Buskers take over Kingston, Ont. for annual festival

The Buskers Rendezvous festival kicked off at the Renaissance Theatre Wednesday night for a special sneak preview.

After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the festival is celebrating its 32nd year in the Limestone City.

Excitement was in the air as a small crowd was able to take in performances from just a handful of the performers that will set up shop in Kingston over the next four days. Juggling and music were just some of the many talents on display.

Many performers and artists have struggled throughout the pandemic with restrictions hampering performances.

Read more:

Indigenous garden proposed for Kingston at former Sir John A. Macdonald statue site

Wednesday night, some of those in attendance said they were champing at the bit to hit the streets of Kingston this weekend.

“We’re lucky to even be here because we still kept doing this as our job even during the pandemic and that’s amazing, man. We are genuinely fortunate to continue to do music and busk and play in places like Kingston,” musical duo Walker and Wild said.

“I’ve been wanting to do this festival for a long time but I generally had scheduling conflicts, you know, or just, something comes up or whatever, so it’s my first time coming out to it. Really, really excited to do it and I’m looking really forward to a full weekend of action-packed shows,” juggler Kobbler Jay said.

The same was true for the globe-trotting juggler Richard Filby, who flew in last week from the United Kingdom.

“It feels amazing being back out on the road, travelling the world, everything has opened up again,” Filby said. “It’s such a relief because so much of a performer’s identity is based on them performing.”

The excitement the crowd showed was just a sliver of what can be expected once the festival officially begins.

With new faces and returning favourites, the residents of Kingston are in for a treat when the festival kicks off officially on Thursday.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Health minister to discuss COVID-19 situation as Quebec sees rise in cases

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Quebec, Health Minister Christian Dubé says he’ll be holding a briefing today to reinforce public health advice.

The province’s Health Department reported 13 new deaths linked to COVID-19 and a 56-patient increase in hospitalizations Wednesday.

There were 1,497 people hospitalized with the disease, including 40 in intensive care, and more than 7,000 health care workers off the job in connection with COVID-19.

Read more:

17M Canadians got Omicron in 5 months, new federal report says

Dubé, who will be joined by public health director Dr. Luc Boileau, said Wednesday he wants to go over advice on things like masking on public transit and in closed spaces, especially ahead of the province’s construction holiday which begins in a little over two weeks.

Quebec has removed almost all its public health measures and has made masking a personal choice, except for in hospitals, long-term care homes and other health-care facilities.

The province has reported 15,630 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the most in the country.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Russian army taking pause in Ukraine to regroup for renewed assault, analysts predict

Ukrainian soldiers have now pulled out of the strategic city of Lysychansk, as Russian forces move one step closer to capturing the entire Donbas region. Russia calls this an important victory. And as Redmond Shannon explains, it's also a major comedown from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initial goals for the invasion.

Foreign analysts say Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in Ukraine as the Russian military attempts to reassemble its forces for a renewed assault.

On Wednesday, Russian forces made no claimed or assessed territorial gains in Ukraine “for the first time in 133 days of war,” according to the Institute for the Study of War. The think tank based in Washington suggested that Moscow may be taking an “operational pause,” but that it does not entail “the complete cessation of active hostilities.”

“Russian forces will likely confine themselves to relatively small-scale offensive actions as they attempt to set conditions for more significant offensive operations and rebuild the combat power needed to attempt those more ambitious undertakings,” the institute said.

A Thursday statement from Russia’s Defense Ministry seemed to confirm that assessment. It said Russian military units involved in combat in Ukraine had been given time to rest.

“The units that performed combat missions during the special military operation are taking measures to recover their combat capabilities. The servicemen are given the opportunity to rest, receive letters and parcels from home,” read the statement, quoted by Russian state news agency Tass.

Shelling continued in Ukraine’s east, where at least nine civilians were killed and six wounded in 24 hours, Ukrainian officials said.

