Canada Letter

It's even better than you realize

Canadians are fortunate to have good, strong, intelligent, and dedicated people like Mélanie Joly representing Canada on the world stage

After completing her degree in law at the Université de Montréal in 2001, Mélanie Joly continued her studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, where she received a Magister Juris in comparative and public law in 2003.

Mélanie Joly MP has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs since October 2021.

Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star »

Within a few weeks of the miscarriage last Christmas, and on her 43rd birthday in January, Joly found herself on a plane headed to Ukraine, where the threat of a Russian invasion was looming. She has looked back at the photos of herself from that trip and is struck by how pale she was. But she also knew she had to get back to work.

“I had to prepare for my first crisis,” she said. “I knew my first crisis would define my work as foreign minister.”

Joly was aware her appointment to this major post in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet surprised many people, and that many critics believed she was out of her depth. This, she said, is still part of the job of being a woman in politics, no matter what your age.

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CBSA processed 50 million travellers entering  Canada in the first 9 months of 2022, seizing 1,009 illegal firearms and 37,749 kilograms of illicit drugs

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) 2022 are hard at work facilitating the free flow of travellers and goods, supporting the economy and the immigration system, while seizing firearms and illegal drugs, like opioids, from entering Canada.

This year, Canada saw travel volumes rebound in step with the removal of COVID-19 border restrictions with 50 million travellers seeking entry to Canada, an increase of 267% from 2021. The CBSA prevented 1,009 firearms (compared to 908 in 2021 – an increase 11%), and 37,749 kilograms of illicit drugs (compared to 21,968 in 2021 – an increase 72%) and other dangerous goods from entering our communities.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) carries out its responsibilities with a workforce of approximately 14,000 employees, including over 6,500 uniformed CBSA officers who provide services at 1,200 points across Canada and at 39 international locations.

Travellers

  • 49,905,250 travellers:
    • Air: 20,339,623
    • Highway: 27,172,695
      • including 4,819,902 truck drivers
    • Marine: 2,360,640
    • Rail: 32,292
  • 20,646,420 travellers used Primary inspection kiosks
  • 64 additional primary inspection kiosks across Canada
  • 1.62 million NEXUS members

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Town of Banff prohibits smoking in parks, trails, sidewalks, pedestrian zones, bus stops and outdoor events and markets

The province of Alberta already prohibits smoking near places like hospitals, schools, zoos, pools and splash pads.

Helen Pike, writing in the CBC »

Smoking and vaping in a popular resort town in Banff National Park will be banned soon in most public places.

Other than ceremonial use of tobacco, visitors and residents in Banff, Alta., will be allowed to puff only in parking lots, on private property and alleyways — as long as they aren’t near a door, window or child not under the smoker’s care.

Also » Global / Vancouver is Awesome / Toronto Star / St. Catharines Standard

» Nearly half of deaths for 12 cancers in California are due to tobacco, higher than previously reported

 

A Canadian court has again rejected claims made by a Port Alberni mother that Indigenous cultural events at her children’s school infringed on their religious freedoms

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia upheld the lower courts ruling and dismissed the petition brought forward by Candice Servatius. The court ordering her to pay costs after revelations her lawsuit was secretly funded by an evangelical Christian activist organization.

Leyland Cecco, The Guardian »

Candice Servatius, an evangelical Protestant, complained in 2016 after an Elder performed a smudging demonstration at her children’s school in the western British Columbia town of Port Alberni. A hoop dancer also said a prayer while performing at a school assembly.

Ahead of the event, parents received a letter advising them that students would participate by holding a cedar branch to “feel the bristles..to remind them that they are alive and well” and that smoke from sage would be fanned to “cleanse” the students and classroom. When Servatius went to the school, she found out that the ceremony had already taken place.

Despite Servatius’s claim that “her children were forced to participate in a religious ceremony”, the British Columbia supreme court ruled against her in 2020. Justice Douglas Thompson concluded the events were meant to teach students about Indigenous culture and attendance wasn’t mandatory.

Also » CBC / Times Colonist / Global News / CTV / Canadian Lawyer

Immigrants could be the solution to Canada’s labour shortage

Rupa Banerjee, Toronto Metropolitan University

Rupa Banerjee, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour, Toronto Metropolitan University

Immigration is largely accepted as one of the best strategic responses to Canada’s declining birth rates, aging population and labour market shortages. In many ways, immigrants are now positioned to be the saviours of Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.

Even with steadily rising numbers and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are more favourable towards immigration than ever before.

Canada’s new immigration targets are unprecedented — more than 1.4 million new permanent residents will be admitted by 2025. Setting targets, however, is the easy part. More difficult is ensuring Canada is up to the task of selecting and welcoming the influx of newcomers that will be arriving over the next few years.

But if immigrants are going to be a panacea for our demographic and economic challenges, they must be able to find skills-appropriate employment and settle into communities. Selecting the right mix of newcomers is the first crucial element to consider.

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19 remarkable bookstores to visit in Canada

Vanessa Chiasson provides us with a “small sample of the incredible shops that are hard at work supporting local authors, hosting wonderful events, preserving heritage, giving cats a home, and setting the hearts of book lovers aflutter across the country.”

They include »

  • Abraxas Books And Gifts » Denman Island, British Columbia
  • Bookmark » Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Huckleberry Books » Cranbrook, BC
  • Mac’s Fireweed Books » Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Maktaba Bookstore » Old Montréal, Quebec
  • McNally Robinson » Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Venus Envy » Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Yellowknife Book Cellar » Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

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The executions of Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin 60 years ago this date marks the end of capital punishment in Canada

Peter Edwards, writing in the Toronto Star recounts how their deaths led to major changes in Canada’s justice system »

Lucas and Turpin obediently stepped up to chalk markings where they were told to stand, on the second-floor gallows of the century-old jail near Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East in Riverdale.

Since Confederation in 1867, there had been more than 700 prisoners executed in Canada, and they were the last before capital punishment was abolished in 1976.

The Lucas and Turpin hangings resonate today with basic questions of racism and fairness still festering, 60 years after that oddly quiet night in Riverdale.

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