The national security and intelligence committee, a group of MPs and senators given special clearance, have released their heavily redacted report into *******.
Sorry, what I meant to say was: their report into the security around the Prime Minister’s trip to India earlier this year and how, exactly, Jaspal Atwal (convicted in the 1980s of trying to kill an Indian politician) managed to get so close to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his entourage. (You can read the report here, asterisks and all.)
The report, if not damning, does raise some serious gaps in how guests were vetted at the events. The Prime Minister’s Office added hundreds of names to the guest list of his events in Mumbai and Delhi, and there was no systematic review of who those people are. Still, some RCMP officials became aware of Mr. Atwal’s presence on the guest lists, but did not notify the PM’s security detail.
There were also allegations of foreign interference in the report, related to concerns that India’s government was somehow involved in what happened. On that score, the report makes six findings, which range from *** to ***.
So at least that one’s settled.
Security experts say they are concerned about a Toronto businessman with ties to China’s Communist Party who has become very involved in Canadian politics. Ted Jiancheng Zhou says he is just trying to promote conservative values, not necessarily elect Conservatives.
There is a new Conservative coming to Ottawa: Michael Barrett, a local councilor, won a by-election last night to represent a rural Ontario seat vacated by long-time MP Gord Brown, who died of a heart attack earlier this year.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says skills training will be a centrepiece of next year’s budget.
B.C. Attorney-General David Eby says the federal government needs to answer for how a massive money-laundering criminal investigation fell apart. “The feeling in British Columbia is that the federal government did not have have an adequate understanding of how serious the issue is in this province. I think they are up to speed on that now,” Mr. Eby said.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England (and former top central banker in Canada), has a message for British politicians who are angry at his Brexit report that leaving the European Union without a trade deal would harm the British economy: Don’t shoot the messenger. “We didn’t just stay up all night and write a letter to the treasury committee," Mr. Carney said. "You asked us for something that we had, and we brought it and we gave it to you.”
And Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, currently in orbit on the International Space Station, says life away from Earth is pretty sweet. “I’m astonished by what I’ve seen,” he said.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the security around Trudeau’s trip to India as a comedy of errors: “The report is a tale of an embarrassment created by the Prime Minister’s Office, missed by CSIS because they didn’t get the RCMP’s message and by the RCMP because a voice mail was left for an officer on holiday, and blown up into an international incident by a senior official jumping to conclusions.”
David Mulroney (The Globe and Mail) on fentanyl coming from China to Canada: “The fentanyl epidemic is a new kind of foreign-policy challenge for us. China is refusing to act responsibly, something that is literally killing Canadians. We need tougher talk from the Prime Minister, but we also need sustained and co-ordinated follow-up by a range of departments, agencies and jurisdictions, something that isn’t our strong suit.”
Jen Gerson (CBC) on Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s mandate to cut oil production: “To cut or not to cut was an impossible choice, each position fraught with potential pitfalls. Notley’s decision to preserve the value of the oil is a perfectly sound one. On the whole, Notley has proven herself a capable national leader during one of the most fraught economic periods of Alberta’s recent history.”
Shimon Fogel (The Globe and Mail) on hate crimes: “Canadians would be right to redouble our vigilance. At stake is something much broader than hatred of Jews, the rise of which can serve as a warning sign of deeper societal challenges. What happened in Pittsburgh, where the assailant had a history of promoting and consuming hate online, is a microcosm of a dangerous, global phenomenon.”
Tabatha Southey (Maclean’s) on de-platforming extreme views: “[Laura] Loomer’s fans, and even some non-fans, often argue that removing someone from a platform is a violation of that person’s right to free speech, but of course it’s not. If your next-door neighbour is a ham radio enthusiast, he’s not obliged to let you broadcast on his kit. It doesn’t matter how many other people he lets use his radio, or how much you like using his radio, or how many people like listening to you on his radio, he can write, change and interpret and enforce his own terms of service as he chooses and he doesn’t have to let you be on his radio.”