Canada. In February, a dispute about shrimp fishing arose between Canada and the Danish islands of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea accused the Greenlandic and Faroese fishermen of overfishing shrimp on international waters off Canada’s east coast. According to the Minister, fishermen do not follow the quotas set by the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization NAFO for shrimp fishing. Shea announced that the Danish-flagged prawn trawls were no longer welcome in the Canadian ports to release their catch. Canada has previously kept its ports closed to shrimp fishermen from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It last happened between 2004 and 2008. The conflict was still not resolved at the end of 2010.
Several forest fires raged in late May and early June in the province of Quebec. More than 900 square kilometers of forest were destroyed in the fires, which in most cases were caused by lightning strikes. In addition, the weather in the area during the spring had been very dry with record high temperatures. The fires occurred in sparsely populated areas north of Montreal, but nearly 2,000 people still managed to escape or were evacuated. The heavy smoke from the fires also led to smog warnings in Montreal and Boston, USA. About 1,200 firefighters fought the fires, which were also bombed by airplanes.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Canada has a population of 37.59 million (2019). Kravaller broke out in Toronto in conjunction with the G20 nations meeting in the city June 26-27. About 10,000 people participated in demonstrations against the meeting and for increased investments in jobs and social issues. The majority of the protesters were peaceful, but a few black-clad and masked people broke away from the demonstration train and smashed storefronts as well as burnt and smashed police cars. This led to clashes with the police, which arrested about 900 people. Police used tear gas, pepper spray and rubber batons to try to gain control of the situation, but acknowledged that they failed. Several witnesses accused the police of being assaulted and of arresting many of the peaceful protesters.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in early November that Canada might extend its mission in Afghanistan, despite Parliament’s earlier decision that the 2,800 Canadian soldiers should return home in July 2011. The message came after Canada was pressured by, among other things, the US, which expanded his military involvement in Afghanistan. Harper said that an extension of the mandate to 2014 would not require any parliamentary decision, which led to harsh criticism from the opposition. The government later clarified that Canada should send up to 950 military trainers when the combatants left Afghanistan in 2011. The trainers will stay until 2014. Their task will be to help prepare the Afghan army and police to assume responsibility for security in the country.
In early November, the Canadian government prevented mining giant BHP from acquiring the Canadian company Potash Corporation. The reason was suspicion that the deal would not benefit Canada. Under Canadian law, the federal government must review foreign takeovers of Canadian companies and the government can stop the business if it deems it does not serve the country’s interests. BHP decided not to appeal, but gave up the deal. British-Australian BHP is the world’s largest mining company. Potash Corporation is the world’s largest producer of pot ash, and accounts for one fifth of world production. Pot ash is used as a fertilizer in agriculture.
Relatives of victims and survivors of a massacre in Congo (Kinshasa) filed a lawsuit in November against Canadian mining company Anvil Mining. Over 70 civilians are said to have been killed by Congolese soldiers in the city of Kilwa in 2004. Anvil Mining, who was Australian-owned at the time, is accused of providing the military with trucks and other logistics. The lawsuit was filed in a Montreal court by a Canadian impunity-fighting organization, the Canadian Association Against Impunity (CAAI).
Although polygamy is prohibited in Canada, the authorities have failed to prevent men in some Christian sects from marrying more women, as they refer to religious freedom. At the end of November, the issue ended up in the state of British Columbia, which will decide whether the polygamy ban violates the Religious Freedom Act. The legal process was expected to take several months.
Canada, like many other countries, was hit by a snowy and cold winter in December 2010. In mid-December, over 200 motorists crashed into the roads following a blizzard in the province of Ontario. The military had to move out and many motorists were picked up by helicopter. During the Christmas holidays, intense snowstorms pulled in across the east coast of Canada and the United States, which meant that thousands of flights had to be canceled during and shortly after the Christmas holidays.