$ 3 billion contract blocked for espionage risks

Ottawa has for about two years prevented Pratt & Whitney from exporting aircraft engines to China in a large $ 3 billion transaction, due to risks of industrial espionage.

The Quebec company has so far been unable to obtain from the federal authorities the necessary permit to deliver the goods to its client, the Chinese aeronautical giant AVIC.

Three sources have confirmed that Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is experiencing particularly long delays from the federal department of Global Affairs Canada.

According to the information obtained, the contract concluded with AVIC provides for the delivery of engines as part of a turboprop regional transport aircraft project.

Four first engines were to be sent to China, we were told.

In July 2018, Pratt & Whitney began the necessary steps to obtain federal authorizations. But his file remained unanswered. Under federal law, the export of certain Canadian goods and technologies cannot be done without the issuance of a permit issued by Global Affairs.

In 2017, P&WC reached a definitive agreement for this $ 3 billion transaction with AVIC. The PW150C engines are to power the aircraft manufacturer’s new aircraft, the MA700.

Despite the fact that Ottawa did not explain its deadlines, a source familiar with the matter, who is familiar with trade with China, explained that the assumptions are limited.

“By blocking the transaction, either Ottawa fears intellectual property theft, or it fears the use of these engines for military purposes,” we were told.

The office of Quebec Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, confirmed that it had to intervene with Ottawa to try to resolve the problem.

“Representations were made by the minister to the federal government,” declared his spokesperson Noémie Prégent-Charlebois.

Mr. Fitzgibbon is still trying to “resolve the impasse” with the company, which must manufacture the engines at its plant in Longueuil.

In May, PW&C had to lay off 343 employees due to the negative impact of the pandemic on its order book.

Global Affairs said its timeline is usually 40 days to respond to export permit applications that require consultation. However, this procedure may take longer in some cases.

“The response time depends on a number of external factors, including current events in destination countries,” said spokesperson John Babcock.

For its part, the company confirmed that it is still awaiting a response, without specifying the time elapsed since its request.

“Pratt & Whitney Canada remains committed to the Chinese market, which offers very strong growth potential and is recovering at a steady pace from capacity reductions resulting from COVID-19,” said spokesperson Catherine R. Cunningham.

May 2018

For reasons of national security, Ottawa is blocking the purchase by a Chinese company of the Canadian construction company Aecon, which is seen in Beijing as a political intervention.

December 2018

Arrest by Canada of a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the United States, which suspects the company of not having respected American sanctions against Iran.

June 2020

Justin Trudeau refuses to cancel Meng Wanzhou’s extradition process.

July 2020

Ottawa is increasing the delays in the study of the Flying Whales file due to fear of industrial espionage from a Chinese partner.


Maas rejects Russian allegations

DThe German-Russian dispute over the investigation into the poison attack on the Kremlin critic Aleksej Navalnyj has intensified. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) rejected the allegations from Moscow on Sunday evening that Germany was delaying the investigation. He spoke of a “further smoke candle” from Russia on the case.

Maas said in the ARD program “Report from Berlin” that Federal government I have “long since agreed” to a request for legal assistance from the Russian public prosecutor’s office and communicated this to the Russian ambassador in Berlin a week ago. The Foreign Minister also referred to ongoing investigations at the Berlin Charité, where the Russian opposition is being treated.

Maas demanded that Russia, for its part, must hand over its examination results to Germany after Navalnyi’s two-day inpatient treatment in Omsk, Siberia. So far, there are only “many traces” of the case in Russia. If Moscow does not contribute to the education or “such smoke candles continue to be started”, this is a further indication that “you have something to hide”.

Russian allegations

The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharova, had previously written on the online network Facebook: “Berlin is delaying the investigation, which it itself is calling for. On purpose?”. Sakharova complained that Berlin had not responded to a request for legal assistance from the Russian public prosecutor’s office on August 27. “So far we are not sure whether Germany is not playing a double game.”

