Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he does not share the view that Canada is facing a national unity crisis despite the “very real anger” felt by many in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In a year-end interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics today, host Vassy Kapelos asked the prime minister if he thinks national unity is at risk.
“I do not share the assessment to the extent that others have. I think there is a level of rhetoric that is maybe not as reassuring as it could be,” Trudeau said. “I think there are very real frustrations. I think there is very real anger that needs to be dealt with in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“But I see that as problems to be solved when we all work together, and I don’t think Albertans suddenly don’t care about Canada … I think they just want and know that they have a strong future and that’s what we need for them too.”
Asked if he thinks his government’s actions have contributed to the economic hardships facing the energy sector, Trudeau said a number of factors are behind the region’s economic plight.
“There’s a transforming global economy. There’s the difficulty we’ve always had in getting our resources out to new markets, other than the United States,” he said.
“I mean, Stephen Harper tried to do that for 10 years, was unable to do that. We’re finally moving forward on getting a pipeline to market.”
Asked about the ongoing court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Trudeau said progress is being made.
“There’s always going to be people in the courts, but that pipeline is getting built,” he told Kapelos.
Continuing to rely on oil
“The shovels are in the ground and we have put our entire governments’ energies behind moving forward because it’s an important project not just for Alberta and Saskatchewan but for the whole country.”
Asked if he thought that Canada’s oilsands production eventually will be phased out, Trudeau said that Canadians are “always going to need hydrocarbons” but “we’ll just need less of them.”
“We’re going to continue that need to rely on oil for many years to come. We’re building a pipeline there,” he said.
“But we also have to be clear-eyed about the fact that, over the coming decades, there’s going to be a different energy mix that is going to create new opportunities for new jobs that we need to start preparing for now.”
The full interview will be broadcast on CBC News Network at 5 p.m. ET today.
China passes law to cut homework pressure on students
China has passed an education law that seeks to cut the “twin pressures” of homework and off-site tutoring in core subjects, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
Beijing has exercised a more assertive paternal hand this year, from tacking the addiction of youngsters to online games, deemed a form of “spiritual opium”, to clamping down on “blind” worship of internet celebrities.
China’s parliament said on Monday it would consider legislation to punish parents https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-drafts-law-punish-parents-childrens-bad-behaviour-2021-10-18 if their young children exhibit “very bad behaviour” or commit crimes.
The new law, which has not been published in full, makes local governments responsible for ensuring that the twin pressures are reduced and asks parents to arrange their children’s’ time to account for reasonable rest and exercise, thereby reducing pressure, said the agency, and avoiding overuse of the internet.
In recent months, the education ministry has limited gaming hours for minors, allowing them to play online for one hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.
It has also cut back on homework and banned after-school tutoring for major subjects during the weekend and holidays, concerned about the heavy academic burden on overwhelmed children.
(Reporting by Steven Bian and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by William Mallard)
Red Cross warns aid groups not enough to stave off Afghan humanitarian crisis
The Red Cross on Friday urged the international community to engage with Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, saying that aid groups on their own would be unable to stave off a humanitarian crisis.
Afghanistan has been plunged into crisis by the abrupt end of billions of dollars in foreign assistance following the collapse of the Western-backed government and return to power by the Taliban in August.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has since increased its efforts in the country while other organisations were also stepping up, Director General Robert Mardini said.
But he told Reuters that support from the international community, who had so far taken a cautious approach in engaging with the Taliban, was critical to providing basic services.
“Humanitarian organisations joining forces can only do so much. They can come up with temporary solutions.”
The United Nations on Thursday announced https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/un-sets-up-trust-fund-peoples-economy-afghanistan-2021-10-21 it had set up a fund to provide cash directly to Afghans, which Mardini said would solve the problem for three months.
“Afghanistan is a compounded crisis that is deteriorating by the day,” he said, citing decades of conflict compounded by the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mardini said 30% of Afghanistan’s 39 million population were facing severe malnutrition and that 18 million people in the country need humanitarian assistance or protection.
The Taliban expelled many foreign aid groups when it was last in power from 1996-2001 but this time has said it welcomes foreign donors and will protect the rights of their staff.
But the hardline Islamists, facing criticism it has failed to protect rights, including access to education for girls, have also said aid should not be tied to conditions.
“No humanitarian organisation can compensate or replace the economy of a country,” Mardini said.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Coronavirus: Non-essential travel advisory lifts – CTV News
Canadians should carefully weigh any future decisions on taking foreign trips even though the federal government has lifted a global advisory asking them to avoid non-essential travel, health officials cautioned Friday.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the government would be providing more specific information about the severity of COVID-19 in various countries to help Canadians decide where they should consider travelling.
“The pandemic is very much alive. There are definitely still risks involved in travel,” Tam said Friday. She said it was too soon for the government to give a “blanket” recommendation on all travel, but said being fully vaccinated and assessing the level of the pandemic in any potential destination are key.
“Now is not the time to just freely go wherever.”
The government announced Thursday that it was lifting the global advisory asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country, but it was continuing to advise against travel on cruise ships.
The global travel advisory was put in place in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, said Friday that Canadians should ask themselves a series of questions before they plan to travel abroad.
Njoo urged Canadians assess the “epidemiological situation” of COVID-19 in any potential travel destination “because there is great variation between different countries and even within countries, as we’ve seen here in Canada.”
They should also look at the level of vaccination rates in those country “because that’s an indication of what community transmission in that region may be.”
Canadian travellers should also ask themselves what they actually want to do when they get to another country. “For example, if you’re going to go on solitary nature hikes, that’s one thing. But if you’re thinking of going on a cruise with a lot of people in an enclosed space, that’s another thing,” said Njoo.
Canadians should also weigh the “culture for individual protection measures” in where they are thinking of travelling, such as whether masks are commonly worn, or not, he said.
“We know that the situation is not the same in all parts of the world. There are regions in the world that are still suffering from the severe consequences of COVID-19,” he said.
The government of Canada’s website now shows advisories for each destination country, as it did prior to the pandemic.
It also urges Canadians to ensure they are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus before travelling abroad, and to stay informed of the COVID-19 situation at their destination.
The move comes as the federal government announced it had reached an agreement with the provinces on a new national vaccine passport for domestic and international travel.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that provinces and territories have agreed to adjust their own vaccine passports to give them the same look, feel and security measures based on the international standard for so-called Smart health cards.
Several have already started distributing proof-of-vaccination documents, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
Canada opened its borders last month to non-essential international travellers who have received both doses of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and to fully vaccinated travellers from the United States in August.
The U.S. government recently announced that its land borders will reopen to non-essential Canadian travellers on Nov. 8.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021
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