Categories
-Top News Canada India News

India in the centre of Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy describes China as an increasingly disruptive global power and rebukes the Asian’s country for its disregard of international rules and norms…reports Asian Lite News

Canada has in its new Indo-Pacific strategy document highlighted plans to increase cooperation with India, including a commitment to work towards a new trade agreement, underscoring New Delhi’s growing importance in the strategic, economic and demographic spheres in the region.

The “Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy” document states that the Indo-Pacific region will play a critical role in shaping Canada’s future over the next half-century.

At the same time the document describes China as “an increasingly disruptive global power” and rebukes the Asian’s country for its disregard of international rules and norms. “India’s growing strategic, economic and demographic importance in the Indo-Pacific makes it a critical partner in Canada’s pursuit of its objectives under this strategy,” says the 26-page document released on Sunday.

The strategy document contains a separate section on India and growing economic ties, including through deeper trade and investment, as well as cooperate on building resilient supply chains.

It seeks to expand to market access with India by concluding an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) as a step towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

The strategy seeks to create a Canada-India desk within the Trade Commissioner Service to promote implementation of the EPTA for businesses and investors looking to enter the Indian market, or for those partnering with Indian businesses

Canada will it says invest in and connect people, including by bolstering Canada’s visa-processing capacity in New Delhi and Chandigarh.

The Canadian government will support academic, educational, cultural, youth and research exchanges.

Canada will seek to accelerate cooperation in the fight against climate change, in protecting the environment and in deploying green technologies.

It will also send enhanced Team Canada trade missions in priority sectors of mutual interest, such as renewable energy and clean technology.

The strategy states that Canada and India have a shared tradition of democracy and pluralism, a common commitment to a rules-based international system and multilateralism, mutual interest in expanding multifaceted ties between the two countries.

According to the document, the Indo-Pacific region will play a critical role in shaping Canada’s future over the next half-century.

Encompassing 40 economies, over four billion people and USD 47.19 trillion in economic activity, it is the world’s fastest growing-region and home to six of Canada’s top 13 trading partners.

“The Indo-Pacific region represents significant opportunities for growing the economy here at home, as well as opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses for decades to come,” the document read.

Meanwhile, the document describes China as “an increasingly disruptive global power,” that have complex and deeply intertwined relationships with its “key regional actors.”

“Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is informed by its clear-eyed understanding of this global China, and Canada’s approach is aligned with those of our partners in the region and around the world,” the document reads.

It also rebukes China’s disregard of international rules and norms.

“China’s rise, enabled by the same international rules and norms that it now increasingly disregards, has had an enormous impact on the Indo-Pacific, and it has ambitions to become the leading power in the region,” the document adds.

China rejects Canada’s strategy

China strongly deplored and rejected the attack and smear targeting China outlined within Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy, an embassy spokesperson said, emphasizing that Canada is completely wrong in interpreting China’s domestic and foreign policies, in recognizing the leadership of Communist Party of China, in jeopardizing China’s national interest and in provoking geopolitical confrontation in the region.

Some Western countries, who at will undermine the international order and other countries’ sovereignty, are the true disruptive force to global peace, security and development, and Canada has played a disgraceful role to this effect, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said after Canada launched an Indo-Pacific strategy on Sunday, calling China “an increasingly disruptive global power” that must be contained.

The spokesperson pointed out that days were long gone when individual Western countries bossed around the developing ones, saying China won’t tolerate any external interference on matters related to Taiwan island, Xinjiang region and Hong Kong.

Trying to separate the Chinese government from its people only exposes Canada’s ignorance of China, and is an approach that is doomed to fail, the spokesperson said.

