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Mulroney: Trump is 'completely right' to call out Canada over defence spending – CTV News



Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says that Canada’s failure to spend the agreed upon goal of two per cent of its gross domestic product on defence is “a disgrace.”

He added that this has contributed to Canada’s international reputation for not paying its bills, adding that “with regard to foreign aid, it’s even worse.”

“This is a disgrace. How are you going to assert your leadership skills when you enter a room and somebody says, ‘Hey, you haven’t paid your bills,” Mulroney said on Thursday’s episode of CTV Power Play.

Mulroney’s comments come after persistent complaints from U.S. President Donald Trump about multiple NATO-member countries’ failure to reach the two per cent target, which was agreed upon in 2014.

“On the NATO thing, he’s completely right – and I’ve said that ever since he got into office three years ago,” said Mulroney.

Trump confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the issue at a joint press conference on Dec. 3, when the two were attending a NATO meeting in London. Trump called Canada, which currently spends 1.31 per cent on its GDP on defence, “slightly delinquent.”

The U.S. president went on to joke about “putting Canada on a payment plan.”


Mulroney also slammed Canada for being a “laggard” in the fight against climate change.

“Well, you talk about being a laggard, the analysis of the G20 just came out on November 11, and it showed that Canada was the second worst performer of the G20, just a little bit ahead of Australia, who was the worst,” said Mulroney.

Mulroney was referring to Climate Transparency’s annual report, which showed Canada’s per capita emissions are the second highest in the G20.

“We’re not meeting our commitments to Paris, we’re not meeting our undertakings at all,” Mulroney said.

Mulroney said that Canada needs one thing to really get the ball rolling on climate action: leadership.

“Somebody has to say ‘I am the prime minister, or I am the minister, and this is what I’m going to do.’ And if there’s objection to it, you say ‘alright, I’ll take it to the people at the appropriate time.’ But we need leadership on all of these issues,” Mulroney said.

However, despite his criticism of the current government’s approach, the former Progressive Conservative prime minister didn’t let anyone else off the hook. Mulroney went on to slam the Conservatives for their proposed approach to climate issues.

“Anyone who does not have an adequate, thoughtful, dynamic program to deal with climate change will not win an election in Canada,” Mulroney said.

“You saw what happened in the election, and if they want to have a repeat of that, go be my guest. Because you’re just not going to win an election unless you’ve got a thoughtful, grand vision for the future of Canada as it applies to the environment.”

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Hundreds more unmarked graves found at erstwhile Saskatchewan residential school



An indigenous group in Saskatchewan on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of an estimated 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school, just weeks after a similar, smaller discovery rocked the country.

The latest discovery, the biggest to date, is a grim reminder of the years of abuse and discrimination indigenous communities have suffered in Canada even as they continue to fight for justice and better living conditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “terribly saddened” by the discovery at Marieval Indian Residential School about 87 miles (140 km) from the provincial capital Regina. He told indigenous people that “the hurt and the trauma that you feel is Canada’s responsibility to bear.”

It is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters, adding that oral stories mentioned adults being buried at the site.

Delorme later told Reuters some of the graves belong to non-indigenous people who may have belonged to the church. He said the First Nation hopes to find the gravestones that once marked these graves, after which they may involve police.

Delorme said the church that ran the school removed the headstones.

“We didn’t remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene,” he said.

The residential school system, which operated between 1831 and 1996, removed about 150,000 indigenous children from their families and brought them to Christian residential schools, mostly Catholic, run on behalf of the federal government.

“Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations,” said Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. “This is just the beginning.”


Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, has said a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

The local Catholic archdiocese gave Cowessess First Nation C$70,000 ($56,813) in 2019 to help restore the site and identify unmarked graves, said spokesperson Eric Gurash. He said the archdiocese gave Cowessess all its death records for the period Catholic parties were running the school.

In a letter to Delorme on Thursday, Archbishop Don Bolen reiterated an earlier apology for the “failures and sins of Church leaders and staff” and pledged to help identify the remains.

Heather Bear, who went to Marieval as a day student in the 1970s and is also vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, recalled a small cemetery at the school but not of the size revealed on Thursday.

“You just didn’t want to be walking around alone in (the school),” she recalled. There was a “sadness that moves. And I think every residential school has that sadness looming.”

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2, after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia outraged the country. Radar at Marieval found 751 “hits” as of Wednesday with a 10% margin of error, meaning at least 600 graves on the site.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnutrition and physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis said in early June that he was pained by the Kamloops revelation and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples. But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.

Thursday was a difficult day, Delorme told Reuters. But he wants his young children to know “we will get the reconciliation one day with action like today.”

($1 = 1.2321 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alistair Bell, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

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Teamsters votes to fund and support Amazon workers



The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, said on Thursday it has voted to formalize a resolution to support and fund employees of Inc in their unionization efforts.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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Citigroup names new sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions unit



Citigroup Inc has named Steve Elms as the new sales head for the bank’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit effective immediately, according to an internal memo shared by a company spokesperson.

Elms, who will oversee the management of the global sales teams, has been involved with the bank’s TTS division for over 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TTS is a division of the bank’s Institutional Clients group. The segment offers cash management and trade services and finance to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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