Canada in Brief, June 14-20

June 14, 2018 Updated: June 14, 2018

Feds unveil plan to bolster defences against online attacks

The federal government has unveiled its plan to bolster Canada’s defences against nefarious online attacks and crime, even as it acknowledged a shortage of skilled cyber-warriors to meet the country’s needs.

Backstopped by more than $500 million in new funding over the next five years, the cybersecurity strategy lays out a range of initiatives to help Canadians, business, and the government better protect against cyberthreats.

It comes as the internet and digital technology play an increasingly important role in every aspect of life, making many functions easier and leading to new economic opportunities—but also opening the country and Canadians up to new risks.

Ball invites Trump to view ‘Come from Away,’ discuss tariffs

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball has invited U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss trade while they view a showing of a hit musical that tells the story of how the town of Gander, N.L., welcomed 7,000 stranded airline passengers after 9/11.

In a tweeted letter sent on June 12, Ball describes Trump’s recent policies on steel and aluminum tariffs as “extremely troubling,” and said he hoped to discuss “a positive and mutually beneficial trade relationship” as he and Trump watched “Come from Away” together.

The letter appears to be in response to the recent rise in tensions between Ottawa and the U.S. administration over trade.

Ball said the tickets to the musical would be available at Trump’s “leisure” and “hopefully are tariff-free.”

Canada part of winning bid for 2026 FIFA World Cup

Canada has won the right to co-host the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA’s member associations have voted in favour of the joint North American bid by Canada, the United States, and Mexico over that of Morocco. The vote, which took place June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, was 134 to 65 with one no-vote.

The current blueprint calls for Canada and Mexico to stage 10 games each with the U.S. hosting 60, but that is not carved in stone.

Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal will serve as Canadian host cities for the men’s soccer showcase, expanded to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament.

Harassment allegations rock Ottawa Senators

The wife of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson has filed an order of protection against the girlfriend of one of Karlsson’s teammates, alleging harassment and cyberbullying.

In an application for a peace bond filed May 4 in an Ottawa court, Melinda Karlsson alleges that Monika Caryk posted hundreds of derogatory online messages aimed at her and her husband. Caryk is the longtime partner of Senators forward Mike Hoffman.

“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” Karlsson said in the sworn statement. The Karlssons’ first child, a son named Axel, was stillborn in March.

Tech firm denies lying to committee probing Facebook data scandal

A senior executive of a B.C.-based technology firm is denying accusations from MPs that the company misled a probe of Canadian connections to an international Facebook data controversy.

Jeff Sylvester of AggregateIQ told the committee hearing the Victoria company did nothing wrong when it helped groups pushing for the U.K. to leave the European Union with online advertising campaigns during the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The company has been accused of lying to MPs on two separate occasions—first from whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, and later from a security researcher.

Sylvester is calling Wylie’s accusations that the company was involved in illegal activity astonishing, and says AggregateIQ has been fully transparent with the Commons ethics and privacy committee.

With files from The Canadian Press