China urged the Canadian side to stop sabotaging regional peace and stability, as well as political manipulation on China-related issues. “Otherwise, it will face shameful failure and forceful countermeasures from the Chinese side,” the embassy said. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Canada unveils Indo-Pacific Strategy, ramps up visa processing in India

Categories
-Top News Canada

Canada unveils Indo-Pacific Strategy, ramps up visa processing in India

This investment includes $74.6 million to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad and Manila, to strengthen the close ties between its people….reports Asian Lite News

As a Pacific nation, Canada constituted an ambitious plan, which initially provides for an investment of nearly $2.3 billion over the next five years as it recognises that the Indo-Pacific region will play an important and fundamental role in Canada’s future.

To foster greater diversity among those seeking to work and study in Canada, the government will invest in strengthening the visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi and Chandigarh.

Each issue of importance to Canadians such as national security, economic prosperity, respect for international law and human rights, democratic values, public health and environmental protection will be defined by the relations that Canada and its partners maintain with the countries of the Indo-Pacific, an official statement said.

Decisions made in the region will affect Canadians for generations, and Canada absolutely must play an active role.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malanie Joly on Sunday launched Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. This strategy presents a comprehensive roadmap to deepen its engagement in the Indo-Pacific over the next 10 years, increasing its contribution to regional peace and security, consolidating economic growth and resilience, strengthening close ties between its people and supporting sustainable development throughout the region.

The central principle of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is that Canada acts for its national interests, while defending its values. The Strategy positions Canada as a reliable partner for the region, now and in the future. It constitutes an ambitious plan, which initially provides for an investment of nearly $2.3 billion over the next five years, said the statement.

This whole-of-society strategy outlines how Canada intends to work actively with its allies and partners to shape the region’s future in the context of global generational change.

Report says Canada exploiting Indian students for ‘cheap labour’

To promote Canada’s regional peace and security interests, the government will invest more than $720 million. This investment includes, among other things: $492.9 million to strengthen Canada’s naval presence in the Indo-Pacific and increase Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in regional military exercises; and $47.3 million to launch a new interdepartmental initiative to build the cybersecurity capacities of selected regional partners.

To foster open, rules-based trade and support the country’s economic prosperity, Canada will invest $240.6 million. This investment includes, among other things: $24.1 million to create the Canadian Southeast Asia Trade Gateway to expand Canada’s business and investment networks in the region; $31.8 million to establish Canada’s first agricultural office in the region to increase and diversify agriculture and agri-food exports to the Indo-Pacific; and $13.5 million to expand natural resource linkages with its partners in the Indo-Pacific region in the areas of trade, investment, and science, technology and innovation.

To strengthen the close ties between Canadians and the people of the Indo-Pacific, Canada will contribute $261.7 million.

This investment includes, among other things: $100 million to fund development programmes related to the Feminist International Assistance Policy to support the Indo-Pacific; $74.6 million to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity within the centralised Canadian network as well as in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad and Manila, to strengthen the close ties between its people.

As part of its commitment to building a clean future, Canada has pledged a total of $913.3 million. This investment includes, among other things: $750 million will strengthen FinDev Canada’s ability to expand into the Indo-Pacific and accelerate its work in priority markets to support the development of high-quality and sustainable infrastructure; and $84.3 million to contribute to a healthier marine environment in the Indo-Pacific region, which includes strengthened measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

To strengthen its presence, visibility and influence in the region, Canada has pledged a total of $143.3 million. This investment includes, among other things: $92.5 million to significantly increase the capacity of Canada’s missions abroad and within Global Affairs Canada; $24.5 million for the opening of a new Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada office in the region to help build and strengthen relationships with local partners.

“The future of the Indo-Pacific is ours; we have a role to play in shaping it. To this end, we must be a genuine and reliable partner. Today we are presenting a truly Canadian strategy — one that addresses every aspect of our society. This strategy sends a clear message: Canada is present in the region and it is here to stay,” said Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Responding to investment to strengthen visa processing capacity, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said, “The Indo-Pacific region is critical for immigration to Canada and will continue to be so in the future.”

