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Toronto dad calls on Ottawa to help get his stranded toddler out of Wuhan –



A Toronto man is calling on the Canadian government to help him and his wife get their 15-month-old daughter out of Wuhan, China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Richard Fabic, 45, says he is worried about his daughter Chloe, nicknamed Coco, and frustrated that the government has not taken action.

He has tweeted to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne but has not yet received a reply from either. He has received a response from a spokesperson for his MP.

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“I’m certainly scared, worried, frustrated with the lack of response that I hear. I feel helpless. There’s not much I can do,” Fabic told CBC Toronto on Tuesday. 

“I missed her before, but now, I miss her more.”

Fabic, who works in cyber-security, said he has support from friends. But he added: “There’s only so much you can talk it out.”

Wuhan, a city in central China, is under quarantine because of the coronavirus, which has sickened nearly 6,000 people and killed at least 132.

Fabic said he and his wife, Yunfei Li, who is in Victoria, would like the government to follow the lead of other countries, including the U.S. and Japan, and begin airlifting Canadians, including their daughter and her grandparents, out of Wuhan.

“What I would like is a clear plan of action from the government,” Fabic said.

Li went to Wuhan with her parents and Chloe to visit relatives in early December. Li’s family is from Wuhan. She has a number of cousins with children around the same age of Chloe.

Chloe, left, is pictured here with her mother, Yunfei Li. (Richard Fabic)

The plan was to stay for three weeks, then Li was to leave early. She was to return to Toronto, then head to Victoria, where the couple, their daughter and her grandparents are all moving because Li has accepted a new position.

Chloe was to stay in China while couple got ready for move

Li was to set up their new home and Chloe was to stay back in Wuhan with her grandparents to give Li time to get organized. The grandparents have been living in Toronto.

Li did leave early at the end of December, then the new coronavirus hit. Chloe and her grandparents are still there.

“Really, we were dividing and conquering the tasks,” Fabic said.

“Over here in Toronto, my job was to get ready for the move, pack everything up and send it over. Her job was to find a place in Victoria and then unpack and then I would meet her there. And then everything was ready, our daughter would meet us there.”

The couple is shipping everything in their condo to Victoria. According to the plan, when Chloe finally went to Victoria in March, her new life would be set up for her. Now, Fabic doesn’t know how long Chloe will be in China.

“We were planning for kind of that next chapter, that next phase of life. Then the Wuhan crisis occurred,” Fabic said.

Richard Fabic, left, and Yunfei Li, right, holding their daughter, Chloe, on a trail. (Supplied)

The week before the quarantine, Li’s parents said they had heard nothing indicating the magnitude of the problem. On Tuesday, Fabic and Li realized they needed get the three of them out. Then on Wednesday, the airport and public transportation were shut down. Fabic said Chloe and her grandparents had “no way” to leave.

“We couldn’t do anything,” he said.

Fabic said he is worried about any exposure to the coronavirus as well as access to food. “She’s really young. I’m not sure her immune system can take this,” he said.

China has taken drastic measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and last week, it cut plane, train and bus links to Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people. China has quarantined several other nearby cities since then, cutting off an estimated 19 million people.

Couple has obtained consular case number

According to Fabic, Li called Canadian consular officials repeatedly and was finally given a consular case number on Sunday.

Global Affairs Canada said in an email to CBC Toronto on Tuesday that it cannot comment.

“Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, we are unable to provide information on specific cases,” said Angela Savard, media relations spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

Richard Fabic packs a photo of Chloe in a box as he gets ready to move to Victoria. (Angelina King/CBC)

Champagne, the foreign minister, said on Tuesday that Ottawa is “looking at all options” to help Canadians quarantined in China during the outbreak.

Global Affairs Canada in contact with Canadians in Wuhan

Champagne said 250 Canadians have registered with Global Affairs Canada to say they are in Wuhan and 126 of them have asked for help to get home. He said his officials are trying to contact each one of them to assess their needs.

“Every Canadian that has reached out to us for consular assistance will receive it,” he said.

He said Canada will tailor its response based on what it finds after all the Canadians asking for help have been contacted.

He noted the number of Canadians seeking help keeps changing as more and more people register via the Global Affairs Canada website — the previous day, the number of Canadians registered in the region was 167.

Champagne said help could include sending a plane to fly them home, but that Canada is also working with other countries in similar situations. Canada doesn’t have a diplomatic office in Wuhan but other countries do and are airlifting their workers. In some cases, private citizens are leaving alongside the diplomats.

Champagne said Ottawa is in contact with the Chinese government about making sure Canada can help its citizens.

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



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

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

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'

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.

Read more:

‘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



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’



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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