No plans to release Americas strategy consultations

OTTAWA, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012 ISSUE 394 • $4.00
No plans to
release Americas
■ Democracy pillar may be focus in
expected strategy renewal: Observers.
Taline Bedrossian
Mexico’s human rights activists: Yolanda Moran Isais, a member of an group of families of people forcibly disappeared; Alberto Xicotencatl
Carrasco, director of a shelter for migrants; Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working with indigenous communities; and Dolores González Saravia,
director of a peace-building NGO. They were in Ottawa March 8 to talk to MPs and government officials about human rights issues in Mexico,
touching on everything from Canadian mining companies’ perceived encroachment on indigenous lands to the country’s war on drugs. Page 15
Study okays Canada-Japan trade talks
■ Both countries want to protect
agriculture; they differ on rules of
origin, labour provisions.
Carl Meyer
A new government report has given
trade talks between Canada and Japan a
thumbs up, but noted that both countries
aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on several trade
issues, and will want to protect industries
like agriculture—leading one expert to cast
doubt on the seriousness of the exercise.
In March 2011, bureaucrats from the
two countries began a series of meetings
in Toronto, Tokyo, and Vancouver to hash
out the details of a study examining the
feasibility of a trade agreement. Their most
recent meeting was Jan. 23 to 24 in Tokyo.
Continued on Page 5
Defence cuts will be felt outside Ottawa: Analysts
■ Consolidating North American
and overseas command HQs won’t
go far in achieving the savings the
department is said to be hunting for.
Carl Meyer
Publications Mail Agreement #40068926
A new report on cuts to the Canadian
Forces argues that if the Harper government is serious about saving money
through cutting or reorganizing senior
defence department personnel, it won’t be
able to do it with staff in Ottawa alone.
In a forthcoming study published by the
Conference of Defence Associations Institute,
analyst Dave Perry argues that this was a
largely-overlooked conclusion reached by
Lt.-Gen. (ret’d) Andrew Leslie and his team
in a controversial paper on how to transform
the Department of National Defence.
Much of the coverage of the Leslie report
focused on its assertion that DND’s Ottawa
offices had become too bloated with senior
staff. But Mr. Perry argues that one file associated with the report, Annex M—which was
not attached to the version of the report
posted online—demonstrates that any
attempt to reorganize regular force, reserve
force, and civilian staff in headquarters organizations will require bean counters to look
outside Canada’s capital for efficiencies.
The military has several of these headquarters offices; some of them are operational
Continued on Page 4
How to tackle
in Asia
■ Government should strengthen
anti-corruption laws, analysts say.
Sneh Duggal
As Canadian businesses turn their attention
to Asia, they need to have strong internal controls to avoid getting caught up in “endemic”
corruption in the region, say analysts.
The Canadian government should also
strengthen its legislation that criminalizes the
bribing of foreign public officials, they say.
Nabila Pirani, a post-graduate research fellow
with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, said
Continued on Page 4
Continued on Page 3
The Harper government has no plans to
release the results of its 2011 public consultation on the Americas strategy, but observers
say it’s possible that if changes are coming,
they will focus on democracy promotion.
In December, Minister of State for the
Americas and Consular Affairs Diane Ablonczy
launched an “open dialogue” on the five-yearold strategy’s future with more than 100 experts
from academia and civil society.
In an interview March 8, Ms. Ablonczy said
contributions from these experts will play a
role in whether there are any “adjustments” to
its strategy going forward. The results will be
“evident in the actions that are taken,” she said.
PAGES 10-11
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—2
Diplomacy This Week
Japan marks one year of loss and suffering
Another EU ambassador said, “We
know, we have to get our financial affairs
in order,” adding, “but sometimes a holierthan-thou attitude isn’t the way to bring
about change.”
Japanese Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa welcomes Vietnamese Ambassador Sy Vuong Ha Le to a sombre
reception at the Chateau Laurier March 8 commemorating Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.
Chatter House
t hasn’t been an easy year for Japanese
Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa. One of the
Ottawa diplomatic corps’ most amiable
heads of missions has cut a forlorn figure—heaving to deal with the tragedy that
affected his beloved homeland a year ago.
Earthquake. Tsunami. Nuclear crisis and
But in the face of considerable sympathy he has received from his well-wishers
in Canada, the envoy recently had an
opportunity to thank his hosts at a special
commemoration reception at the Chateau
Laurier March 8.
The mood was sombre, as can be
expected—quite contrary to the standard
demeanour in diplomatic dos. Mr. Ishikawa
took the podium and asked guests to offer
a moment of silence for the close to 16,000
Japanese citizens who lost their lives on
March 11, 2011.
Japan has been known for hosting some
of the most extravagant and panacheinfused diplomatic events. But the events of
last year did put a bit of a damper on any
sense of festivity or joy.
“We lost many of our citizens on that
fateful day,” said Mr. Ishikawa, adding,
“Let’s take a brief moment to remember
their lives.”
Canada has always been quick to
respond to tragedies. Just hours after
the earthquake hit Japan, Canadians had
already donated $77,000 to help victims,
with the Canadian Red Cross reaching out
online and through social media to raise
The diplomatic community showed its solidarity by coming to last week’s event in droves.
“It’s sad to have to attend an event like
this, but we have to show our empathy to
a valued colleague,” said Barbadian High
Commissioner Edward Greaves.
But as the evening wore on, it was business as usual when it came to standard diplomatic modus operandi—namely, through
gripes with the establishment. A recentlydeparted ambassador criticized Canada
on having a narrow-minded strategy that
focused on growing giants of the East, at the
expense of the other world regions.
One senior African diplomat said that
this has been the case since former foreign
minister Lawrence Cannon’s time, which
he felt neglected the continent badly. The
ambassador, though, conceded that his successor John Baird has been more constructive in making communicative inroads.
Additionally, not all diplomats have
taken well to what some consider Canada’s
“hectoring tone” when it comes to global
One European Union diplomat told
Chatter House that Canada—while doing
well to keep its financial house in order—
tends to “put off a lot of people with its
condescending tone” when it comes to
lecturing others about how to handle their
financial affairs.
