Five stories in the news for Wednesday, June 26
CHINA SEEKS SUSPENSION OF CANADIAN MEAT
The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to suspend all meat exports, a surprise move that comes amid the diplomatic dispute over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. The latest Chinese move comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to depart Wednesday for a G20 leaders’ summit in Japan, where he is expected to rely on U.S. President Donald Trump to raise the plight of two detained Canadians during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The embassy said in a statement to The Canadian Press on Tuesday that this latest move follows Chinese customs inspectors’ detection of residue from a restricted feed additive, called ractopamine, in a batch of Canadian pork products. The additive has permitted uses in Canada but is banned in China.
PM LEANS ON TRUMP TO HELP DETAINED CANADIANS
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving for a major international summit in Japan this morning, hoping to make progress, or at least find allies, in a multi-front dispute with China. The G20 leaders’ summit in Osaka comes at a critical moment for Trudeau, months ahead of the October election and as Canada continues to push for the release of two Canadians in China’s custody — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. China detained the two, a former diplomat and an entrepreneur, days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant in December. Trudeau will lean on the power and influence of the mercurial Donald Trump to raise the issue of two detained Canadians during a one-on-one meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping.
SASKATCHEWAN POLICE CHALLENGED BY HUMAN TRAFFICKING
For years, Beatrice Wallace blamed herself. Not only did she feel shame and guilt, but the 46-year-old Regina mother kept it hidden. Her “dirty little secret,” as she calls it, was working the streets — first forced there by men when she was 14. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are getting renewed attention in Canada following the release of the final report from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It calls for an effective response to deal with human trafficking and details how Indigenous women are targets, often coming from vulnerable situations such as growing up in foster care. That was the case for Wallace, who is Indigenous and the daughter of a residential school survivor. Adopted into a middle-class home when she was four, she says there was abuse.
‘SOME BALONEY’ IN CLAIMS ON NEW FOI REGIME
Federal cabinet ministers were patting themselves on the back last week after Bill C-58 received royal assent. The bill updates Ottawa’s oft-criticized access-to-information regime, which the Liberals had promised during the last election to strengthen. The bill faced heavy criticism during the two years it took to wend its way through Parliament. One of the beefs was that the Liberals did not fulfil their promise to expand the act to include ministers’ offices. The government said it needed to balance transparency with parliamentary privilege. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould says the changes announced will enhance the transparency and accountability of Canadian democratic institutions by ensuring that Canadians can easily view the most often requested documents without having to file an access to information request. Spoiler alert: Gould’s remark earns a rating of “some baloney.”
PEA-BASED PANTS MAY BE YOGAWEAR’S NEXT FRONTIER
Lululemon Athletica Inc. wants customers to have more pea in their yoga pants. The athleisure retailer presented the idea at Protein Industries Canada’s (PIC) pitch day Monday in a talk titled: Clothing the World with Crops, according to a photo of a PowerPoint slide. Lululemon’s pitch focused on using byproducts from pea processing as inputs for new clothing materials, said Bill Greuel, chief executive of PIC, a not-for-profit industry association that is one of the federal government’s five supercluster initiatives. Its goal is to create business opportunities, collaborate and invest in projects that could transform Canada’s agriculture and food processing industries, according to its website.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— The public is invited to the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) Change of Command on June 26th at Government House in Fredericton.
— International Trade Minister Jim Carr delivers remarks and takes part in a panel talk with Galit Baram, Israel’s Consul General in Toronto, regarding the modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
— Toronto Uber drivers and their union, UFCW Canada, discuss the union drive at Uber and what it means for the drivers, Uber, and the gig economy.
— Trial of Red Deer RCMP Const. Jason Tress on one count of sexual assault with a weapon and one count of breach of trust. He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was under detention and in custody at the Red Deer RCMP detachment on May 1, 2016.
The Canadian Press