Articles

BRICS: A Different Tune

Filed in Articles by on 20th November 2014
BRICS: A Different Tune

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 November 2014
G20: Same Old, Same Old or Real Change?

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 November 2014
Freedom vs Security

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 November 2014
Liberté versus Sécurité

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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The Fog of War

Filed in Articles by on 5th September 2013
The Fog of War

The fog of war wafts around us as preparations continue for a US-French military action against Syria. President Barack Obama is failing to gain much support for such a move. According to Obama, a coordinated military response is needed to teach Syria not to use chemical weapons against men, women and children in violation of an international ban against their use. It is not yet clear who is responsible for using them, the regime of Bashar al-Assad or the rebels fighting to bring down his dictatorship. President Vladimir Putin of Russia maintains Syria would not use such weapons especially since an inspection team from the United Nations was on the ground in Damascus at the time.

As the majority of leaders at the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg balked at the prospect of a cruise missile campaign against Syria, the drums of war beat on. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, says the Arab League offered to bankroll a military action. That amounts to paying someone else to do the dirty work of getting rid of hard-line Islamists, while making mercenaries of the US military. Iran and its allies, the Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, promise to attack Israel if Washington goes ahead with its plan. Continue Reading »

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