Last month, at a meeting of G20 finance
ministers and central bank governors in
Mexico City, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
repeated Canada’s position that Europe
must increase funding for its own financial firewalls before any broader move to
increase IMF resources.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke
earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland at the
World Economic Forum. After boasting of
Canada’s stellar economic record throughout the recession, he said: “Is it a coincidence that as the veil falls on the financial
crisis, it reveals beneath it, not just too
much bank debt, but too much sovereign
debt, too much general willingness to have
standards and benefits beyond our ability
or even willingness to pay for them?”
Afghanistan has not had a formal head of
mission for quite some time now. The last
official ambassador was Jawed Ludin, who
is now the country’s deputy foreign minister
for political affairs.
His then-deputy Ershad Ahmadi then
held the helm for almost a year.
Incidentally, the Department of Foreign
Affairs’ protocol website still had Mr. Ahmadi’s
name on its rolls months after he had left.
Chatter House reported a few months
ago that a certain Barna Karimi had been
appointed to take charge of the Afghan mission in Ottawa. That now seems actually to
be happening.
A source at the embassy said that his
arrival is set to take place shortly, “within
two weeks to a month.”
This means that Kaihan Ahadi, the current first secretary and chargé d’affaires,
will be getting a new boss soon.
Mr. Karimi was appointed by Afghan
President Hamid Karzai in October 2011.
From September 2007 till recently, he
previously worked as deputy minister for
policy and co-ordination in Afghanistan’s
Independent Directorate of Local
Governance, which works with local council of elders called shuras.
According to the Daily Outlook Afghanistan,
an Afghan newspaper, Mr. Karimi is a relatively
young gun, born on Oct. 13, 1974.
He may also be in for a bit of a shock
when his makes his Canadian debut, if
Minister of State for Status of Women
Canada Rona Ambrose has anything to say.
On the eve of International’s Women’s
Day, March 8, Ms. Ambrose released a rather caustic statement in response to what is
widely considered a strict code of conduct
related to women. Mr. Karzai supported
the code, according to the UK’s Guardian
“The recent Ulema Council’s statement
represents a dramatic step backwards for
Afghan women. We expect the Government
of Afghanistan to uphold its constitution
and to distance itself from these outrageous
remarks,” she said.
“The protection and advancement of
women’s rights has been, and continues to
be, a key pillar of Canada’s foreign policy.
This is especially true in Afghanistan, where
promoting and protecting human rights,
including women’s rights, is a central theme
of Canada’s post-2011 engagement.”
Looks like Afghanistan’s new rep might
come in for a bit of a dressing down soon.
Fiesta Time!
Embassy Photo: Avinash Gavai
Embassy Photo: Sam Garcia
If there’s any
nation that knows
how to throw a cultural extravaganza,
it most certainly is
Not simply
content with
the centennial of the Mexican
Revolution of 1910
and bicentennial
of Mexico’s War
of Independence
that was marked in
2010, the embassy
is set to launch a
Mexican cultural attaché series of events
Miguel Mojedano Batel. extending till at
least June.
Mexico’s fresh-faced attaché Miguel
Mojedano Batel recently told Chatter House
that of the busy schedule, which includes
film festivals, food (and, of course, tequila)
tasting, educational talks, book talks, and
musical events.
“It’s going to be great, a true feast for the
diplomatic community, and for Ottawa in
general,” said a rather enthused Mr. Batel,
who has been at the forefront of his mission’s
cultural responsibilities.
Of particular note to those with a historical interest is a movie screening March
28 about a Mexican diplomat. As a consul
general in Nazi-occupied France, he took
initiative to rescue tens of thousands of
Jews, Spanish Republican exiles and others fleeing the Nazis.
[email protected]
Talking Points
Trade mission to hit Russia
Trade Minister Ed Fast is gearing up to
visit three Russian cities as part of a trade
mission this summer, the Globe and Mail
reported. This will be Canada’s first mission to Russia in three years. Between 10
and 20 executives of Canadian engineering,
infrastructure, construction and aerospace
companies are expected to join Mr. Fast.
The minister plans to visit Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Rostov from June 3 to June
8. Russian President Vladimir Putin has
said he is concerned about low levels of
trade between the two countries.
Asylum claims and judges
A York University law professor is
saying that outcomes on refugee cases
depend on the judge making the decision,
the Toronto Star reported. Sean Rehaag’s
new study examined the decisions judges
appointed to the Immigration and Refugee
Board made in 2011 and found that the
approval rates ranged from 0 to 100. The
report stated that one judge heard 127
claims, but rejected all of them. Mr. Rehaag
said the government should rethink its
proposed bill that would ban appeals to
refugees coming from countries that are
considered safe countries of origin.
Take Syria off UNESCO: Canada
The Canadian government decried
UNESCO after its executive board did not
revoke Syria’s membership from a committee that examines human rights abuses.
Canada was one of 14 countries that
asked for Syria to be removed from the
committee. But in a 35-8 vote, the board
condemned Syria’s crackdown on its civilians in a motion that did not include any
mention of the country being kicked off the
committee on conventions and recommendations. Canada has observer status on the
board, and therefore could not vote.
Business links and democracy
A New York businessman wants Canada
to act as a role model for Libya, a country
trying to shift from a tyranny to a democracy, the Toronto Sun reported. Basit
Igtet, president of the Independent Libya
Foundation, announced the creation of the
Canadian Libyan Chamber of Commerce
on March 12. Mr. Igtet said he hopes the
chamber will cover more than just commercial interests. This could mean tapping into
Canada’s expertise in governance. Libya’s
interim government plans to hold elections
in four months.
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—3
Corruption perceptions index
9 - 10
8 - 8.9
7 - 7.9
6 - 6.9
5 - 5.9
4 - 4.9
3 - 3.9
2 - 2.9
1 - 1.9
0 - 0.9
No data
Image: Transparency International
International’s map
showing perceived
corruption levels in
183 countries or
territories in 2011.
