Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday sought to quell a crisis that threatens his chances of re-election, expelling from party ranks two former Cabinet members he said had undermined the ruling Liberals. Trudeau said former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Treasury Board chief Jane Philpott would no longer be allowed to sit as Liberal legislators. The Liberals have been in turmoil since Wilson-Raybould said in February that officials had inappropriately pressured her last year while she was justice minister to ensure that construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc escape a corruption trial.
Justin Trudeau has expressed regret for his handling of a political scandal that has cost him two cabinet ministers and a close adviser – but stopped short of apologizing, insisting no laws had been broken and that neither he nor his staff had taken any unethical actions. Trudeau and his close aides are accused of improperly pressuring the country’s former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to abandon the prosecution of the engineering company SNC-Lavalin, which is alleged to have bribed the Libyan government to secure lucrative construction contracts.
Another minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada quit in protest on Monday over accusations that he and his aides tried to influence a criminal case against a multinational Canadian company accused of bribing the Libyan government. The unexpected resignation, by Jane Philpott, who led the treasury board, inflames a growing political crisis that has already cost Mr. Trudeau his former justice minister and his top aide. Mr. Trudeau said that the political controversy “has generated important discussion” and added that “there are more questions to be answered and more to be said in the coming days and weeks.”
The chief financial officer of China’s tech giant Huawei is suing Canada over her arrest at the request of the US. Meng Wanzhou was held in December at Vancouver airport on suspicion of fraud and breaching US sanctions on Iran. On Friday Ms Meng filed a civil claim against Canada’s government, border agency and police for “serious breaches” of her civil rights. It came on the same day that Canada officially launched Meng Wanzhou’s extradition process to the US.
Canada has announced it is removing up to half of the Canadians at its embassy in Cuba after another diplomat was found to have fallen mysteriously ill. Canada has confirmed 14 cases of mysterious health problems since early 2017. Twenty-six American embassy workers in Cuba have also been affected, suffering a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.
A Toronto landscaper pleaded guilty to eight murders on Tuesday in a case that traumatized the gay community in Canada’s largest city. The landscaper, Bruce McArthur, 67, was arrested a year ago and initially charged with killing six men, dismembering them and hiding the pieces in planters on the property of a client who allowed him to store tools there. Six of the victims were of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent.
Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, announced that a third Canadian citizen has been detained in China increasing the tensions between the countries stemming from Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on December 1st. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is ‘very concerned’ about the detainee. China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry denies awareness of a third detainee.
Canada is seeking for access to International Crisis Group (ICG) employee Michael Kovrig after he was detained in China on Monday by the Beijing National Security Bureau. Canadian officials say they do not know Kovrig’s holding location or the reason for his detainment. The ICG says it is worried for Kovrig’s health and safety.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a formal apology on Wednesday for the country’s 1939 refusal to accept a ship carrying over 900 Jewish refugees. Trudeau added that more will be done to protect Canadian Jews from violence and called on all Canadians to ‘stand up against xenophobic and antisemitic attitudes.’
Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize possession and use of recreational cannabis on Wednesday. Cannabis will be sold both in stores and online and delivered to homes. Canadian provinces will have the power to regulate laws regarding marijuana sales such as minimum purchasing age. Concerns persist over the issue of impaired driving.