Veiled Priorities

Filed in Articles by on 14th Jan 2015

Remember the peace dividend – the era of peace, prosperity, and jobs promised by western political leaders after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

One definition of ‘peace dividend’ is ” the money that becomes available in a national government’s budget when the country is at peace, and can afford to reduce its defence spending.”(1)  Peace dividend also refers to “an increase in investor confidence that sparks an increase in stock prices after a war ends, or a major threat to national security is eliminated. The money saved from defence spending is usually used toward housing, education and other projects”.(2)

Losing Patience

However, instead of peace, prosperity and jobs, the world seems to be growing increasingly angry, losing patience over lost opportunities. Whether in the United States, Europe, or elsewhere in the western world, the 99 versus one per cent, and the continued winnowing out of the middle class is evidence more of a plutocracy or rich élite pulling the strings of power than democratically-elected governments dedicated to the health and well-being of their citizens.

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BRICS: A Different Tune

Filed in Articles by on 20th Nov 2014

Is Nero fiddling while Rome burns? As the 2014 G20 Summit drew to a close in Brisbane, world leaders voiced their determination to step up efforts to revitalise the world economy, and create more jobs. In their final communiqué, they “set an ambitious goal to lift the G20’s GDP by at least an additional two per cent by 2018.” (1) G20 leaders also promised action to increase trade, eradicate poverty, and strengthen global institutions. In addition to agreeing to “support strong and effective action to address climate change”, world leaders also reaffirmed their “longstanding and rollback commitments to resist protectionism” (2) Words such as commitment, promise and determination appear throughout the communiqué like a leitmotif, haunting and ethereal, but saying little.

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G20: Same Old, Same Old or Real Change?

Filed in Articles by on 18th Nov 2014

On the eve of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, it’s important to place things in perspective. Though agricultural subsidies seem dull in this era of computers, smart-phones and jet travel, agriculture is still a key part of everyone’s economy. Continue Reading »

Freedom vs Security

Filed in Articles by on 9th Nov 2014

This week’s attacks on Canadian soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa have raised the levels of fear and uncertainty in Canada. The overall respect for our fellow Canadians has been denigrated as well as our image of ourselves as a peaceful, law-abiding nation. Off-duty members of our Canadian Forces have been ordered not to wear their uniforms in public, the very symbol of pride in defending our country. This only serves to highlight how the tectonic plates of ordinary life in Canada have shifted from relative stability to greater uncertainty. Continue Reading »

Liberté versus Sécurité

Filed in Articles by on 7th Nov 2014

Le niveau de peur et d’insécurité au Canada est monté d’une coche cette semaine avec les attentats sur des soldats à St-Jean-sur-Richelieu et à Ottawa. Les plaques tectoniques de la vie ordinaire canadienne se sont déplacées, nous laissant devant l’incertitude. Notre image d’un pays paisible et stable est ternie.

Dans la foulée de ces attentats, il y a un réel danger que les efforts du gouvernement fédéral à renforcer la Loi sur la sécurité nationale nous tombent dessus amenant une érosion des libertés que nous prenons pour acquis.

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