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Liberals mum on chance of meeting China’s Xi at G20, push to further isolate Russia



BALI, INDONESIA — The federal government won’t say whether it asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is pressuring G20 leaders to further isolate Russia.

“Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine is creating food and energy crises. It’s disrupting supply chains and raising the cost of living,” Trudeau told business leaders in a Monday speech in Bali, Indonesia.

“Families are worried that they’re not going to be able to put food on the table, or won’t be able to heat their homes during winter.”

Trudeau was in Indonesia to meet with the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies. That includes Xi, who is making his first trip outside China since the COVID-19 pandemic started.


Xi met Monday with U.S. President Joe Biden, and has announced plans to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

China’s Foreign Ministry said that between the G20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in Thailand, Xi will also meet the leaders of Senegal and Argentina “among others, upon request.”

Trudeau will be at both summits, yet when asked Sunday and Monday, Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly would not say whether they sought a meeting with Xi.

Instead, Joly said she will have a chance to speak with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, as she did in July.

“It is important for Canada to continue to have these open channels with China, but at the same time, our stance is clear,” she said Monday.

Last week, Joly said China is a threat to global stability by undermining human rights and trade rules. “We will co-operate with China when we must,” she said.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa responded that the speech hurts Canada’s interests by “creating division and fomenting confrontation in the region.”

Canada’s stance on Russia is also at odds with some other G20 states, which want to maintain ties in spite of the invasion of Ukraine. In recent months, China, India and South Africa have abstained from United Nations resolutions condemning Russia.

“My focus is going to be making sure that the world comes together to reinforce that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin made a terrible, terrible choice when he decided to invade a peaceful neighbouring country,” Trudeau said Sunday.

As the summit host, Indonesia has asked leaders to focus on shoring up health systems and boosting food and energy security, and has stressed the importance of focusing on consensus instead of division.

Indonesia has reportedly asked G20 countries who have been vocal against Putin to tone down the rhetoric in order to forge consensus on other issues.

“Indonesia is between a rock and a hard place,” Joly said.

“Canada’s work is to always make sure that we can bring countries along; that we can find ways to address even difficult issues, and that’s why we’ve been having many ongoing conversations with Indonesia.”

On Monday, she announced $500 million for Ukraine’s military, including surveillance and communications equipment, as well as fuel and medical supplies.

The half-billion dollars doubles the amount Ottawa announced in its budget this past spring.

“Our goal is to make sure that the troops in Ukraine on the ground have access to additional military support soon, and we’ll have more details to provide in the coming days and weeks,” Joly said.

She also announced new sanctions against 23 Russians whom Joly says have violated the human rights of opposition leaders.

The G20 summit comes as Canadian industry leaders seek deeper ties with Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country that has a soaring economy.

Canada and Indonesia have done two rounds of negotiations for a trade deal aimed at growing the $3.5 billion in annual bilateral trade.

In recent years, the exchange has been roughly equally split, with Canada predominantly selling grain, fertilizer, wood pulp and oilseeds, and buying Indonesian rubber, electrical equipment and apparel.

Relations between Ottawa and Jakarta have been relatively smooth, aside from disputes in the 1990s around human rights and tumult in East Timor. Canada played a key role in Indonesia securing its independence from the Netherlands in 1949, with Ottawa’s then-ambassador to the UN, the general Andrew McNaughton, helping to dislodge an impasse in negotiations.

Indonesia’s poverty rate has dropped to 9.78 per cent in 2020 from a quarter of the population at the turn of the millennium. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s roughly 280 million people are of working age.

But COVID-19 slowed the economic boom and climate change threatens the world’s largest archipelago, with at least a third of the population at risk of natural disasters.

Indonesia is a key emitter of greenhouse gases, and Canada has pushed the government to better preserve its tropical forest and peatlands. Ottawa has argued that Indonesia’s pursuit of economic development and burning of coal is threatening its extensive biodiversity.

