NEWS BRIEFS: CANADA

7 February 2023   (AP/CNN)
U.S. intelligence officials believe that the Chinese balloon shot down by the U.S., and now in the hands of the FBI, is an extensive military surveillance program which has conducted at least two dozen missions over at least five continents in recent years. Roughly half have been into U.S. airspace, including the downed “weather” balloon which also entered Canadian airspace after being detected by NORAD. The debris now is being analyzed by FBI engineers in an attempt to learn what kind of intelligence it could have collected as well as how future incursions can be tracked.
7 February 2023   (CP)
An RCAF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft headed back to base in Atlantic Canada today after intelligence gathering flights over Haiti. The aircraft was retasked from a U.S.-led counter-narcotics mission and a Canadian Armed Forces official said the data collected over two days would be used by the government “to further assess the situation in Haiti,” which has requested military help in dealing with endemic gang violence.
7 February 2023   (CP)
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told a parliamentary committee February 6 that implementing a registry of foreign agents should be culturally sensitive. “There is a historical context when it comes to some communities within this country and their relationship with agencies and the law-enforcement community,” he said. “We need to be diligent and thoughtful and inclusive when it comes to bringing all Canadians along in the modernization of the tools and the arsenal that we create for our national security and intelligence communities.”
7 February 2023   (BBC)
As debate in the U.S. and Canada continues about when it should have been intercepted, debris from a Chinese “spy” balloon downed by an F-22 Raptor off the East Coast, the U.S. Navy has released images of debris recovered on the weekend. The 60-metre balloon, which China insists was a stray meteorological platform, evidently had a heavy technical payload and now is being examined to determine its purpose.
7 February 2023   (CP)
As the death toll from the weekend’s earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria topped 6,200 today, the Canadian government has committed an initial $10 million to the international relief effort. International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said further aid and potential deployment of disaster response teams are being considered.
7 February 2023   (CTV)
While the U.S. Navy continued its search off the Carolinas for debris from a Chinese balloon shot down by an F-22 Raptor on the weekend, Conservative Defence critic James Bezan asked February 6 why it wasn’t intercepted during the brief time it was in Canadian airspace. “This was an outrageous intrusion,” he said. “I think they had an opportunity to take it down over the Pacific” as it transited south from where it was detected over the Aleutians.
7 February 2023   (CTV)
The federal government has committed $4.5 million over five years for research Fisheries & Oceans Minister Joyce Murray expects will give a clearer picture of how the marine ecosystem is changing and how to sustainably manage resources. Among other things, the project will study currents, marine safety and incident response, and how noise from shipping and other anthropogenic sources affects marine life.
6 February 2023   (CP)
The federal government has deployed one of the RCAF’s Lockheed Martin CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft to Haiti. Capable of flying for 17 hours at a time, it is tasked with providing surveillance and intelligence support for the authorities’ campaign against endemic gang violence which has paralyzed the country for months.
6 February 2023   (CTV)
The first of four Leopard 2 main battle tanks Canada is donating to Ukraine arrived in Poland February 5 aboard one of the RCAF’s five Boeing CC-177 Globemaster IIIs, the largest Canadian transport capable of carrying one tank at a time. “We’ll soon be training the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the use of this equipment,” Defence Minister said, posting a video of the tank being unloaded and having previously posted one of its departure from Canada.
4 February 2023   (CP)
Defence Minister Anita Anand said today that the federal “unequivocally” supports the U.S decision to shoot down a Chinese balloon off the Carolinas after it had transited the continent. She said the balloons’ trajectory over several days “violated U.S. and Canadian airspace and international law.”
3 February 2023   (Globe & Mail)
Confirmation that Canadian university researchers have collaborated with military scientists in China has prompted Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne to promise tighter national-security requirements “shortly.” He also noted, however, that universities are a provincial jurisdiction.
31 January 2023   (Ottawa Citizen)
A Public Service Alliance of Canada unit representing more than 10,400 federal workers who operate government buildings and services is asking for a 47 per cent increase in total compensation over three years. A Public Interest Commission tribunal says the proposal “would result in an increase to compensation far beyond what is reasonable.”

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