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Canadian government green-lights formal extradition process for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

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OTTAWA — The federal Justice Department gave the go-ahead Friday for an extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, marking the formal start of the high-profile process that has put Canada in a deeply uncomfortable position between two superpowers.

Canada’s relationship with China — its second-biggest trading partner — has deteriorated since Meng’s December arrest in Vancouver.

The arrest of the Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer has angered Beijing, which has warned Ottawa of serious consequences unless she is released.

China has criticized Canada for acting on what it sees as a politically motivated extradition request from the Americans, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump publicly contemplated intervening in Meng’s case in the interests of securing a better trade deal with China.

Throughout, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained Canada is simply following the rule of law.

The government news release Friday announcing the decision appeared to take into consideration the deeply sensitive nature of Meng’s case and the allegations of political interference that surround it. The first line in the release declares: “Canada is a country governed by the rule of law.”

It goes on to say the decision follows a “thorough and diligent review” of the evidence in this case.

Ultimately, Justice Minister David Lametti must decide whether Meng is extradited, which is why his department said he will not comment on the facts of the case.

It heads back to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The extradition hearing won’t render a verdict of guilt or innocence. If Meng is eventually extradited, her actual trial will take place in the United States.

Following Friday’s decision, Meng’s defence team said it’s disappointed Lametti let the process proceeding “in the face of the political nature of the U.S. charges and where the president of the United States has repeatedly stated that he would interfere in Ms. Meng’s case if he thought it would assist the U.S. negotiations with China over a trade deal.”

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arrives at a parole office in Vancouver, Dec. 12, 2018. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The statement, signed by David J. Martin, continued by saying the defence is also concerned the minister gave his approval even though the acts the U.S. wants to try Meng for would not be an offence in Canada.

“Our client maintains that she is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the U.S. prosecution and extradition constitutes an abuse of the processes of law.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has laid out 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said it is “utterly dissatisfied” with Friday’s decision, calling her case “a political persecution against a Chinese high-tech enterprise.”

“The subsequent developments have proved this,” the embassy said in a statement. “The so-called ’rule of law’ and ’judicial independence’ asserted by Canada cannot cover up the mistakes made by the Canadian side on the case of Meng Wanzhou.”

Allegations levelled against Trudeau and top officials of interfering in the prosecution of engineering firm SNC-Lavalin have caught the attention of the Chinese government.

I believe fair-minded people can tell right from wrong

Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testified this week that she faced relentless pressure — and even veiled threats — from Trudeau, his senior aides, Canada’s top public servant and the finance minister’s office to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

Trudeau and other senior Liberals have denied anyone applied inappropriate pressure on Wilson-Raybould.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told reporters in Beijing that there is a lot of interest in China in how the Canadian government responds to the allegations.

Lu Kang made the comments after being asked whether he thought the Trudeau government was taking an inconsistent approach in the cases of Meng and SNC-Lavalin.

“I believe fair-minded people can tell right from wrong,” Lu said Friday during the ministry’s daily news conference. The ministry posts English transcripts of its briefings regularly.

On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland insisted in an interview that Ottawa’s handling of the Meng case has been “scrupulous.”

“Decisions that are correctly taken at the official — i.e. non-political — level have been scrupulously taken at the official non-political level and there has been no interference,” Freeland told CBC radio.

“I also want to be clear though that saying you’re a rule-of-law country doesn’t mean political decisions don’t get taken. In the Meng case, there will be a moment when a political decision needs to be taken … There is a potential path in the Meng case, as in all extradition cases, where the minister of justice… could need to take a political decision about whether to approve the extradition.”

In the days following Meng’s arrest, China arrested two Canadians in moves Western analysts interpret as attempts to pressure Canada into releasing her.

China detained Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, on allegations of engaging in activities that have endangered China’s national security. They remain in Chinese custody.

China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case.

China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to death in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case.

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Meet Canada’s youngest billionaire on 2019 Forbes ranking

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Forty-five Canadians have made Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires, with the youngest Canuck being 37-year-old e-commerce founder Peter Szulczewski.

With a net worth of US$1.4 billion, the Polish-Canadian entrepreneur came in at number 1,605 on the global list, but ranked 34th out of the 45 Canadians.

Shopify founder Tobi Lutke was the second-youngest Canadian on the list at 38 years old, followed by StumbleUpon’s 40-year-old Garrett Camps.

Szulczewski is a University of Waterloo alumnus and previously worked as a coder at Google before launching ContextLogic, a software company that looks at a person’s internet browsing history to predict their interests.

In 2011 Szulczewski and university friend Danny Zhang re-launched the company as Wish.

Wish is a mobile e-commerce app that connects shoppers with merchants in China that sell discounted products listed on users’ ‘wish-lists.’ The app has over 500 million users on iOS and Android platforms worldwide.

The list of Canadian billionaires is topped by media mogul David Thomson and family, with an estimated net worth of US$32.5 billion.

All Canadians in the billionaires club are listed below. Rankings are based on Forbes’ global index and all estimated net worth figures are in U.S. dollars.

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Optimum Talent and CareerJSM Are Excited to Announce the Launch of Thrive, the First Career Wellness Platform.

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TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 6, 2019–Automation will impact half of all Canadian jobs over the next decade. As employers are faced with transitioning employees on to new opportunities, job seekers will need a solution that combines traditional career transition support with dynamic learning opportunities to upskill or retrain for a new profession. To address this need, Optimum Talent and CareerJSM have partnered to develop a software-driven solution that makes learning a key priority during career transition.

