Wednesday Night #2088

Written by  //  March 23, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

A warm welcome back to Dr. Peter Frise, Professor of Mechanical & Automotive Engineering who has been absent for a number of years. His return to WN is especially timely given his views on trends affecting the evolution of connected and automated vehicle technologies in Canada, and current actions to ensure the future of electric vehicles in Canada. (See $4.9B electric vehicle battery plant announced for Windsor, Ont. and Doug Ford unveils strategy for ‘critical minerals,’ worth $3.5B to Ontario economy)
Kent Hovey-Smith will introduce Sara Tuzel. Sara is a Polish-American nuclear policy analyst at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a United States Department of Energy national laboratory initially organized during World War II for the design of nuclear weapons. Sara began writing and conducting research in January 2021 for the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies while attending Columbia University in New York City where she received her master’s degree in public health. She has a substantial background in public policy and a deep interest in international affairs and global conflict.

Although Putin’s war dominates the news, Tuesday’s announcement of the Supply and Confidence Agreement reached by the Liberals and NDP has temporarily knocked it out of first place in Canadian media.
Text of PM’s announcement Delivering for Canadians Now
Highly recommend Politico Ottawa Playbook of 22 March for informative and entertaining commentary by just about anyone in the political arena. Note: CBC’s KATHLEEN PETTY asks a key question: “If you’re running for #cpcldr with the expectation a federal election might come within a year or so after the race is decided — do you rethink your interest in the job?”

Also relegated to secondary interest was the Quebec 2022-23 budget tabled on Tuesday afternoon. The item that has caused the most attention is the $500 payment to 6.4 million Quebecers to offset inflation. Not everyone thinks it is a good idea, and many point out that the most vulnerable will have the most difficulty claiming it see How do I get my $500?

Following his announcement, Trudeau hopped on a plane and was off to Europe for meetings. On Wednesday, he addressed the European Parliament in Brussels; on Thursday, he is with other world leaders – including U.S. President Joe Biden – at NATO headquarters for an emergency summit, where delegates are expected to announce new sanctions against Russia and contingencies in the case of nuclear or chemical weapons use.
Biden Plans Sanctions on Russian Lawmakers as He Heads to Europe
A chief goal of the meetings this week is to show that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not lead to sniping and disagreement among the United States and its allies.

As NATO leaders prepared to meet on Thursday, the world learned of the death of Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, and feminist icon.

On Sunday, President Zelensky addressed the Israeli Knesset. He  begged Israel to send its Iron Dome missile-defense system to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian airstrikes. However, that’s easier said than done
On Wednesday, a joint investigation by the Guardian and Washington Post revealed that Israel blocked Ukraine from buying Pegasus spyware, fearing Russia’s anger. The revelation offers new insight into the way Israel’s relationship with Moscow has undermined Ukrainian objectives.

Thanks to Julien Feldman for the link to the 2019 interview with military expert, currently military advisor of president of Ukraine, Alexey Arestovich, who predicted the Russian – Ukrainian war. He also predicted that Ukraine would win. On 18 March, Arestovich said that the Russian military is able to fight only for the next 10-14 days

Putin foe Navalny gets 9 more years in Russian prison

Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas devote most of their Diplomatic Community session to Putin’s war and how to save lives?, but take time to address the Iran nuclear negotiations and in particular, the proposal to lift the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

Andrew Caddell‘s column this week starts off “Mélanie Joly is a disgrace.
When she was chosen as foreign minister in October, bumping the calm and unflappable Marc Garneau, the response was astonishment, bordering on shock. In her previous post in charge of Canada’s economic development agencies, official languages, and tourism, she had hardly shone. Her major “oeuvre” was a new Official Languages Act that was widely panned and died on the Order Paper.” You can read the complete text (and find out how he really feels) on his Fb page

Mr. Legault: pay attention.
Toronto, the Quietly Booming Tech Town
For all the excitement around places like Austin and Miami, the biggest tech expansion has been in Canada’s largest city.

Varia
Ottawa reveals details of 1st ‘green bond’ sale
The federal government raised $5 billion from investors this week in its first ever sale of a so-called green bond, an increasingly popular investment vehicle that promises to combat climate change while making money, too.
Ottawa announced its plans to issue green bonds in the 2021 federal budget, but the first actual sale of a federal government-backed bond closed on Tuesday.

Thanks to John Curtin for this:
March is traditionally a bad month for Russian leaders. Stalin died on March 5. Alexander II was assassinated on March 13. Czar Nicholas II abdicated March 15. Ivan the Terrible died on March 18. Paul the First was strangled on March 24. I’m not suggesting anything. But tradition is important.

Feet of clay:
What a sad story: Boris Becker accused of hiding tennis trophies during trial
Former tennis champion Boris Becker went on trial Monday in London for allegedly concealing property — including nine trophies — from bankruptcy trustees and dodging his obligation to disclose financial information to settle his debts.

Oscar Night Sunday, 27 March 8pm ET
Don’t Look Up Some of us loved it and some of us hated it; now it’s a four-time Oscar nominee for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Score.
Director Adam McKay on Don’t Look Up and the future of environmental sustainability in cinema when he joined Tom Power on “q” to discuss the polarizing reaction to the film and why comedy still has a place in uncertain times.

Animals Can Be Refugees Too (Photos) images of some of the refugee cats and dogs of Ukraine being cared for as family members, and brought to safety
Families fleeing the violence are limited in what they can carry, but many are making the effort to bring their beloved pets with them, uncertain of what lies ahead. Some pets that have been left behind, or are unable to be cared for, are also being rescued by organizations in neighboring countries.

Long reads
Lengthy, fascinating, account of her extraordinary life
Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Serve as Secretary of State, Dies at 84
…a child of Czech refugees who fled from Nazi invaders and Communist oppressors and then landed in the United States, where she flourished as a diplomat and the first woman to serve as secretary of state

The man known as ‘Putin’s brain’ envisions the splitting of Europe — and the fall of China
Aleksandr Dugin’s intellectual influence over the Russian leader is well known to close students of the post-Soviet period, among whom Dugin, 60, is sometimes referred to as “Putin’s brain.” His work is also familiar to Europe’s “new right,” of which Dugin has been a leading figure for nearly three decades, and to America’s “alt-right.”
Biden Plans Sanctions on Russian Lawmakers as He Heads to Europe
A chief goal of the meetings this week is to show that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not lead to sniping and disagreement among the United States and its allies.
20 days in Mariupol
In the nearly three weeks since Russia’s war began, two Associated Press journalists have been the only international media present in Mariupol, chronicling its fall into chaos and despair.
The Russians were hunting us down. They had a list of names, including ours, and they were closing in.
We were the only international journalists left in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and we had been documenting its siege by Russian troops for more than two weeks. We were reporting inside the hospital when gunmen began stalking the corridors. Surgeons gave us white scrubs to wear as camouflage.
Suddenly at dawn, a dozen soldiers burst in: “Where are the journalists, for fuck’s sake?”
I looked at their armbands, blue for Ukraine, and tried to calculate the odds that they were Russians in disguise. I stepped forward to identify myself. “We’re here to get you out,” they said.
A different take from Professor Eliot A. Cohen
Why Can’t the West Admit That Ukraine Is Winning?
The evidence that Ukraine is winning this war is abundant, if one only looks closely at the available data.

Canada, a critical-minerals superpower? Let’s pause for a reality check

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