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PM’s former adviser says there’s no indication Canada was invited to join AUKUS defence pact



Canada was left out of the trilateral defence and security pact known as AUKUS — and a new report by a respected American think-tank says Ottawa must overcome its apparent indifference to the deal or risk being left behind by its allies.

The analysis report, published online Tuesday by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, was co-authored by Vincent Rigby, a former national security and intelligence adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The report pulled no punches.

“The glacial pace at which Canada appears to be adapting to the realities of modern great power competition has left it far behind the curve, with consequences for both Ottawa’s reputation among its allies and its ability to protect Canadian territory, sovereignty, and contribute to global peace and stability,” said the report, which probed the reasons why Canada was left out of AUKUS.

“The simple answer is that Ottawa was apparently not invited.”

Several defence and diplomatic sources have said Canada was not invited to take part before the pact was formally announced by the United States, Britain and Australia in September 2021 .

CBC News is not naming the confidential sources of information because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

Rigby said he saw no indication Canada was about to be invited to join the arrangement that became AUKUS just a few months before it was announced.

“There was no indication when I was national security and intelligence adviser” that a deal was in the works, said Rigby, whose tenure as Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser ended in June 2021. (He fully retired from the public service in September 2021.)

Rigby said that while he worked with Trudeau, he had “regular discussions” with Canada’s allies in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing partnership — Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand — and the idea of AUKUS membership never came up.

“I had regular discussions with my counterparts in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Australia. We talked about the threat environment,” he said. “We talked about how we, as a Five Eyes partnership, needed to do more in terms of responding to external threats, including from China, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

Canada not seen as a ‘significant player’

“But in terms of actually coming together and focusing on either submarine capability or broader defence, technological cooperation, that did not arise on my watch.”

He said that if Canada wasn’t invited to take part in AUKUS in the weeks following his departure from government, it “speaks volumes about the way Canada is perceived by its allies at the present time … that we’re not necessarily seen as a significant player on the international stage and in particular in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told CBC News that it’s his understanding Canada was not invited because of its long-standing aversion to acquiring nuclear subs.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at government offices in Sydney on July 19, 2018.
Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull: ‘I can understand why Canadians are really puzzled why they were not brought into the loop.’ (Rick Rycroft/Associated Press)

“The initiative for AUKUS came about because the then-Australian government, led by Mr. [Scott] Morrison, wanted to break the contract with France and wanted to proceed with naval nuclear propulsion,” said Turnbull, referring to his country’s previous plan to buy conventional submarines from France. That plan was cancelled in favour of the AUKUS arrangement.

“They began with discussions with the British and … then they then found their way to Washington,” Turnbull added.

The AUKUS pact has two main components or “pillars”: the acquisition by Australia of American and British nuclear submarine technology, and transfers of military technology and intelligence.

Turnbull said that since Canada doesn’t operate or manufacture nuclear submarines, or aspire to build a nuclear fleet, it wasn’t part of the dialogue.

“I can understand why Canadians are really puzzled why they were not brought into the loop,” he said, pointing out that Canada has a lot of experience with nuclear energy technology. “Canada does have a considerable and extensive nuclear experience in terms of operating nuclear civilian nuclear power stations. Australia does not.”

‘It caught us unaware’

Turnbull’s assessment agrees with former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson’s perception of events.

“It caught us unaware, but the [political] balm was, well, we’ve got a preferred relationship with the United States, we don’t really need it,” said Robertson, now vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, an Ottawa-based think-tank that occasionally has hosted events sponsored by defence contractors.

The report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Canada would have been turned off by the cost of acquiring and maintaining a nuclear sub fleet through AUKUS.

A nuclear submarine travels on the surface as it leaves harbour.
In this photo provided by U.S. Navy, the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for deployment on Sept. 1, 2021. (Amanda R. Gray/U.S. Navy via AP)

“The apparent indifference of Canada toward AUKUS seems to stem from a combination of sticker-shock and an inadequate understanding of the benefits to be derived from the agreement,” said the report, which noted the submarine portion of the deal could cost Australia between $268 billion and $368 billion Australian ($179 billion and $245 billion US) over a 30-year period.


Defence minister is asked whether Canada has requested to join AUKUS


Responding to questions about whether Canada has formally asked to be a part of AUKUS, Minister of National Defence Anita Anand says Canada is ‘highly interested in continuing to work with our allies, including Australia, the United States and the U.K.’

At an event on Wednesday at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Defence Minister Anita Anand was asked whether Canada was told the allies were negotiating the creation of AUKUS. She avoided answering the question.

Anand said Canada is looking “forward” in its relationships with allies and wants to work with them on advanced technologies, such as AI, quantum computing and various forms of defence tech.  She cited cooperation already underway between Canada and Australia on missile detection.

