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In The News for May 23, 2023: Is a public inquiry into foreign interference coming?

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Tuesday, May 23, 2023 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs poses for a photo with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General David Johnston during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Tuesday January 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Tuesday, May 23, 2023 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

The man charged with recommending how best to deal with foreign interference in Canada's federal elections will finally say whether he believes a public inquiry is necessary. 

Former governor general David Johnston, the special rapporteur appointed in March by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will issue an interim report Monday on what he considers the best way forward. 

Parliament Hill has been seized for months with whether Johnston will advise a public inquiry into whether the governing Liberals did enough to confront claims that China meddled in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

But his mandate allows for broader recommendations as well — and Johnston will announce his preferred courses of action during a long-awaited news conference at noon ET. 

In addition to the inquiry question, Trudeau also tasked Johnston with recommending any other mechanisms or processes needed to "reinforce Canadians’ confidence in the integrity of our democratic institutions."

His mandate also called for an assessment of the "extent and impact" of foreign interference in Canadian elections and to "determine what the government did to defend Canada against electoral interference."

Opposition Conservatives are clamouring for an inquiry. Leader Pierre Poilievre refused to meet with Johnston, describing the role of special rapporteur as a "fake job." 

Poilievre is deeply skeptical of Johnston, a former member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, which is under scrutiny for accepting a donation reportedly linked to the Chinese government.

An inquiry, while giving the government the chance to defend its actions, would also give the controversy more political oxygen — and it would be the second such investigation into the Liberal government in as many years.


Also this ...

The RCMP marks its 150th anniversary today with events the service says are meant to demonstrate pride, but also humility and reconciliation.

The celebration will include horseback performances of the RCMP Musical Ride, barbecues and community events across the country are all on the agenda.

The RCMP is also touting its strategic plan for 2023 to "address issues of trust," though the plan doesn't go into specifics. 

It includes recruiting people of diverse backgrounds and addressing systemic racism, being more transparent about serious events and improving reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples.

Inquiries and commissions over the decades have made suggestions to reform the police service


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

The parents of a 22-year-old Colorado man killed by a sheriff’s deputy while suffering a mental health crisis will get $19 million from government state and local agencies and changes to how officers are trained, under a settlement announced Tuesday.

The shooting of Christian Glass after his SUV became stuck in the mountain town of Silver Plume last year drew national attention and prompted calls to reform how authorities respond to people with mental health problems.

As part of the settlement, Sally and Simon Glass also negotiated for changes they hope will prevent another family from suffering a loss like theirs. Clear Creek County will establish a crisis response team and its sheriff’s office will train and certify all deputies in crisis intervention, according to documents released by their attorneys.

The state of Colorado, which had three officers on the scene of Glass’ June 11, 2022 killing, in addition to those from local agencies, will create a virtual reality training scenario for the Colorado State Patrol based on the shooting that will focus on de-escalation in stressful situations involving officers from different agencies.

A video message from Simon and Sally Glass will also be shown to state troopers and Division of Gaming officers at the beginning of their active bystander training. The program focuses on encouraging officers to intervene if they think a fellow officer is going too far or needs to step away from an incident.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

The Russian military and security forces were continuing on Tuesday to fend off an alleged incursion by Ukrainian saboteurs first reported the day before in a Russian border region, according to a Russian official.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine, said the military and security forces continued to sweep the area around the town of Graivoron, where the alleged attack on Monday took place.

Gladkov urged residents of the area who evacuated on Monday to stay put and not come back to their homes just yet. “We will let you know immediately ... when it is safe,” Gladkov said. “Security agencies are carrying out all the necessary actions. We're waiting for the counterterrorism operation to be over.”

Kyiv has denied the allegations, blaming Russian guerrilla groups supporting Ukraine. Neither version of the events could be independently verified.

While it is not the first time Russia has alleged an incursion by Ukrainian saboteurs, it is the first time the operation to counter the incursion has continued for a second day, highlighting the struggles Moscow is facing amid its bogged-down invasion of Ukraine.


Also this ...

Germany's federal prosecutor's office said Tuesday that criminal police have detained three more suspected far-right extremists who are linked to an alleged plot by the Reichsbuerger, or Reich Citizens, movement to topple the country's government.

The three suspects, who were only identified as Johanna F.-J., Hans-Joachim H. and Steffen W. in line with German privacy rules, were detained Monday evening in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The defendants are suspected of membership in a terrorist organization, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

In December, German police detained 25 people including a self-styled prince, a retired paratrooper and a former judge who are accused of plotting the violent overthrow of the government.

Adherents of the Reich Citizens movement reject Germany’s postwar constitution and have called for bringing down the government.

Authorities say the three people who were arrested Monday evening were linked in different ways to the suspects of the alleged coup attempt.


On this day in 1701 ...

Captain William Kidd, a Scottish sailor, was hanged in London after he was convicted of piracy and murder.


In entertainment ...

Actor Jeremy Renner's hopes to expand a measure for the film industry to northern Nevada were effectively dashed Monday when the bill's sponsor said it's too late to entertain in the current legislative session.

A bill moving through the Nevada Legislature would provide $190 million annually in tax credits over at least 20 years aimed at bringing film productions to two sites in southern Nevada, including a $1 billion Sony expansion.

Renner, who played the sharp-shooting Hawkeye of the Avengers squad in Marvel’s sprawling movie and television universe, lobbied lawmakers Monday for a third site in northern Nevada that he said could rival film production studios in Atlanta and New Mexico where he shot Avengers and other films.

Democratic Sen. Roberta Lange of Las Vegas, the bill sponsor, and Brandon Birtcher, a developer who spearheaded the project said it was too late in the project to add another site. But Lange said a potential amendment could potentially provide for a study to look at what economic impacts a northern Nevada expansion would bring.


Did you see this?

From rosehip ketchup to wild boar lardo, food businesses across Northern Canada are finding unique ways to use local ingredients.

People in the territories experience disproportionately higher rates of food insecurity than elsewhere in Canada. 

That has been attributed to limited transportation networks, socioeconomic inequalities, the legacy of colonial policies, climate change, and environmental contamination.

Many food producers in the region are hoping to change that.

In Yellowknife, several market gardens are growing fresh produce and greens. 

Restaurant and butchery Fishy People uses fresh fish from Great Slave Lake and locally harvested ingredients including rosehip and spruce tips.

In Yukon, nearly 90 farms produce food from eggs, crops and dairy to beef, pork and poultry.

Businesses such as Landed Bakehouse and Tum Tum's Black Gilt Meats in Whitehorse focus on selling products made with ingredients from those farms.

In Nunavut, many Inuit hunt and fish.

The menu at the Granite Room restaurant in Iqaluit offers up seasonal dishes featuring local proteins.

That includes caribou tartare and Arctic char ceviche.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published xxx. x, 20xx

The Canadian Press

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