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Suspected vandalism of fuel hose played role in delaying N.W.T. barges

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TULITA, N.W.T. — The Northwest Territories government says damage to a fuel hose played a role in delaying this year’s shipping season for resupply barges headed to coastal communities.

The N.W.T. government announced earlier this month that the barge for Sachs Harbour, the territory’s northernmost community, would be cancelled. It said bad weather and a late start to the sailing season due to climate change, delayed buoy placement by the Canadian Coast Guard and flooding in Hay River and Inuvik this spring were to blame.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Laura Busch, a spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure, added that vandalism to a fuel hose also delayed the shipping schedule by six to seven days.

“Despite the myriad challenges, some of the most challenging and unrelenting have been the extreme weather events linked to climate change,” Busch wrote, highlighting flood conditions, low water levels, and changing wind and wave conditions.

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The RCMP confirmed it investigated suspected vandalism to a fuel delivery hose from the barge to a storage facility in Tulita that was reported on Aug. 6. It said fuel delivery was suspended until a replacement hose arrived.

RCMP said its investigation did not identify any suspects. Suggestions to improve security were relayed to Marine Transportation Services, which provides barging services in the territory.

Many coastal communities in the North rely on annual barges to move freight, food and fuel as they are not connected to the South by road or rail and transporting items by air is costly. The owner of the only store in Sachs Harbour has said it had been getting low on some supplies and that several residents were also waiting on snowmobiles in a community where many hunt for food.

The N.W.T. government said grocery items from the barge, which is now in Paulatuk, N.W.T., were flown into Sachs Harbour on Sunday. It said it plans to fly necessary fuel and most of the deck cargo aboard the barge to Sachs Harbour in November and December. Some larger items, and those that don’t need to be immediately shipped, will be stored in Paulatuk until next year’s shipping season.

The territorial government said none of the additional costs for airlifting items will be passed on to residents in the community.

“We know this is frustrating for the residents of the community and we are grateful for everyone’s patience as we work through the details necessary to prepare for an airlift,” Busch wrote.

The territorial government took over Marine Transportation Services in 2016 after its previous owner declared bankruptcy. It provides barging services from the Port of Hay River on Great Slave Lake to locations along the Mackenzie River and in the Western Arctic. It completed marine resupply for nine N.W.T. communities and one Nunavut community this year, along with private contracts.

The Department of Infrastructure has been “engaging in discussions” with marine operators and Indigenous and community governments to determine if Marine Transportation Services operations could benefit from more private-sector involvement. The department said there was “some interest” after it held a request for expressions of interest in April.

The territorial government previously cancelled barges for Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay in Nunavut and Paulatuk in early October 2018, citing impassable ice conditions. It was later revealed a bad fuel shipment that had to be returned from Alberta also played a role in delaying the barges. Some items were flown into the communities while others, such as vehicles and construction materials, were stored in Inuvik over winter.

The N.W.T. government settled three lawsuits outside of court this August, which were filed in Federal Court by two companies in Cambridge Bay and one in Paulatuk seeking damages related to the barge cancellations claiming their cargo was damaged. The government filed statements of defence and counterclaims in all three cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2022.

— By Emily Blake in Yellowknife.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

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Trudeau 'extremely concerned' about report Canadian parts ended up in Iranian drones – National | Globalnews.ca – Global News

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “extremely concerned” over a report Canadian-made parts have been discovered in Iranian drones used by Russia in its war on Ukraine.

Trudeau shared his worries with reporters in Ingersoll, Ont., Monday after the Globe and Mail reported on Sunday the discovery by a non-profit organization, Statewatch. Its “Trap Aggressor” investigation detailed last month that an antenna manufactured by an Ottawa-based Tallysman Wireless was featured in the Iranian Shahed-136 attack drone.

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Canada sanctions Iranian drone makers amid Russian strikes in Ukraine


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Federal government ‘extremely concerned’ about report Canadian-made parts found in Iranian attack drones used in Russia: Trudeau


The drones have been used recently by Russia in Ukraine as Moscow increases its strikes on the country’s energy and civilian infrastructure.

“We’re obviously extremely concerned about those reports because even as Canada is producing extraordinary, technological innovations … we do not want them to participate in Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, or Iran’s contributions to that,” Trudeau said.

“We have strict export permits in place for sensitive technology that are rigorously enforced, and that’s why we’ve been following up with this company, that’s fully cooperating, to figure out exactly how items that we’re not supposed to get into the hands of anyone like the Iranian government actually ended up there.”

The Shahed-136 is manufactured by Shahed Aviation Industries, one of two Iranian drone makers Ottawa sanctioned last month for reportedly supplying Russia with its lethal drones. After denying reports it was supplying Moscow, Iran acknowledged for the first time on Nov. 5 it had sent Moscow drones before the Feb. 24 war began.


Click to play video: 'Russian missiles smash apartment block in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv: mayor'

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Russian missiles smash apartment block in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv: mayor


It denied continuing to supply drones to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Iran of lying, previously saying Kyiv’s forces were destroying at least 10 of its drones every day.

