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'The time has come': Despite pleas from government, no sign of blockades coming down – CTV News

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TORONTO —
As hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation return to British Columbia, protesters show no signs of removing the blockades crippling the country’s rail network despite ongoing pleas from the federal government.

“The time has come. The barricades must come down,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said during an interview with CTV’s Question Period Sunday, reiterating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message to protesters Friday.

“The law must be obeyed. But at the same time we are not in any way stepping back from our commitment to continue the dialogue that is part of the entire reconciliation agenda.”

On Friday, Trudeau said court injunctions to put an end to the blockades “must be obeyed” and that “the law must be upheld.”

But little has changed at theblockade near Belleville, Ont. blocking a critical east-west rail line between Toronto and Montreal, where there are no signs that protesters plan on dismantling their camp. Meanwhile, Via Rail said it is set to resume certain routes, including its Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa route on Monday.

“We all understand the importance of a peaceful resolution, but a speedy resolution because the impact of these barricades is unacceptable, untenable,” said Blair, noting that while the government wants protesters to remove the blockades, he understands there is still “a lot of work to be done” with Indigenous leaders.

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders spent Friday near the Belleville-area blockade meeting with Mohawk supporters.

Following the meeting, Hereditary Chief Woos said the group was ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C. and federal government once the RCMP and Coastal GasLink leave their traditional territory and cease work on the natural gas pipeline project.

The RCMP have “temporarily” closed a remote detachment that stood on Wet’suwet’en territory at the 29-kilometre mark on the Morice West Forest Service Road, positioning themselves instead in the nearby town of Houston, B.C. However, the RCMP says patrols will continue in the area.

Blair said the RCMP has held up their end of the deal, but noted that the RCMP will not abandon the area entirely.

“I have great confidence in the deputy commissioner in B.C. and in her officers. They have been working tirelessly to resolve this peacefully, and I would encourage the hereditary chiefs to come back to that discussion and let’s work together,” he said.

“The role and the duty and responsibility of the RCMP is to provide policing services and keep safe the thousands of people that live in that region. We’re not going to be able to abandon them and so they will continue to receive the services that they need from the RCMP.”

He also noted that Costal GasLink is in the process of obtaining a new permit and work would not continue on the territory until that permit is issued.

With files from The Canadian Press

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Britain says it is supplying anti-tank weapons to Ukraine

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Britain said on Monday it had begun supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons to help it defend itself from a potential invasion, during a stand-off with Russia which has massed troops near the Ukrainian border.

Western countries say they fear Russia is preparing a pretext for a new assault on Ukraine, which it invaded in 2014.

Moscow denies any plans for an attack, but has said it could take unspecified military action unless the West agrees to a list of demands, including banning Ukraine from ever joining NATO. Talks last week ended with no breakthrough. Kyiv has asked Western countries for arms to help it protect itself.

“We have taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light anti-armour defensive weapon systems,” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told parliament, saying the first systems were already delivered on Monday and a small number of British personnel would provide training for a short period of time.

He did not specify the number or type of weapons that were being sent, but said: “They are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia. They are to use in self-defence.”

“These are short-range …. but nevertheless it would make people pause and think what they were doing and if tanks were to roll into Ukraine, invade it, then they would be part of the defence mechanism.”

Ukraine’s defence minister welcomed Wallace’s announcement.

“Ukraine highly appreciates Britain’s decision to provide a new security package with light, anti-armour, defensive weapon systems!” Oleksii Reznikov said in a tweet.

Britain has previously warned Russia of severe consequences if it launched a new military assault on Ukraine, while offering financing to enhance Ukraine’s naval capabilities.

Wallace said he had invited Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to visit London in the next few weeks to discuss the crisis, though he did not know whether the Russians would accept.

“The current gap is wide but not unbridgeable,” Wallace said, voicing the hope that diplomacy would prevail and adding, “It is President (Vladimir) Putin’s choice.”

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Alistair Smout; additional reporting by Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; Editing by Kate Holton, Peter Graff and Howard Goller)

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Canada ends contract with Malaysia’s Supermax over labour allegations

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Canada has terminated its sourcing contract with Malaysian glove maker Supermax Corp following allegations about forced labour, the country’s public services and procurement department said on Tuesday.

“Based on the seriousness of the allegations and expected timelines for the final audit results, the Government of Canada has decided, and Supermax Healthcare Canada has agreed, to terminate by mutual consent the two existing contracts for the supply of nitrile gloves,” the department told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Supermax did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)

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Russia fines Google for not deleting banned content

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A Moscow court on Monday said it had ordered Alphabet’s Google to pay 4 million roubles ($52,526) for not removing access to content banned in Russia, the latest in a string of fines for the U.S. tech giant.

Russia upped the ante late last year in its efforts to increase pressure on Big Tech, handing massive, revenue-based fines to Google and Meta Platforms for repeatedly failing to remove content Moscow deems illegal.

Google declined to comment.

The TASS news agency reported that Google had been fined for providing access to links of banned websites.

($1 = 76.1530 roubles)

 

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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