Nawalnyj has been treated at the Charité since August 22, after collapsing two days earlier during a flight in Russia. The federal government said on Wednesday that Navalnyj had been poisoned “beyond doubt” with a chemical nerve agent from the so-called Novichok group. The poison was developed by Soviet scientists in the 1970s. Moscow rejects any blame for the health of the prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Walter-Borjans does not want to stop Nord Stream 2

The debate about possible punitive measures against Russia because of the Navalnyj attack is focused in Germany on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans now expressed strong reservations against a construction freeze on the pipe through which Russian gas is to be delivered to Germany.

Nord Stream 2 is an infrastructure project that is 90 percent ready and serves to supply Germany, said the SPD chairman on the ZDF program “Berlin Direkt”. With a construction freeze, Germany will “end up harming itself and others who should not be hit here”. Sanctions must be “targeted” and target the “backers” of the crime.

Maas had previously not ruled out a halt to the pipeline project. Walter-Borjans said he agreed with the Foreign Minister that “effective sanctions” against Russia should be discussed. However, they both considered stopping Nord Stream 2 “a very sensitive question”.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn did not want to rule out a construction freeze at Nord Stream 2 either. “It is now up to Russia how it goes on,” said the CDU politician on the Internet program “Bild live”. He emphasized: “In the end there is no economic policy question that is more important than our foreign and security policy interests. That is very, very clear to me. “

Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt called for a quick end of Nord Stream 2. The federal government must now “show a way” she told the “Tagesspiegel”.


Why is Olaf Scholz announcing higher taxes?

SIf the SPD wins the next federal election, its candidate for chancellor wants Olaf Scholz Tax top earners higher. He leaves open how much more “the rich” should pay. Likewise the question of who is rich at all. The Federal Finance Minister of the “Rheinische Post” just said literally: “In view of the many tasks that the state is shouldering now, it must be clear that people who earn a few hundred thousand euros can make a higher contribution to the financing of the community in the future.”

In purely theoretical terms, it is therefore possible for couples with a joint taxable income of more than 200,000 euros to be affected. Perhaps Scholz was only thinking of single earners over 900,000 euros. Maybe he’s thinking of socialist marginal tax rates of 80 percent, maybe just a hundred euros more per year. One does not know.

Because it can be assumed that a federal finance minister knows the marginal rates of progressive income tax and the federal financial needs, Scholz could of course have expressed himself more precisely. Above all, the fact that he didn’t do it shows that it doesn’t depend on the specific euro. Rather, the direction must be right.

A year before the Bundestag election Olaf Scholz makes it clear: the wealthy should pay more in the future!

There are many reasons for that. Some are political in nature. The SPD strives for a red-red-green alliance after the election. Both the Left and the Greens are known to have nothing against higher taxes – especially not if they hit “the right people”. Scholz, who is considered a pragmatist to a conservative in his party, must also take over his own troops from the left. And last but not least, the SPD needs a topic with which it can both differentiate itself from the Union and mobilize its own people. And of course the voters.

Will “More Justice” Draw This Time?

With higher taxes and “more justice” it did not work out in the last two election campaigns. As with any crisis, the Corona-Crisis many people emerge as losers. Millions are on short-time work, hundreds of thousands became unemployed or had to close their businesses forever. Perhaps, given the misery, voters are now more receptive to the message?

There are, however, also economic reasons why the comrades want those with high incomes to get their wallets. At the beginning of July Bundestag passed the second supplementary budget, according to which the federal government alone will incur additional debt of 217.8 billion euros this year – a record.

Just two weeks ago, Scholz also stated that he firmly expected that the debt brake could not be adhered to in the election year because of the Corona crisis. In this respect, it should be noted that there are high debts that have to be serviced and, in the best of cases, someone has to repay them.

But how did Olaf Scholz say at the end of March when he brought the first supplementary budget with a net borrowing of 156 billion euros into the Bundestag: “We can afford it.”

