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National security officials wanted CSIS threshold for Emergencies Act ‘reconsidered’

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser and other senior officials felt the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s threshold to determine a national threat under the Emergencies Act “should be reconsidered,” a public inquiry has learned.

Jody Thomas told lawyers for the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is investigating the federal government’s decision to invoke the act during the “Freedom Convoy” protests last winter, that the “totality of circumstances” at the time constituted a threat to national security, in her opinion.

A summary of an interview with Thomas suggests she knew CSIS determined the protests did not meet the threshold to declare a national emergency, but she felt the agency’s mandate was too narrow.

The document says CSIS required a “known actor” to be engaging in violence or carrying out activities — and not just rhetoric — in support of a threat of violence.

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Thomas told the commission lawyers that the Emergencies Act, which was invoked Feb. 14, was intended to allow police forces to manage copycat protests and blockades in their jurisdictions.

Thomas is testifying before the commission today as part of public hearings that are set to continue until Nov. 25.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2022.

 

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Delissio pizza, other Nestle products will soon be gone in Canada – CTV News

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Delissio pizza, other Nestle products will soon be gone in Canada  CTV News

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It's not delivery, it's discontinued: Nestlé to stop selling Delissio pizza in Canada – CBC News

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It’s not delivery, it’s discontinued: Nestlé to stop selling Delissio pizza in Canada  CBC News

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Will winter end soon? Canadian groundhogs split on spring calls

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Groundhog Day didn’t go to script in Canada this year: one died before making a prediction, while others were divided over whether spring will come early this year.

Quebec’s Fred la Marmotte died before he was able to reveal his prediction Thursday, with volunteer children stepping in to take its place.

The organizer of the event, Roberto Blondin, said the famed groundhog had no vital signs when he went to wake it Wednesday night. Fred la Marmotte likely died during hibernation, Blondin said. Fred was honoured with a plush animal toy by organizers.

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The group of children predicted six more weeks of winter, joining the calls from other groundhogs across Canada – except for three.

Folklore states that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, winter will drag on. If it doesn’t spot its shadow, spring-like weather arrive soon.

Ontario’s Wiarton Willie called for an early spring Thursday morning, as did Alberta’s Blazac Billy. Organizers chanted “Billy, Billy, Billy” to get Billy – a mascot – out of his burrow. In British Columbia, stuffed groundhog Okanagan Okie also called for an early spring.

Their furry counterpart in Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam, saw her shadow as she emerged from a snow-covered enclosure at a wildlife park north of Halifax. In Manitoba, the stuffed groundhog Merv saw his shadow, as did Punxsutawney Phil in the United States.

 

Groundhog Day isn’t just for groundhogs

In Nova Scotia, Lucy the Lobster crawled out of the ocean at Cape Sable Island Causeway at 8 a.m. local time, and saw her shadow, organizers said.

In a playful, peer-reviewed study published by the American Meteorological Society, researchers at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., found groundhogs are “beyond a shadow of a doubt” no better at predicting spring’s arrival than flipping a coin.

— with files from Global News’ Alex Cooke, Brayden Jagger Haines and The Canadian Press

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