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Canada's new sanctions targeting Russia could hurt Canada's economy as well, Freeland says – CBC News

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Canada will hit Russia with more sanctions and economic policies designed to undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage war — and some of those moves might end up hurting Canada’s economy, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday.

Freeland made those remarks Tuesday afternoon after meeting with the finance ministers of the other G7 nations and the Ukrainian finance minister to discuss measures to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“Tariffs and retaliation and sanctions are the most effective when you can devise policies that have the maximum impact on the counter party whose attention you are seeking to get, and do the minimal damage to yourself,” Freeland said, adding that, so far, sanctions have been structured to avoid harming Canadian business interests.

An explosion hits the TV tower in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 1, 2022. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“If we are truly determined to stand with Ukraine, if the stakes in this fight are as high as I believe them to be, we have to be honest with ourselves, I have to be honest with Canadians, that there could be some collateral damage in Canada and that’s something that the G7 finance ministers discussed very early this morning.”

Freeland would not offer details of the measures she and the other finance ministers discussed. She said the government will have more to say in the coming days. 

“I cannot announce those additional measures today,” she said. “We are discussing them, we are working with our partners and allies. We have suggested many things, as have our allies. We believe that the most effective thing to do is to work together to announce measures together and we will continue to do that.”

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced Tuesday evening that Canada will now ban all petroleum products from Russia. The government said a day earlier that it would only ban Russian crude oil.

Wilkinson said on Twitter that government officials were told “to design a ban that will minimize the impact to the Canadian economy, while maximizing the impact on the Russian economy.”

Canada imported more than $250 million worth of refined petroleum products from Russia in 2021.

(CBC News)

During question period in the House of Commons Tuesday, interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen asked the Liberal government if it will expel Russia’s ambassador to Canada and recall Canada’s ambassador to Russia. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped the question, saying only that Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly did summon Russia’s ambassador to her office to express Canada’s extreme displeasure with Russia’s actions.

Acting in concert

Later in the day, Freeland said that Canada and other democracies have been working together and likely will continue to do so.

“When it comes to sanctions, let me just underscore that we know that we are the most effective when we act together,” she said.

“I think that one of the reasons that the sanctions have been much tougher than Russia expected, and have had a much tougher impact than anyone expected before this war began, is that we’ve managed to have unprecedented unity among the democracies.”

Freeland also said that while sanctions have not been levied as aggressively against Russian oligarchs and their economic interests in Canada, Canadians should stay tuned.

“We are very aware of the Russian interests in Canada,” she said. “These, of course, are much less significant than Russian interests in most of our partner countries, but we’re looking at those closely. We will have additional economic measures that will be taken in the days to come.”

No-fly-zone off the table, says Anand

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been calling on NATO to impose a no-fly-zone over Ukraine, something the alliance has said it will not do. Defence Minister Anita Anand remained fully on-side with that position Tuesday afternoon. 

“NATO’s a defensive alliance and putting in place a no-fly zone would be a severe escalation on the part of NATO, and it is not on the table at the current time,” Anand said.

“We will continue to support Ukraine and NATO … and we will also continue to support NATO’s defensive and deterrent posture, especially by increasing our support on NATO’s eastern flank.”

Last week, the federal government announced that Canada will send an additional 460 military personnel to central and eastern Europe to join the 800 Canadian Forces members already deployed to the region. 

Canada is leading a NATO battle group in Latvia as a part of NATO’s overall efforts to provide a security buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe.

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Top court won’t hear ex-OPP deputy commissioner’s appeal over lawsuit against Ford

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OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a former high-ranking Ontario Provincial Police officer over his bid to sue Premier Doug Ford for defamation.

Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair launched a $5-million suit in 2019, alleging the premier smeared his reputation for political gain by suggesting the officer had violated the Police Services Act.

Blair had asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of Ron Taverner, a longtime friend of the premier, as OPP commissioner, raising concerns about political interference.

At the time, Blair served as interim commissioner and had been in the running for the permanent position.

Ford’s lawyers argued the premier’s statements on the matter were fair comment, and an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the claim — a decision upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Ultimately, Thomas Carrique, then the deputy chief for York Regional Police, was appointed OPP commissioner.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for declining to hear Blair’s appeal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Russia bans Canadian media, sends 34 French diplomats packing

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Moscow, Russia- The Russian government has banned the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) from operating in the country and declared 34 French diplomats persona non grata.

Both moves are a tit-for-tat following Canada’s decision to ban Russia Today in March and France expelling 41 people from Russian diplomatic institutions in April.

“With regret, we continue to notice open attacks on the Russian media from the countries of the so-called collective West who call themselves civilized. A decision has been taken to make retaliatory I emphasize, retaliatory measures in relation to the actions of Canada,” said Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

The government also revoked the visas and accreditations of CBC journalists and shut its offices in the capital.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has designated 34 employees of French diplomatic institutions persona non grata, “They are ordered to leave the territory of Russia within two weeks from the date of delivery of the corresponding note to the Ambassador.”

The Ministry also declared dozens of Italian and Spanish diplomats persona non grata in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff from the countries.

However, France and Italy castigated the move with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi calling the expulsions a hostile act and emphasizing the importance of diplomatic channels.

On Tuesday, Pyotr Tolstoy, the Deputy-Speaker of Parliament said Russia’s Lower House of Parliament, the State Duma, is planning to discuss the potential withdrawal of the country from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a list of such agreements to the State Duma, and together with the Federation Council (Upper House of Parliament), we are planning to evaluate them and then propose to withdraw from them.

Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe, now the next step is to withdraw from the WTO and the WHO, which have neglected all obligations in relation to our country,” said Tolstoy.

 

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First case of rare monkeypox in the U.S. was someone who recently travelled to Canada – CTV News

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A rare case of monkeypox has been confirmed in a man in Massachusetts who recently travelled to Canada, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 

A Wednesday press release stated that the adult male was tested late Tuesday and was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” the release stated.

The Masschusetts case is the first case to be reported in the U.S. since the U.K. announced on May 7 that it had detected a case of monkeypox. Since that first case, the U.K. has identified eight more cases. Portugal has reported five cases and Spain is investigating eight potential cases.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca on Wednesday that they are monitoring the situation, and that Canada has no cases at this stage.

“PHAC is aware of and closely monitoring the current situation concerning the reporting of monkeypox cases in Europe,” a spokesperson said. “No cases have been reported to PHAC at this time.”

Monkeypox is a virus that is common in wild animals such as squirrels, with most cases occurring in Western and Central Africa. Human cases are rare, with the first one recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s.

Generally, transmission to humans occurs through a bite or “direct contact with the infected animal’s blood, body fluids, or lesions,” according to Health Canada. Once a human is infected, it is possible for it to spread between humans, but it is not spread easily and has limited transmissibility.

The symptoms of monkeypox can include a fever, muscle aches and fatigue in milder cases. Most cases resolve in a few days, but if the case is more serious, it can progress to a two to four week period in which a rash spreads and develops into pustules on the body, with lesions potentially developing on the mouth, tongue and genitalia.

The virus is similar to smallpox, but is milder and involves the swelling of lymph nodes, which is not found in smallpox cases. In Africa, the case fatality rate is estimated to be around 1-10 per cent. 

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