When it comes to the spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia, the United States wants to play Switzerland.
Canada stepped up its criticism of the Saudi monarchy last week for its brutal crackdown on human-rights activists, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland calling for the immediate release of two siblings – Raif and Samar Badawi – from jail. In turn, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties and is seeking to recall thousands of students home – a move that will prove particularly devastating to Canadian medical schools.
But while a number of Middle Eastern countries are lining up behind Saudi Arabia, few other nations are standing up for Canada. When asked about it Tuesday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said the United States will not come to the aid of its neighbour and longtime ally. “I am not going to get into this,” Heather Nauert told reporters.
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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is expect to announce today that he’ll seek a House of Commons seat in a B.C. riding that the party won by fewer than 600 votes in 2015. Mr. Singh runs a political risk in what could be a close by-election race in Burnaby South, but observers say it also would have been risky to pass up the opportunity to win a seat in a riding held by the party. The riding will be left vacant when current MP Kennedy Stewart steps down to run for mayor of Vancouver.
The legalization of recreational marijuana this fall has government and police agencies scrambling to figure out how to police drug-impaired driving, both in terms of how to design test – and what should even be measured. Read our explainer about the effects of cannabis on your ability to drive, and why the policy and legal questions have been so hazy.
An analysis by Kinder Morgan’s bankers concludes that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would be profitable even if costs jumped by more than 25 per cent and the project was delayed by a year. The analysis by TD Securities Inc. was included in U.S. regulatory findings as Ottawa prepares to purchase the project.
A condo development in Vancouver that includes social housing – and a separate entrance for those low-income residents – is driving a debate about so-called “poor doors.” The project in the city’s west end mixes market condos and subsidized housing, but has come under fire for including separate entrances and even separate children’s playgrounds.
A dispute between the federal government and a U.S.-based company that owns the railway into Churchill, Man., has cut off the community of 900 people. The Canadian Transportation Agency insists that Omnitrax Inc. should pay to repair the rail line after it was washed way in flood last year, but the company says it can’t afford the estimated cost of between $40-million and $60-million.
And former patients of a man who was B.C.'s top-billing obstetrician-gynecologist for more than a decade are demanding to know what was done to discipline him and why it wasn’t done sooner. A Globe and Mail investigation has revealed that almost 40 former patients allege they were poorly treated by Winston Tuck Loke Tam, whose high billings and elevated patient loads prompted provincial and regulatory investigations as far back as 2015. Dr. Tam, who has denied wrongdoing, resigned in 2015.
Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail) on Canada’s critique of Saudi Arabia: “They’re using us to send a message. They want other countries with which they do business to sit up and take notice. They don’t want to hear any whining about human rights”
Peter Jones (The Globe and Mail) on why Saudi Arabia reacted: “Canada is a minor partner. Trade relations are minimal, outside of a single military contract (which has not been without headaches for both sides). Ejecting the Canadian ambassador, stopping direct air flights to and from Toronto and pulling students are not very significant in the greater scheme of things – although a big headache for the students, especially those who are already in the midst of their studies.”
Danielle Smith (Global News) on domestic energy: "The best thing the Liberal government could do in response to the diplomatic and trade war started by Saudi Arabia is to kickstart the Energy East pipeline project again. "
Marcus Gee (The Globe and Mail) on buck-a-beer in Ontario: “Mr. Ford pronounces that, ‘The days of the government putting its hand in your pocket each time you buy a two-four or six-pack is over.’ Not so. It will be reaching deep into your pockets every time.”
Paul Wells (Maclean’s) on the 2019 election: "But if gas prices keep going up, carbon taxes could be the very centre of the campaign. And if that happens, the campaign could resemble nothing so much as the great 1988 free-trade election, deeply polarized between two sides of a major national dispute. "
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on politics in sport: “Instead of being a force for racial equality, black athletes are being disparagingly targeted for the purpose of political gain. Mr. Trump is playing to prejudices to drive up the support of his white nationalist base.”
Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on Ottawa’s carbon tax: “Indeed, any policy that reduces Canada’s carbon output merely by shifting production to another country could hardly be construed as a success. And while the economic and environmental policies of U.S. President Donald Trump threaten to do long-term damage by plunging the United States deeper into debt and slowing its rate of carbon reduction, their impact on Canada’s short- and medium-term competitiveness cannot be overlooked.”
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