Four stories in the news for Monday, May 27
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO GRILL TECH GIANTS
Tech giants will be in the hot seat this week as politicians from Canada and 10 other countries gather to consider how best to protect citizens' privacy and their democracies in the age of big data. The international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy is meeting in Ottawa for three days, starting today. It will hear from experts on how governments can prevent the use of social media to violate individuals' privacy, spread fake news, sow dissension and manipulate election outcomes. Committee members will also grill representatives from internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon and Mozilla on what they're doing, or not doing, to prevent abuse.
GREENS CALL FOR BAN ON FOREIGN OIL IMPORTS, USE ALBERTA OIL INSTEAD
Green party Leader Elizabeth May says saving the world from climate change requires Canada to get off oil before the middle of the century. In the meantime, she wants Canada to stop burning foreign oil as soon as possible. The Greens' climate-change plan calls for Canada to invest in upgraders to make Alberta bitumen usable in eastern Canadian refineries. Making Canada energy independent is also part of the Conservative party platform, but where Tory Leader Andrew Scheer proposes it in a bid to expand oil production in Alberta, May's plan is to do so only to displace foreign oil as Canada moves towards no oil at all.
SCHEER ACCUSES TRUDEAU OF 'STACKING THE DECK'
Andrew Scheer says the Liberals' decision to name an anti-Conservative union to a panel that will decide which media outlets receive government funding is the latest example of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "stacking the deck" in his favour to get re-elected in October. In an interview with The Canadian Press, the Conservative leader said he believes the decision to include Unifor on the panel undermines the credibility of the panel's work. Unifor has campaigned against the Conservative party and, in November, published tweets calling itself Scheer's "worst nightmare."
PREGNANT WOMEN NEED DRUG-SAFETY INFO: DOCTORS
Doctors say pregnant and breast-feeding women and their health-care providers need access to a federally funded drug-safety research program now that a service that existed for decades was forced to shut down. The Motherisk helpline was established at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1985 but it was recently closed, partly due to years of declining funding. Authors of an editorial published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal say the loss of access to evidence-based research exposes a major public-health void, especially as the use of prescription drugs in pregnancy has increased by nearly 70 per cent in the last three decades.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould makes an announcement about her political future in her Vancouver riding.
— Former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott makes an announcement about her political future in her Markham, Ont riding.
— Paul Manly is sworn in as the second elected Green party Member of Parliament.
— The Royal Canadian Mint unveils a two-dollar coin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing of Canadian troops at Juno Beach.
The Canadian Press