By Perrin Grauer Star Vancouver Mon., March 11, 2019 VANCOUVER—An American law firm is suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection over its refusal to disclose documents detailing its authority for handing out lifetime bans on entry to the U.S. to Canadian cannabis workers. While U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has broad discretion to question travellers to the United States on any number of subjects, the legal mandate by which its officers are empowered to permanently ban Canadians who work in the cannabis industry is unclear, said John McKay, a former U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice. “I want to know what their authority is to ban people or to threaten to ban people and to cause fear among law-abiding Canadians who want to enter the United States,” McKay, now a partner with the plaintiff in the suit, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, said in an interview. Citing a July 2018 article in The Star that first reported the practice … [Read more...] about Lawsuit seeks answers for Canadian cannabis workers banned at U.S. border
U s freedom of information act
By Elizabeth Dwoskin The Washington Post Fri., Feb. 15, 2019 Last May, officials in Midlothian, Texas, a city near Dallas, approved more than $10 million (U.S.) in tax breaks for a huge, mysterious new development across from a shuttered Toys R’ Us warehouse. That day was the first time officials had spoken publicly about an enigmatic developer’s plans to build a sprawling data centre. The developer, which incorporated with the state four months earlier, went by the name Sharka LLC. City officials declined at the time to say who was behind Sharka. The mystery company was Google — a fact the city revealed two months later, after the project was formally approved. Larry Barnett, president of Midlothian Economic Development, one of the agencies that negotiated the data centre deal, said he knew at the time the tech giant was the one seeking a decade of tax giveaways for the project, but he was prohibited from disclosing it because the company had … [Read more...] about Google reaped millions of tax breaks as it secretly expanded its real estate footprint across the U.S.
By Lisa Rein The Washington Post Wed., Dec. 5, 2018 A top White House appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs sought to silence the agency’s chief diversity officer, who — in the aftermath of last year’s racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va. — pushed for a forceful condemnation that was at odds with President Donald Trump’s response, newly disclosed emails show. The tense exchange between Georgia Coffey, a nationally recognized expert in workplace diversity and race relations, and John Ullyot, who remains VA’s chief communications official, occurred during a low point in Trump’s presidency: when he blamed “many sides” for the deadly clash in Charlottesville without singling out the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who rallied there. One woman was killed and dozens were injured in the August 2017 protest, which began over the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee … [Read more...] about U.S. Veteran Affairs official kept from condemning Charlottesville rally, emails show
By Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press Mon., June 4, 2018 OTTAWA—Not only were Canadian officials scrambling to limit problems for travellers, they were simply trying to grasp what was going on when the Trump administration issued an executive order last year banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Newly released internal notes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reveal Canadian government officials fired off a list of 16 detailed questions with the aim of figuring out the order’s impact on everything from refugee claims to biometric tracking. The records were recently released to The Canadian Press in response to a February 2017 request under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, asking for materials used to brief then-homeland secretary John Kelly in advance of phone calls with Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. Some 400,000 people and more than $2 billion worth of goods and services … [Read more...] about Canada scrambled to figure out Trump’s travel ban after it was issued, U.S. documents show
HAVANA: Raul Castro has stepped down as president and his brother Fidel is dead but U.S. relations with Cuba are frostier than in years, with their reopened embassies nearly empty and President Donald Trump hinting at measures that could further lower the temperature.A new Cuban president, 58-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, took office on Thursday after decades of rule by the Castros since they toppled a U.S.-backed dictator in 1959, nationalizing U.S. properties, allying with the Soviet Union and sending thousands of Cubans into exile in Florida.The Castros were personally reviled by at least the older generation of Cuban-Americans, and some political analysts believe Diaz-Canel's ascent to power will make it easier over time for U.S. politicians to normalize relations.In the short term, though, the path ahead looks rocky.In his first speech as president, Diaz-Canel, a stalwart of the ruling Communist Party, clearly stated he intends to preserve the one-party socialist system. Moreover, … [Read more...] about Castro bows out in Cuba but Cold War chill returns with U.S