Reuters: Canada PM’s chief secretary resigns amid SNC-Lavalin controversy. A top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resigned unexpectedly on Monday amid allegations Trudeau’s office had pressured the former justice minister to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid criminal prosecution. Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s principal private secretary and a key architect of the Liberals’ 2015 election victory, said in a statement he did not pressure then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau, who faces a re-election bid in October, has faced criticism since Wilson-Raybould quit his Cabinet following a Globe and Mail newspaper report this month that officials in Trudeau’s office had urged her to let SNC-Lavalin escape with a fine rather than face trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials. Is Justin Trudeau set to be TOPPLED? Crisis breaks out for Canadian PM. Justin Trudeau’s Canadian government has been rocked by allegations that senior aides sought to interfere with a criminal prosecution against a Canadian construction company. Officials are accused of pressurising former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould into dropping trial charges of bribing Libyan officials against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc and to levy a fine instead. Gerald Butts, Mr Trudeau’s principal private secretary and right-hand man, quit Canada’s Liberal party on Monday insisting he had done no wrong. Is Justin Trudeau set to be toppled? Justin Trudeau is not at immediate risk of being ousted – yet. However, the Prime Minister faces an uncomfortable time ahead amid calls for a public inquiry into what happened and confirmation by Mrs Wilson-Raybould that she intends to speak out. By Kat Hopps.

Financial Times: A recent petition at a University of Toronto campus drew on a familiar rhetorical strain. Students felt “offended and hurt”, and believed it was their “obligation to protest”. The petition, which attracted over 11,000 signatures, had little to do with domestic politics. Instead, the signatories objected to the election of a student union president of Tibetan descent, who “was found to hold the political belief that Tibet should be free”. There were 140,530 Chinese students in Canada in 2017, which is more than a quarter of the total international student body in the country. At the University of Toronto, the total has gone from just 523 in 2003 to 10,463 last year – an increase of 1,900 per cent. This growth has financially benefited Canadian universities, but its political implications have, until now, been mostly ignored. The arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in December, changed that, by stoking diplomatic tensions between the two countries. It also heightened focus on localised events, such as the petition above, or a protest against a Uighur speaker last week, which highlight the degree of ideological diversity between domestic and international students, often linked to the Chinese government. By Thomas Hale.

Channel News Asia: Buffett’s Suncor bet to revive investor interest in Canadian energy. Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s re-investment in Suncor Energy Inc highlights the benefits of being an integrated oil company and could revive investor interest in the languishing Canadian energy sector, fund managers said. The move is also seen by some as a wager the energy sector could benefit from a change in the guard in Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province, which has an election this year.

Al Ittihad – United Arab Emirates: Canadian University Dubai launches environment and climate change program. The program, launched in partnership with the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, combines environmental science and climate change studies, and targets students in the UAE to support its national plan for climate change and prepare the future workforce for a green economy.

Al Rai – Jordan: Jordan is committed to a national plan for the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security: Minister of Interior. In the conference launching the national plan implementation, the Minister said that the Conference is a continuation of a national effort lead by Jordanians, representing security and military arms, government agencies, and civil societies, which culminated last year in the Government’s adoption the national plan. Members of the joint support fund, including representatives of Canada, Britain, Spain, Finland, and Norway, affirmed that Jordan has proved its exceptional capabilities in directing initiatives concerned with women, peace and security, as well as responding to current security issues.

El Mihwar – Algeria: People’s National Assembly’s President meets Canadian Ambassador. The meeting discussed parliamentary cooperation and the necessity to rise levels of economic exchange and investment promotion within partnership frameworks that support training, education, and technology transfer. The President affirmed that recent reforms did reinforce the state’s institutions and democratic gains, specially in human rights, freedom of speech and belief, and women’s participation in the political life. On her part, Ambassador Patricia McCullagh has lauded the establishment of the Algeria-Canada Parliamentary Friendship group, which shall enable parliamentary cooperation and further partnerships.

Al Maghrib Today – Morocco: Oriental Region Council’s Vice President discusses investments with Canadian delegation. The VP received a delegation from the Canadian embassy in Morocco, which included Pierre Beauchemin, Advisor, Soufiane BenYahia, Development Officer, and Patrick Lemieux, Business Officer, and discussed ways to implement a project aimed at promoting women and youth employment in the Region. The meeting agreed to conduct preliminary consultations with project proponents from the vocational training sector, which shall draw useful recommendations for project design and implementation. The project is budgeted at $10 million.


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