Read more:

Russian commander gave order to ‘shoot the civilians,’ captured soldier says

Ukraine’s presidential office said in its Thursday morning update that cities and villages in seven Ukrainian regions were shelled in the past day. Most of the civilian deaths occurred in Donetsk province, where fighting is ongoing. Seven civilians were killed there, including a child, the presidential office said.

Ten cities and villages came under shelling in Donetsk, and 35 buildings were destroyed, including a school, a vocational college and a hospital, officials said.

Donetsk is part of the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking industrial region where Ukraine’s most experienced soldiers are concentrated. Pro-Russian separatists have fought Ukrainian forces and controlled much of the Donbas for eight years. Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of two self-proclaimed republics there just before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Putin on Monday claimed victory in Luhansk, the other province constituting the Donbas, after Ukrainian forces withdrew from the last city they controlled there. The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai, denied Wednesday that the Russians had completely captured the province.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, a boarding school was hit, but no one was injured. The Kharkiv region, which lies along the border with Russia, is under daily shelling, and two civilians were killed there over the past 24 hours.

The Ukrainian military said Thursday that Russian forces also carried out shelling and helicopter strikes in the Sumy region in the northeast.

Even as the fighting continued, the British Defense Ministry said it thinks Russia’s military is “reconstituting” its forces. A ministry intelligence assessment issued Thursday said the heavy shelling along the front line in Donetsk is likely intended to secure previous Russian gains.

Further hostilities were reported in the Black Sea where the Ukrainian military said Thursday that a Ukrainian flag had been planted on a strategic island that Russian troops withdrew from last month.

Ukraine’s Operational Command South said in a statement that Ukrainian military units had cleared Snake Island, an outpost off Ukraine’s southwestern coast vital for guaranteeing sea lanes out of the key port of Odesa. The command group also said the Ukrainian military had destroyed some 30 pieces of Russian military equipment, describing the discovery of “abandoned ammunition and vast ruins.”

Russian troops withdrew from the island on June 30 in what Russia’s Defense Ministry called “a goodwill gesture.” But the ministry said Thursday that a Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft had launched a missile strike on the island as Ukrainian forces attempted to plant the flag.

“As a result, some of the Ukrainian military personnel were destroyed, the rest fled,” the ministry said.

Ukraine also said that Russia fired two missiles targeting a Moldovan-flagged oil tanker in the Black Sea, setting it ablaze.

Ukraine’s southern military command said the strike hit the Millennial Spirit, which has over 500 tons of diesel fuel on board. Ukraine says one missile struck the ship, while the other went wide. Social media images showed smoke rising off the coast of Odesa on Thursday morning.

Read more:

G20 talks set to focus on Russia-Ukraine war: ‘Not business as usual’

The ship has been without a crew, drifting at sea since the start of the war in February. Russia did not immediately acknowledge the strike on the vessel. The ship’s tracking devices have been down since it was abandoned by its crew.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Turkish ambassador in Kyiv Thursday over what it described as the theft of Ukrainian grain by a Russian ship.

The Russian ship Zhibek Zholy was allowed to leave Turkey’s Black Sea coast after Turkish authorities briefly detained it at Ukraine’s request. Ukraine summoned the ambassador to complain about the “unacceptable situation.”

Turkey, with its Bosporus Strait, is a key transit route for shipping out of the Black Sea. Ukraine has sought to pressure Ankara to stop Russian shipments of its grain, a vital source of revenue.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

AFN members expected to vote on national chief's suspension as general assembly closes

WATCH: National Chief removed from AFN Assembly agenda

It’s the last day of the Assembly of First Nations annual gathering Vancouver and the issue of leadership still hasn’t been solved.

Chiefs are expected to vote today on an emergency resolution that calls for National Chief RoseAnne Archibald to be reinstated after a vote of non-confidence in her leadership was withdrawn from the assembly yesterday.

Read more:

First Nations chiefs reject suspension of AFN national chief

Archibald was suspended last month by the executive committee while an investigation was launched into four complaints against her by her staff.

However, Archibald says she was ousted for trying to investigate corruption within the AFN and has called for a forensic audit of the organization.

