Thursday, August 04, 2022

Today's News: Here's another fine mess

I seldom pay much attention to the latest right-wing anti-Liberal hate-fest -- from SNC Lavelin to WE, they started out with the Trudeau government looking awful while the national media huffed and puffed to try to blow Trudeau's house down, and in the end, Meh! 
This time the story is a really awful one -- that our Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly abandoned Canada's Ukrainian embassy employees last winter in spite of threats of their arrest by Russia. 
The Globe and Mail reported yesterday that Global Affairs was still following an old Harper government policy, so they not only refused to do anything last winter to help our local embassy staff in Ukraine but didn't allow embassy leaders to inform the staff that Russia had threatened to arrest after the invasion. Then today we were told that Minister Joly "didn't know" that embassy staff had been threatened
Looks pretty bad, eh?
But in a press conference today, Joly said that's not what happened. 
In today's St. Catherine Standard, Immigration Reporter Nicholas Leung reported in some detail about what Joly said: 
On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly was asked if her office was aware of the intelligence that Ukrainian staff for foreign embassies were allegedly on Russia’s list of targeted individuals — and deliberately withheld the information from the local staff at the mission. 
“Never did I or the department have any information targeting locally engaged Canadian staff. We never got that information, nor me or my team or the department,” Joly told reporters at a joint news conference with her visiting German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, after the two met to discuss the energy and food security crises as well as trade. 
“I know we have a specific duty of care. I know this is in conversations within the department whether that duty of care applies to locally engaged staff. I would say that morally we have an obligation toward locally engaged staff.”
...Joly said she had spoken “directly” with the locally engaged staff about their safety and security during her visits in Ukraine in January before the war and followed up with the department and Canadian ambassador in Kyiv, Larisa Galadza, on this issue, throughout, including on Feb. 24, when the war was declared. 
“Ukraine is a war-torn country, we wanted to make sure that they had options. They were offered options to come to Canada. Some of them have decided to come. Some of them have decided to stay,” said Joly, who praised the contributions of the local Ukrainian staff members. 
 “They were also given full payment and compensation and benefits, although for some time the diplomats were outside of the country.”
In other news, the CPC had another leadership debate tonight. 
I didn't watch it because Poilievre wasn't there - it doesn't matter what any of the other candidates say because Poilievre is going to be the next CPC leader anyway. Scrimshaw has been on fire lately when it comes to the leadership contest - which he says is no contest at all
 ... for my selfish self-interest, I want people to be pretending this is a close race, because then it makes me look more prescient when Poilievre wins easily. This race has been called in the pages of this site perfectly from the day the campaign started, with Poilievre a clear and obvious winner, with Charest and Brown jokes, and with Lewis a theoretical danger but probably not one, because Poilievre was always going to eat her lunch... 

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