As trade turns to Asia, strong controls needed
to avoid ‘endemic’ corruption, say observers
Continued from Page 1
corruption has always been an issue important for the Canada-Asia agenda. The foundation launched an online conversation March 5
on the subject.
The Canadian government has declared Asia
a priority and trade activity with Asian partners
has kept officials busy in recent months.
Canada is currently in free trade talks with
India and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is
expected to announce the start of free trade
discussions with Japan during an anticipated
visit to the country later this month.
During a trip to China in February, Mr. Harper
announced the completion of negotiations
towards a Foreign Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreement with the Asian powerhouse.
And Canada is lobbying to join the TransPacific Partnership trade talks. The club
counts several Southeast Asian nations in its
current membership.
“I do think Canadian companies more and
more are going to focus on Asia as a market
for their own growth,” said Peter Dent, national
leader of Deloitte Canada’s forensic and dispute
services practice and a director of the Canadian
branch of Transparency International, a global
anti-corruption civil society group.
“It is incredibly important if you’re going
to conduct business in Asia, that you’ve done
your due diligence as to what that means,” he
said. “What are the risks to conducting business in Asia? What can get you in trouble?”
Robert Hanlon agreed. A postdoctoral
research fellow at the University of British
Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research, Mr.
Hanlon said it is “absolutely critical” for companies and the Canadian government to focus
on corruption in Asia.
“It’s the most important time right now,”
said Mr. Hanlon. He said while corrupt practices, such as bribing foreign officials, might
benefit a company in the short term, it could
be harmful in the long run.
Bribing foreign officials is barred under
Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials
Act, which came into force in February 1999.
Penalties under the act include a five-year
maximum prison sentence and a fine decided
by a judge.
While engaging in corrupt practices can lead
to legal punishment for Canadian companies in
Canada, it can also have negative impacts in the
countries where they operate, Mr. Hanlon said.
“They could actually be doing significant
damage to the development process of these
countries, because the money often doesn’t
get down to society.”
Corruption in Asia vs. other regions
Mr. Hanlon said corruption is an “endemic”
problem in emerging Asian economies.
“I would even argue that in most of the countries in Asia that are developing, that it’s almost
impossible to do business there without being
somehow implicated in some kind of extra judicial payment…involved in corruption,” he said.
Transparency International puts out an index
of perceived levels of public-sector corruption
in countries worldwide, based on assessments
and business opinion surveys done by what it
says are independent institutions. Countries are
given a score from 0 to 10; a lower score indicates a higher level of perceived corruption. In
2011, China got a score of 3.6; India, 3.1; Japan,
8; South Korea, 5.4; and Vietnam, 2.9.
With many Asian countries being on the
lower end of the scale, the likelihood that
Canadian businesses would experience corruption in Asia is fairly high, said James Klotz,
president of Transparency InternationalCanada and a partner in the business law
group of Miller Thomson LLP.
But the risks of doing business in Asia are
just as high as they are in any other regions
around the world, said Mr. Dent.
The difference, he argued, is that while
parts of Africa and the Middle East might
have higher perceptions of corruption, countries such as Vietnam or China are still very
much government-controlled.
“It’s much more difficult for companies to
understand if they’re doing business with a
private company or if they’re doing business
with a government, state-owned enterprise,”
he said. “In many cases, these companies have
been privatized, but not really privatized...
there’s still a very strong connection to government officials through these companies.”
That’s why it’s so important for a company to do due diligence, he said.
Mr. Klotz said corruption takes many forms
and that practices have changed over the years.
“In the old days, when I first started going
to China in the mid-‘80s, early ‘90s, Canadian
businessmen would have to take suitcases full
of cash to distribute to get contracts,” he said.
This changed as China started to crack down
on corruption.
“It became a lot more sophisticated,” he said.
Often Canadian companies will enter emerging markets and hire an intermediary to help
them navigate the system. The middleman often
charges a fee, a portion of which might go to pay
bribes to government officials to gain contracts,
Mr. Hanlon said. But companies might not always
know they are involved in corrupt practices.
Direct payments could come in different
forms, he said. This includes cash, bottles of
wine, and charitable donations to foundations.
Some Asian officials are aware of the
importance of fighting corruption and say
they’re acting.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said during
the opening of the National People’s Congress
March 5 that the government would do more
to combat corruption and build a clean government, reported BBC News.
“We will resolutely rectify the problems of
laws not being fully enforced, of lawbreakers
not being prosecuted, and law enforcement
being uncivilized and corrupt,” he said.
Going forward
Canadian companies operating abroad need
to have strong anti-corruption compliance programs in place, said Mr. Klotz. He added that it
means more than just having a policy in place
that states the company does not pay bribes.
Such a program should help employees
identify corruption requests and train them
on how to deal with these situations, and
deflect and avoid them.
He said the government should be pushing to ensure that all Canadian companies
operating abroad have these compliance
programs in place so that they do not get
caught up in corruption.
On the legislation side, Mr. Hanlon said
the government needs to reflect on its anticorruption laws so that it has more power to
prosecute and investigate Canadian companies
working overseas. As it stands, the government
has jurisdiction to prosecute cases only “when
the offence is committed in whole or in part in
its territory,” in the words of the legislation.
He said changes should be made to bring
Canada’s law more in line with the United States’
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The US law allows
authorities to go after companies, even if they are
only traded on an American market, he added.
The business community still hasn’t seen the
full effect of what the RCMP’s international anticorruption unit has been doing or is going to do.
Mr. Hanlon said last October the RCMP had more
than 20 active files opened under the Canadian
legislation, but only a few are publicly known.
Mr. Dent said the fact that the RCMP is
investigating these cases shows the government is stepping up its enforcement of this
legislation and should continue doing so.
After a six-year investigation, the RCMP
charged Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd.
under Canada’s anti-corruption law and the
company pleaded guilty in June 2011. It
agreed to pay a $9.5-million fine. The company’s subsidiary was reported to have provided a vehicle to a Bangladeshi official and
paid for his travel expenses during a trip to
Calgary for the GO EXPO oil and gas exposition, according to the RCMP.
