CANADIAN NEWS IN BRIEF (for the week beginning Saturday, May 30)


PAKISTANI ORDERED TO BE DEPORTED: Pakistani national Jahanzeb Malik, 33, will remain in immigration custody in Toronto until he is deported in a few weeks. His lawyer told the Immigration and Refugee Board that his client, a permanent resident, won’t fight removal. He was accused of talking with an undercover RCMP officer about bombing the U.S. consulate and financial buildings in Toronto. The government said he was inadmissible to this country as a security threat.


REPORT ON ATTACK ON PARLIAMENT: The Ontario Provincial Police report into the October 22 attack on Parliament by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who was armed with a Winchester .30-30 rifle was released Wednesday. Zehaf-Bibeau killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before he headed to Parliament where he fired three times in the Hall of Honour. Zehaf-Bibeau was first shot within seven seconds of entering and then at least once by armed Commons guards as he went down the Hall of Honour. RCMP officers and sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers who pursued him fired at him when Zehaf-Bibeau was at the end of the hall in the alcove outside the library. The coroner’s report shows that Zehaf-Bibeau was hit 31 times. About 56 bullets were fired by police and security guards in the hall. It took Zehaf-Bibeau only one minute, 47 seconds to race from the Cenotaph to Parliament’s doors, and he was killed just one minute, 51 seconds after he entered Parliament. The report is recommending the unification of all security forces on Parliament Hill. It states that the public’s “unrestricted access” to the grounds and the desire of MPs and senators to have “unimpeded access” to the legislative chambers remain security problems.


CULTURAL GENOCIDE OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE: “The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources,” says the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was released Tuesday in Ottawa. Aboriginal children were forced into church-run residential schools to assimilate them into European practices. The report says that governments should reform child-welfare programs, do more to increase aboriginal employment, take steps to preserve aboriginal languages and culture and even wants the Pope to issue an apology in for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools.


JACQUES PARIZEAU DEAD: Former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, who died on Monday night at the age of 84 after an undisclosed illness, earned notoriety when, in a moment of sheer frustration after losing the 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty, he blurted: “We are beaten, it is true. But by what, basically? By money and ethnic votes.” But Parizeau, who was born into a wealthy family, was nevertheless a giant of Quebec politics. The Toronto Star said that Parizeau “was one of the founding forces of modern Quebec — first as a bureaucrat and backroom adviser to the provincial Liberals during the Quiet Revolution; then as a minister, premier and eventual leader of the sovereigntist forces in the 1995 referendum.”


MAJOR CIGARETTE COMPANIES ORDERED TO PAY BILLIONS: Quebec Superior Court Justice Brian Riordan on Monday ruled that three major cigarette companies will have to cough up $15.6 billion to smokers: 67 per cent will have to be forked out by Imperial Tobacco ($10.5 billion), 20 per cent by Rothmans, Benson & Hedges ($3.1 billion) and 13 per cent by JTI-Macdonald ($2 billion). What is more, the three companies have been ordered to pony up the initial compensation of more than $1 billion in the next 60 days, appeal or no appeal. The judge noted: “By choosing not to inform either the public health authorities or the public directly of what they knew, the companies chose profits over the health of their customers.”


MIKE DUFFY CASE: Mike Duffy’s defence got a boost on Monday when Judge Charles Vaillancourt allowed into evidence a December 2010 report by the Senate that adopted three audits by Ernst and Young. Those audits identified recurring problems with “inadequate, missing, or incomplete supporting documentation,” and problems with administrative policies that were “inadequate, or non-existent,” the Toronto Star reported. The Senate report said it found certain policies were “poorly communicated and/or not well understood” by senators and their employees. Duffy faces 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery in relation to his Senate travel, living and office expenses. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.