Aside from its Iranian-made engine, the Shahed-136 consists entirely of foreign components, Statewatch said in its report. It cited Ukrainian intelligence managing to identify more than 30 European and American companies’ components, with most parts coming from the United States.


A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 17.


Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Drones like the Shahed are packed with explosives and can be preprogrammed with a target’s GPS coordinates. They can nosedive into targets and explode on impact like a missile, hence why they have become known as suicide drones or kamikaze drones.

Shaheds are relatively cheap, costing roughly US$20,000 each — a small fraction of the cost of a full-size missile.

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‘Game-changing’ drone warfare in Ukraine may tee up new phase of conflict: official

Drones “provide a critical capability” to exploit vulnerabilities in defences, and their use may be a prelude to a new phase in the conflict, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Paul Lushenko previously told Global News.

Gyles Panther, president at Tallysman, told the Globe the company is not “complicit in this usage” and “is 100-per cent committed” to supporting Ukraine.

Ottawa is working to understand how the parts ended up in the drones, and wants to “ensure” incidents like this don’t “happen again in the future,” Trudeau said.

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Available Nexus appointments Canada

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There’s good news for those looking to expedite their border crossing experience.

To mitigate the ongoing backlog issues at Canadian border crossings, border officials have reopened two Nexus and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) enrolment centres in Canada.

It’s the first time any Nexus and FAST offices have been open in Canada since the pandemic began, and federal officials say more offices will be opening in the future.

The Nexus program, which has over 1.7 million members, is designed to speed up the border clearance process for its members, while also freeing up more time for Canadian and U.S. border security agents to tend to unknown or potentially higher-risk travellers and goods.

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The benefit of Nexus is that it allows for those travelling between the two countries to save time, skipping long lineups and using the shorter, dedicated Nexus lanes when crossing the border, as well as designated kiosks and eGates at major airports, and quicker processing at marine crossings.

Reopening these two Canadian centres is the first phase of a larger plan to address the lengthy Nexus and FAST backlog, and will increase availability for applicants to book appointments to interview for Nexus pre-approval, the Canada Border Service Agency said in a statement Monday.

Those looking to get Nexus approval can now schedule interviews, by appointment only, at the Lansdowne, Ont. (Thousand Islands Bridge) and Fort Erie, Ont. (Peace Bridge) enrolment centres, through the trusted traveller programs portal.

Travellers looking to apply will still need to complete a new two-step process, and the Canadian offices don’t mean applicants won’t have to cross the border to finalize the process.

If conditionally approved for Nexus status, travellers can complete the first part of the interview at one of the two reopened Canadian enrolment centres, then complete the second interview portion just across the border at the corresponding U.S. enrolment centres on the other side. For Lansdowne, that’s Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and for Fort Erie, it’s Buffalo, N.Y.

To become conditionally approved, both the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have to grant approval prior to scheduling the interview portion, and interviews need to be conducted on both sides of the border.

“Nexus and FAST are a win-win for Canada and the United States – and we’re working hard to find creative solutions to reduce wait times, address the backlog and help more travellers get Nexus cards,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of public safety, in a press release. “This new, two-step process is further proof of our commitment to it. We’ll keep finding solutions that leverage technology and streamline renewals.”

Applicants also have the option to complete a one-step process and schedule complete interviews at enrolment centres in the U.S., which may be a preferred option for those who don’t live near the two centres currently open in Canada.

And those who are already members of the Nexus program and are awaiting an interview can renew their membership ahead of its expiry date in order to retain their travel benefits for up to five years.

More centres are expected to open at select land border crossings in the future, as this initial phase carries on, CBSA says.

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China slams U.S. Inflation Reduction Act for ‘disrupting international trade, investment’

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The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday criticized the U.S. for disrupting international trade and investment by adopting the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), urging the U.S. to fulfill its obligations under WTO rules.

The criticism came after the Chinese delegation attending a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Council for Trade in Goods expressed serious concern over the ‘discriminatory and distorted subsidy provisions’ of the U.S. IRA, as well as its series of policies that disrupt the global semiconductor industry chain and supply chain.

The meeting of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods was held in Geneva between November 24 and 25.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Ministry of Commerce Spokeswoman Shu Jueting said that China’s response is an exercise of its rights as a WTO member to challenge the trade measures of another member and their impact on such an occasion.

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“In its speech, the Chinese side expounded on the suspected violations of WTO rules by the relevant provisions of the U.S. law from a professional perspective, noted that the U.S. approach has seriously disrupted international trade and investment while undermining the stability of the global industrial and supply chains, and expressed grave concern over the U.S. application of double standards and acts of bullying regarding international trade rules,” Shu said.

“China urges the U.S. to strictly fulfill its obligations under WTO rules and earnestly safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system,” she said.

Stressing that the world today is facing multiple challenges including setbacks in economic globalization and a sluggish economic recovery, Shu reiterated China’s commitment to opposing unilateralism and stabilizing global industrial and supply chains.

“China is ready to work with other members to follow through on the outcomes of the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), engage fully and deeply in the reform of the WTO, stand against unilateralism and protectionism, and support the WTO in better playing its role, so as to contribute to stability of the global industrial and supply chains and recovery of the global economy at an early date,” said the spokeswoman.

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