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Populist political wave now penetrates Canada

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Ottawa, Oct 13A populist political wave has seemed to arrive in Canada, which goes to polls on October 21, as immigration has become one of the hot topics of debate, with conservative parties vowing to limit migrant numbers.

On October 3, Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, said during a televised debate that Quebec has every right to test immigrants who want to settle in the predominantly French-speaking province, reports Efe news.

Although Trudeau did not expressly mention it, but Quebec is in the process of imposing a controversial test of immigrants that would include proof of their “core values” to determine that they align with those of the Canadian province.

“If (he) wants to apply a test for the certificate of selection, that’s okay and it’s appropriate for him to do so,” Trudeau said during the French debate in reference to the intention of Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault to implement the test.

The statement, which Trudeau repeated again during a press conference on Friday, has surprised many in Canada, especially because the Liberal leader came to power in October 2015 with a diametrically opposite platform.

In fact, one of his first government actions was to accept some 40,000 refugees from Syria into the country.

But since his electoral victory, many things have happened, especially the election in the US with a populist and anti-immigration programme that has also begun to penetrate Canada.

In these elections in Canada, the conservative former Minister Maxime Bernier leads the populist Popular Party, which has as one of its central policies the aim to drastically cut the number of immigrants and refugees who arrive each year.

Bernier proposes to limit the number of immigrants to between 100,000 and 150,000 a year, less than half of what the country currently receives, and accept only those who prove they have “Canadian values”.

Bernier, who from August 2007 to May 2008 was the Foreign Minister under former conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has criticized what he says is the “extreme multiculturalism” of Canada and the government´s “globalist vision” that, according to him, is destroying the essence of the country.

“Support for immigration will continue to diminish and social tensions are likely to rise. We need to slow down,” Bernier said in July this year.

Meanwhile, the separatist party Bloc Quebecois (BQ), which all but disappeared in the last elections, has gained momentum in the polls with an identity programme and at a time when immigration control policies are popular in Quebec.

The BQ, for example, wants Quebec to be exempt from the application of the federal law that since 1988 promotes multi-culturalism in the country, and for the province to have absolute freedom to decide the number of immigrants it accepts each year.

With the polls pointing to a technical tie between Trudeau´s Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, the difference between forming a government or staying in the opposition could come down to a handful of votes.

And in these elections, the province of Quebec, which makes up 75 of the 338 seats of the Lower House of Parliament, could be key to government formation.

So both liberals and conservatives, and even the social democrats of the New Democratic Party, are doing everything to snatch as many votes as possible in the Francophone province, where testing the “core values” of immigrants is a popular proposal.

When the centre-right government of Quebec presented the measure, Trudeau and the NPD expressed their opposition and described the measure as discriminatory against religious minorities, especially Muslims.

But during the election campaign, both the Liberal Party and the NPD have tempered their criticism and indicated that they will let the courts decide on the constitutionality of a measure that is popular in Quebec, especially in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has already indicated that it will not oppose either the test of values or the law on religious symbols of Quebec, while announcing measures to limit the number of refugees arriving each year in the country.

World

4 new Covid-19 cases reported in NZ

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Africa Coronavirus Case

Wellington, Sep 20 (IANS) New Zealand reported four new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the nationwide tally to 1,464, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Of the four new cases, two were community cases and two were at managed isolation facilities, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Ministry statement.

The current number of active cases in New Zealand has reduced to 71, including three patients in Auckland hospitals.

Laboratories across New Zealand have conducted 5,417 tests, increasing the total number till date to 910,853, according to the Ministry.

New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 with additional restrictions on gatherings for its biggest city Auckland.

–IANS

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Trump wants replacement of Ginsburg without delay

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Donald Trump

Washington, Sep 20 : US President Donald Trump has said he wants a new Supreme Court judge to be sworn in “without delay”, following the death of the long serving liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday, just six weeks before the presidential election.

Trump’s Democrat rival, Joe Biden, insists the decision on her replacement must wait until after the vote. The ideological balance of the nine-member court is crucial to its rulings on the most important issues in US law.

“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday, the BBC reported.

In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked Democratic President Barack Obama’s pick for the US top court. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified the move on grounds that it was an election year.

But on Friday, Senator McConnell said he intended to act on any nomination Trump made.

Ginsburg, a liberal icon and feminist standard-bearer, died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington DC, surrounded by her family. She was only the second-ever woman to sit on the US Supreme Court.

Supporters gathered outside the court on Friday night to pay tribute to the woman who had become affectionately known as “The Notorious RBG”.

The appointment of judges in the US is a political question which means the president gets to choose who is put forward. The Senate then votes to confirm – or reject – the choice.

Ginsburg, who served for 27 years, was one of only four liberals on the nine-seat bench. Her death means that, should the Republicans get the vote through, the balance of power would shift decisively towards the conservatives.

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India

450 jobless Indian workers forced to begin Saudi, shifted to detention centres

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

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jobless Indian workers in Saudi

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

The workers are mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The work permits of these workers have now expired and thus they have to beg as their situation is worse.

These workers are now being shifted to detention centres. Videos have gone viral where the workers are being taken to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Among the workers 39 belong to the state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 belong to Bihar, 5 are from Telangana and four each from the state of J and K, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Workers said that they have not committed any crime but had to beg as they had lost their jobs and were helpless.

Social worker and MBT leader Amjed Khan told TOI that the workers with an expired work permit were taken to detention centres .

A total of 2.4 lakh Indians were reported to return to the country but only 40,000 have made it so far.

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