February 29th, 2024

In the news today: Liberal caucus divided after UN vote for ceasefire in Gaza

By The Canadian Press on December 14, 2023.

Display monitors show the result of voting in the United Nations General Assembly, in favor of a resolution calling on Israel to uphold legal and humanitarian obligations in its war with Hamas, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Bebeto Matthews

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

UN vote for Gaza ceasefire disappoints Israel’s ambassador, divides Liberal caucus

A United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Gaza has left Canada’s Israeli ambassador frustrated in Ottawa.

Iddo Moed called it “very disappointing” to see Canada vote in favour of a U-N resolution calling for a ceasefire in the latest Israel-Gaza conflict.

Several Liberal MPs publicly lamented the resolution’s failure to condemn Hamas.

The non-binding vote signalled a dramatic shift in Canada’s long-standing position of siding with Israel on major resolutions.

Guilbeault hails ‘monumental’ COP28 deal, others warn of ‘dangerous distractions’

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault hailed a “monumental” deal Wednesday to close out COP28, the first time the United Nations climate summit of nearly 200 countries agreed to transition away from fossil fuels.

The agreement approved in Dubai was welcomed by some observers as a historic turning point in global climate negotiations and stronger than a draft floated earlier in the week.

But many warned of what they saw as loopholes and distractions in the agreement that could undermine the action needed to meet the global commitment to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times.

Here’s what else we’re watching …

Hierarchical agencies need harassment ‘reckoning’

A University of Ottawa law professor says fixing sexual harassment issues in Canadian policing and the military will take a deep reckoning to change long-standing and secretive workplace cultures.

Sylvia Rich studies police violence against women and organizational cultures, and says all big organizations deal with harassment issues to some degree.

Bonnie Robichaud (ROE’-bish-oh) got a job at a Canadian Forces base in the late 1970s, and sexual harassment by a supervisor set off a years-long legal battle that eventually made it to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The ruling in her case in 1987 set a precedent for employers to ensure harassment-free workplaces, but the problems persist, and she says complainants are often worn down — financially and mentally — after drawn out processes.

CSIS settles rights complaint from Black employee

Canada’s spy service has agreed to hire an independent human rights specialist to review its diversity strategy as part of the settlement of a complaint from a Black woman who worked as an intelligence officer.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service say the intelligence agency will also publish an executive summary of the specialist’s findings and recommendations.

In addition, CSIS has committed to sharing its responses to the recommendations with the human rights commission, a federal watchdog with a broad mandate to protect people from discrimination.

Ontario set to announce changes to alcohol sales

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce today the government’s plan to expand sales of beer and wine.

Ford promised in the 2018 election campaign to allow beer and wine to be sold in convenience stores and grocery stores across the province.

Ford hinted on social media the province will follow through on that pledge.

The province ran into problems fulfilling that campaign promise because The Beer Store had a 10-year deal with the government and its multinational owners threatened legal action if Ford followed through.

Big money for baby eels sparks East Coast tensions

Commercial fishers of baby eels in the Maritimes say there’s little hope of seeing a reduction in 2024 of the poaching and violence that forced the closure of the lucrative fishery last season.

Stanley King, a commercial licence holder from Nova Scotia, says he believes the upcoming season, which begins in late March or early April, could be even worse because of the success of poachers last season.

With high prices for elvers, King says it’s fairly easy for people to get into the fishery because all they need is “a net and a bucket.”

King also blames lax enforcement by federal authorities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2023.

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