This Week in Canadian Politics 2018-07-01

by | July 1, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Canada is levying sanctions against seven senior Myanmar military officials over their involvement in the violence and persecution that has forced more than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the economic sanctions in a statement Monday, marking Canada’s latest response to what has been described as ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya minority group. The sanctions impose asset freezes on and prohibit Canadians from doing business with seven senior military officials involved in the violent crackdown on the Rohingya people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last August.

“Canada and the international community cannot be silent. This is ethnic cleansing. These are crimes against humanity,” Ms. Freeland said.

The most recent violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state began in August, 2017, after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base. Myanmar’s military responded with a violent crackdown, triggering an exodus of Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh.”


“Facebook Canada has hired independent fact-checkers to vet news content and blog postings on its platform as concerns continue to grow over the dissemination of false and misleading information on social media.

Still suffering from a controversy over the misuse of its users’ data, Facebook has called upon Agence France-Presse (AFP) to pro-actively evaluate news stories in Canada for accuracy and to respond to complaints from users about fake news. To be unveiled on Wednesday, the third-party fact checking will run at least until after the next federal election in Oct., 2019, while covering news on upcoming votes in Quebec, New Brunswick and Alberta.

The announcement comes amid an ongoing debate in Canadian politics about the quality of information disseminated on social-media platforms.”


“Canada needs to stand its ground in its ongoing tariff fight with the United States, witnesses from steel companies, manufacturers and the steelworkers union warned MPs Tuesday as President Donald Trump continued to hint there could be more hurt to come.

A parade of expert witnesses at a special meeting of the House of Commons committee on international trade expressed solidarity with Canada’s array of retaliatory tariffs, slated to take effect Sunday, as they urged Ottawa to take steps to protect and support affected companies and workers.

“We support the countermeasures announced by the federal government and believe that they must be comprehensive and immediate,” said Ken Neumann, the United Steelworkers union’s Canadian director.

And he waved off the notion that Canada should avoid provoking Trump.

“If you don’t poke the bear, he’s going to eat your lunch,” Neumann said.”


“Apparently there’s no such thing as a ceasefire in a trade war, even on Canada Day.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made sure to weave in a mention of Canada’s steel and aluminum industries along with the usual Canada Day pleasantries during his annual statement to Canadians.

Beyond marking our country’s 151st birthday, Sunday is the day that Canada’s $16.6 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products came into effect.

A number of U.S. steel products now face a tariff of 25 per cent, while a vast array of aluminum products will now cost Canadian importers 10 per cent more.

Canada’s measures come a month after the Trump administration imposed its own tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, citing national security concerns.”


“Two days before Canada’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. steel, aluminum and some consumer goods are set to take effect, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump by phone explaining Canada had no choice but to act.

According to a readout of the call provided by the Prime Minister’s Office, Trudeau began the conversation by expressing his condolences for the victims of the mass shooting at an Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper before going on to talk about trade.

“As he has said in past conversations and in public,” the readout said. “The Prime Minister conveyed that Canada has had no choice but to announce reciprocal countermeasures to the steel and aluminum tariffs that the United States imposed on June 1, 2018.”

Trudeau also spoke by phone with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. Trudeau updated the president on Canada’s tariffs on U.S. imports, according to the readout, which also said the two leaders discussed “the North American Free Trade negotiations and agreed to continue working toward a mutually beneficial outcome.””


Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

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