The United States is supporting Canada’s decision to allow a Canadian company to return turbines from a Russian pipeline that supplies natural gas to Germany, saying in the short term it was the right move, as European countries continue working towards reducing their “collective dependence” on Russian energy.
In a U.S. State Department statement issued Monday, department spokesperson Ned Price said work is ongoing to further target and limit Russia’s ability to use energy-derived revenue in its ongoing attacks on Ukraine, while also seeking to limit the impact of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on the global energy market.
“The United States is united with our Allies and partners in our commitment to promoting European energy security, reducing our collective dependence on Russian energy, and maintaining pressure on the Kremlin,” the statement said. “We support the Canadian government’s decision.”
On Saturday, Canada announced it had decided to grant a “time-limited and revocable permit” to allow Siemens Canada to return Nord Stream 1 turbines to Germany from Montreal where they had been sent for repairs.
The equipment had been held up in Canada after the federal government imposed sanctions on Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom. The gas giant claimed it needed the turbines in order to continue supplying Germany, after already considerably decreasing the gas flow through the pipeline.
German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck recently told Bloomberg that there was concern within Germany that if the turbines were not returned ahead of scheduled maintenance, that Russia could cite that as a reason to further cut off its natural gas supply to the country, leaving Germany without a sufficient reserve.
On Monday, Germany’s Ambassador to Canada Sabine Sparwasser said that she was “very grateful to the Canadian government,” and that Germany will continue to support Ukraine “on all levels.”
“We know it was not easy. But it is crucial to help Canada’s European Allies to steadily build out our independence from Russian Energy,” she tweeted.
Despite the backing of the Americans, Canada’s decision has sparked strong criticism from Ukraine and its supporters, who are calling on Canada to think again, suggesting the federal government’s decision has given Russia leverage that they will continue to try to exploit when it comes to the energy sector.
“What Russia now knows is that Canada and Germany blinked,” said Ukrainian Canadian Congress President Alexandra Chyczij.
‘DANGEROUS PRECEDENT’: MPS
Domestically, the federal opposition parties have also come out hard against the move.
On Monday, NDP MP and foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson issued a scathing statement calling for Canada to reverse the “shocking and disappointing” decision.
“This decision goes against the sanctions Canada imposed on Russia in response to the illegal invasion and genocide in Ukraine. Canadians expect their government to show real solidarity with Ukraine but the Liberal government’s decision is an affront to Ukrainians,” McPherson said.
“How will Canada have any legitimacy in asking other countries to hold Russia accountable for its crimes when we do not adhere to our own sanctions?”
Key members of the federal Conservative caucus have also decried the decision, saying in a statement on Sunday that in circumventing their own sanctions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government “sets a dangerous precedent of folding to Putin’s blackmail of Europe, and will negatively impact Canada’s standing on the world stage.”
There’s now some pressure building for the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee to hold a special summer meeting to discuss the decision and examine the efficacy of the federal sanction regime.
On Saturday, in a statement about the decision, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said that allied countries “cannot allow” Putin’s attempts to use European energy security to sow division amongst allies to be successful.
“Canada stands with Ukraine against the unprovoked, brutal invasion by Russia and we will continue to work in coordination with allies and partners to impose severe costs on the Russian regime,” Wilkinson said.
Alongside the decision to returning the key pieces of pipeline infrastructure, the federal government announced the imposition of a new round of sanctions targeting Russia’s oil and gas sector.
“We will not stop imposing these severe costs on the Putin regime while their unjustifiable invasion is ongoing. We will continue to support our European friends and allies as they work to end dependency on Russian gas imports as quickly as possible by working to help stabilize emergency markets and to develop long-term and sustainable solutions on energy supplies,” the minister said in his statement.
With a report from CTV National News’ Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier
Story from the Cyber Frontlines
Long ago, but not too far away, in one of my past lives, I used to manage the online operations for a bustling retail brand. It was a colorful, kid-friendly virtual wonderland known for its cheeky prints, chirpy characters, and evergreen joie de vivre. However, there was another side to this fun façade, an unseen realm perpetually under siege. Among the numerous safety protocols and countless lines of code, we fought an incessant cyber-war, forever alight with skirmishes and strategic defenses.
Armoring the Cyber Stronghold
Selecting the right platform is the cornerstone of any secure online presence. In our story, we opted for a reputable e-commerce platform with significant market presence and advanced inbuilt safety features. Reliable platforms usually mean fewer vulnerabilities. They also come with a dedicated security team that regularly rolls out updates and patches. During my years at the helm, I witnessed a flurry of urgent midnight updates, each one addressing newly discovered vulnerabilities. The vital lesson here is to ensure you install these patches promptly and regularly.
SSL certificates, though they may sound technical, are one of the easiest yet powerful security upgrades you can adopt. This encryption tool prevented potential interception of sensitive information between the user’s browser and our site—yet another bulwark to impede the progress of cyber invaders.