Canada has signaled it is interested in furthering its cooperation with allies in artificial intelligence and other high technology not related to the nuclear program.

Robertson said he doubts Canada’s allies are eager to see it at the table for the tech transfer and intelligence-sharing portion of the agreement.

“I don’t think the Australians want to see us in,” he said, adding that the Americans might admit Canada “if we push them hard enough.” He said that U.S. support likely would be conditional on Canada showing more initiative in meeting NORAD’s modernization goals in the Arctic.

Turnbull, however, argued that it’s in the best interests of all the allies to let Canada, and perhaps New Zealand, join the non-nuclear aspects of the arrangement.

“Is Canada better off not participating in the partnership with the U.K., Australia and the United States to build nuclear powered submarines? That is a question only Canadians can answer,” Turnbull said.

The former prime minister pointed out that the defence relationship between the members of the Five Eyes alliance “is so close already. Many people have questioned how it is possible for it to become any closer.

“But if it can be closer, if the collaboration, technological collaboration can become more seamless, that can only be a good thing.”

‘Canada has much to offer AUKUS’

The Center for Strategic and International Studies report agreed. It said that some of Canada’s policy framework and initiatives — particularly those related to the possession and development of critical minerals — make it an important potential partner.

“Canada has much to offer AUKUS, and vice versa,” said the report.

“But striking the right balance remains a challenge for both sides. For Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, opening the door to too many partners too soon risks making the agreement overly broad and unwieldy.”

For Canada, said the report, the downside of joining AUKUS would be “demands over the longer term for dramatic increases in defence spending which may not be easy for Ottawa and the public writ large to accept.”

The consequences of not joining could be even less palatable, the report said.

“Beyond reputational damage, Canada’s weak security stance in the face of growing challenges from revanchist and revisionist powers will compromise Canadian national interests, as can be seen with aggressive Russian moves in the Arctic and increasingly hostile Chinese activities in Canada, including electoral interference.”



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LSU cornerback Javien Toviano arrested on accusation of video voyeurism, authorities say



BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU sophomore cornerback Javien Toviano surrendered to authorities Sunday on charges of video voyeurism, the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s office said.

Toviano, 19, of Arlington, Texas, is accused of recording himself having sex with a woman without her consent, according to an arrest warrant. The woman told detectives she found videos of the two on Toviano’s iPad that were recorded through a clock with a built-in camera placed near the bed, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.

The woman told detectives that Toviano had recorded them having sex in the past without her consent and she told him she did not want to be recorded.

Toviano, in an interview with detectives, admitted using a hidden camera to record the sexual encounters, the arrest warrant states.

Bond information was not immediately available. It was unknown if Toviano has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Toviano “has been suspended from all team activities, in accordance with departmental policies,” LSU said in a statement.

“We will not have further comment out of respect for the legal process,” the university said.

Toviano signed with LSU last year. He appeared in every game as a freshman and made three starts over the last five games. He finished his freshman season with 33 tackles and one pass breakup.

LSU begins preseason practice on Aug. 1, and Toviano was expected to compete for playing time at cornerback.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Beltré, Helton, Mauer and Leyland inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame



COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Adrian Beltré, Joe Mauer and Todd Helton were pegged as athletic phenoms from a young age and all three lived up to expectations with their induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were so sold on Beltré early on that they broke MLB rules to sign him before he turned 16.

Beltré reached the big leagues just after his 19th birthday and was quickly considered one of the best prospects in sports as a teenager.

In Beltré’s induction speech, he says he played for his first team at the age of 13 and was a second baseman because his dad told him that’s the position he should play.

After a teammate asked him to switch and play third base, Beltré obliged and the decision paid off.

Beltré played 21 years for the Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. He became a five-time Gold Glove winner and is the first third baseman with at least 450 home runs and 3,000 hits.

During his playing days, Beltré made it clear that he did not like anyone touching his head so of course, his teammates ignored the request and made a habit of touching his head anyways. At Sunday’s ceremony, fellow Hall of Famer David Ortiz continued the tradition by touching Beltré’s head prior to his speech.

“That never relaxes me,” Beltré said with a laugh. “(But) it was a little cute to go back to my playing days. …It’s just part of being in this fraternity. Even though I don’t love it, I don’t like it, but it felt like I’m open to people to be able to play around with me. I always like that.”

Mauer was a high school phenom in both football and baseball in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was named USA Today’s High School Player of the Year in football in 200 and baseball in 2001.

He was drafted by his hometown Twins with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft.

“It was truly an honor to be a (Minnesota Twin) and represent my hometown team,” Mauer said.

The future six-time All-Star catcher spent just three years in the minors before spending all 15 years of his big league career with the Twins.

Mauer finished his career with one Most Valuable Player award, three batting titles and is the only catcher in history with at least 2,000 hits, a .300 batting average and a .380 on-base percentage.