Issues of the Pope’s visit, Indigenous rights, housing and other priorities had been expected to dominate the agenda.

Federal cabinet ministers Marc Miller, Patty Hajdu and David Lametti are all scheduled to speak to the more than 2,400 delegates today.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia gas prices down by 10.5 cents after interrupter clause invoked

The online edition of 'Global News Morning' with Paul Brothers and Alyse Hand on Global Halifax.

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has used its interrupter clause to knock down the price of gasoline and diesel overnight.

As of Thursday, gas is down by 10.5 cents in the province.

“This change is necessary due to significant shifts in the market prices of gasoline and diesel oil,” NSUARB said in a Wednesday afternoon release.

This comes after prices hovered above $2 for two months, most recently around $2.03. Prices reached record highs in June, topping $2.15 per litre minimum.

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Nova Scotians are now paying a minimum of $1.93 cents per litre for regular self-serve gasoline.

Cape Bretoners continue to pay the most at the pump, now at a minimum of $1.95 cents per litre.

The last time the province invoked its interrupter clause for gasoline was on June 21, to reduce prices by six cents. Prior to that, it was used May 17 to spike prices by 9.5 cents.

Read more:

Gas prices in Nova Scotia fall by 6 cents after interrupter clause invoked

The cost of diesel also dropped on Thursday from 204.7 cents per litre, down by 10.2 cents.

Diesel prices now range from $1.94 per litre in the Halifax area and $1.99 per litre minimum in Cape Breton.

Gas prices remain volatile around the world, fuelled by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Boris Johnson resigns as British prime minister

WATCH: Boris Johnson resigns as British Prime Minister amid political fallout | FULL

Boris Johnson has resigned as Britain’s prime minister, bringing an end to one of the rockiest tenures for a world leader in modern times after a series of scandals rocked his government’s confidence in him.

Bowing to growing pressure as more than 50 ministers quit and lawmakers said he must go, Johnson spoke outside his Downing Street office Thursday to confirm he would resign.

Johnson said it is “clearly the will” of his Conservative Party that there should be a new leader, but will remain as British prime minister while a leadership contest is held to choose his successor.

“The process of choosing that new leader should begin now. And today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will until a new leader is in place,” Johnson said.

Read more:

British PM Boris Johnson expected to step down amid political fallout

His exit marks a remarkable fall from grace for the charismatic Conservative leader, who just two-and-a-half years ago was celebrating an overwhelming election victory and the full backing of his party.

Johnson had vowed to move forward as prime minister after narrowly surviving a confidence vote last month that was triggered by shifting stories about COVID-19 lockdown-breaking parties in government offices — some of which he attended.

But that stance proved untenable after two of his most senior cabinet ministers quit Tuesday over similarly shifting explanations about his handling of a sexual misconduct scandal that dogged a recent government appointee.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other, costing Johnson the support of the men responsible for tackling two of the biggest issues facing Britain — the cost-of-living crisis and surging COVID-19 infections.

Those two were then followed by solicitor general Alex Chalk, who also joined four parliamentary private secretaries, the Conservative Party’s vice-chair and two trade envoys in abandoning Johnson and resigning.

In their resignation letters, the cabinet officials both said Johnson’s credibility had been shattered by the growing list of scandals, with Chalk adding that public confidence in the government under its current leadership had “irretrievably broken down.”

Johnson had proven multiple times to be adept at fighting off criticism and political scandal, dating back to his past roles in Parliament and as the mayor of London.

He swept into power as Conservative leader in 2019 after the resignation of Theresa May, and proved naysayers wrong that December when his party won the largest majority government since Margaret Thatcher in 1987. He then went on to finalize the country’s exit from the European Union, which had dogged May’s government as well as her predecessor, David Cameron.

But experts and even some Conservative MPs had suggested this week that the wave of cabinet resignations would be too much to bear.

The latest scandal began Thursday, when Chris Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip amid complaints that he groped two men at a private club. That triggered a series of reports about past allegations levelled against Pincher and questions about why Johnson promoted him to a senior job enforcing party discipline.