Now, five months later, the Social Democratic Vice Chancellor sounds different: “Pragmatic politics does not mean that top earners are spared and therefore incurs additional debts.”

If you want to make it easy for yourself, you forget the optimism of the end of March, tune in to the SPD’s song and state that only the rich are left.

But that jumped too short. According to the Ministry of Finance, there are almost 40 different types of tax in Germany, from beer tax to energy taxes, from VAT to income tax, from dog tax to property tax. In this respect, it is possible to demand a higher income tax for top earners. But there is no alternative to it.

Above all, no one should regard the federal government’s exorbitantly high levels of new debt as inevitable. Compared to other countries, Germany is getting through the crisis well.

Nonetheless, the impression arises that many billions are being spent all too carelessly. To name just three examples: Why does the state really have to subsidize every electric car with 6,000 euros? Does it make sense to extend the short-time work allowance now until the end of next year? Does the European reconstruction fund really have to be worth 750 billion euros, of which just 30 billion euros come to Germany?

As early as May, the CDU budget politician Eckhardt Rehberg warned in the FAZ: “Even in this crisis there must be no abuse and indiscriminate distribution of money.” He is right. Because all experience teaches: the bill comes.


Jens Spahn spat on during an election campaign in NRW

During an election campaign in Bergisch Gladbach, Health Minister Jens Spahn wanted to talk to critics of his Corona policy. But the situation escalated.

Photo series with 21 pictures

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn According to a newspaper report, it was spat at on Saturday during an election campaign appearance in Bergisch Gladbach. The CDU politician had confirmed this to the “Rheinische Post”, the newspaper reported in advance from its Monday edition.

Spahn was also insulted when trying to get into conversation with angry opponents of the corona measures. The minister told the newspaper that a conversation should be sought with those who were dissatisfied with the corona policy. Discussions were part of democracy. “They only work if both sides are willing to listen. But when there is screaming, spitting and bullying, it just doesn’t work.”

The newspaper “Express” reported that Spahn was in the district town in North Rhine-Westphalia on Saturday to support his party friend Christian Buchen in the election campaign for the mayor’s office.

Criticism of the Berlin demonstration on Saturday

Spahn criticized the Berlin demonstration against the Corona measures on Saturday. “It was profoundly disloyal and also unpatriotic not to wear masks, not to keep one’s distance and thus to endanger others,” said Spahn of the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”.

The breakup of demonstrations is “no cause for joy” for Democrats. “But it is right that the police intervene when too many demonstrators in Berlin apparently did not care about the freedom and health of their own fellow citizens.”

Tens of thousands of people had demonstrated in Berlin against the state protection against corona. At a large rally at the Victory Column, the initiator Michael Ballweg of the Stuttgart initiative “lateral thinking” demanded that all laws passed to protect against the virus be repealed immediately. The federal government must also resign as a whole, he said to great applause. At the same time, Ballweg thanked the Berlin police for making the peaceful protests possible. The Berlin authorities actually wanted to ban the meetings, but they were subject to the courts.


Pediatricians recommend flu vaccination for children – Jens Spahn supports the call

In view of the corona pandemic, doctors in Germany advise children to be vaccinated against flu. Health Minister Jens Spahn also supports the call.

According to a report, German paediatricians will advise one this fall Flu shot for children. He recommends all parents to have their children vaccinated against influenza this year, said Johannes Huebner, senior physician at the children’s clinic at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and chairman of the German Society for Pedriatic Infectious Diseases, of “Welt am Sonntag”.

“Social obligation to protect others”

“We know that children largely transmit the influenza virus,” said Huebner. Every winter, many children have to be hospitalized because of the flu and even have to be supplied with oxygen. Aside from the risks to that health of children, in times of the corona pandemic, there is also a social obligation to protect others, he emphasized.