Mauer noted the emotion he felt seeing all the Minnesota fans throughout the weekend.

“It’s not easy to get to Cooperstown and especially with the events that have happened this last week,” he said. “But to see that many Twins fans out there, I just felt the love and I was just hoping that I could deliver the speech that I wrote down.”

Helton was also a football and baseball star and played both sports at the University of Tennessee.

Despite his dominance in both sports at an early age, Helton never felt comfortable in the spotlight or felt like a Hall of Famer.

“Those of you who know me know I’d be more comfortable doing anything other than standing up here talking about myself,” Helton said to open his speech. “I’m just a ball player and anyone in the media can attest to that fact.”

Helton’s claim to fame could have been that he was the quarterback at the University of Tennessee between future first-round draft picks Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning, but he was destined for bigger things on the baseball diamond.

After a knee injury in 1994 paved the way for Manning to become Tennessee’s quarterback, Helton shifted all of his focus to baseball where he was named the winner of the Dick Howser Award by the American Baseball Coaches Association and named Player of the Year by Baseball America.

Helton was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the No. 8 overall pick in the 1995 amateur draft and never left the Mile High City.

After becoming the starting first baseman in 1995, Helton finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and posted a .315 batting average with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs.

He went on to become one of just three players to record multiple seasons with 100-plus extra-base hits in his career and helped the Rockies reach the 2007 World Series.

While Helton began the weekend feeling out of place, the second Rockies Hall of Famer knows he is where he belongs now.

“Just standing back there waiting to go up onto the stage, the guys were so kind, but they all came by and offered me advice,” Helton said. “For me, that was the beginning of feeling that I belong. But we have a players-only dinner tonight and I’ll probably feel like I belong after that.”

Jim Leyland was elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. He managed for 22 seasons, won three Manager of the Year awards, the 1997 World Series, had a 1,769-1,728 career record as a manager and was the manager of the U.S. Olympic team in 2017 when the Americans won their only World Baseball Classic.

Leyland made sure to acknowledge the importance of the fans to the game of baseball.

“No matter which Hall of Famer you’re here to support today, or which team you cheer for, your presence is always felt,” Leyland said. “On your feet in the ninth with the home team clinging to a one-run lead, turning on your television for the first game in the World Series and seeing 50,000 fans hoping and praying that this may be their year, or a little boy or girl getting their first autograph scurrying back to the stands to show mom and dad what they just did. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s you. That’s baseball. And this is the Hall of Fame.”

Beltré led this year’s class with 95.1% of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote in his first year on the ballot. Helton followed with 79.7% of the vote in his sixth year of eligibility and Mauer received 76.1% of the BBWAA vote in his first year.

Other players included on this year’s ballot who fell short of the 75% threshold were Billy Wagner (73.8%), Gary Sheffield (63.9%), Andruw Jones (61.6%), Carlos Beltrán (57.1%), Alex Rodriguez (34.8%), Manny Ramirez (32.5%), Chase Utley (28.8%), Omar Vizquel (17.7%), Bobby Abreu (14.8%), Jimmy Rollins (14.8%), Andy Pettitte (13.5%), Mark Buehrle (8.3%), Francisco Rodriguez (7.8%), Torii Hunter (7.3%), David Wright (6.2%), José Bautista (1.6%), Victor Martinez (1.6%), Bartolo Colon (1.3%), Matt Holliday (1%), Adrián González (0.8%), Brandon Phillips (0.3%), Jose Reyes (0%) and James Shields (0%).

Sheffield was on the ballot for the 10th time without reaching the 75% mark and is no longer eligible for BBWAA consideration. Bautista, Martinez, Colon, Holliday, González, Phillips, Reyes and Shields did not receive the minimum requirement of 5% of the vote and are also no longer eligible for BBWAA consideration.

Joe Castiglione and Gerry Fraley were also honored during Hall of Fame weekend. Castiglione has been the Boston Red Sox radio broadcaster for a record 42 seasons and received the Ford C. Frick Award. Fraley was posthumously honored with the BBWAA Career Excellence Award for his work as a writer. During his career, Fraley covered the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and worked as the national baseball writer for the Dallas Morning News.



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Baby Gourmet Foods recalls organic baby cereal over possible bacteria contamination



CALGARY – A brand of baby cereal is being pulled from all in-store and online retailers in Canada due to possible Cronobacter contamination.

Calgary-based Baby Gourmet Foods has issued a product recall for its Banana Raisin Oatmeal Organic Whole Grain Cereal, which is sold in 227 g packages.

The bacteria can cause serious or fatal infections to the bloodstream, central nervous system and intestines.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall was triggered by agency test results.

The company says no other Baby Gourmet or Little Gourmet products are affected by the recall and no incidents related to the product have been reported to date.

It says anyone who purchased the cereal should dispose of it immediately or return to the location where it was purchased.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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