While in Cambodia, Trudeau made announcements aimed at deeper ties with Southeast Asia as a counterbalance to China.

The prime minister’s plane left Cambodia an hour and a half late on Monday, which his office said was due to issues clarifying the flight path. That delay postponed a planned meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Trudeau did meet Monday with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and is set to also meet newly minted Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2022.


Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press


UPEI students offered $1,500 to leave residence during Canada Games –



Some UPEI students are earning extra money during the mid-semester break this year, simply by packing up and leaving campus. 

The 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society offered $1,500 each to students living in Andrew Hall if they give up their residence rooms to make space for arriving athletes. 

The students have to leave a few days before the break starts, on Feb. 17, and can return March 7. They also had to give up their meal plan for the duration.


Many athletes are staying at UPEI’s new 260-bed residence, built to meet accommodation requirements for the Games’ temporary athlete village.

But Wayne Carew, chair of the Games, said there are 120 more athletes coming than originally planned. 

A portrait of a man standing outside, wearing a jacket with the Canada Winter Games logo.
Organizers want the athletes all to stay on the UPEI campus so they can have ‘the experience of a lifetime,’ says Wayne Carew, chair of the 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“We ended up getting 44 rooms [in Andrew Hall] and that’s great,” said Carew.

He said the athletes staying at UPEI “are going to have a wild experience on the campus of the beautiful University of Prince Edward Island.” 

Carew said the costs of doing this are a “lot cheaper” than arranging accommodations elsewhere. But he said the main reason is to provide all athletes the same, “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

“Where they live, the food and the camaraderie and the experience of a lifetime: that’s what they’ll remember in 20 years’ time about P.E.I.,” he said.

‘Pretty good deal’

Some students were eager to take the organizers up on their offer.

“I’m going away to Florida during the two-week break anyways. So I was like, ‘May as well let them use my room then,'” said Hannah Somers. 

Portrait of a man in a toque and a grey sweater standing in front of a residence hall.
UPEI student Benji Dueck is moving in with a friend during the Canada Games so he can get the $1,500 offer. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“It’s $1,500. Pretty nice,” said Benji Dueck, who agreed to vacate the room with his roommate.  “We’re moving out, living with a friend in the city. So, sounds like a pretty good deal to me.”

As part of the agreement, the students had to clear out their rooms. Canada Games organizers made arrangements so students could store their belongings.

But not all students thought it was a good deal.

Portrait of a woman in a black down jacket standing in front of a residence hall.
UPEI student Maria de Torres won’t be leaving residence during the Canada Games. ‘It’s just too hard to pack up. It’s just too hectic,’ she says. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“I’m not giving up my spot in Andrew Hall for $1,500,” said Maria de Torres. “It’s just too hard to pack up. It’s just too hectic. And since I’m an international student, I got a lot [of things] right now.”

Shelby Dyment is also staying in Andrew Hall. Dyment said she and her roommate are working as residence life assistants during the mid-semester break and she’s also doing directed study, so she has to stay on campus.

“There’s a lot of people doing it. It’s just for our situation it just wasn’t working for what we were doing,” she said.

In a statement, UPEI said that enough students had accepted the offer to host all the athletes. 

It said the host society made all the arrangements with the students, including paying for their incentives and arranging for storage.

Organizers expect about 3,600 athletes, coaches and officials to participate in the Games. The event will run from Feb. 18 to March 5.

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Germany won't be a 'party to the war' amid tanks exports to Ukraine: Ambassador – CTV News



The German ambassador to Canada says Germany will not become “a party to the conflict” in Ukraine, despite it and several other countries announcing they’ll answer President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s pleas for tanks, possibly increasing the risk of Russian escalation.

Sabine Sparwasser said it’s a “real priority” for Germany to support Ukraine, but that it’s important to be in “lockstep” coordination with other allied countries.

“There is a clear line for Germany,” she told CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos, in an interview airing Sunday. “We do want not want to be a party to the conflict.”