In a separate case, Canadian businessperson
Nazir Karigar faces charges for allegedly bribing
an Indian Cabinet minister. His case is expected
to go to be heard in court in September.
Ms. Pirani said the Asia Pacific Foundation
launched its online conversation to get a dialogue going within the foundation and with
its partners in the lead-up to the September
court date.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—4
No plans to release Americas
strategy consultations
Continued from Page 1
Meanwhile, the consultation results themselves won’t be reported “in a formal way,”
she added, because “this is Cabinet work and
it’s done in that context.”
In July 2007, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper launched a hemispheric foreign policy focus that became known as the Americas
strategy. It was quickly made into a foreign
affairs priority, second to Afghanistan, with
“democratic governance, prosperity, and
security” as its three pillars.
With that political push came top-level
tours of the region, and an increase in Latin
American trade agreements. Canada now
has more free trade partners in the Americas
than anywhere else in the world; it has deals
with Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, and
Mexico under NAFTA, and has concluded
talks with Honduras and Panama.
That’s compared to only three other
completed deals—Israel, the European Free
Trade Association, and the United States
under NAFTA—as well as one other concluded talk, Jordan.
Canada has been trying to talk its way
into more deals, including with Mercosur—
which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay
and Uruguay—as well as the Caribbean
Community and many others.
But last year, concerns were raised about
a lack of political attention outside of the
trade focus. A United States diplomatic cable
from 2009 released by WikiLeaks last summer indicated that Mr. Harper’s prioritizing
of the Americas was really intended to “exert
outsized influence” with the US. In the 2011
federal election, the region was barely mentioned on the campaign trail.
The concerns reached even inside the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade. An internal report leaked to the press
last year warned “there is evidence to suggest
Canada’s credibility in the region could decline.”
Diane Ablonczy, the minister of state in charge of the Americas, launches a ministerial dialogue on
the Americas at the Department of Foreign Affairs’s headquarters in Ottawa Dec. 6., 2011.
Ms. Ablonczy, when asked about DFAIT’s
internal report on the Americas strategy,
said it was taken out of context.
“The report was a little bit misleading. In
fact, Canada invests over $800 million a year
in the Americas,” she said.
And Brazilian Ambassador Piragibe dos
Santos Tarragô said Canada’s trade relations with his country were reason enough
to feel good about the relationship. He said
last year, Canada-Brazil trade reached $6.7
billion US with a $400 million US trade surplus for Canada, and that this was a record
Even so, some want Ms. Ablonczy to report
to Canadians how the government hopes to
renew its approach to Canada’s hemisphere.
“If they’re serious they’ll release the
[new] strategy publicly,” said University of
Ottawa senior fellow and former executive
director of the Canadian Foundation for the
Americas Carlo Dade.
Democracy focus
At a speech in Chile in September commemorating the Inter-American Democratic Charter,
Ms. Ablonczy highlighted Canada’s “significant
financial support” for OAS electoral observation
missions, conflict-resolution, capacity-building,
and other democracy-related programming.
“Democracy, if it is to be durable, requires
nurturing, improvement and oversight,” she
said. She added that Canada supports the
creation of a special rapporteur for democracy, and the creation of a compendium of
democratic best practices.
As such, some observers believe Ms.
Ablonczy will focus on the pillar of democracy if
she moves to adjust Canada’s Americas strategy.
“Democracy has been left out” compared to security and prosperity, said Victor
Armony, a Fullbright research chair in policy
studies and director of Université de Québec
à Montréal’s Observatoire des Amériques.
Council of the Americas vice-president
Eric Farnsworth also highlighted the role
Ottawa plays in Washington when it comes
to the Caribbean. Most Canadian aid in
the Americas—more than $1.1 billion since
2006—has gone to Haiti, for example.
He said Canada is seen as stepping into
the recent gap of US activity in the region, and
its difference from the US on certain issues
like Cuba gives Canada a stabilizing influence.
Targeting democracy would be a constructive way to address polarization in the
region, said University of British Columbia
political scientist Maxwell Cameron.
“What [Ms. Ablonczy] is really proposing
is to get away from the use of the democratic
charter in what can sometimes seem like a
punitive way,” he said.
It’s also an opportunity to find some common ground “between countries that advocate for the defense and promotion of representative democracy and countries that view
democracy as more about participation.”
But Mr. Armony cautioned that the best
practices approach to democracy-building still
“might make some Latin Americans cringe.”
How democracy is perceived in the region is
an issue Canada will continue to face, he said.
“You have to be very careful when you put
in place benchmarks to measure the quality
of democracy,” said Mr. Armony—that implies
that democracy in Latin America is “lesser,
weaker, and less perfect” than in North America.
[email protected]
Defence cuts across Canada: Analysts
Continued from Page 1
and oversee geographic areas, and others
focus on the three service branches—the
Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian
Navy, and the Canadian Army. Still others are
regional headquarters for larger offices.
The Leslie report counted 18,511 military
and civilian staff working for different headquarters organizations within DND. Experts
say some of these are very Ottawa-focused.
But in one case, the headquarters of the
chief of maritime staff, the annex explicitly shows that staff are scattered in greater
numbers across the country. Out of the 1,226
people the annex identified as working for
the chief of maritime staff, only 306 work
in Ottawa, while 920 work in the Halifax,
Victoria, and Quebec City areas.
If the department has looked to free up
personnel by reorganizing this headquarters
office, said Mr. Perry, it will have needed to
address these 920 people.
Mr. Perry acknowledges that the annex
doesn’t show whether this breakdown is
representative of how the other headquarters are structured geographically. But he
does point to other evidence that also gives
indications of how spread out headquarters
staff are.
For example, when the Leslie team calculated which jobs it could reroute to create a new
headquarters office as part of its proposed
reorganization of DND, it envisioned pulling
not only staff in Ottawa, but also thousands
of individuals in other headquarters jobs
in Kingston, Edmonton, Halifax, Petawawa,
Borden, North Bay, and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
Combining North American,
overseas HQs won’t cut it
And while many critics focused on Lt.-Gen.
