered access” to Xinjiang so independent experts can visit the region. Human-rights groups and UN experts have said a million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims have been detained there as part of a campaign to forcibly assimilate them. Beijing has long disputed those accounts, saying that the centres provide vocational training.
From the archives: China responds angrily to Canada’s sanctions over human-rights abuses in Xinjiang
Opinion: China has lost all moral authority as data suggests suppression of Uyghur births
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Liberal caucus office relying on firm that helps run party’s digital campaigns
The Liberal Research Bureau, an office that provides support to the Liberal caucus, used parliamentary funds to pay a company that helps shape the party’s election strategy. Commons records show that the office expensed more than $75,000 to Data Sciences, which is owned by Tom Pitfield, a close friend of Justin Trudeau, between Aug. 1, 2019, and Oct. 1, 2020. That’s on top of more than $30,000 in payments to the same company from the office budgets of Liberal MPs. Pitfield’s firm, which specializes in using algorithms to inform digital-advertising strategies during elections, is expected to play the same role for the party when the writ drops.
The payments have raised ethical questions about whether the Liberals are using public funds for partisan purposes. The bureau’s managing director, Melissa Cotton, said the services provided by Data Sciences were not campaign related, and were strictly for technical support and training for the software that “assists MPs in their parliamentary engagement with constituents.”
Former CannTrust executives charged in 2019 growing operation at Ontario facility
After a two-year investigation, fraud charges have been laid against three former executives of CannTrust Holdings Inc. in connection with the illegal growing of cannabis at the company’s facility in Pelham, Ont. CannTrust’s former director, Mark Litwin, and former chairman Eric Paul were also charged with insider trading.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the RCMP allege that Litwin, Paul and former CEO Peter Aceto did not disclose to investors that roughly 50 per cent of the total growing space at the Ontario facility wasn’t cleared to operate by Health Canada. Legal counsel for Litwin and Paul said in separate emails that their clients did not do anything wrong. Aceto’s lawyer said his client was “disappointed” by the charges, adding that Aceto had co-operated with CannTrust’s internal audit and the OSC probe.
From the archives: Federal regulators saw cannabis growing in unlicensed areas at CannTrust facility, e-mails show
Catch up with The Decibel: The Globe’s Ottawa bureau chief, Robert Fife, joins host Tamara Khandaker to discuss the parliamentary showdown over the release of unredacted documents that could explain the dismissal of two scientists from Canada’s infectious-disease lab. Fife shares what he’s learned so far about why the scientists were let go, why transparency is in the public interest and who gets to decide what information should be released.
Subscribe to our Olympics newsletter: Going for gold under the cloud of COVID-19 makes the Tokyo Summer Games an Olympics like no other. Tokyo Olympics Update is here to help you make sense of it all, with original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, tracking Team Canada’s medal wins, and past Olympic moments from iconic performances.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Senators push back on Bill C-10 after MPs pass contentious bill to regulate internet
The Trudeau government’s controversial legislation aimed at extending the rules that apply to traditional broadcasters to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is unlikely to pass before the summer recess, after several senators said they need more time to study the bill. With an election expected in the fall, the bill is likely to die on the order paper.
Explainer: What is Bill C-10 and why are the Liberals planning to regulate the internet?
Ottawa, military’s response to sexual misconduct in Forces defies common sense, watchdog says
Military Ombudsman Gregory Lick sharply criticized the Trudeau government and the military, saying the mechanisms designed to support survivors have failed in part because of a deficit in accountability. He pointed to how his office, which answers to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, creates a conflict for the sitting Minister, who has political interests at stake.
Canada holding biweekly meetings with U.S. on Line 5 shutdown
Canada has been holding bilateral meetings with the U.S. every two weeks on Michigan’s push to decommission the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline and a 1977 treaty that seeks to ensure uninterrupted petroleum transmission between the two countries. The pipeline dispute was triggered after Enbridge challenged Michigan’s rescission of an easement permit granted in 1953.
U.S. to probe former Native American boarding schools
The Biden administration plans to investigate former Native American boarding schools to “shed light on the traumas of the past,” said U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Though she didn’t provide details on how the investigation would be carried out, Haaland said her department would focus on finding out where the schools were located and who attended them, and would also attempt to locate the remains of those who died while attending.
Saudi operatives who killed Khashoggi had paramilitary training in U.S.: report
Four Saudi operatives involved in the 2018 killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the United States the year before, according to The New York Times. The training was given through a contract approved by the U.S. State Department, and was devised to protect Saudi leaders.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily to print final edition on Thursday
After a stormy year in which Apple Daily was raided by police and its tycoon owner and other staff were arrested under a new national security law, the end of the popular 26-year-old tabloid, which mixes pro-democracy discourse with racy celebrity gossip and investigations of those in power, has raised alarm over media freedom and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.
Powell calms markets: World shares edged higher and the bond market calmed on Wednesday after reassurances from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that the Fed is not rushing to hike rates but European stocks struggled to gain momentum. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.11 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.47 per cent and 0.44 per cent respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished off 0.03 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.79 per cent. New York futures were modestly higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 81.32 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Wesley Wark, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation: “The real answer behind MPs’ newfound distrust of NSICOP is more likely that the committee is determinedly non-partisan and is committed to protecting secrets divulged to it. NSICOP is not in the game of political theatre. It eschews a ‘gotcha’ mentality.”
Karima-Catherine Goundiam, founder and CEO of B2BeeMatch: “Beyond legacy candidates, in an era of serious income disparities and rising tuition, candidates with degrees from fancy schools may just demonstrate how easy their lives have been, relatively speaking, not how skilled they are. This idea of ‘the best’ leaves out people who are smart, determined problem-solvers with lots of valuable life experience.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Soak up the summer on two wheels
Pandemic rules and restrictions, which can vary by jurisdiction, have put many summer travel plans – even within the country – in limbo. But those in need of a break don’t have to forego a bit of adventure. Writer Christina Palassio has tips on how to plan a memorable, multi-day bike trip, including scenic routes to take in.
MOMENT IN TIME: June 23, 1946
Earthquake strikes Canada’s West Coast
On June 23, 1946, at 10:15 a.m., one of the largest earthquakes in Canada’s history struck Vancouver Island and the surrounding area. The quake was a 7.3 on the Richter scale. Its epicentre was in a densely forested area in the Forbidden Plateau, just north of Courtenay. Two people were killed, but the damage was relatively light, as the population of Vancouver Island was only 190,000 people at the time – a fourth of what it is today. The quake was felt both in Vancouver – where buildings swayed, the power went out and several fires started – and as far south as Portland. In Courtenay, Lawrence Burns, who was 17 at the time, watched the pavement ripple in front of him and gasoline pumps spill gallons of fuel. He told The Province that it was the “longest 30 seconds” of his life. Canada’s West Coast has experienced few severe earthquakes in the intervening years, but its position along the Cascadia Subduction Zone means that small disruptions happen often. Seismologists predict that the Pacific Northwest is due for “the Big One” – a 9.0-magnitude quake that could happen some time in the next 50 years. Paloma Pacheco