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G20: Ukrainian Canadian Congress wants Russia ousted – CTV News

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OTTAWA –

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress wants Canada to up the pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime and lead a global charge to get Russia expelled from the G20.

Congress president Alexandra Chyczij has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to take steps to expel Russia from the forum of leading world economies.

Chyczij said Russia is using the G20 as a platform to lie about its reasons for invading Ukraine.

The congress is concerned that if Putin is allowed to attend the G20 heads of state and government meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in November it would send the wrong message and undermine the G20’s credibility.

 

It would also make it difficult for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to attend the summit as a guest.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly will attend the G20 meeting of foreign ministers in Indonesia this week, even though her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov is also expected to attend.

Joly told The Canadian Press that she would not shake Lavrov’s hand and plans to use the opportunity to call out Russian lies about the invasion.

In March, Joly joined others in walking out of a United Nations meeting in Geneva when Lavrov, whom Canada had brought sanctions against days earlier, began speaking.

In her letter, Chyczij pointed out that the Canadian Parliament has declared that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.

Because of this, and the government’s policy of isolating the Russian Federation from the international community, the congress said Canada should lead the process of expelling Russia from the G20.

In 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he wanted leaders to expel Russia from the G8 group of industrialized nations after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. After Russia’s membership was suspended indefinitely, the remaining nations became known as the G7.

Chyczij said Canada should “demonstrate the same bold leadership in calling for the removal of Russia from the G20.”

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Joly and other ministers have refused to share the floor when Russia speaks at summits.

In March, Joly joined others in walking out of a United Nations meeting in Geneva when Lavrov, whom Canada had brought sanctions against days earlier, began speaking.

In April, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland joined a walkout of a G20 meeting for finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington in protest over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In May, International Trade Minister Mary Ng joined her counterparts from the United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand in leaving an APEC meeting in Bangkok when the Russian representative began to speak.

In an interview after the walkout, Ng said it would not be a “one-off” and she would be prepared to do it again.

Last week, Trudeau said Canada would take part in the G20 leaders’ meeting in November even if Putin goes, too, arguing it is important to counteract the voice Russia will have at that table.

Canada’s attendance alongside Russia in Indonesia creates a diplomatic predicament at the G20, including at this week’s summit for foreign ministers in Bali.

Joly recently said it was unacceptable for a Canadian official to attend a reception hosted by the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

And Russian’s foreign minister has been one of the most vocal proponents of the invasion and Putin’s justifications.

Orest Zakydalsky, senior policy adviser for the congress, urged Joly and other foreign ministers to walk out of the G20 if Lavrov speaks.

“There is nothing to be gained from sitting and listening to a liar trying to justify Putin’s war,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

 

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Stable weather allows fire crews to focus on containment of B.C. wildfires

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Crews battling the wildfire that has forced the evacuation of more than 500 properties in British Columbia’s southern Okanagan are taking advantage of calm winds and stable conditions to bolster fire lines.

The BC Wildfire Service says the the wildfire covers 68 square kilometres southwest of Penticton, with most of the recent growth due to planned ignitions needed to create the control lines.

An update from the wildfire service says newly created control lines are “holding well.”

It says a key objective is to continue mop-up work along Highway 3A in an effort to reopen the route connecting Keremeos and the evacuated community of Olalla with towns further north.

Crews are keeping a close eye on weather conditions as a storm approaches from Washington state, bringing showers later this week and possible lightning strikes on Wednesday.

The wildfire service has recorded 564 blazes since the season began, 58 of them in the last seven days, and lists the fire danger rating as high to extreme on Vancouver Island, the entire B.C. coast and across the southern quarter of the province.

Of the eight wildfires of note currently burning in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres, only the blaze near Penticton continues to keep residents out of their homes.

None of the other seven have grown significantly in recent days and the wildfire service website says the roughly three-square-kilometre fire in grasslands northwest of Kamloops is now listed as “being held,” allowing crews to finish building control lines.

Wildfires of note are either highly visible or pose a threat to people or properties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Warrant issued for man in Amber Alert, Saskatchewan children believed to be in U.S.

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REGINA — Saskatchewan RCMP say an arrest warrant has been issued for a convicted sex offender at the centre of an Amber Alert for two children.