Leslie’s suggestion to consolidate the two headquarters in charge of North American and overseas deployments, called Canada Command
and Canadian Expeditionary Force Command,
the annex shows that 365 and 246 people work
for those headquarters, respectively—compared to the land, marine, and air chiefs who
oversee over a thousand people each.
In other words, consolidating them
wouldn’t go very far in achieving the savings
the department is reportedly being demanded
to find, said Mr. Perry.
He is arguing that all this demonstrates
how the department’s hands are tied.
Assuming that the department is being
requested to cut in a big way, as media
reports have suggested; that it won’t sig-
nificantly cut spending in other areas, like
operations or equipment; and that it wants
to free up money and personnel to funnel
into new dilemmas like how to integrate all
the lessons learned from the combat mission
in Afghanistan—the department will need to
address non-Ottawa senior staff.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay issued a
statement to Embassy in response to questions about the report and the issue of having to cut or reorganize non-Ottawa headquarters personnel.
“This government has made unprecedented investments in the Canadian Forces. Since
2006, the defence budget has grown by more
than $6 billion, an average of over $1 billion a
year,” reads Mr. MacKay’s statement.
“However, with the end of the combat
mission in Afghanistan and a transition to a
more normal operational tempo there is an
effect on how the department plans and ultimately allocates its funding. These plans will
be communicated following Budget 2012.”
Other cuts are being reported as Canadawide. For example, the Ottawa Citizen suggested March 12 that the Canadian army is
expected to lose 697 civilian support jobs.
It noted that these cuts would come down
not just in Ontario and Quebec, but also the
Atlantic area, and the West.
Philippe Lagassé, an assistant professor of public and international affairs at
the University of Ottawa who focuses on
defence, said he agreed with the fundamental assertion that the department would
need to look beyond Ottawa to find cuts.
“I think you need to go outside of Ottawa
in terms of just looking at the larger CF footprint across the country. I don’t just mean in
terms of personnel, I mean in terms of bases,
in terms of infrastructure,” he said.
“Any serious discussion about trying to maintain the current capital program under the existing budget will require that some money move
into that capital budget in a significant fashion.
The distribution just doesn’t make sense.”
But he also pointed out that changing the
structure of environmental commands “could
really have a good deal of impact on readiness,” and in that sense, the department will
likely push back on any decision in this regard.
Another observer, Rideau Institute president Steven Staples, said he felt Canada was
already overspending on national defence in
the first place.
“There is certainly a problem with the
tooth-to-tail ratio as Leslie pointed out.
However, the enormous capital spending cannot be left untouched,” he wrote in an email.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—5
Study okays Canada-Japan trade talks
Mr. De Groot said the numbers should be
seen in context: in light of Canada’s expected
growth rate of roughly two to two-and-a-half
per cent, and Japan’s growth rate of one to two
per cent, in the 2012-13 fiscal year, the higher
estimates mean one quarter of Canada’s total
GDP growth could come from the agreement.
Mr. Hart, however, said he felt the numbers were quite low. More importantly,
however, he said they appeared essentially
worthless, given that they were arrived at
using simulation models.
“You know what the acronym that applies
to simulation models is? GIGO; garbage in,
garbage out. The barriers to trade with Japan
are not in barriers that you can measure.
They are informal barriers,” he said.
“You can’t really do anything serious until
you have a clear idea of what’s negotiable
and what’s not negotiable. A study like this
doesn’t do that.”
For Mr. De Groot, the study paves the
way for negotiations, which is when disputed
issues will be hammered out.
“At least both governments have recognized that there is enough common ground
to begin negotiations, something they have
never agreed to before. This should be welcomed as a major step forward,” he wrote.
Embassy Photo: Sam Garcia
Agree and disagree
Foreign Minister John Baird and Defence Minister Peter MacKay at the Japanese emperor’s birthday celebrations at the Westin hotel in Ottawa on Nov. 24.
Continued from Page 1
The result of their work, the Report of the
Joint Study on the Possibility of a CanadaJapan Economic Partnership Agreement, was
posted March 7 on the Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade website.
It suggests there is “sufficient common
ground” to begin working out a “comprehensive and high-level [economic partnership agreement],” and that this would “significantly contribute to further strengthening economic relations between the two
Postmedia News reported Feb. 23 that
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected
to visit Tokyo and announce the beginning of
free trade agreement talks with Japan during
his trip to Seoul, South Korea later this month.
Even so, at least one critic is raising questions about how serious both countries are
about trying to land a deal. The study notes
that both countries are already treading
carefully with respect to “sensitivities” in
agriculture, forestry, and fishery products,
and that Japan wants “safeguards” in place
in case its industries are hurt.
“If you start talking like that at this stage,
it means you’re trying to go through the
motions for some reason, rather than seriously thinking about what you’re trying to get
done,” said Michael Hart, who holds the trade
policy chair at the Norman Paterson School
of International Affairs at Carleton University.
A Japanese hedge?
Japan is one of the world’s top economies,
with a GDP of $5.46 trillion in 2010, according
to the World Bank. It is also Canada’s largest
bilateral foreign direct investment partner
in Asia. In 2009, Japanese FDI in Canada was
$13.1 billion, and Canadian FDI in Japan was
$3.6 billion. That same year, exports to Japan
sat at $8.3 billion and imports at $12.3 billion.
Japan has always been a trade target for
Canada. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told
in 2011 that Canada wasn’t interested in the
Trans-Pacific Partnership unless Japan was
involved. It’s a potentially lucrative Pacific
trade deal that involves a massive chunk of
the world’s GDP. When Japan announced its
interest in the TPP, Canada did too.
But both Japan and Canada have been
taken to task on the world stage for their
approach to trade, like Japan’s blocking of
certain US car imports, or Canada’s supply
management of dairy and poultry. And both
have heard from other TPP members like New
Zealand and the United States over their handling of domestic industries.
The study makes no bones about the
fact that these issues will still exist within
future talks, noting that “both countries also
took note of their respective sensitivities” in
terms of domestic industries like agriculture.
As such, Eric De Groot, immediate
past president and board member of the
Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan,
said this shows Canada’s interest in Japan
may be an attempt to hedge against being
blocked from the TPP.