Read more:

Can British PM Boris Johnson be forced out of office? Here’s what we know

Pincher denies the allegations.

Johnson’s office initially said he wasn’t aware of the previous accusations when he promoted Pincher in February. By Monday, a spokesman said Johnson knew of allegations that were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint.”

But in a highly unusual move, Simon McDonald, the most senior civil servant at the U.K. Foreign Office from 2015 to 2020, went public with claims that the prime minister’s office wasn’t telling the truth.

McDonald said in a letter to the parliamentary commissioner for standards that he received complaints about Pincher’s behaviour in the summer of 2019, shortly after Pincher became a Foreign Office minister. An investigation upheld the complaint, and Pincher apologized for his actions, McDonald said.

“Mr. Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation,” McDonald wrote.

Hours after McDonald’s comments were published, Johnson’s office changed its story again, saying the prime minister had forgotten that Pincher was the subject of an official complaint.

Then minutes before Javid and Sunak announced their resignations, Johnson told reporters that Pincher should have been fired from the government after a previous 2019 incident.

Asked if it was an error to appoint Pincher to the government, Johnson said, “I think it was a mistake, and I apologize for it. In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.”

Read more:

British PM Boris Johnson fighting to stay in power after top ministers resign

The shifting explanation from Johnson fuelled discontent within the cabinet after ministers were forced to publicly deliver the prime minister’s denials, only to have the explanation shift the next day.

Johnson’s authority had already been shaken by last month’s confidence vote. Although he survived, 41 per cent of Conservatives voted to remove him from office. But until Tuesday his cabinet had largely stayed put and loyal.

Concerns about Johnson’s leadership were fuelled by his responses to months of allegations about lockdown-breaking parties in government offices that ultimately resulted in 126 fines, including one levied against Johnson.

Two weeks later, Conservative candidates were badly beaten in two special elections to fill vacant seats in Parliament, adding to the discontent within Johnson’s party and suggesting the ongoing accusations were resonating with the public.

Even before the Pincher scandal, suggestions were swirling that Johnson would soon face another no-confidence vote.

The existing rules require 12 months between such votes, but several Conservative lawmakers had suggested they support changing the rules in an upcoming vote on the issue.

— with files from Reuters and The Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

What happened to… Toronto van attack, part one

On this episode of the Global News podcast What happened to…? Erica Vella revisits the story of the Toronto van attack.

Cathy Riddell has lived in Toronto’s Yonge and Finch neighbourhood for over six decades; it’s an area where she says she’s surrounded by familiar faces, shops and restaurants.

“I know the area very well. …. It’s a safe area,” she said.  “I know where all the stores are, I know where all the restaurants are. …. It’s home.”

On a warm Monday in April 2018, Riddell was eager to be outside and run errands in the sunshine.

“It was like the first nice day of the year, and everybody was out on the streets, so I was quite happy to be out there,” she said.

“I was going to go to the library, pick up a book and then go to sit in the park and just enjoy the day.”

However, her day would be interrupted when a white rental van wreaked havoc in the neighbourhood she called home.

On April 23, 2018, a white rental van mounted the sidewalk at the southwest corner of the intersection of Yonge and Finch streets and travelled south for several blocks

Riddell was one of the victims who was struck by the van while walking on Yonge Street.

“The last thing you’re expecting is somebody to be cruising down the sidewalk,” she said.

“The worst (thing) I ever thought would come down the sidewalk would be a kid on a bike who was a little bit out of control or something.”

READ MORE: Toronto van attacker sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

At 1:27 p.m., the first call was made to 911. The attack would last approximately seven minutes as witnesses watched in horror while innocent bystanders got struck by the white van.

Insp. Graham Gibson was on call as a detective sergeant for the Toronto police homicide squad when he started to hear chatter about the attack and decided to make his way to the scene to start the investigation, he said.

“One of our main goals was to get (injured) people off the sidewalks and street,” Gibson said. “It’s a horrible thing to have to see.”

“When you show up as a member of homicide, the other officers and members are looking at you to kind of bring some control to that scene,” Gibson said.

