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Nuclear disarmament talks like Groundhog Day, but more tragedy than comedy

By Douglas Roche      

The U.S. has plans to spend $100,000 per minute on the maintenance and expansion of nuclear weapons.

Syed Hasrin Syed Hussin, chair of the Third Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference, briefs reporters at the closing of the meeting on May 10 at the United Nations in New York. The NPT is the most important arms control and disarmament agreement, says former Senator Douglas Roche. United Nations photograph by Evan Schneider

NEW YORK—When I sat through the speeches at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) meeting at the United Nations earlier this month, I felt I was watching, again, the Groundhog Day movie—you know, the one where the weather forecaster is doomed to repeatedly relive the same day. The film was so popular, the term “Groundhog Day” is now used to describe a recurring situation in government and military arenas. It’s supposed to be funny.

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Democracy, Terrorism and Killer Robots: Embassy News covers the 2015 Halifax International Security Forum
The Halifax International Security Forum is one of the world’s biggest gatherings of defence and security leaders.

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MPs back more modest option for Parliament visitors’ centre as Centre Block renos roll on

'I appreciate we’re not going for the Cadillac option. …  The larger option was much more expensive,' says NDP House Leader Peter Julian. 'We’re talking about over $110-million in savings.'

Canada ‘ill-prepared’ for potential coronavirus second wave, says Senate committee

News|By Beatrice Paez
The committee noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada has yet to revise or finalize its guidance for long-term care homes in light of concerns about its current relevance.

Cultural assessments needed for sentencing reform, say advocates, amid calls to address high Black incarceration rates

Justice advocates agree with the Black Parliamentary Caucus’ recent call for pre-sentencing reports, similar to the Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders, to be used for racialized Canadians.

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum

Argentina, Chile, DRC, Hungary, and Madagascar say they backed Canada’s UN Security Council bid, but closest allies are silent

News|By Neil Moss
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were among 17 countries that wouldn't comment on whether they backed Canada's recent bid for a Security Council seat.

Feds’ fiscal snapshot puts deficit at more than $340-billion, with promise of an update in fall

News|By Beatrice Paez
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a decision on whether the government intends to release a full budget in the fall will be dependent on efforts at managing the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Feds should more clearly verify who is allowed to repay student loans at reduced rates, says auditor general

News|By Palak Mangat
According to an auditor general report, ESDC 'did not properly check the accuracy of applications.'

Poor data, deficiencies in case management to blame for slow pace in enforcing deportation orders, says auditor general

News|By Beatrice Paez
According to CBSA, most of the cases in its 'wanted' inventory involve individuals 'considered a low risk to public safety and are not an agency priority.'

Canada needs to protect Arctic sovereignty to confront emboldened Putin, say MP and expert

News|By Neil Moss
Liberal MP John McKay says there will be 'incursions and intrusions and aggressive actions taken increasingly in the Arctic' by Russia.
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