“These negotiations can be viewed [as]
an alternate way for both nations to increase
trade with a major partner while hedging
against the more stringent restrictions on
agricultural supports contained in the TPP,”
he wrote in an email to .
“For Canada, the prize in the TPP would
be access to Japan. The Canadian government may be hoping to achieve this
enhanced access through a bilateral [deal]
that doesn’t force us to give too much away
on agricultural supply side support.”
Boost to economy debated
If all tariffs between Canada and Japan
were lifted, export subsidies were killed off,
and other barriers such as those covering
services were reduced, the study says a
trade deal would mean Canada’s GDP would
rise by between 0.24 per cent and 0.57 per
cent, and Japan’s would rise by between 0.08
per cent and 0.09 per cent.
Based on 2010 GDP data, this means
Canada’s economy could see a boost of
between $3.8 billion and $9.0 billion US, with
Japan’s economy seeing a rise of between
$4.4 billion and $4.9 billion US.
The study notes that the relatively wide
differences in the ranges are because the
two governments used different simulation
models. Canada’s model resulted in the
smaller gains.
The study notes that the two countries are
seeing eye-to-eye in some WTO treaties, like
the Agreement on Government Procurement.
Both countries also recognize that “a
transparent, rules-based system is of paramount importance for the promotion and
protection of investment,” which is the language used in a foreign investment protection
agreement. Canada does not currently have a
FIPA concluded or in negotiation with Japan.
The services sector is also a big deal for
both countries. The study notes that in 2009,
the services sector was 73 per cent of Canada’s
GDP and made up 78 per cent of Canadian jobs,
while in Japan in 2008, the sector represented
73 per cent of GDP and 63 per cent of jobs.
The study concludes that “there is scope
to further promote bilateral trade in seeking enhanced commitments.”
But the study also shows there are significant areas where the two countries have
differences. In terms of rules of origin, the two
countries use different systems: Japan “basically” adopts “third-party certification” and
has an “approved exporter system” in three
deals, while Canada has an “exporter selfcertification.” As well, Canada and Japan have
different approaches to labour provisions.
Other sections were couched in diplomatic language. In terms of food safety, for
example, Canada and Japan’s views were
presented separately.
The study also reported on the stakeholder
consultations. It said the responses received
by the Canadian government “were generally
positive in nature,” although they pointed out
the “many obstacles” in the trade relationship.
Japan’s stakeholders raised concerns about
how “Canada is a major exporter of sensitive
products of Japan’s agricultural, forestry and
fishery sectors, and tariff elimination of sensitive products under a possible [deal] would
seriously affect Japanese domestic production
in these sectors.” Even so, many also recommended pressing ahead, especially if Japan can
secure access to Canada’s energy resources.
Launching trade talks with Japan has been
a bumpy ride. In the same month that bureaucrats began meeting over the joint study,
the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated
the Pacific country, killing and injuring tens
of thousands and reducing over a hundred
thousand buildings to rubble. It also crippled
one of the world’s largest economies. The two
countries, however, decided to press ahead.
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EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—6
Editorial Page
China’s impending crash
n many countries around the world, at different times, striking has carried
harsh penalties. Human Rights Watch has complained recently about restrictions in Egypt and Fiji, for example. Other organizations have complained in
the past about the right not being upheld in China and Iran.
In other areas the right to strike is explicitly enshrined, such as in Article 28
of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The EU still
notes that the right is not without limits. The European Court of Justice has held
several times that there are nuances involved, and EU countries like France have
introduced laws restricting the right to strike.
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of association, and
the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that this includes collective bargaining. But
the charter does not explicitly guarantee the right to strike, and in fact the Supreme
Court has also ruled that this section of the charter does not encompass that right.
The lack of an explicit legal right has allowed the Conservative government to
twist provisions of the Canada Labour Code, a law that provides remedies to help
further collective bargaining, to its own advantage.
The provisions include handing elected officials the power to intervene when
a strike action or lockout is beginning to affect public health or safety. But the
Tories have used it to pre-emptively block strike action.
The bill introduced March 12, which will be fast-tracked through Parliament,
bans any strikes or lockouts at Air Canada until new collective agreements are
signed—even when the two labour disputes at hand haven’t yet turned into strikes.
That is an abuse of power, and it sends the wrong message to Canadians,
Canada’s allies, and other countries around the world that the Canadian government cares little about workers’ rights.
As well, the reasons Conservatives have given—that an Air Canada strike
would damage Canada’s economic recovery, or affect the health and safety of
remote Canadians—are difficult to believe. There are other airlines available, and
other modes of transportation.
Another reason given by Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, according to Postmedia
News, is that it would ruin Canadians’ March break. That is more likely—but
hardly a reason to politically intervene in a labour dispute, and send the message
that workers’ rights aren’t taken seriously in Canada.
The Conservative government is obviously right in caring for the functioning
of the economy and the convenience of Canadians, but by repeatedly showing
they care little about organized labour, they are undermining their own message
about respecting democracy and the rule of law.
That matters, especially when Canada is trying to negotiate trade deals that
include labour provisions.
For Canada’s reputation and good faith to remain intact, the government
needs to demonstrate that it respects the fundamental institutions and their
related functions that make up working Canadians’ lives.
uilding a skyscraper is the ultimate expression of economic confidence, and more than
half of the 124 skyscrapers currently under construction in the world are being built in China.
But confidence is often based on nothing more than faith, hope, and cheap credit.
And a frenzy of skyscraper-building is also
the most reliable historical indicator of an
impending financial crash.
The Empire State Building and the
Chrysler Building, the twin symbols of
New York City’s emergence as the world’s
financial capital, were started at the end
of the Roaring Twenties but completed in
the depths of the Great Depression. The
Petronas Towers in Malaysia were built just
before the Asian financial crash of 1998.
Burj al-Khalifa in Dubai, now the world’s tallest building, was just starting construction
when the Great Recession hit in 2008.
