BBC: Canada, US talk ‘facts’ on refugee influx. The issue of asylum seekers illegally crossing the Canada-US border topped the agenda as Canadian officials met with the US Homeland Security chief. Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said after the Ottawa meeting more “hard facts” need to be gathered before a full response is developed. Mr Goodale also said many of the refugee claimants had been in the US on legal visas before crossing to Canada. A growing number of asylum seekers have been making the dangerous winter journey to Canada, crossing the border illegally in the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia.
BBC: Teen suicide on the rise amongst Canadian girls. Suicide amongst young women is on the rise. When it comes to mental health, is gender the elephant in the room? In early 2016, five teenagers from Woodstock, Ontario killed themselves in just as many months, leaving not only their family but the community as a whole bewildered with grief. “Everyone was sitting on edge. For a while there, I think we all just sat there wondering when it was going to end,” says Jenilee Ookcay, a community health worker. Across the country, suicide amongst teen girls and young women is on the rise, while male suicide in the same age group declines, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday.
Canoe.com: Canada’s defence spending among lowest in NATO. The Liberal government sought to deflect criticism about Canada’s overall defence spending Monday by pointing to new NATO figures showing a mysterious boost in investments for military equipment last year. The comments came as NATO’s top official threw down the gauntlet by calling on all members to spend more on their militaries in the face of rising tensions around the world. Speaking in Brussels at the release of his annual state-of-the-alliance report, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is incumbent on all members to spend 2% of GDP on defence. That is the target all NATO members, including Canada, agreed to work towards in 2014.
FoxNews: Cystic fibrosis patients surviving longer in Canada than US. Canadians with cystic fibrosis survive about 10 years longer than Americans with the same genetic disease, according to startling new research that raises questions about how to improve care. A study suggests access to lung transplants and health insurance may play a role in the survival gap. And it comes as Congress debates health legislation that could roll back Medicaid, a safety net for about half of children and a third of adults with the lung-destroying disease.
Al Jazeera: Tillerson recuses himself from Keystone pipeline issues. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recused himself from issues related to a controversial pipeline project, a state department letter said. The former chief of oil giant ExxonMobil removed himself from discussions concerning the TransCanada Corporation’s application for a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. In a letter from Katherine McManus, the state department’s deputy legal adviser, McManus wrote Tillerson had recused himself from the matter in early February. The letter came after Greenpeace wrote to officials on Wednesday, urging Tillerson to recuse himself on decisions regarding the multibillion-dollar pipeline project because ExxonMobil could benefit from its construction.
IDGNow, Brazil: Canada seeks Brazilian ICT professionals for Québec vacancies. The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion of Québec is looking for Brazilian information and communication technology (ICT) professionals to work in companies located in the city and region. The basic requirement to apply for a position is a good command of French language. International recruitment is a strategic resource for companies to remain competitive in high-tech areas. The sector generates more than 130 thousand jobs, of which 25% (32.5 thousand) are occupied by immigrants.
El Pais: Canadian province wants to end the obligation of women to wear heels at work. British Columbia, a province of Canada with more than four million people, has joined the movement to end the rules that force women to wear high heels in the workplace. Its main minister, Christy Clark, has been in favor of the requirement not being mandatory for women and has announced that she will mobilize to end it.
El Occidental: Mexico and Canada will seek to increase trade and investment. Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo will meet with Canada’s Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne to discuss opportunities for increased trade and investment in both countries. The Canadian official will travel to Mexico to meet Canadian and Mexican investors and entrepreneurs in the extractive sector and will give a speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Trade between Mexico and Canada has grown stronger, and I hope that with this visit, we can build and expand that solid base for our middle classes,” the Canadian minister noted.
Russia Today: Mexico looks to increased Russian, EU trade with NAFTA uncertainty. Expansion of trade ties with both Russia and the European Union is on the agenda for Mexico, according to the country’s Agriculture Ministry. “We must diversify, we will return to Russia, they want to buy Mexican beef and pork, we will also intensify relations with the European Union which is interested in our honey, chickpeas, meat and tropical fruit,” said Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary Jose Calzada, as quoted by the ministry. Mexico’s statement on renewing trade relations with Russia and the EU comes amid impending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations with the new US administration. The agreement was signed by the governments of US, Canada, and Mexico in January 1994.
Sputnik: Canada Appoints Former Immigration Minister McCallum as Ambassador to China. Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland appointed John McCallum the country’s new ambassador to China, the government of Canada announced in a press release. McCallum replaces former Canadian envoy to China Guy Saint-Jacques and will lead the embassy’s efforts to deepen Canada’s relationship with China. Canada and China share a long-standing relationship on political, commercial, scientific and cultural levels. The government said renewing the bilateral relationship will help to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.
The Guardian: ‘First in Canada’ supermarket donation plan aids food banks and tackles waste. Supermarkets in Quebec will now be able to donate their unsold produce, meat and baked goods to local food banks in a program – described as the first of its kind in Canada – that also aims to keep millions of kilograms of fresh food out of landfills. The Supermarket Recovery Program launched in 2013 as a two-year pilot project. Developed by the Montreal-based food bank Moisson Montréal, the goal was to tackle the twin issues of rising food bank usage in the province and the staggering amount of edible food being regularly sent to landfills. Provincial officials said the pilot – which last year saw 177 supermarkets donate more than 2.5m kg of food that would have otherwise been discarded – would now begin expanding across the province.
Washington Post: Hollywood producers say Canada is censoring them over an indigenous character. Canadian venues often stand in for U.S. locales in feature films. So there appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary when the producers of “Hard Powder,” a new film starring Liam Neeson, applied for permission to film scenes at Lake Louise, Banff and the Columbia Icefields, all popular tourist locations at national parks in Alberta. (The film is set in Colorado.) But they didn’t count on the cultural sensitivities of Parks Canada. “They objected to the fact that a First Nations person was a bad guy — not the bad guy, but one of the bad guys,” said Mark Voyce, a unit manager for the film.