“Today’s announcement brings significant new funding to strengthen Canada’s visa processing capacity at home and abroad. As we anticipate record growth in admissions in the years to come, this funding will help foster greater diversity among those seeking to work and study in Canada.”

ALSO READ: Canada’s Brampton bans fireworks after Diwali complaints

Categories
-Top News Canada China

Canadian pension plans could be fuelling Xinjiang abuses

Analysts said that six of 12 companies listed on Morgan Stanley’s China index have been involved in constructing internment camps and six have been involved in labour transfers…reports Asian Lite News

Multiple Canadian pension plans have invested in firms complicit in Xinjiang abuses, alleges a report by UK-based human rights organisation Hong Kong Watch and expert in forced labour, Prof Laura Murphy at Sheffield Hallam University.

At least three federal and six provincial pension funds in Canada are investing in Chinese companies complicit in human rights abuses in Xinjiang, reported Toronto Star.

Pension funds in a number of western countries have also invested in companies involved in a Chinese government labour transfer programme accused of subjecting the country’s Uyghur minority to forced labour or internment.

“Lawmakers and government officials must urgently consider how it could be morally defensible for federal employees’ pensions to be passively invested in companies complicit in gross human rights violations in the Uyghur Region,” argues the report, released Monday.

The report, titled “Passively Funding Crimes Against Humanity: How Your Savings May Be Financing Internment Camps and Forced Labor in China,” alleged Canadian funds are exposed to varying degrees, reported Toronto Star.

The report analyzed component stocks from three major global indexes, which are investment funds made up of a number of stocks run by the investment management firm Morgan Stanley.

Analysts said that six of 12 companies listed on Morgan Stanley’s China index have been involved in constructing internment camps and six have been involved in labour transfers, reported Toronto Star.

Morgan Stanley.

Seven of 13 companies on the emerging markets index have used labour drawn from China’s state-sponsored labour transfer programs with six involved in camp construction, the report alleged.

Out of four companies on the All-Country World Index ex-US, two are alleged to have obtained labour from such labour-transfer programs and two are alleged to have been involved in camp construction, reported Toronto Star.

The report says the Canada Pension Plan is exposed to seven companies accused of using forced labour and six complicit in building repressive infrastructure.

But the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s senior managing director of public affairs, Michel Leduc, rejected those allegations.

Leduc said the board has a rigorous process to vet companies in which it invests for human rights abuses and that companies listed in the report are not part of the plan’s foreign holdings, reported Toronto Star.

The Royal Bank, Civil Service Superannuation Board (CSSB) and Public Sector Investment Board (PSIB) are also alleged in the report to have exposure specifically to labour transfers or infrastructure used to oppress Uyghurs.

Beijing has been under scrutiny in recent years for the treatment of its Uyghur and other ethnic minorities, the majority of whom live in the western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Allegations of forced labour, physical and sexual abuse and indoctrination have been raised repeatedly.

However, China has insisted its camps are part of vocational training centres.

A United Nations report over the summer accused China of “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang. In early 2021, Canada’s Parliament declared treatment of the minorities a “genocide” in a motion during which some government members abstained from voting. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Canada launches Ukraine Sovereignty Bond

Categories
-Top News Canada

Canada’s Brampton bans fireworks after Diwali complaints

Brampton will run a $20,000 fireworks awareness campaign to educate the public on the changes…reports Asian Lite News

Following a surge in complaints post-Diwali in October, the Canadian city of Brampton unanimously moved a motion on Thursday to ban fireworks.

The motion brought forward by Councillor Denis Keenan and seconded by fellow Councillor Gurpreet Singh Toor at a committee of Council meeting, was passed unanimously in favour of the ban.

“The people of #Brampton have spoken. We heard these fireworks concerns loud and clear at the doorsteps during the recent election,” tweeted Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

“Today I brought forth a motion, seconded by Councillor Gurpartap S. Toor to ban the use and sale of fireworks in @CityBrampton, as well as increase the current fines. The motion was passed unanimously,” Keenan wrote on his Twitter account.