China avoided that recession by flooding
its economy with cheap credit—but that credit has mainly gone into financing the biggest
property and infrastructure-building boom of
all time. Such booms always end in a crash.
But this time, we are told, will be different.
‘This time will be different’ is the traditional formula used to reassure nervous investors in the last years before a great economic
bubble collapses. It was a constant refrain in
the run-up to the Western financial crash of
2008 to 2009, and now it is being heard daily
about the Chinese property boom.
People in the West want to believe that
China’s economy will go on growing fast
because the fragile recovery in Western economies depends on it. Twenty years of 10 per
cent-plus annual growth have made China the
engine of the world economy, even though
most Chinese remain poor. But the engine is
fuelled by cheap credit. And most of that cheap
money, as usual, has gone into real estate.
Take the city of Wuhan, southwest of
Shanghai and about 500 kilometres in from
the coast. It is only China’s ninth-largest city,
but in addition to a skyscraper as much as 50
per cent higher than the Empire State Building
it is currently building a subway system that
will cost $45 billion, two new airports, a whole
new financial district, and hundreds of thousands of new housing units. It is paying for all
this with cheap loans from state-run banks.
Last year Wuhan municipality spent $22
billion on infrastructure and housing projects
although its tax revenues were only one-fifth
of the
Associate Editors
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Senior Editors
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“We have not as yet discounted the possibility, of course, of backing
out of any of the program.”
—Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino
at the House defence committee on March 13.
Sam Garcia
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of that amount. The bank loans were made to
special investment corporations and do not
appear on the city’s books. The only collateral
the banks have is city-owned land, and that is
not a reliable asset in current circumstances.
Land in Wuhan has tripled in price during the property boom, and could quickly fall
back to the old price or below if confidence
in the city’s future were to falter. That is quite
likely to happen, since Wuhan’s housing stock
is already so overbuilt that it would take eight
years to clear even the existing overhang of
unsold apartments at the current rate of purchase, and never mind all the new stuff.
Multiply the Wuhan example by hundreds of other municipal authorities that are
also borrowing billions to finance a similar
‘dash for growth,’ and you have a financial
situation as volatile as the sub-prime mortgage scam that brought the US economy
to its knees. Except that when the Chinese
property boom implodes, it may bring the
whole world economy to its knees.
It would be nice to think that the worst of
the recession is over in the developed countries, and that the emerging economies will
continue to avoid a recession at all. But sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.
China’s strategy for avoiding the economic
crisis that has gripped the developed countries
since 2008 has laid the foundations for an even
worse homegrown recession in the near future.
“If you have had a good crisis, success
can become a curse,” wrote Albert Edwards,
chief economist at the French bank Société
Générale, in late 2010.
At that point, Chinese bank lending had
almost doubled in three years; it has now
almost tripled in four.
The government knows that the property
bubble is dangerous and is trying to switch
spending to consumption, but that is a delicate operation that has to be done slowly,
and there just isn’t enough time.
When a housing and credit bubble goes
out of control, Edwards warned, “you tap
your foot on the brakes and whole thing
starts crashing and you can’t control it.”
China is heading for a classic ‘hard landing,’
and when it comes, it will slow the whole global
economy to stall speed. The next global recession is not far off. It will be at least as bad as the
last one, and this time few of the emerging economies (except perhaps India’s) will be exempt.
Nobody knows what will happen in China
itself when growth stops and unemployment
soars, but the Communist regime is clearly
frightened of the answer. Maybe it can ride
the crisis out until growth resumes at a slower
pace in a few years. But with its Communist
ideals long abandoned, its only remaining
claim on people’s loyalty has been its ability
to deliver constantly rising prosperity.
If that collapses, so may the regime.
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EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—7
Opinion & Letters
former immigration minister
recently discovered that Canada’s
immigration system treats everyone equally—equally poorly.
The former minister is Flora MacDonald,
who was Canada’s fist female foreign minister and also served as minister of employment and immigration in the Progressive
Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.
Ms. MacDonald spoke last week to the
Ottawa Citizen about what she considers to
be her urgent need to reunite an Afghan man
who came to Canada as a refugee and is now
a Canadian citizen with his wife and two children who are still in Afghanistan. The man,
she says, is perfectly suited and soon needed
to fill her shoes, heading the human rights
NGO she has created. But try as she might
it seems impossible to undo the red tape
that obstructs the speedy processing of his
family’s applications in one of Canada’s visa
offices where the entry documents originate.
Ms. MacDonald, 85, would like the man,
who asked that his name not be published to
protect his family from retribution, to soon
take over her responsibilities running Future
Generations Canada. But, understandably,
he would first like to see his family out of
harm’s way and safely moved to Ottawa.
Hopeless congestion
The problem is not unique to Ms.
MacDonald and the Canadian Embassy visa
office in Islamabad. Around the globe there
are tens of thousands of families who are
partnerships a
s a corporate social responsibility
analyst and adviser based in South
America, I’ve followed with some interest the debate that has emerged in recent
weeks around CIDA’s decision to fund programming in the area of corporate social
responsibility (RE: “Mining, CIDA partnership in Peru is pacification program, not
development,” March 7; “The back story to
the CIDA-mining partnerships,” Feb. 8).
I’ve been particularly struck by the lack
of balance in the reporting by the media
of what seems to be a relatively innovative
CIDA initiative to bring together the corporate sector and civil society, actors that
have not had a long tradition of collaboration, particularly when it comes to the
extractive industries.
While only time will tell if this is in fact an
“irresponsible use of public funds by CIDA”
or a “pacification program” as recent articles
have suggested, I think you are missing an
important point.
Historically, the private sector and civil
society have often had a very adversarial
relationship built on mistrust and a fundamental ideological disconnect.
kept apart not because they are not good
candidates for Canadian citizenship but
because this country’s visa admissions system has slipped into hopeless congestion.
It seems that no one or nothing, not even
a high-ranking former minister, can unglue
Canada’s abominably gridlocked family
reunification process.
Family reunification applications
in Islamabad, where the family of Ms.
MacDonald’s applicants await a response,
take more than two years to process. It’s
worse, far worse, in Canada’s embassy in
Nairobi, Kenya, which serves a large area of
Africa, and also, according to the report, in
Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.
