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G7 chides China on rights, demands COVID origins investigation

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Group of Seven leaders on Sunday scolded China over human rights in its Xinjiang region, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded a full and thorough investigation of the origins of the coronavirus in China.

After discussing how to come up with a unified position on China, leaders issued a highly critical final communique that delved into what are for China some of the most sensitive issues, including also Taiwan.

The re-emergence of China as a leading global power is considered to be one of the most significant geopolitical events of recent times, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War.

China’s rise has also unnerved the United States: President Joe Biden casts China as the main strategic competitor and has vowed to confront China’s “economic abuses” and push back against human rights violations.

“We will promote our values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the G7 said.

The G7 also called for a transparent, expert-led Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including in China, to be convened by the World Health Organization (WHO). Reuters earlier reported the finalised version of the draft communique.

“We haven’t had access to the laboratories,” Biden told reporters.

Biden said it was not yet certain whether or not “a bat interfacing with animals and the environment… caused this COVID-19, or whether it was an experiment gone awry in a laboratory”.

Before the G7 criticism emerged, China pointedly cautioned G7 leaders that the days when “small” groups of countries decided the fate of the world were long gone.

The G7 also underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues”.

“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” they said.

FORCED LABOUR

Biden said democracies were in a global contest with “autocratic governments”, and that the G7 had to deliver viable alternatives.

“We’re in a contest, not with China per se, … with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century,” Biden told reporters.

“As I’ve told (Chinese President) Xi Jinping myself, I’m not looking for conflict. Where we cooperate, we’ll cooperate; where we disagree I’m going to state this frankly, and we are going to respond to actions that are inconsistent.”

The G7 – comprising the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – said it was concerned about forced labour in global supply chains including in the agricultural, solar, and garment sectors.

Beijing has repeatedly hit back against what it perceives as attempts by Western powers to contain China. It says many major powers are still gripped by an outdated imperial mindset after years of humiliating China.

U.N. experts and rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang in northwest China.

China denies all accusations of forced labour or abuse. It initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism. In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated”.

(Additional reporting by Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, William James, Michel Rose and Michael Holden; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Andrew Heavens and Gareth Jones)

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Restrictions lifted in Quebec despite Canada's top doctors warning of a fourth wave – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
At a minute past midnight Sunday, more COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec were lifted including how late bars and restaurants could serve alcohol and festival capacities.

Bars and restaurants are now permitted to serve alcohol until 1 a.m. with closing time pushed to 2 a.m.

Ten people or three private residences can share a table and tables must remain two metres apart indoors when there are no partitions between them. Outdoor terrasses can seat 20 per table, and those tables must be a metre apart.

In indoor auditoriums and stadiums, the capacity is now 7,500 people with assigned seating (with one empty seat between people from different households), with sections divided into a maximum of 250 people per section. Mask-wearing is still mandatory inside while not seated.

For outdoor festivals, 15,000 people are now permitted to attend in pre-assigned seats or standing in 500-people sections. Two-metre distancing is required, and mask-wearing is recommended by public health when people are circulating. A monitor is required to keep an eye on all participants. For complete rules on festivals and events, visit the Quebec public health site.

The sports community was quick to respond.

In soccer, CF Montreal announced that it will be able to receive fans in all sections of Saputo Stadium (in compliance with physical distance rules) as of next Wednesday, Aug. 4, during its game against Atlanta United.

The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes play its first game in Montreal on Aug. 27 against the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

The team said it was “extremely happy” with the new relaxations.

The Alouettes announced that individual tickets will be sold to the general public starting Monday morning.

Tennis Canada said that the National Bank Open, which will be held from Aug. 7 to 15 at the IGA Stadium, is maintaining a maximum capacity of 5,000 spectators per match in Montreal. The centre court can usually accommodate up to 12,000 people. 

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, released modelling on Friday that indicates cases are beginning to rise as a result of the more contagious Delta variant, but there is still time to flatten the curve.

On Friday, Quebec reported 78 more Delta cases of the 125 new COVID-19 cases. Quebec’s total number of Delta cases (356), is at the low end of Canada’s overall numbers (9,841). Ontario leads the way with 4,565 total, followed by Alberta (2,004) and BC (1,664).

Epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos said the number one way to protect against a Delta-driven fourth wave of COVID-19 is to convince Quebecers who have yet to get a vaccine to do so immediately.

“If you’re not vaccinated, keep your distance from other people,” he said. “The problem with COVID is not just that it’s infectious, but that a significant portion of the people who get it get seriously ill and end up in hospital.”

— with files from The Canadian Press.

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Immigration: Canada expands non-Canadians’ rights to information and privacy requests – Canada Immigration News

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Published on August 1st, 2021 at 05:00am EDT

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Earlier this month, Canada announced a major change to its rules for access to information and privacy (ATIP) in the Canada Gazette.

The change is simple, but the impacts are profound. The Canadian government is going to allow anyone to make an ATIP request under the Privacy Act. This new policy will bring Canada into line with global standards on ATIP. It will also vastly expand the rights of non-Canadians.

Discover if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Laws such as the Privacy Act allow people to make ATIP requests to the federal government. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a federal agency, so it is subject to the Privacy Act.