In 2022, the city’s Service Brampton team received 1,491 calls related to fireworks, up from 492 in 2018.



Out of these, more than 1,000 fireworks complaints were received during Diwali celebrations in October.

“With a significant increase in resident fireworks complaints, and a unanimous vote to pass my motion, it is clear that the current Fireworks By-Law needed amendments and harsher penalties,” Keenan, who is the Councillor for Wards 3 and 4, wrote in the motion.

Law enforcement officers have doled out close to $38,500 in fireworks fines this year.

At present, penalty notices ranging from $250 to $350 or court imposed fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 could be issued to the property owner, Brampton’s Enforcement and By-Law services reported.

Under the new fireworks by-law, the use, purchase, discharge, possession, sale and offer to sell all fireworks, including consumer fireworks, display fireworks, pyrotechnics and prohibited fireworks have been prohibited for all uses in Brampton.

This excludes the film industry and city-run events.

A ratification in current fines is also on the anvil in the next City Council meeting.

“The increased fines for possession and distribution of fireworks, as well as the enforcement blitz this New Year’s Eve, shows that the city is steadfast in our stance to eliminate personal fireworks,” Toor, who is Councillor for Wards 9 and 10, said.

Brampton will also run a $20,000 fireworks awareness campaign to educate the public on the changes, insauga.com reported.

Just after Diwali this year, Brampton residents started a change.org petition to restrict the use of firecrackers, which has so far gathered more than 8,500 signatures.

ALSO READ: Canada launches Ukraine Sovereignty Bond

Categories
-Top News Canada India News

Canadian lawmakers seek direct flights to Amritsar

There are currently no direct flights between Canada to Amritsar, India, requiring travellers to make multiple stops along, making the journey “lengthy and arduous”…reports Asian Lite News

Given the demographic dominance of Sikhs and Punjabis in Canada, Conservative MPs have called upon the the country’s flag carrier to establish direct flights between their country and Punjab state.

In a letter addressed to Air Canada, MPs Tim Uppal, Jasraj Singh Hallan, Bradley Vis and Mark Strahl called for direct flights between Canada and Amritsar to bolster tourism and empower families to stay connected.

“As Canadian MPs representing vast and diverse communities, we write to highlight the significant economic and social value in establishing direct flights between Canada and the state of Punjab,” the MPs wrote last week.

According to estimates, as many as five lakh passengers travel annually from India to Toronto alone, the majority of them Punjabis.

The MPs stated that “direct flights between Canada and Amritsar would symbiotically bolster tourism, trade and empower families to stay connected”.

There are currently no direct flights between Canada to Amritsar, India, requiring travellers to make multiple stops along, making the journey “lengthy and arduous”.

Canada recently announced an expanded air transport deal with India, allowing designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights between the two countries.

But the pact gives Canadian airlines access to Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, excluding Amritsar, despite demands from passengers from both sides.

There are approximately 950,000 Punjabis in Canada, accounting for roughly 2.6 per cent of the country’s population, as per the 2021 census.

Many of these families have direct ties to family, friends and businesses in Punjab.

India is Canada’s fourth-largest international airport market, and hundreds of thousands of Punjabis travel to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Over 14,000 Canadian citizens and permanent residents joined an official parliamentary petition this year calling for the creation of a direct flight from Canada to Amritsar, the letter noted.

The MPs said that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the significant need for flights from Amritsar directly to Canada.

At the time of initial pandemic lockdowns, when 30,000 Canadians were in India, border closures and flight cancellations forced the federal government to instate 37 repatriation flights — many directly out of Amritsar’s Sri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport to Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

“The pandemic has shown us that direct flights from Amritsar to Canada is both feasible for airlines and met by a high demand for travellers,” the letter read.