“Although you may feel it inside and I certainly did, you try to maintain your composure and focus on what your tasks are.”

After driving 2.2 km, the van stopped at Poyntz Avenue because a beverage splattered across the windshield, making it difficult for the driver to see. The driver got out of the van.

READ MORE: Toronto van attack victims, family ready themselves for sentencing hearing

Const. Ken Lam. was able to catch the driver and he was arrested at 1:34 p.m. by Toronto police.

The tragedy left the Toronto community heartbroken and grieving for the victims who lost their lives that day.

Riddell remembered very little about what happened the day of the attack.

“I was sort of in and out a little bit and I apparently talked to people, and I don’t remember any of that,” she said. “Somehow my mind blocked it all out.”

When Riddell’s brother tried to explain to her what had happened that day, she was in disbelief that anyone would do such a terrible thing.

“I just couldn’t believe that it could happen in this city … and that anybody could do that to total strangers,” Riddell said.

“It was such a shock that my mind just refused to accept the fact that it happened.”

On this episode of Global News’ What happened to…?, Erica Vella revisits the Toronto Van Attack to speak to a victim who was heavily impacted by the attack. She also speaks with Insp. Graham Gibson about his experience as a detective on the scene, and with reporter Catherine Mcdonald, who begins to unravel the motives behind the driver’s attack.

Contact:

Email: erica.vella@globalnews.ca

If you enjoy What Happened To…? please take a minute to rate it on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends.

If you haven’t subscribed yet — what are you waiting for?

Subscribing’s easy! Here’s how…

On your iPad or iPhone:

  • Open the Apple Podcasts app, search for What Happened To? and select it from the list of results.
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  • Click the name of an episode from the list below to listen.

On your Android Phone or Tablet:

  • Open the Spotify app, search for What Happened To? and select it from the list of results.
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© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

British PM Boris Johnson expected to step down amid political fallout

WATCH: Boris Johnson resigns as British prime minister amid political fallout

Boris Johnson will announce his resignation as British prime minister on Thursday after he was abandoned by ministers and his Conservative Party’s lawmakers who said he was no longer fit to govern.

With eight ministers, including two secretaries of state, resigning in the last two hours, an isolated and powerless Johnson was set to bow to the inevitable and declare he was stepping down later on Thursday, a source said.

His Downing Street office confirmed that Johnson would make a statement to the country later.

Read more:

British PM Boris Johnson fighting to stay in power after top ministers resign

After days of battling for his job, Johnson had been deserted by all but a handful of allies after the latest in a series of scandals broke their willingness to support him.

“His resignation was inevitable,” Justin Tomlinson, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, said on Twitter. “As a party we must quickly unite and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts.”

The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take about two months. It was not clear whether Johnson would or could stay on in a caretaker role while the person who would be the new prime minister was chosen.

“As well as resigning as party leader the PM must resign his office,” Conservative lawmaker Nick Gibb said. “After losing so many ministers, he has lost the trust and authority required to continue.”

Support for Johnson had evaporated during one of the most turbulent 24 hours in recent British political history, epitomized by finance minister, Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed to his post on Tuesday, calling on his boss to resign.

Zahawi and other cabinet ministers had gone to Downing Street on Wednesday evening, along with a senior representative of those lawmakers not in government, to tell Johnson the game was up.

Initially, Johnson refused to go and seemed set to dig in, sacking Michael Gove – a member of his top ministerial team who was one of the first to tell him he needed to resign – in a bid to reassert his authority.

One ally had told the Sun newspaper that party rebels would “have to dip their hands in blood” to get rid of Johnson.

Read more:

Boris Johnson wins no-confidence vote, stays on as U.K.’s prime minister

But by Thursday morning as a slew of resignations poured in, it became clear his position was untenable.

“This is not sustainable and it will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country,” Zahawi said on Twitter. “You must do the right thing and go now.”

Some of those that remained in post, including defense minister Ben Wallace, said they were only doing so because they had an obligation to keep the country safe.

