BUSTED! Mayor Patrick Brown using City of Brampton employees for work on CPC leadership campaign

After receiving a tip about some apparently unethical behaviour from Patrick Brown, the Brampton mayor and Conservative leadership hopeful, David Menzies tried to get to the bottom of this rumour. As it turns out, senior staffers from the City of Brampton are allegedly working on Brown’s leadership campaign while still remaining on the city’s payroll.

Trust in legacy media plummetted over course of pandemic: survey

Canadians rank journalists among the least-trusted professions according to a new index published by the public relations firm Edelman.

The 2022 Trust Barometer shows that 61% of people polled said that journalists are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.” The figure grew by 12% when compared to last year. 

Other groups Canadians felt were trying to mislead them include business leaders (60%) and the government (58%). 

Meanwhile, 71% of Canadians said that they were concerned with “fake news being used as a weapon.” 

Trust in the legacy media has also severely declined over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, 57% of Canadians said they trusted traditional media, down from 71% in 2019. 

A majority of Canadians totalling in at 59% also reported that “people in this country lack the ability to have constructive and civil debates about issues they disagree on.” 

Overall trust in journalists and reporters sat at 50% while only 43% said they trusted government leaders and a meagre 36% had any trust for CEOs.

More people also saw the government and media as a dividing force than a unifying force. 45% said that the government did more to divide society while only 32% said that it was working to unite people. 

As for the media, 44% of people said that the media was working to divide people while only 32% saw it as a unifying force. 

“The second year of the global pandemic has put institutions to the test in unprecedented ways. We have seen an increase in the expectations Canadians have for CEOs to lead on societal issues; persistent societal fears which has led to a lack of economic optimism; and the battle for truth, alongside the rise of disinformation,” wrote Edelman. 

“Rebuilding trust is the key to societal stability, and to restoring the ability for the four institutions to function well and address societal challenges. Business must recognize that its societal role is here to stay. Canadians want more business leadership, not less.”

Three Foreign Mercenaries Who Fought for Ukraine Condemned to Death by DPR’s Supreme Court

All three earlier pleaded guilty to acts aimed at seizing power by force, with one of them additionally pleading guilty to undergoing training for carrying out terrorist activities. According to DPR laws, the highest punishment for attempting to seize power by force is a death sentence.

Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Supreme Court has sentenced three mercenaries captured while fighting for the Ukrainian forces, UK citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, as well as Moroccan Saadun Brahim, all received death sentences. DPR laws only allow for one form of capital punishment – through firing squad. However, despite issuing several death penalty sentences in the past, none have been carried out.

The convicts can appeal the court’s decision within one month, the presiding judge said.

All three mercenaries earlier pleaded guilty on charges of trying to seize power by force, which is punishable up to death in accordance with DPR laws. UK citizen Aiden Aslin also pleaded guilty to undergoing training for the purposes of engaging in terrorist activities. The court ruled that all three received payment for fighting on the side of Ukrainian forces.

The presiding judge also noted that one of the mercenaries, Shaun Pinner, was wanted in the UK as a terrorist for having fought for militant groups in Iraq and Syria.

One of the lawyers for the captured mercenaries said that the defence is planning to appeal the court’s decision and try to spare the three the death penalty. The defendants can also request that DPR’s government authorities pardon them – in this case their death sentences would be replaced with 25-year prison terms.

Reaction to the Death Sentences

Head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, stated in the wake of the court’s decision that the convicts did not try to conceal their crimes and added that with the death penalty sentence the “justice has prevailed”. He further stated that neither UK nor Moroccan authorities had contacted the DPR regarding the future fate of their citizens, suggesting they did not care about them.

Russia to Investigate Actions of UK Lawmaker’s Son Fighting in Ukraine as Mercenary

29 May, 13:45 GMT

Despite that, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss publically condemned the court’s ruling, calling it a “sham judgment”. London does not recognise the DPR’s independence.

A spokesperson for the UK prime minister also stated that London will try to release the two captured Brits by working with Ukrainian authorities. The spokesperson argued that “combatants” should not be prosecuted for taking part in hostilities, and accused the DPR of using the mercenaries for political purposes.

“We will continue to work with Ukrainian authorities to try and secure the release of any British national who was serving in the Ukrainian armed forces and who are being held as prisoners of war,” the spokesperson said.

Following the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on foreigners to travel to Ukraine to fight on its side as mercenaries. Despite many foreign governments warning their citizens against heeding this call, several thousand reportedly arrived in Kiev and were assigned to its “foreign legion”.

Several mercenaries, who ended up in captivity or were lucky enough to get back home in one piece, later told the media of poor coordination, lack of information about their tactical assignments, shortages or absence of equipment and training. Some also complained about not being paid for their services.