Thrive will redefine how outplacement and career transition services are delivered in the Canadian and global marketplace. On Thrive, employers deposit dollars into individuals’ accounts, empowering transitioning employees to select the services that will be most impactful to them during their transition. Job seekers can choose traditional services such as career coaching, resume reviews, and interview preparation, and contemporary services like Skillsoft, LinkedIn Learning, mental health support, and social media training.

While Thrive officially launches this month, the career wellness platform already supports seven client organizations and 200 job seekers across Canada; and they anticipate substantial growth over the next 24 months as employers switch to new solutions that align with the changing labour market.

“Thrive represents the future of outplacement and career transition. Over the past decade, we have seen rapid changes in the job market and outplacement support has not kept pace, until now.” said Mike Bacchus, Chief Executive Officer at Optimum Talent. “The needs of our clients and job seekers have evolved. Upskilling, reskilling, flexibility, and affordability are now top priorities and Thrive addresses those priorities first and foremost.”

“CareerJSM first launched our outplacement SaaS solution in Canada in 2017, and two years later we have clients on four continents. While there is a huge geographic distance between our clients, they are all focused on how the changing labour market has made upskilling and reskilling an imperative component of an effective outplacement solution. Thrive is the answer, and we are excited to launch this global platform with our partner Optimum Talent,” said Jeffrey Doucet, Chief Executive Officer at CareerJSM.

About Optimum Talent
Optimum Talent enables organizations to achieve success through people. We collaborate with leading organizations to recruit, develop, engage, retain, and transition talent. The result for our clients is a stronger employer brand, and a team of talent with the capability to achieve their business goals.

With origins dating back over 40 years, Optimum Talent has grown to over 260 colleagues operating in 13 offices from coast to coast. We provide expertise in Executive Search and Recruitment Solutions, Leadership Assessment and Development, and Career Transition and Outplacement.

About CareerJSM
Founded in 2014, CareerJSM is a global software company specializing in job-search management software. CareerJSM is used by over 80,000 professionals and enterprise clients in eight countries worldwide.

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Halo Labs Awarded Annual Cannabis Manufacturing License by California, among the First to Implement Track and Trace (METRC)

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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 5, 2019–Halo Labs Inc (“Halo” or the “Company”) (NEO: HALO, OTC: AGEEF, Germany: A9KN) is pleased to announce that the Company has 1 of only 52 annual state licenses issued to date and is one of the first operators in California to fully implement California’s Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system.

Most California cannabis industry operators continues to struggle with stricter licensing requirements adopted by state lawmakers and regulators in recent months. In California there are over 10,000 temporary cannabis businesses licenses set to expire in 2019 with as many as 6,200 set to expire by April 2019. Currently, the state has no provisions in place for extending those expiring licences and many operators face the prospect of major business disruptions before they receive their annual licenses. Halo has dedicated the resources to stay ahead of the regulations, and as a result has already obtained its non-temporary annual state and local cannabis licenses and has fully implemented CCTT via the METRC software suite.

The CCTT system is used statewide to record the inventory and movement of legal cannabis products through the commercial supply chain, and prevent both the entry of cannabis from the illicit market into the regulated market, and the diversion of lawfully produced cannabis into illicit markets. Temporary licensees are not allowed to access the METRC system, while annual licensees are required to have employees complete comprehensive training before being permitted to use the METRC-CCTT system.

Kiran Sidhu, CEO commented: “Our teams’ expertise of operating in highly regulated states the past three years has enabled us to stay ahead of the curve in California and be both one of few fully permitted operators in the state and one of the first companies to implement METRC. “

ABOUT HALO LABS

Halo is a cannabis extraction company that develops and manufactures quality cannabis oils and concentrates, which are the fastest growing segments in the cannabis industry. Halo has expertise in all major cannabis manufacturing processes, leveraging proprietary processes and products, and has produced over 3.0M grams of oils and concentrates since inception. The forward-thinking company is led by a strong management team with deep industry knowledge and blue-chip experience. The Company is currently operating in California, Nevada and Oregon, and expects to begin operating in southern Africa through a strategic partnership in the Kingdom of Lesotho. With a consumer-centric focus, Halo will continue to market innovative branded and private label products across multiple product categories.

For further information regarding Halo, see Halo’s disclosure documents on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Halo’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Halo’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained herein may include, but is not limited to, information concerning the Company’s second facility in Cathedral City, the future prospects of the Company, the production capacity of the Company’s current facility in Cathedral City, the Company’s prospects for future partnerships with Canadian and European entities and the expected timing of the launch of DabTabsin various markets.

By identifying such information and statements in this manner, Halo is alerting the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Halo to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements. In addition, in connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Halo has made certain assumptions.

Among others, the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information and statements are the following: adverse changes in applicable laws; adverse changes to suppliers and other third parties with which the Company does business, changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets and the other risks disclosed in the most recent management information circular (including the documents incorporated by reference therein). Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information or statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected.

Although Halo believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurance or guarantee can be given that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. Key assumptions used herein are that the development of the Company’s second facility in Cathedral City will not be subject to any unexpected costs or delays, that the current facility in Cathedral City will be able to operate at full capacity, that the Company’s discussions with potential partners, both domestic and international, will progress as expected and that the launch of the DabTabproduct line will not be subject to any unexpected costs or delays. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Halo does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to Halo or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190305005878/en/

CONTACT: Halo Labs

Investor Relations

info@halocanna.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CANADA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PHARMACEUTICAL

SOURCE: Halo Labs Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 03/05/2019 04:01 PM/DISC: 03/05/2019 04:01 PM

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