“So many of my constituents and Canadians have been asking our office for flights like these for years. This will help our seniors, those most in need and parents of small children with access to direct flights,” MP Hallan, one of the signatories of the letter, wrote on Twitter.

According to media reports, Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has raised the issue with Indian counterparts.

In India, MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney has also written a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia requesting him to commence direct flights from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to Amritsar and Mohali airports.

ALSO READ: Canada launches Ukraine Sovereignty Bond

Categories
-Top News Canada

Canada launches Ukraine Sovereignty Bond

The funds will assist the government of Ukraine so it can continue to provide essential services to Ukrainians this winter…reports Asian Lite News

The Canadian government has launched the 500 million Canadian dollar ($400 million) Ukraine Sovereignty Bond.

The funds will assist the government of Ukraine so it can continue to provide essential services to Ukrainians this winter, such as pensions, the purchasing of fuel, and restoring energy infrastructure, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a press release issued by the Canadian Finance Ministry on Monday.

Consistent with the terms of Canada’s financial assistance to Ukraine to date, the funds cannot be used for lethal activities or purchases, and must be consistent with relevant sanctions laws and regulations, the release said.

According to the release, Canadians who purchase the Ukraine Sovereignty Bond will, in effect, be purchasing a regular five-year Government of Canada bond at roughly the current 3.3 per cent rate of return.

After the bond issuance has concluded, and subject to negotiations with Ukraine, an amount equal to the proceeds from the bond will be transferred to Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund Administered Account for Ukraine, the release said.

Russia-Ukraine crisis.(photo:ukraine_defence/Instagram)

Restoration of Kherson

An estimated amount of over 2.7 million USD have been allocated for the restoration of the Kherson region of Ukraine that witnessed Russian withdrawal recently, CNN reported.

“The government allocated 100 million Hryvnia (USD 2.7 million) for the priority restoration of the liberated Kherson region,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal wrote in a Facebook post-Sunday, as per CNN.

He added that it is only the beginning and people will receive pensions that were accrued to them during the occupation.

“This is the beginning of the reconstruction of the region. First of all, we are talking about the critical needs of the residents of the region: access to light, water, heat, communication and medicine,” he said.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister also underlined the aid Ukraine has received from countries to fight Russian aggression.

“Canada issued five-year government bonds that are worth 500 million Canadian dollars (nearly USD 374 million),” he wrote adding that Ukraine will also receive 2.5 billion euros from the European Union next week, according to CNN.

Ukraine’s troops entered Kherson on November 11 after Russian forces withdrew and retreated to the east

After Moscow announced the withdrawal of forces from Kherson, the US announced the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance, worth USD 400 million for Ukraine.

Calling it a success since the war between Russia and Ukraine started in February, Ukraine’s foreign minister has hailed Russia’s withdrawal of troops from the southern city of Kherson as an important battlefield success.

“Ukraine is gaining another important victory right now and proves that whatever Russia says or does, Ukraine will win,” Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet.

Notably, Ukrainian forces disabling bridges across the Dnipro river and attacking Russian supply lines made it very difficult for Russia to defend the occupied territory.

As per CNN, Russia’s withdrawal from Russia would be the most significant military development since the Ukrainian forces were able to sweep through the northern Kharkiv region back in September.

Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions that were ‘illegally’ annexed by Russia in September.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict which started eight months ago has jolted Europe. The European Union and its Member States have shown solidarity with people fleeing the war. (IANS/ANI)

ALSO READ: Austin meets China’s Wei in Cambodia

Categories
-Top News Canada

Canada’s Brampton gets first turbaned Sikh as Dy Mayor

Prior to his role as City Councillor, Singh served a four-year term as School Trustee at the Peel District School Board…reports Asian Lite News

Harkirat Singh has become the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed as Deputy Mayor of Canada’s Brampton city for a four-year term period from 2022-2026.

He has served as Brampton’s City Councillor for Wards 9 and 10 from 2018-2022.