Spahn warns of a flu wave in view of the corona pandemic

Also Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) advised flu vaccination in view of the corona pandemic. “At the same time, a major flu wave and the pandemic can hardly cope with the health system,” said Spahn of “Welt am Sonntag”. That is why the federal government “got additional flu vaccine this time”. “Anyone who wants to have themselves and their children vaccinated should and can do so,” Spahn told the newspaper.

Basically, a higher demand for flu vaccines is expected in the autumn, which is why Germany has secured appropriate doses as a precaution, said the chairman of the health committee of the Bundestag, Erwin Rüddel, the newspaper. Nevertheless, the CDU politician recommended that especially risk groups should use the flu vaccination.

The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, told “Welt am Sonntag” that flu vaccinations are always advisable for young people when there is an increased risk as a result of an underlying disease, for example asthma, Diabetes or immune system disorders. Against the background of limited capacities for vaccination doses and consumables, one should “concentrate on the protection of the particularly vulnerable population groups”.

Important NOTE: Under no circumstances does the information replace professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online.de cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start treatments.


All pension information will soon be available centrally on the web

So far, retirement and retirement planning have meant a lot of paperwork. That should change now: The government is planning a website on which all information on statutory, private and company pensions will come together.

In future, German citizens should receive an official overview of their personal security in old age on the Internet. The planned Portal intended to provide information on legal, private and corporate Interest include. That wants a corresponding decision Federal Cabinet take hold on Wednesday.

The law is intended to set up a website that provides the insured with “as complete, understandable, reliable and comparable information as possible on the status of individual old-age insurance,” as the draft from the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs says. The portal is to be built up gradually by 2023.

The Federal Ministries for Social Affairs and Finance announced last year that citizens could use the planned platform to view the benefits they had already achieved and what they could still achieve by the time they retire – with model calculations if possible. Union and SPD had a “cross-pillar pension information” in Coalition agreement agreed.

Every pension provider still has its own website

So far, there have been different providers for the respective retirement benefits, which provide information about interim results in their own form. The German Pension insurance supported the project of government.

The Economic Council of the was generally positive about the project CDU, but warned: The system should be provided by a neutral provider. “Such a body must not pursue its own interests and must create its data independently of any political influence,” said Wolfgang Steiger, Secretary General of the Economic Council. “Depending on your political background, one could Federal government succumb to the temptation to fear Old-age poverty to fire or to dampen. “

Steiger also criticized that, for example, rental income or capital investments should not be taken into account. Every citizen must also be able to simulate for himself how much longer employment increases his pension and, if necessary, closes the gap to the desired pension.


Health ministers want to end compulsory testing for return travelers

There should no longer be mandatory tests for those returning from risk areas. A majority of the health ministers have spoken out in favor of this. Criticism comes from Bavaria.

Free corona tests for vacationers when entering Germany should be free Minister of Health from the federal and state governments after the end of the summer travel season. In a switching conference, the majority of the department heads also spoke out in favor of abolishing the recently introduced mandatory testing for returnees from risk areas. Bavaria, however, did not support the advance.

There was a high degree of agreement that the tests for travelers were rightly expanded in the summer, said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) after the conversation. At the same time, however, it was agreed that with the end of the return wave, the capacities should be used more in the field of care and hospitals.

Quarantine instead of tests

Specifically, it is planned that for those who enter from risk areas, only the quarantine regulation should apply again. That means: As before, those affected must report to the health department and get in quarantine go. In contrast to the current regulation, this should only be allowed to leave if a negative result is presented with a test made at the earliest five days after entry. In fact, this should extend the quarantine period for the travelers concerned.

At the moment, travelers who have been to risk areas must be tested after entering the country if they cannot present their own negative test no longer than 48 hours. A negative result cancels the mandatory quarantine. Since the end of July, vacationers returning from non-risk areas in Germany have also been able to get tested for Corona free of charge.

Huml: “Compulsory testing is premature”

Bavaria spoke out against the lifting of this practice on Monday evening. “The discussion on ending a compulsory test for travelers returning from risk areas is premature,” said Health Minister Melanie Huml (CSU) in Munich. The evaluations of the current main outbreak of corona infections clearly show the importance of infected travelers returning to these chains of infection.