There had been so many ministerial resignations that the government was facing paralysis with no one willing to accept the vacant posts.

From popular to deserted

The ebullient Johnson came to power nearly three years ago, promising to deliver Britain’s departure from the European Union and rescue it from the bitter wrangling that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Since then, some Conservatives had enthusiastically backed the former journalist and London mayor while others, despite reservations, supported him because he was able to appeal to parts of the electorate that usually rejected their party.

Read more:

Can British PM Boris Johnson be forced out of office? Here’s what we know

That was borne out in the December 2019 election. But his administration’s combative and often chaotic approach to governing and a series of scandals have exhausted the goodwill of many of his lawmakers while opinion polls show he is no longer popular with the public at large.

The recent crisis erupted after lawmaker Chris Pincher, who held a government role involved in pastoral care, was forced to quit over accusations he groped men in a private member’s club.

Johnson had to apologize after it emerged that he was briefed that Pincher had been the subject of previous sexual misconduct complaints before he appointed him. The prime minister said he had forgotten.

This followed months of scandals and missteps, including a damning report into boozy parties at his Downing Street residence and office that broke strict COVID-19 lockdown rules and saw him fined by police over a gathering for his 56th birthday.

There have also been policy U-turns, an ill-fated defense of a lawmaker who broke lobbying rules, and criticism that he has not done enough to tackle inflation, with many Britons struggling to cope with rising fuel and food prices.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said Johnson’s resignation was good news for Britain.

“But it should have happened long ago,” he said. “He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.”

(Writing by Michael Holden and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton, Frank Jack Daniel, Toby Chopra and Mark Heinrich)

© 2022 Reuters

U.S. Capitol hearings: Why should Canadians care? Extremism, security experts weigh in

As more hearings are slated to dissect the violence that unfolded south of the border, researchers say Canadians are not as far removed from the Jan. 6 events as they think.

Bombshell after bombshell of shocking revelations continue to be unearthed during hearings on the United States Capitol insurrection, which are set to continue into July.

From evidence that former president Donald Trump pressured lawmakers to overturn election results to testimony that he knew of the violence descending on Capitol, the rabbit hole of American politics may have Canadians thinking their country is far removed from what went down on Jan. 6.

Researchers beg to differ.

“We saw this in the United States, and now we’re seeing it in Canada — that people are losing faith in institutions, in our federal government, in our election system,” said Kayla Preston, a PhD student investigating extremism at the University of Toronto.

“That’s usually because misinformation is being spread online.”

Read more:

Jan. 6 hearings: Bombshell testimony on Trump’s anger, pardons and ketchup stains

That misinformation — and in many instances disinformation — was key in the Capitol attack, said Preston, as rioters stormed the capitol echoing Trump’s baseless claim that the 2020 federal election result was stolen.

As Canadians followed the widely-shared pictures and videos from that day, some spotted their own country’s maple leaf being paraded during the riot.

According to 680news in 2021, the RCMP were not aware of any Canadians involved in the Capitol breach.

Aside from the Proud Boys’ possible connection to the event (a terrorist group founded by Canadian Gavin McInnes,) researchers say there’s more evidence to suggest Canada’s ties to anti-democratic movements like the insurrection run deep. The public is not immune to the same misinformation that was widely at play during the riot, they say.

“These kind of uprisings are possible in Canada,” Preston said.

Even more, political studies teaching fellow Tim Abray says the events of Jan. 6 and the findings of the hearings are “absolutely affecting Canadian democracy.”

If it is seen that pro-Trump politicians can get away with “fibbing” to the public about the election result, those working on the ground in Canada may take note.

‘Political strategists are routinely hired from the United States to assist Canadian political parties,” the Queen’s University doctoral candidate said.

“If a strategy looks to be successful in one place, it will be applied in other places.”

The United States can’t solely be blamed for anti-democratic, hateful movements in Canada. Many, said Preston, were born and raised here, staying “alive and well”  for quite some time.

Nevertheless, the U.S.’s influence on our nation is undeniable and hard to ignore, said University of Victoria’s Will Greaves.