Currently, there are limitations on who can make an ATIP request through the Privacy Act. One of the items limits the right of access to two groups:

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents, inside or outside of Canada; and
  • any entity (person or business) inside Canada, whether a citizen or not.

This limitation means that non-Canadians who are outside of Canada cannot make requests under the Privacy Act. There is a way to get around this rule. An ineligible person can get someone who is eligible to make a request on their behalf. However, this process can be expensive and time-consuming.

Having the ability to make an ATIP request to IRCC can be very helpful. For example, an ATIP request can allow a person to access their Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes. These are the detailed records of a person’s immigration case. They will explain IRCC staff’s thinking and decision-making. They can help a person understand why IRCC has decided the way it has. This knowledge, in turn, can also help the person challenge the IRCC decision. For example, the person could show the officer ignored or mis-interpreted something.

IRCC is a popular target for ATIP requests. In fact, there are more ATIP requests for IRCC than there are for any other federal government department combined.

Because this change is so important, IRCC expects it will need time to make sure it goes smoothly. For example, IRCC will have to change forms and processes. It will also likely have to deal with a much greater number of requests. For this reason, the government is delaying when the new rule takes effect. Per the Canada Gazette, the Canadian government changed the Extension Order on July 14, 2021. However, the Gazette also noted that the change takes effect on its first anniversary. This means that on July 14, 2022, the new rule will come into force.

The new rule is a major step forward for non-Canadians. There is a delay in effect. This delay, itself, is because the change is so large and important.

Discover if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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While you were sleeping: How Canada performed at Tokyo Olympics Friday, Saturday – Global News

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Canada won its latest swimming medal at the Tokyo Olympics Saturday, while athletes managed to advance to future rounds in multiple track and field events.

Here’s what you may have missed from the day’s events.

Read more:
Olympics medal count: Here’s who won the most medals during the Tokyo Games

Swimming

Kylie Masse won her second silver medal of the Tokyo Games in the women’s 200-metre backstroke, adding to her medal in the 100-metre backstroke.

Taylor Ruck, also swimming for Canada in the backstroke, managed a sixth-place finish.

On the men’s side, Brent Hayden tied for fourth in the 50-metre freestyle semifinal with Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov — and tied his personal best time — but it wasn’t enough to the final.

Athletics

Sage Watson made it through to Monday’s semifinal of the women’s 400-metre hurdles after finishing fourth in her heat. Noelle Montcalm wasn’t so lucky, placing sixth, although she managed a new season best performance.

Marco Arop won his heat in the men’s 800-metres, sending him to the semifinals on Sunday. Brandon McBride won’t join him after finishing sixth in his heat.

Defending bronze medal winner Andre De Grasse finished first in his 100-metre heat, clocking a season best time of 9.91 to qualify for the semifinals.

Fellow Canadians Gavin Smellie and Bismark Boateng failed to qualify for the semifinal, however, after both finishing eighth in their respective heats.


Canada’s Andre De Grasse wins the men’s 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.


Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, sprinters Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham were unable to qualify for the women’s 100-metre final. Bingham finished fifth with a time of 11.22 in the first semi-final, while Emmanuel came in sixth place in the second semi-final, with a time of 11.21.

Diving

Jennifer Abel finished third in the women’s three-metre springboard semifinal, guaranteeing her a spot in the final on Sunday. Abel will be seeking her first medal in the event after finishing fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Pamela Ware, who had been ranking just behind Abel in the first four rounds of the semifinal, fell to 18th place after failing her fifth dive and did not qualify for the final.

Rugby Sevens

The women’s team defeated Kenya 24-10 in its final match of the Games, securing a ninth-place finish in the overall rankings.


Click to play video: 'Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics'



2:06
Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics


Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics

Triathlon

The team of Amelie Kretz, Matthew Sharpe, Joanna Brown and Alexis Lepage managed a 15th-place finish in the mixed triathlon, nearly three-and-a-half minutes behind gold medallists Great Britain.

Golf

Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners both bumped themselves up to a tied 17th-place finish after the third round of play, which started for both men at the 10th hole.

Hughes finished with a score of 65, while Conners scored 66.

Sailing

Tom Ramshaw managed a second-place finish in the day’s first race of the men’s one-person heavyweight finn dinghy event, later placing ninth in the second race. He’ll sail his final two races on Sunday.

The men’s 49er skiff team of William Jones and Evan DePaul placed 13th in their first race of the day, 18th in the second and PLACE in the third, ending their run at the Games.

Alexandra Ten Hove and Mariah Millen’s final three races in the women’s 49er FX skiff event saw the team place 13h in the first and 17th in the second and third.

Boxing

Tammara Thibeault lost all five of her rounds in the women’s middleweight quarterfinal to Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, ending her run at the Games.

Archery

Crispin Duenas was defeated by Germany’s Florian Unruh 6-2 in the men’s individual elimination round — the last round of play before the quarterfinal.

Equestrian

Colleen Loach and her horse Qorry Blue D’Argouges finished 42nd in third session of the team and individual dressage event.

Weightlifting

Broady Robert Santavy finished fourth in the men’s 96-kilogram weight class, narrowly missing out on Canada’s second weightlifting medal after Maude Charron took home gold in the women’s 64-kilogram competition Tuesday.

— with files from Global News’ Saba Aziz


Click to play video: 'Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing'



1:46
Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing


Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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