As a Deputy Mayor, Singh will preside at Council and other Committee meetings and assume ceremonial and civic event duties on behalf of the Mayor if the Mayor is absent or unavailable.

“I am proud to have Councillor Harkirat Singh serve as this Term of Council’s Deputy Mayor. He is a dedicated, hardworking Councillor with proven results in delivering what is best for Brampton,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

“Entering his second term as Councillor, and holding a School Trustee role before that, he is a known and trusted elected official to many who I am confident will represent and serve the City of Brampton well in this role,” Brown said in a release by Brampton City Council.

Prior to his role as City Councillor, Singh served a four-year term as School Trustee at the Peel District School Board.

As a Trustee, he sat on the Audit Committee, Instructional Program/Curriculum Committee and Physical Building and Planning Committee.

“It is an honour to be appointed by my Council colleagues as this Term of Council’s Deputy Mayor. With the opportunity that lies ahead of us in Brampton, I am excited and proud to support Mayor Brown and Councillors in prioritizing the community while we move our City forward,” Singh said.

The position of Deputy Mayor was established by the City of Brampton in April 2022, and was divided into East and West parts.

Singh was also the regional representative at the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA).

Alongside his role as a Trustee, he spent two and a half years as a Professor at Lambton College and two years as a Professor at Humber College teaching Marketing & Entrepreneurship.

To promote community development, Singh runs mentorship workshops and career fairs in local schools.

In 2016, he was nominated for a mentorship award by the Brampton Board of Trade for his work with youth.

He holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, where he majored in Economics and Public Administration.

He is an M.Sc. in Economics from London Metropolitan University and has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, specialising in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behaviour.

ALSO READ: Special counsel to oversee Trump investigations

Categories
-Top News Asia News Canada

Heated exchange between Xi,Trudeau at G20 summit

“Everything we discuss has been leaked to the paper, that’s not appropriate,” Xi says to Trudeau through a translator….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese President Xi Jinping has angrily rebuked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after officials in the latter’s country shared details of a previous meeting, highlighting the frosty relationship between the two leaders.

In a clip recorded by the media pool at the now-concluded G20 summit in Bali, a visibly frustrated Xi pulls the Canadian Prime Minister aside and says it was “not appropriate” for details about a previous conversation between the two leaders to have been shared with media, suggesting Trudeau lacked “sincerity” in his approach, the Guarian reported.

“Everything we discuss has been leaked to the paper, that’s not appropriate,” Xi says to Trudeau through a translator.

“And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” he added.

The testy exchange came a day after government sources briefed that during a previous conversation on the margins of the summit, Trudeau had raised “serious concerns” with Xi over China’s increasingly aggressive “interference activities”.

Xi’s irritation on Wednesday was a rare break with his normally carefully scripted public appearances.

“In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have,” Trudeau said, interrupting Xi’s translator.

“We will continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we will disagree on.”

Gesturing with his hands, Xi told Trudeau the two must “create the conditions first”, the Guardian reported.

The pair ended their conversation by shaking hands and leaving in opposite directions, with the Canadian Prime Minister looking chastened from the encounter.

The uncomfortable exchange, and the previous conversation, followed repeated warnings from Trudeau and other officials that China had attempted to undermine Canada’s democracy, said the Guardian report.

ALSO READ: Sunak’s meeting with Xi called off

Categories
-Top News Canada China

Public utility worker nabbed in Canada for ‘spying for China’

According to the police, Wang is accused of obtaining trade secrets, unauthorised use of a computer, breach of trust by a public officer and fraud for obtaining trade secrets…reports Asian Lite News

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have arrested a public utility worker for “spying for China”, the media reported.

According to the RCMP, this is the first time in Canada that someone has been charged with obtaining trade secrets, an offence under section 19 of the Security of Information Act.