“We want to support, we want to do everything we can, but we, and NATO, do not want to be a party to the war,” she also said. “That’s I think, the line we’re trying to follow.”

Defence Minister Anita Anand announced this week Canada will send four Leopard 2 battle tanks — with the possibility of more in the future — to Ukraine, along with Canadian Armed Forces members to train Ukrainian soldiers on how to use them.

Canada first needed permission from Berlin to re-export any of its 82 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. After a meeting of 50 defence leaders in Germany earlier this month, it was unclear whether Germany would give the green light.

But following what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called “intensive consultations,” Germany announced on Jan. 25 it would send tanks to Ukraine, and the following day, Canada followed suit. It is now joining several other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Poland, which are sending several dozen tanks to Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this week the tanks would allow Ukraine to “significantly strengthen their combat capabilities.”

“It demonstrates also the unit and the resolve of NATO allies in partners in providing support to Ukraine,” he said.

Meanwhile Sparwasser said Germany is “walking that fine line” of avoiding steps that could prompt escalation from Russia, while supporting Ukraine, and staying out of the war themselves.

“I think it’s very important to see that Germany is very determined and has a real priority in supporting Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and sovereignty,” Sparwasser said. “But we also put a high priority on going it together with our friends and allies.”

Sparwasser said despite warnings from Russia that sending tanks to Ukraine will cause an escalation, Germany is within international law — specifically Article 51 of the United Nations Charter — to provide support to Ukraine.

“Ukraine is under attack has the right to self defence, and other nations can come in and provide Ukraine with the means to defend itself,” Sparwasser said. “So in international law terms, this is a very clear cut case.”

She added that considering “Russia doesn’t respect international law,” it’s a more impactful deterrent to Russia, ahead of an expected spring offensive, to see several countries come together in support of Ukraine.

With files from the Associated Press

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COVID: Canada retaining Evusheld – CTV News



While Health Canada says it is “aware” of the U.S. decision to withdraw the emergency use of Evusheld, a drug by AstraZeneca used to help prevent COVID-19 infection— the agency is maintaining its approval, citing the differences in variant circulation between Canada and the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Jan. 26 that its emergency use authorization of the drug was pulled due to its inefficacy in treating “certain” COVID-19 variants.

The FDA stated in a release on its website that as the XBB.1.5. variant, nicknamed “Kraken”, is making up the majority of cases in the country, the use of Evusheld is “not expected to provide protection” and therefore not worth exposing the public to possible side effects of the drug, like allergic reactions.


In an email to, Health Canada said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pulled the drug as the main variant of concern in the U.S. is XBB.1.5.

“Dominant variants in the [U.S.] may be different from those circulating in Canada,” the federal agency said in an email. “The most recent epidemiological data in Canada (as of January 1, 2023) indicate that BA.5 (Omicron) subvariants continue to account for more than 89 per cent of reported cases.”

On Jan. 6 the FDA said in press release that certain variants are not neutralized by Evusheld and cautioned people who are exposed to XBB.1.5. On Jan. 26, the FDA then updated its website by saying it would be limiting the use of Evusheld.

“Evusheld is not currently authorized for use in the U.S. until further notice by the Agency,” the FDA website states.

On Jan. 17, Health Canada issued a “risk communication” on Evusheld, explaining how it may not be effective against certain Omicron subvariants when used as a preventative measure or treatment for COVID-19.

“Decisions regarding the use of EVUSHELD should take into consideration what is known about the characteristics of the circulating COVID-19 variants, including geographical prevalence and individual exposure,” Health Canada said in an email.

Health Canada says Evusheld does neutralize against Omicron subvariant BA.2, which according to the agency, is the dominant variant in many communities in Canada.

The drug was introduced for prevention measures specifically for people who have weaker immune systems and are unlikely to be protected by a COVID-19 vaccine. It can only be given to people 12 years and older.

“EVUSHELD is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended,” the agency’s website reads.

Health Canada says no drug, including Evusheld, is a substitute for vaccination.

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