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Is the ‘devil virus’ a ‘black swan’?

By Gwynne Dyer       

A black swan is an unforeseen event that has a huge impact on the normal course of events. The SARS epidemic in 2002-03 was a black swan: it knocked about two percentage points off China’s economic growth that year.

President Xi Jinping, pictured in 2015, is no longer claiming that he is 'personally commanding' the anti-virus fight. If this is going to be a complete disaster, somebody else should take the blame. Photograph courtesy of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

LONDON, U.K.—China officially went back to work on Monday, after an extended two-week Lunar New Year holiday, while the authorities struggled to get the spread of the new coronavirus under control. But a lot of Chinese are not going back to work yet, and the spread of the “devil virus” (as President Xi Jingping called it) is manifestly not under control.

‘A real lack of leadership’: critics call for better response from feds as Wet’suwet’en blockades continue

‘Negotiations should take as long as they need to,’ says Ellen Gabriel, a former Mohawk spokesperson during the Oka Crisis.

Advocate calling for a simplified suicide hotline number gets ally in Sen. Batters

News|By Beatrice Paez
'Silence is never the right response when suicide is the subject,' says Kathleen Finlay. 'It’s too important an issue for our political leaders to stay silent on.'

Collaborate and listen: Bloc Québécois hopes to leverage minority Parliament dynamics to make mark

‘Now that it’s a minority government, they have to listen to everybody,’ says Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin, his party’s justice critic.

Tory leadership candidates champion CANZUK pact, but trade experts question idea’s merit

News|By Neil Moss
Canada already has a free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

‘Data, privacy, trade’: ministers tasked with AI file contending with fast, fundamental changes

News|By Mike Lapointe
But public servants say the social impact on workers is not being properly taken into account as the use of artificial intelligence in government advances.

AFN national chief Bellegarde calls on ‘all parties’ to find peaceful resolution to rail blockades

News
'Removing the blockades doesn’t mean you surrender anything,' says Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon.

‘No question’ feds have duty to start talks, says AFN’s Bellegarde, after days-long demonstrations in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

News|By Palak Mangat
One Mohawk scholar who experienced the 1990 Oka Crisis firsthand says Ottawa's offer to meet with protesters shows 'they’ve lost control of the situation, to a certain extent.'

Trade Committee Conservatives push for six additional House committees to study new NAFTA implementation bill

News|By Neil Moss
Committees would have to submit amendments for Bill C-4 to the House Committee on International Trade by April 2.

Senior Conservatives seething over Conservative Fund’s refusal to share Scheer’s $700,000 over-budget expense details with national council

News|By Abbas Rana
'If you're a donor, why would you want to give money if you can't get straight answers on what the hell's going on?’ says veteran Conservative political insider Tim Powers.
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