Huml expressed concern about the new test strategy advocated by her federal and state counterparts. “Now that this effective instrument has taken effect and is accepted, it should not be stopped prematurely,” she emphasized, referring to the successes achieved in the controls in Bavaria. At the airports in Munich, Nuremberg and Memmingen, the long-distance train stations in Munich and Nuremberg and at three motorway test points, more than 3,000 travelers returning from risk areas have so far tested positive.

“The early testing upon entry not only creates quick information and security for those affected, but is also an effective aid in breaking chains of infection,” said Huml. Bavaria is a transit route to the entire south-east European area by land and air.

Laboratories reach their limits

The planned reorientation is justified, among other things, by the fact that the laboratories in Germany have now reached their limits, both in terms of staff and the availability of materials. A spokesman for the federal health ministry said on Monday. “If we run full load in this area for weeks, we will have material and personnel problems.” Therefore you have to adapt the test strategy accordingly. According to the spokesman, around 875,000 corona tests are currently carried out per week. The laboratories would have a theoretical capacity of around 1.2 million.

It is still unclear when exactly the new rules will come into force. The discussion will be on September 15th. Then school will start again in the last federal state of Baden-Württemberg. A later date is also possible. That should be in the deliberations of the Prime Ministers of the federal states with the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) play a role on Thursday.


New CRTC wholesale internet tariffs: Ottawa expresses concern

The federal government agrees, at least in part, with the country’s major cable distributors who complain about the devastating effect on them of the new wholesale internet rates decided by the CRTC last year.

In August 2019, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set new wholesale rates for small internet service providers that use the existing networks of large cable companies and telephone companies.

Since then, these large companies, including Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco, Bell, Telus and Eastlink, have challenged the new rates, saying that they are too low and that they take away any incentive to invest in their networks, their technology and their infrastructure. These industry greats have pressured the federal government to ask the CRTC to review its schedule or have it canceled, and have even taken their cases to court for the most part.

On Saturday, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains offered a response.

“Following this review [des présentations des parties], the Governor in Council considers that the tariffs do not in all cases adequately meet the expectations set out in the policy objectives of the regulatory framework for wholesale services, and is concerned that this could hamper investments in large networks. quality, especially in rural and remote areas, ”said the Minister.

However, despite the fact that it thus seems to agree with the large cable distributors, the government does not intend to overturn the CRTC’s decision or send it back to it: “Given that the CRTC is already reviewing its decision there is no need to send it back for reconsideration, ”Bains said.

In recent months, the CRTC has held a consultation on the method for establishing tariffs for wholesale telecommunications services. Those concerned had until last Thursday to send him their briefs. In the wake of this process of reconsideration of its controversial decision, the CRTC expects to render a decision within four months.

In its intervention submitted to the CRTC, Quebecor Media, on behalf of its Videotron subsidiary, argued that the CRTC’s August 2019 order on new wholesale rates is “a monumental failure” and that they “will not allow underlying network operators to recover their costs, let alone obtain a reasonable return on their investments ”.

“As of the date of this [le 13 août 2020], we do not know if Order 2019-288 will be maintained, says Quebecor Media. That said, one thing is certain: if it is maintained, the impact on the Canadian telecommunications sector will be disastrous. ”

Quebecor adds that “it is absolutely crucial that a pricing method that will ensure that the experience of Ordinance 2019-288 will never be relived is adopted at the end of this proceeding”.

On Saturday, Minister Bains stressed that his government “is working hard to ensure that all Canadians have access to high speed internet”. “We invite all parties to cooperate with the CRTC’s ongoing review of the wholesale internet tariffs decision so that a timely conclusion can be reached that will provide greater certainty for all parties involved. . “

He also assured that the government will follow the file closely.

