In The News This Week – November 6, 2016

This weeks highlights take us from privacy concerns in Canada, to a surprising turn of events in the Brexit debate, and finally to some ‘breath-holding’ over Tuesdays American election. Read on for more:

1. This week two major stories concerning the privacy of Canadians came to light:

  • Journalist Patrick Lagacé revealed this week that Montreal police have been using his cell phone data to track him in real time, in an attempt to uncover sources and stop leaks from the police to the media. Under new law imposed in 2015, police can obtain warrants that allow them to use technology in real time surveillance operations. While this echoes the issues of the larger privacy-vs-security debate, Lagacé’s case raises specific concerns of police overstepping the law and using their powers to track those not suspected of committing crimes. – Globe and Mail
  • It was also revealed this week that CSIS has been unlawfully holding on to “non-threat, third-party” data since 2006. This means that data collected on non-threatening Canadians through intrusive but legal means, was kept and still being used by CSIS staff, even though warrants clearly stated it was to be destroyed. The court ruled that “on its own and processed through aggregation and analysis, [metadata] can provide intimate insights into the lifestyle and personal choices of individuals”. Now Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and CSIS Director Michael Coulombe are promising to take action. – CBCGlobe and Mail

2. In the Fiscal Update this week, the Federal Liberals deepened their deficit projection for 2016 from $29.4 to $31 billion, while making no comment on when they expect to return to balanced books. They also announced significant infrastructure investment plans, including $25.3 billion on public transit, $21.9 billion on green infrastructure, $2 billion on rural and northern communities and $10.1 billion for trade and transportation projects. – Global NewsFinancial Post

 3. Protests continue against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, as the local Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and other Indigenous and Environmental supporters camp out in opposition. The movement against the pipeline, which threatens damaging the land and water supply of the Standing Rock people, is growing as arrests and clashes with police escalate. Here in Canada, we could see a similar protest movement against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline that is expected to traverse Alberta and British Columbia. – The GuardianCBC

4. Brexit means Brexit, or does it? After Brits voted in their June referendum to leave the EU, now a High Court has ruled that only Parliament can vote on whether to actually leave the EU. As a result, if all MPs were to vote their conscience, it seems unlikely that the vote to leave would pass. British Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted that the government plans to respect the will of the people and continue forward with Brexit. – BBC

5. Last but not least… the American Presidential election takes place this Tuesday. Canadians, along with the rest of the world, will be anxiously watching for the outcome. Since the FBI re-opened its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the race for the White House has become much tighter. Furthermore, there is still concern about the aftermath of the election – what a Trump win could mean for international relations and the economy, and what a Clinton win could mean for relations within America amid criticisms of a ‘rigged’ election. – Globe and Mail

  • Follow @mPoliticsco on Twitter to see our thoughts as the votes get tallied on Tuesday!


Source: Flickr

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