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. In 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.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of CDA in general and in geography as Canada in particular.
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 jobs.
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 life-threatening injuries.
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 motive.
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%.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Canada in 2019 was 37,410,936, ranking number 39 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.910% yearly, and the population density was 4.1140 people per km2.