Governments around the world are very cautious when Chinese companies seek to take over western technology companies. The one exception seems to be the Canadian Government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. With little or no scrutiny, the Liberal government is allowing the sale of Vancouver-based Norsat International Inc. to the Chinese company Hytera Communications. Norsat International owns patented satellite communications technology that has security, public safety, and defence applications. Norsat s customers include the Pentagon and the Canadian Coast Guard. Shockingly, the Liberals refused to conduct a national security review of this potential takeover against the advice of national security experts. Richard Fadden, a former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said that he would have suggested a review out of an abundance of caution.
University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers said it is incomprehensible that this takeover is not being subject to a national security review. China s Ambassador has suggested that national security reviews constitute protectionism . Judging by their actions, the Trudeau Government apparently agrees. However, Canadians did not elect this government under the expectation that Canada would become subordinate to Beijing and that China s interests would be put ahead of Canadian interests, or those of its allies. Further muddying the water is the Liberal Party s history of holding exclusive fundraisers with Chinese billionaires with ties to China s Communist Government. Questions remain over the donation from one of these Chinese businessmen, who shortly after a fundraiser with Justin Trudeau, donated $200,000 to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation as well as $50,000 to build a statue of the former prime minister.
As the Official opposition, we call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to set aside his admiration for China s basic dictatorship; respect Canada s traditional allies and alliances, such as NATO and NORAD; and immediately undertake stringent national security reviews of this and any other proposed sale of Canadian technology to China.
Megan Rondini (Facebook)
The University of Alabama has released a statement regarding a former student who committed suicide after attempting to press criminal charges for rape. Megan Rondini was a UA student from Texas when she was reportedly raped by a man from a powerful Tuscaloosa family in 2015. According to Rondini’s story, told to Buzzfeed News by her family and friends, the 20-year-old was mistreated by Tuscaloosa police, the university, and DCH Regional Medical Center. Rondini hanged herself in February 2016.
Her parents have hired Birmingham lawyer Leroy Maxwell Jr. of the Maxwell Firm to represent them in filing a federal Title IX complaint against the university, and with possibly other complaints. Maxwell told AL.com the complaint will be filed by the end of June.
“Megan was loved by everyone who came in contact with her. Her loss is everyone’s loss. Title IX, the University of Alabama, the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s department and the overall judicial system in Tuscaloosa let her down on every level. Through litigation our firm is committed to doing everything in our power to shine a light on Tuscaloosa’s systemic problem with sexual assault,” he said. A spokesperson for UA released a statement after Rondini’s story was published by Buzzfeed. That statement is below.
“The University of Alabama has been deeply saddened by the death of Megan Rondini, and we continue to offer our sympathy to her friends and family.
Information published by news outlets this week has unfortunately ignored some significant facts. When Megan went to the hospital, a University advocate met her at the hospital to provide support and stayed with her throughout the examination process. Megan also received information from University representatives regarding services available to her on campus, including counseling through the University’s Women & Gender Resource Center. When she sought counseling and her first therapist identified a potential conflict as defined by her professional obligations, Megan was immediately introduced to another therapist, who provided care and support. Additionally, the UA Title IX Office was in contact with Megan, including offering academic accommodations and helping to streamline her withdrawal when Megan elected to return to Texas. Because the reported incident occurred off-campus, the University’s police department was not involved in the formal criminal investigation. We hope these recent news accounts, which do not tell the full story, will not discourage others from reporting sexual assault or seeking help and support.”
This story will be updated when a federal complaint is filed.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the looming retirement of RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson is as good a time as any to consider rejigging the governance of the force, including the outstanding recommendation to set up a civilian oversight body.
“The change in command is an opportunity to examine all dimensions of governance and structure. The new commissioner will have important challenges to address in terms of maintaining the tradition and heritage of the force and at the same time acknowledging all of the new things that modern day policing requires,” Goodale said in an interview with Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio’s The House.
“Obviously we’ve had issues internally to deal with, with the allegations of harassment and bullying, a major class action that the RCMP has now been successful in settling,” he said.
“The RCMP is just an absolutely fundamental institution in this country and the standards in terms of workplace behaviour has to be absolutely top of the heap.”
Goodale has already publicly acknowledged the support behind the idea of civilian oversight, which was the central recommendation of a 2007 report from a task force on governance and cultural change at the RCMP.
That’s welcome news to Queen’s University and Royal Military College professor Christian Leprecht, who is about to publish a study on the RCMP’s leadership structure through the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
In the past, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said the federal government should consider setting up a civilian board of management for the RCMP. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Leprecht said you can’t fix harassment and the RCMP’s other issues if you don’t fix the governance structure.
Look to DND model?
“It’s a fairly dysfunctional structure and organization but it is replete with very good people trying to do their best,” he said.
“Institutional cultural change is gradual but the only way you can get there is by changing the way the organization is managed and is governed.
“And if those aspects are fundamentally broken you’re not able to […] change or correct the kind of symptoms that we’ve all become familiar with in terms of harassment, abuse or some of the professionalization and leadership cultures that are currently coming out in the trial in Moncton.”
Leprecht suggests a model that mirrors that of National Defence where there’s both a chief of the defence staff and a deputy minister.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, centre, heads from the Moncton Law Courts with defence lawyers Ian Carter and Jeff Doody earlier this month during a break in testimony at the RCMP’s Labour Code trial in connection with the June, 2014 shooting rampage that claimed the lives of three officers. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
“The challenge lies in really what we want the senior police officer, the commissioner, to focus on, [which] is operations, and leave all the policy pieces, the financial aspects, the HR issues to a professional civilian,” he said.
Admittedly, said Leprecht, that’s not an easy lift.
“[Goodale] is maybe the most experienced minister that not only the current government has but has ever held the public safety portfolio. So if there’s one minister that actually has the competency, the experience, and the insights to do this, I think the current minister is that individual.”
Paulson’s last day June 30
Paulson’s tenure as Canada’s top Mountie comes to an end June 30.
His retirement will come after 39 years of service, including 32 in the RCMP. He has served as commissioner for more than five years.
“Commissioner Paulson has worked very hard at trying to build the momentum and the direction for modernization and improvement within the force,” said Goodale.
The federal government has asked former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna to head a selection committee of up to 10 people who will meet early this summer to begin the process of finding a replacement for Paulson.
The group will be asked to present a short list of candidates from which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will choose Canada’s next top cop.