Police say seven-year-old Luna Potts and eight-year-old Hunter Potts, along with their mother, are believed to be in South Dakota with 50-year-old Benjamin Martin Moore.

“We are very concerned about the well-being of those children,” RCMP Chief Supt. Tyler Bates said Tuesday.

“We feel they are in danger.”

Bates said Moore has a history of sexual offences against children and was previously convicted of sexual interference with a minor.

Moore now faces a charge of failing to report information within seven days of changing his address, which is required for convicted sex offenders.

RCMP said Moore was being investigated by social services when he left with the children and their mother.

Officers went last week to their home in Eastend, southwest of Regina, to question Moore but found it abandoned.

Police issued the Amber Alert on Monday evening for the girl and boy. Bates said RCMP enacted the alert after social services received an apprehension order for the children.

Bates did not say why police believe Moore crossed the border into the United States, but said RCMP were looking to extend the Amber Alert into South Dakota.

Moore is described as being five feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds with black hair.

Police also said Moore, the children and their mother may be travelling in a 2015 dark blue Chevrolet Equinox with the Alberta licence plate CGC 2492.

Police have received a slew of tips in the case.

Bates said officers have also been contacted by a person who is believed to be a victim and encouraged any others to come forward.

Court records show Moore was convicted in 2009 for sexual interference of a minor. He was sentenced in Regina provincial court to two years and two months in prison.

Records also say he served another three months in jail in 2011 after he was convicted of breaching a recognizance order.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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Senegalese diplomat arrested by Quebec police owed former landlord more than $45,000

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MONTREAL — The detention and alleged beating of a Senegalese diplomat by Quebec police last week occurred while a bailiff was attempting to seize property at her residence in connection with a court judgment against her.

Quebec’s rental board in June ordered Oumou Kalsoum Sall to pay a former landlord more than $45,000 for damage to a furnished home she occupied from Nov. 1, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2020. The tribunal found that she caused flooding that led to structural damage and that her use of the property forced its owner, Michel Lemay, to replace most of his furniture.

“The pictures speak for themselves,” Anne A. Laverdure, an administrative judge, wrote in her ruling. “The furniture is full of cockroaches. Pieces of furniture are scratched and scuffed. Some are missing. Everything is dirty.”

Laverdure awarded Lemay almost $13,500 for structural damage to the home and $23,000 to replace furniture. The administrative judge awarded Lemay another several thousand dollars for other damages.

Court records show that the debt was not paid and that a bailiff went to Kalsoum Sall’s residence in Gatineau, Que., across the river from Ottawa, on Aug. 2 to seize property in connection with the debt.

Kalsoum Sall is a first counsellor at the embassy of the Republic of Senegal in Ottawa, according to a federal government database of foreign delegations. The Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed that the diplomat had to be hospitalized after being handcuffed and beaten by police.

Quebec’s independent police watchdog said Monday it opened an investigation into the incident. Gatineau police have said that they were called to the residence to assist a bailiff and that they arrested a woman with diplomatic status after she allegedly hit a police officer in the face, adding that she was tackled to the ground after allegedly biting another officer.

Global Affairs Canada has described the incident as “unacceptable,” adding that the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations — which Canada has signed — gives diplomats immunity from any form of detention or arrest.

Gilles Rivard, a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and to Haiti, said that while he doesn’t know exactly what happened during the Aug. 2 incident, some diplomats can be aggressive because they believe there will be no consequences for their actions.

“They can be aggressive because they know that they have immunity, so they believe that they can do whatever they want,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

While police are not officially supposed to arrest a diplomat, Rivard said, it’s possible a police officer might handcuff an individual while they wait to confirm the person’s diplomatic status.

“But if after that, that person shows that she is a diplomat, or he is a diplomat, normally they have to be released,” he said.

In 2001, a Russian diplomat struck and killed a woman while driving in Ottawa. The Canadian government asked Russia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be charged in Canada, but Russia refused, Rivard said, adding that Canada’s only option in that case was to expel the diplomat.

Rivard said he doesn’t think the Aug. 2 incident is serious enough to damage Canada’s very good relationship with Senegal.

The Senegalese Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Tuesday afternoon. A call to the embassy was not answered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

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