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Bank of Canada unveils shortlist of names under consideration for new $5 bill

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The Bank of Canada unveiled its shortlist of Canadians who are under consideration to have their image emblazoned on the new $5 polymer bills.

The list of eight names, in alphabetical order, consists of:

  • Pitseolak Ashoona.
  • Robertine Barry (Françoise).
  • Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow).
  • Won Alexander Cumyow.
  • Terry Fox.
  • Lotta Hitschmanova.
  • Isapo-muxika (Crowfoot).
  • Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft).

The list  was culled down from suggestions from nearly 45,000 Canadians and compiled into an eligible list of 600 people.

According to the central bank, the names above made the cut based on five distinct categories. They changed Canada and Canadians for the better, their impact is known nationally across Canada, they have had an impact in Canada and this impact should reflect Canadian values, they are uniquely Canadian and known beyond their local/regional communities and they had an impact that is relevant today.

 

Trailblazer Viola Desmond was chosen to be on the new $10 bill, and the central bank will soon put out a new design for the $5 bill with a new face on it, too. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

 

“Canadians put forward the names of hundreds of people who have changed Canada for the better,” said Bank of Canada Gov. Tiff Macklem. “I thank the Advisory Council members for their thoughtful and thorough deliberations, and I look forward to seeing which of these eight remarkable individuals will be featured on our next $5 bank note.”

The decision now moves to the office of Canada’s finance minister, who will announce who will be on the new $5 bill some time early next year. The bill itself will be released into circulation some time after that.

Currently, the $5 bill bears the face of former prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, and the government has already said that his image will be on a higher denomination bill, most likely the $50 or the $100, when they get redesigned.

 

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U.S. sends first migrants to Mexico in reboot of Trump-era policy

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The United States has returned the first two migrants to Mexico since restarting a Trump-era program to remove asylum seekers from U.S. soil, officials said Wednesday, as the Biden administration grapples with pressure to curb immigration.

The United States and Mexico last week agreed to relaunch the controversial scheme known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that obliges asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings, in keeping with a federal court order.

Mexico made the restart conditional on Washington meeting certain criteria, including offering vaccines to asylum seekers and exempting vulnerable people from expulsion.

The first two migrants returned under the revamped scheme entered Mexico at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez opposite El Paso, Texas, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mexico.

One of the two men, who identified himself as Enrique Manzanares from Nicaragua, said he felt a little sad, but gave thanks to God that he was still alive.

“In the end, nothing was lost,” Manzanares told Reuters. “Some of us make it, others don’t.”

A Mexican official confirmed the restart, saying it would be limited on Wednesday to just the two migrants.

The IOM said the two people were given COVID-19 tests once they entered Mexico, and that IOM representatives took them to a shelter in Ciudad Juarez that had been approved by U.S. and Mexican authorities.

The United Nations-backed organization also called for MPP to be ended as soon as possible, describing it in a statement as “inhumane and contrary to international law.”

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)said the Department of Homeland Security began the court-mandated re-implementation of MPP at one location.

“For operational security reasons, DHS is not sharing details such as location of initial returns or number of individuals enrolled,” the CBP spokesperson said.

Once fully operational, MPP returns to Mexico will take place at seven ports of entry in San Diego, Calexico, Nogales, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo and Brownsville, the CBP said.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has struggled to reverse many hardline immigration policies put in place by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, and is facing a record number of migrant arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden ended MPP soon after his inauguration in January as he sought to pursue what he called a more humane approach to immigration. But a federal judge ruled Biden’s move did not follow proper procedure, and in August ordered MPP reinstated.

Misael Hernandez, a migration expert at Mexican think tank COLEF, said Mexico faced a challenge coping with the new flow of expulsions, with many shelters in the north already struggling to handle increasing numbers of migrant arrivals from the south.

“This is a setback in immigration policy between Mexico and the United States,” he said. “And an example of Trump’s power in Congress and U.S. courts to go against Biden’s promises.”

(Reporting by Jose Luis Gonzalez, Daina Beth Solomon and Lizbeth Diaz; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson and Dave Graham; Editing by William Maclean and Cynthia Osterman)

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Conversion therapy ban now law in Canada – CTV News

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The federal legislation to ban conversion therapy practices in Canada received royal assent on Wednesday, meaning the bill is now a law, but the new criminal offences won’t be in effect until early January.

Per the coming-into-force provisions of the bill, the four new Criminal Code violations will be enacted 30 days after it received royal assent, which will be Jan. 7.

That means that in a month it will be illegal to subject someone of any age, consenting or not, to so-called conversion therapy

As of Jan. 7 it will be a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to cause another person to undergo conversion therapy, and if someone is found to be promoting, advertising, or profiting from providing the practice, they could face up to two years in prison.

After the federal government tabled Bill C-4 on Nov. 29, MPs unanimously agreed to swiftly pass the bill through all legislative stages in the House of Commons without changes on Dec. 1.

The bill was then sent to the Senate, seeing Senators also unanimously agreed on Dec. 7 to pass the legislation with little debate and no committee study.

The accelerated all-party support for the bill has been praised by political leaders as well as by LGBTQ2S+ advocates, who have been pushing for years to see these new protections against the harmful practice enacted after unsuccessful past attempts.

