Canada. The Canadian government stated in January that
everything would be done to prevent the Chinese death
sentence against Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg from
being enforced. Schellenberg was arrested in China in 2014
and sentenced in 2018 to 15 years in prison for involvement
in drug smuggling, a prison sentence that in January was
converted to death sentence. The new ruling was considered
politically motivated in Canada when Canada, at the request
of the United States, last December seized Meng Wanzhou,
head of Chinese telecom company Huawei.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended up in blustery
weather in the spring after it emerged that he and several
of his staff were trying to stop the Justice Minister, as
well as State Prosecutor Jody Wilson-Raybould from
prosecuting one of Canada's largest construction companies
SNC-Lavalin. The company is said to have paid 170 million
Canadian dollars in bribes to politicians and government
officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011. It should also
have offered the then Libyan dictator Muammar al-Khadaffi a
brothel for the equivalent of 10,000 Canadian dollars
exchange, SNC-Lavalin received infrastructure and energy
projects that are believed to have been worth far more.
Ahead of the Ottawa House of Commons, Jody
Wilson-Raybould spoke in March about the pressures she has
made on several occasions.
The same month, a recorded conversation was published
between Wilson-Raybould and top official Michael Wernick
confirming the allegations. In the spring, Wilson-Raybould
left the government; this after she was first relocated to a
post as minister of the country's war veterans.
Even Trudeau's closest husband, Gerald Butts, left office
after he was accused of pressuring Wilson-Raybould to let
SNC-Lavalin avoid trial.
A passing sentence for SNC-Lavalin could, according to
the media, mean that thousands of Canadian jobs were at
risk. According to analysts, Trudeau's intention with the
persuasion campaign against Wilson-Raybould was to save the
In May, Chinese authorities announced that the two
Canadians, ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman
Michael Spavor, who were arrested in China in December 2018,
were formally arrested. The men were accused, among other
things, of collecting and stealing Chinese state secrets and
intelligence material. The arrests put China and Canada in
an aggravated diplomatic crisis. Among other things, China
blocked Canadian goods worth the equivalent of SEK billion.
A multi-year garbage dispute between Canada and the
Philippines reached its end in spring after Canada allowed
the Philippines to return 69 containers of Canadian garbage
to the Port of Vancouver. It was 2013-14 that a Canadian
ship shipped containers to the Philippines labeled as
recyclable plastic, even though they contained all kinds of
waste. Canada agreed to take back the garbage after
Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte called his ambassador home
and threatened to declare war on Canada.
In June, Canada decided that plastic disposable articles
such as straw, cutlery and bags should be banned from 2021.
The goal is to reduce plastic waste in the world oceans. The
same month, a national study was presented which stated that
over 4,000 women from the indigenous population were
believed to have disappeared or been murdered since the
early 1970s. The authors of the report, which was based on
over 2,300 testimonies, believe that the women have fallen
victim to a genocide.
In June, the government approved an extension of the
controversial Trans Mountain pipeline to transport oil from
Edmonton, Alberta, to the Vancouver area of British
Columbia. The project was temporarily halted in the summer
of 2018 after a court ruled that sufficient consideration
was not given to the environment and the indigenous
population. Expansion of the pipeline was expected to triple
the capacity of oil to 890,000 barrels per day. However,
environmental activists and urinals continued to protest
against the construction.
In July, 46 people were taken to hospital after a carbon
monoxide leak occurred at a motel in Winnipeg, Manitoba
province. Several of the victims were reported to have
An extensive police chase after two young men began in
July after a 64-year-old man and a young tourist couple were
found shot dead along a road in British Columbia. In August,
the suspected murderers, who were 18 and 19 years old
respectively, were found dead in a sparsely populated part
of Manitoba. According to the federal police, they had
killed themselves. In a movie that the men left behind, they
admitted the murders. However, they did not state any
Prime Minister Trudeau announced in August that a marine
nature reserve will be set up in Canada's Arctic
Archipelago. The reserve is intended to protect species such
as polar bears and walruses from global warming.
The same month, Justin Trudeau was criticized by the
country's ethics commissioner Mario Dion, who considered
that the prime minister violated several rules when he tried
to persuade state prosecutor Jody Wilson-Raybould to settle
the corruption scandal surrounding SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau was
ordered to pay a small fine for acting in violation of the
rules. At the same time, opinion polls showed that support
for Trudeau and his Liberal Party was declining.
Shortly before the October parliamentary elections,
opposition leader Andrew Scheer was lucky enough to end up
in the shotgun after it became known that he had US
citizenship. The news had a major impact on the Conservative
Party's electoral movement, despite the fact that dual
citizenship does not constitute a formal obstacle to
obtaining a high position within the government. The reason
was that the party itself has come under heavy attack
against political opponents who have dual citizenship.
In the elections, the Liberal Party won a tight victory
with 157 out of 338 seats. Trudeau retained government power
but lost his own majority. The party's mandate was reduced
by 27 seats compared to the elections in 2015. The
Conservative party received 121 seats compared to 99 in the
last election. The biggest success was the Bloc Québecois
party, which tripled its support from 10 seats to 32 seats.
The turnout was reported to be 66%.