“We will continue to closely monitor the CRTC’s proceedings to ensure that our regulatory frameworks include the right incentives to stimulate investment and competitive choices. […].»


30,000 German package holidaymakers are in the Balearic Islands

DAccording to the German Travel Association (DRV), around 30,000 German package tourists are currently in the Balearic Islands. With an estimated more than 90 percent, most of them are likely to vacation in Mallorca, said DRV spokesman Torsten Schäfer on Saturday of the dpa. However, there is still no overview of how many vacationers want to leave early in the next few days.

The previous evening, the federal government had extended its travel warning, which had previously applied to some Spanish regions, to the entire Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands. The only exceptions are the Canary Islands, which lie deep in the Atlantic. In addition to the popular holiday island of Mallorca, the Balearic Islands also include the smaller Mediterranean islands of Ibiza and Menorca.

According to the DRV, all tour operators will cancel planned trips there in the coming days. This is part of the standard procedure after a travel warning, which does not mean a travel ban, but allows package tourists to terminate the travel contract free of charge. Since the Federal Foreign Office is warning against unnecessary tourist trips to these regions due to the increasing number of infections, the company will have to “with a heavy heart” cancel and cancel all package tours from now up to and including August 24, Tui announced on its website on Friday.

Customers who are already on site are asked to return within the next seven days. Rebookings to other travel destinations are possible, for example to the Canary Islands, as a Tui spokesman told the dpa on Friday evening. Due to the changed travel and security advice from the Foreign Office, it is not possible to continue the vacation in the affected vacation region.

The travel company DER Touristik canceled its trips to Spain until August 21, as a company spokeswoman said on request from AFP. An exception applies to trips to the Canary Islands. Next Tuesday, the company will evaluate the situation again.

For those returning to travel, the official travel warning means that they have to go into quarantine for a certain time after re-entering Germany until a negative corona test is available. The only exceptions are the Canary Islands.

The central criterion for classification as a risk area is the states or regions in which there were more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. For all of Spain, the Ministry of Health in Madrid gave this value on Friday as more than 58 for the past seven days. In the Balearic Islands it is even over 77. The RKI maintains a list of risk areas that is continuously updated. It currently includes around 130 states from Egypt to Russia to the United States.

Reading tip: It’s bad news for Spain’s economy – the country is fatally dependent on tourists.

For Spain and especially for Mallorca this is another big blow. However, the season has already been catastrophic for the tourism industry, which in normal times contributes more than twelve percent to the gross domestic product and provides work for around 2.5 million people.


Quebec will no longer wait for Ottawa to connect regions with high speed internet

Fed up with waiting for funding from the federal government to connect the regions to high-speed internet, Quebec itself will finance projects.

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This was indicated by the Prime Minister, François Legault, passing through La Sarre, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, on Thursday.

“For a year and a half, we waited a little for the federal government, which was asked to finance half of it. It is too long. So what I asked the Minister of the Economy is to fund it completely by the Government of Quebec, then secondly, we will try to collect the federal government for their part ”, a- he explained.

The Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, was therefore responsible for negotiating with various telecommunications companies.

“We are talking about several hundred million dollars so that these companies are able to offer rates comparable to rates in large cities, but by charging us an amount so that it is profitable for them others. Because currently, there are some remote residences that are not profitable for these companies, ”said François Legault.

The latter has undertaken to connect 340,000 residences in Quebec.

The government has already released $ 150 million in May to finance 66 projects across Quebec to provide access to high-speed internet service in rural areas at prices comparable to those offered in cities.

The projects selected are spread over 11 regions, namely Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie, Estrie, Outaouais, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lanaudière, Laurentides , Montérégie and Center-du-Québec.

They will connect 60,000 homes and should all be launched by 2022.

During the last election campaign, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) provided for a budget of $ 400 million to connect all households in Quebec to high speed internet by 2022. François Legault then expected an equivalent contribution from the from private telecommunications companies (Bell, Videotron, Telus, etc.), as well as from the federal government.