“There are groups in Canada — typically speaking right-wing, populist groups —  who look at the kind of activities that similar groups in the United States have engaged in, and they see a role model for themselves in that,” the assistant professor of international relations told Global over Zoom.

“They kind of consciously understand a series of tactics being employed in the United States, which to one degree or another, they are interested in importing into the Canadian context.”

That means Canada’s national security is at risk by those groups, he said. But it also means that how the US decides to hold those involved in the insurrection accountable will largely reflect on the future confidence that Canada will have in its long-term ally.

“As the smaller, weaker partner in the North American relationship, Canada requires a robust, democratic United States … will give us an indicator of the health of American democracy after a very difficult number of years,” Greaves said.

At the start of 2022, some of the organizers of the trucker convoy that occupied Ottawa and border towns like Windsor said they wanted to see parliament dissolved.

While the occupation did not have the scale of violence seen during the Capitol invasion, Preston said, “we can’t just ignore that did happen.”

Read more:

Downplaying risks from Ottawa trucker convoy after the fact is ‘revisionist’: minister

Some of the organizers had a history of white nationalism and racism.

But Greaves says strong connections can also be drawn between the convoy and the capitol rioters because of the “unconstitutional, unlawful, not appropriate” tactics both used. That includes blocking border crossings between Canada and the U.S. in regard to the trucker convoy.

In March, University of Ottawa assembled a task force of security and intelligence experts, including four individuals who previously served as national security advisors to the prime minister.

Two months later, the task force penned a report exposing Canada as “ill-prepared for the world’s changing security environment.”

The 39-page document did not mention the Capitol insurrection.

It did, however, reference the 2022 trucker protests in Canada. The movement was an example of “democracy under siege,” the report said, calling it an emerging threat to Canada’s national security as polarization and disinformation fuel uprisings.

Following the convoy, it quickly became apparent that there were ties between far-right extremists in Canada and the United States, cited the report.

It went on to say, “a polarized United States has become a less predictable partner in recent years,” and recommended addressing Canadians’ mistrust in government as one of four avenues that would help fill the “glaring gaps” in Canada’s national security strategy.

At Western University in London, Ont., an international security and foreign and defence policy expert is echoing the report’s recommendations for the nation to stay on guard.

Associate professor and NATO research fellow Erika Simpson still doesn’t think an uprising on the scale of the Capitol riot is going to happen in Canada anytime soon, though, even from those with convoy ties.

“There were a lot of lessons learned in the winter from the truckers’ convoy. I think that the police service in Ottawa and the smaller border patrols in Emerson and in Windsor have realized a lot,” she said.

“I am very convinced that people who believe in a rules-based world order will conquer this extremism in the United States. I think the rule of law will come to the forefront. ”

But Simpson says Canada needs to start “multitasking” quick, meaning keep an eye on brewing extremist movements while also addressing other pressing security threats, such as Russia’s nuclear intimidation.

Read more:

Will Putin use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war? Here’s what we know 

It all comes down to Canada reviewing its national security policy, said Simpson, which has not been updated since 2004, according to the uOttawa task force.

That commission is long overdue, according to Greaves, as misinformation is just one of many newer hurdles the country grapples with.

“We need to know if the money that we’re spending money on aligns with the goals that we’ve set for ourselves … the discussion of what we should actually be prioritizing going forward, is the kind of thing that a review would reveal.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man charged with sexual assault involving teen girl on TTC bus in Scarborough

Toronto police say they have a charged a man in connection with a sexual assault investigation on a TTC bus that involved a teenage girl.

Police said it was on June 30 when a 15-year-old girl was on a TTC bus heading southbound on McCowan Road.

The suspect had boarded the bus and sat beside the teenager, police said.

When the girl got off the bus, police said the man allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Read more:

Man, 30, arrested in connection with indecent acts in Richmond Hill: police

Police said 68-year-old Yogeswaran Naganathy, a Toronto resident, was arrested.

He is facing sexual assault and sexual interference charges.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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