We cannot talk about fortifications without discussing the potential armor breaches. Unfortunately, human error, often in the form of weak password policies, is a recurrent kink in the armor. To counter these vulnerabilities, we maintained a robust password policy requiring a mix of alphanumeric and special characters. This policy, when paired with mandatory regular updates, significantly enhanced our safety measures.
Lastly, we utilized an assortment of digital security tools. Website firewalls, security plugins, scanner tools, and even the humble CAPTCHA contributed to presenting advanced cyber deterrence. Access to these tools depended on the chosen platform, a factor to consider when setting up a secure online presence.
Lessons from the Cyber Kingdoms
One of the many retail websites that have significantly benefitted from implementing robust website security measures is well-known children’s brand. Implementing thorough security protocols, up-to-date SSL certificates, and regular security audits resulted in a drastic reduction in data breach.
The same success was echoed in another kid’s e-commerce platform that faced attempted breaches. Here, strong password policies, combined with additional layers of verification, staved off any potential security breach. You can read more about their success story here.
Navigating the Cyber Seas
Merely having top-tier security systems is not enough. The rolling out of these measures confronts two significant barriers – technical difficulties and cost issues. However, these challenges are conquerable with effective planning and strategies.
To tackle technical difficulties, investing in a dedicated IT team and providing them with the necessary resources and training is crucial. This team, capable of handling any technical issue, can implement updates and fixes diligently, securing your website from potential breaches.
In addressing cost issues, consider it an investment. Remember that the potential harm a security breach can wreak ranges from financial losses to irreversible damages to reputation. Adopt a tiered implementation approach, starting with affordable solutions such as strong password policies, gradual enhancements to SSL certificates, and eventually a holistic security system.
Being prepared always makes a world of difference. In today’s world where the cyber realm goes hand in hand with our physical space, the same holds for the security of our digital strongholds.
An Unforgettable Lesson in Website Security
Let me share an anecdote about a time when one of my clients, a prominent retailer in the children’s fashion industry, faced a massive security issue that nearly brought their brand to its knees. It was a typical Tuesday afternoon when I received a frantic call from the client. Their online store had been hacked, and customer data was compromised. It was a nightmare situation, one that they never foresaw. This experience was a wake-up call, not just for them, but for me as well, about the importance of website security, especially in the realm of kids’ retail.
The Risks of Unsecured Kids’ Retail Sites
Children are an easy target for cybercriminals. Their innocence and lack of awareness make them vulnerable to scams, fraud, and identity theft. When a kids’ retail website does not prioritize security, it exposes its young users to a host of risks.
- Children’s Data Misuse: Personal details such as names, addresses, and even photos can be harvested and used for malicious purposes. This can range from creating fake profiles to conducting targeted scams.
- Consequences of a Security Breach: In a worst-case scenario, credit card information can be stolen resulting in financial loss. The breach can lead to legal implications, not to mention, a significant loss of customer trust and brand reputation.
Why is Security Essential for Kids’ Retail Sites?
As administrators, owners, or marketers of kids’ retail sites, it is our responsibility to ensure a safe online shopping experience for our young customers. Let’s explore a few reasons why website security should be non-negotiable.
- Protecting Users’ Sensitive Information: A secure website uses encryption to protect sensitive information, ensuring that even if data is intercepted, it cannot be read or misused.
- Maintaining Brand Reputation: A secure shopping environment builds customer trust. In contrast, a single security breach can cause irreversible damage to your brand’s reputation.
Prioritize Website Security
Understanding why website security is crucial for kids’ retail sites is the first step. The next, and arguably more important step, is to take action. It’s time to review your website security measures, identify any potential vulnerabilities, and fix them. Remember, when it comes to website security, prevention is always better than cure.
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Amid India-Canada row, Elon Musk accuses Canadian PM Justin Trudeau of ‘crushing free speech’; here’s why
Amid the ongoing India-Canada row, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has slammed the Justin Trudeau government in Canada for ‘crushing free speech’ in the country. His remark came in wake of a recent order of the Canada government which issued an order to make it compulsory for online streaming services to formally register with the government for ‘regulatory controls’.
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This is not the first time the Trudeau government is accused of acting against free speech. Last year, in February 2022, Trudeau had invoked emergency powers for the first time in country’s history to arm his government with more power to respond to the trucker protests, who were opposing the vaccine mandates at that time. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act, the predecessor to the Emergencies Act, and sent troops into Quebec and other provinces. The crisis ended, but only after the separatist group killed the cabinet minister.
Meanwhile, Canadian PM has created an uproar since he alleged India’s role in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India, however, has outrightly rejected his claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.
Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing. Canada is home to about 770,000 Sikhs, the highest population outside India’s Punjab.
Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country.
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