In a statement, the police force said that Yuesheng Wang, employed at the Montreal-based Hydro-Quebec public utility corporation, was arrested on Monday and charged with espionage, the BBC reported.

The 35-year-old “obtained trade secrets to benefit the People’s Republic of China, to the detriment of Canada’s economic interests”, the RCMP statement added.

He is due to appear at a court in Longueuil, Quebec, on Tuesday to face four criminal charges — obtaining trade secrets, unauthorized use of a computer, fraud for obtaining trade secrets, and breach of trust by a public officer, CTV reported.

“Foreign actor interference is a priority for many law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. Hydro-Quebec is considered a critical infrastructure and a strategic interest to be protected,” the RCMP added.

According to the police, Wang is accused of obtaining trade secrets, unauthorised use of a computer, breach of trust by a public officer and fraud for obtaining trade secrets.

The crimes allegedly occurred between February 2018 and October 2022.

Hydro-Quebec confirmed the accused had been an employee since 2016 and worked as a researcher on battery materials with the company’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage (CETEES) in the off-island Montreal suburb of Varennes.

Hydro Quebec spokesperson Caroline Des Rosiers told CTV that Wang’s access to the company’s systems was “completely cut off as soon as we got wind of the first allegations”.

The RCMP said it started to investigate Wang last August this year.

“This investigation is of great importance for us and sends a clear message,” CTV quoted RCMP Inspector David Beaudoin at a news conference on Monday.

“It demonstrates our commitment and that of our partners to work with at-risk sectors.”

Beaudoin declined to say whether Wang was paid by China for his alleged actions and did not confirm whether he is a Canadian citizen.

ALSO READ: India, Canada agree on unlimited flights as ties improve

Categories
-Top News Canada

Canadian military welcomes permanent Indian residents

As of 2021, there were more than eight million immigrants with permanent residence living in Canada – roughly 21.5 per cent of the total Canadian population….reports Asian Lite News

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has announced that permanent residents, which includes a large chunk of Indians, are now eligible to join the military.

The announcement came close to Remembrance Day, amidst reports that the Canadian military is struggling to recruit new members to fill thousands of vacant positions.

As of 2021, there were more than eight million immigrants with permanent residence living in Canada – roughly 21.5 per cent of the total Canadian population.

In the same year, nearly 100,000 Indians became permanent residents of Canada as the country admitted a record 405,000 new immigrants in its history.

As per data, Canada is likely to welcome more than a million new permanent residents between 2022 and 2024, which drastically widens the pool of candidates the military can choose from.

Permanent residents were previously only eligible under the Skilled Military Foreign Applicant (SMFA) entry programme, which was “open for individuals… that would reduce training costs or fill a special need… such as a trained pilot or a doctor,” according to the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia, a non-profit body.

The Department of National Defence (DND) is expected to make a formal announcement in the coming days regarding the change to the policy, the CIC News reported.

In March, Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand said that the CAF needs to grow amid the changing global geopolitical landscape triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In September, the CAF sounded the alarm over a severe shortage of recruits to fill thousands of vacant positions

The Toronto Star reported that Canada is about 12,000 regular force troops short of it’s “full strength” of 100,000 regular force members.

Women make up 16.3 per cent of the Canadian military demographic; Indigenous peoples come in at 2.7 per cent; and visible minorities make up less than 12 per cent of the Canadian military. Three-quarters of its ranks are white men.

Recently, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that they’re changing their “outdated recruitment process” to allow permanent residents, who have lived in Canada for 10 years, to apply.

Immigration targets have shot up in Canada with nearly a quarter of the population aging out of the workforce by 2030.

The shortage is made more acute by the gradual rise in the number of deaths and the relatively low fertility levels in Canada.

In such a scenario, immigrants become prime candidates for the military as they typically arrive in Canada during their younger working-age years where they are likely to be more physically active, according to immigration experts.

ALSO READ: Poverty: Canada’s Indigenous people likely to face more hardship