“The passing of Bill C-4 and the unanimous support it received from every official in Parliament sends a clear message to LGBTQ2 Canadians: you are valid and deserving of a life free from harm,” said Nicholas Schiavo, founder of No Conversion Canada in a joint statement with U.S.-based LGBTQ2S+ suicide prevention and crisis intervention advocacy group The Trevor Project. “Today, as we celebrate this historic moment, we must thank survivors and their tireless advocacy to reach this moment where conversion ‘therapy’ is finally outlawed in our country.”

Justice Minister David Lametti, who sponsored the government legislation, and Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien called the success of Bill C-4 “an important achievement.”

“The consensus demonstrated by Parliamentarians in Canada is a part of an emerging global consensus surrounding the real and life – long harms for conversion therapy victims and survivors… Canada’s criminal laws on conversion therapy are among the most comprehensive in the world.”

Several provinces and municipalities across Canada have already sought to outlaw conversion therapy in their jurisdictions, including Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Yukon, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. 

“I’m glad the senators took an approach of moving quickly in unanimity like we did in the Commons. I want to thank them for their work,” said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole on Wednesday on Parliament Hill. His party was the one to initiate the unanimous consent motions in both chambers after the Liberals made LGBTQ2S+ rights and the Conservatives’ past opposition to the bill as a wedge issue in the 2021 federal election.

Bill C-4 has now become the first bill to fully pass the 44th Parliament, and is the first bill to receive royal assent in a ceremony presided over by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon.

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Canada joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Published Wednesday, December 8, 2021 12:43PM EST


Last Updated Wednesday, December 8, 2021 4:27PM EST

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will join a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year, citing extensive human rights abuses by the Communist regime in the host country.

The decision comes two days after the United States announced it would not send government officials to the Olympics over concerns about China’s human rights record, and particularly allegations of genocide against the Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang province.

Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have all since followed suit.

Trudeau said Canada too is “extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government.”

“I don’t think the decision by Canada or by many other countries to choose to not send a diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics is going to come as a surprise to China,” he said Wednesday.

“We have been very clear over the past many years of our deep concerns around human rights violations and this is a continuation of us expressing our deep concerns for human rights violations.”

A diplomatic boycott means Canadian athletes can and will still compete but no government officials will attend, including Pascale St-Onge, the new minister of sport.

While it has been rare in recent years for the prime minister to attend an Olympics, Canada normally sends multiple government representatives including cabinet ministers and often the governor general.

Last summer, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough represented the Canadian government at the delayed Tokyo Olympics. In 2018 in Pyeongchang, Trudeau requested then-governor general Julie Payette attend for Canada. Kirsty Duncan, then the sport minister, attended both the Olympics and Paralympics along with several staff members.

Former governor general David Johnston attended for Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

There were some calls for countries to stage a boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing over human rights concerns, or at least to refuse to attend the opening ceremonies. But former prime minister Stephen Harper rejected that idea and sent his foreign affairs minister, David Emerson, to attend the games, including the opening ceremonies.

China denies allegations of human rights abuses and is accusing the United States of upending the political neutrality of sport. Chinese diplomats slammed the decisions by the U.S. and Australia, accusing countries of using the Olympics as a pawn, and adding several times that “nobody cares” whether diplomats attend the Games.

Mac Ross, a kinesiology professor at Western University’s International Centre for Olympic Studies, said Canada is sending a message to China and the International Olympic Committee that it “will not support the hosting of Olympic Games against the backdrop of widespread human rights violations.”

Ross also said China’s accusation that the boycotts politicize the Olympics ignores how many times China itself boycotted the Games.

“The People’s Republic of China has staged full boycotts of the Olympics multiple times, on purely political grounds,” Ross said. “Why are boycotts suddenly unacceptable? The answer is simple: they place the regime’s human rights record front and centre.”

In a written statement, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker and Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O’Neill said they respect the decision made by the government.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee remain concerned about the issues in China but understand the Games will create an important platform to draw attention to them,” they said. “History has shown that athlete boycotts only hurt athletes without creating meaningful change.”

The Chinese Embassy in Canada has not yet reacted to Canada’s decision, but tweeted ahead of the announcement that “the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are about athletic excellence and global unity. Stop using it as a platform for grandstanding and division.”

China threatened to take “countermeasures” against the U.S. but has not specified what that means.

Trudeau said Wednesday concerns about arbitrary detention of any foreign nationals by the Chinese government continues to be a concern but that Canada will do everything necessary to ensure the safety of Canadian athletes competing in Beijing.

“We know that our athletes need to have one thing in mind that is representing their countries to the best of their ability and winning that gold medal for Canada,” he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said the RCMP are always involved in ensuring security for Canada’s athletes and that Canada’s diplomatic missions in China will also be helping ensure the athletes have everything they need.

Canada’s diplomatic relationship with China is still strained following nearly three years of tension over China’s detention of two Canadians. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were finally released from Chinese prison in September.

Canada always alleged they were detained in retaliation for its decision to arrest Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States, which wanted her extradited there to face fraud charges.

The two Michaels, as Kovrig and Spavor came to be called, were freed the same day Meng struck a plea deal with the U.S. and was released from Canada.

Opposition Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said he supports a diplomatic boycott but accused Trudeau of lagging behind Canada’s allies in making the decision.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.

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