But anecdotal incidences of goings-on in
Canadian visa offices in others countries that
have been passed on to Embassy from readers
over the years also help to fill in the story.
Offices are reported to be open only a few
hours a days despite the lineups that start
before sunrise outside the door; lost files are a
constant problem; opaque reporting is a given;
and staff, who are so pressed for time that they
are frequently forced to make hasty ‘no-risk’
negative decisions, have long since stopped
complaining. Canada’s public face of Citizenship
and Immigration abroad tends to be a bureaucracy under siege rather than one of service.
It could be that nowhere is there better proof in Canada’s government that if
you cut often enough and deeply enough,
service will get so bad that any change will
seem like an improvement. It’s the shock
doctrine of running a government service.
To be fair to the Harper government, it did
partly inherit the impact of government cost
cutting. Canadian visa offices abroad were frequently an easy target. The subject may be a
matter of life and death in the lives of new and
prospective Canadians but it doesn’t create
much of a stir in voter-targeted public opinion.
On the other hand the Liberal-inherited
system was not entirely broken—just a bit
CIC Photo
Too long on the wait list? Scrap it and start again
Prospective visitors and immigrants to Canada wait outside a visa office in Delhi, India in 2003, before Canada
opened visa application centres in other Indian locations meant to help the government improve processing.
cash starved. It wouldn’t have taken much for
the Conservatives to invest a little, addressing
the widening gap between promise and performance. But in fact they actually made things
worse, allowing a problem to grow into a crisis.
The solutions to this crisis, floated most
recently by Immigration Minister Jason
Kenney, have a chilling, robotic ring to them.
“Instead of wasting time and energy processing [the vast backlog of] old applications,
their resources can now be put towards
actively matching all applicants to current
jobs and economic needs,” Mr. Kenney told
an audience of businesspeople, lobbyists,
immigration lawyers, and others at last week’s
Economic Club of Canada luncheon in Ottawa.
If Mr. Kenney is even hinting that the
department is seriously considering dumping old applications, each representing the
lives of people who have been patiently
waiting, in favour of a new business-orient-
ed system, he is on a very dangerous track.
One could only imagine the same kind
of dehumanizing system applied to Canada’s
hospital waiting lists.
Been on the waiting list for hip replacement
surgery too long? Why don’t we just throw out
your backlogged file and use a new system, say
prioritize hip surgery for people who might be
needed to fill a job in the oil sands.
Constant streams of trial-balloon immigration schemes rise from Cabinet these days.
Australia and Great Britain, which both have
a flawed immigration and refugee record in
recent years, are often invoked as models.
Could it be that the Harper government
is starting to show signs of nervousness that
more Canadians are actually noticing that its
proposed changes to immigration and refugee policy are, as its critics say, vindictive
and heartless, masquerading as businesslike?
[email protected]
However, what I have seen in recent
years is a growing recognition that when
government, civil society, and the private
sector do find common ground they can in
fact accomplish things together they could
not do on their own, often with greater benefit to citizens and their communities.
To suggest that CIDA funds are going to
subsidize “the CSR projects of well-endowed
multinationals” sensationalizes the issue
while demonstrating a complete lack of
awareness of CIDA’s demanding requirements
for reporting on the use of project funds,
with which anybody who has ever worked
with CIDA is all too painfully familiar.
Although commonly referred to as ‘corporate
social responsibility,’ the fact is that everyone has
a role to play in ensuring greater social responsibility, not just the private sector. This responsibility extends to all levels of governments, civil
society, citizens, as well as the media.
Governments must have in place transparent and democratic processes that enable
participatory decision-making, a system to
ensure the fair distribution of benefits, and
an effective dispute resolution mechanism.
Civil society has a responsibility to
ensure that all voices are being heard and
not just the well-organized vocal minority.
The media must resist the temptation to
dramatize the issues, avoid biases, and make
sure that all perspectives are being heard.
The development of a mine is a highly
polarizing issue within a community. Just as
there will be winners and losers, there will
be supporters and there will be detractors.
The media has an inordinate amount of
influence over public opinion and they must
use it responsibly or they risk being part of
the problem rather than part of the solution.
Lastly, the private sector has to accept
that it is no longer business as usual. The
environmental and social legacy of the extractive industries in many parts of the world is
shameful. Although nobody can change the
past, I like to think that we can positively
influence how these companies work today
and in the future. While there is clearly a long
way to go, one only needs to look at how far
mining, and oil and gas development have
evolved over the last 10 years to see that the
trend line is moving in the right direction.
At the same time, it is important to
ensure that companies are not put in the
position of filling a local governance gap, as
is demonstrated by the paternalistic relationship that frequently exists between communities and companies, where the latter are
being called upon to provide essential public
services such as health and education.
The Canadian government has two main
instruments at its disposal to ensure more
responsible practices by the corporate sector
internationally. The first is a stick, a relatively
blunt device that has to date only been applied
with voluntary force. It provides a prescriptive
formula of dos and don’ts, and requires a system to review and monitor CSR practices of the
extractive industry operating outside of Canada.
The other instrument is a carrot that, when
combined with a strong appetite, can motivate
well beyond any demonstration of force and
may even foster innovation, collaboration and
possibly transformation of behaviour.
Perhaps we should give CIDA, civil society, and the private sector the chance to
demonstrate the potential of this partnership approach to promoting more socially
responsible development before we start
looking for a bigger stick.
Richard Smith
Santiago, Chile
Chicken Little-ism
of NGOs
n your article about the new CIDA tendering system for NGOs (RE: “CIDA funding
changes hit small groups hardest,” March 7),
you cite the CCIC’s Julia Sánchez as saying
that the new system represents a dangerous
return to the ‘bad ol’ days’ of project funding.
But as far as I know, program funding
was brought in during the 1980s to lighten
the administrative load for CIDA (a lesson
the Cons may have forgotten in their zeal
to get more political control over funding),
but it was accompanied by a simultaneous
growth in contracts and other more ‘directive’ types of funding (via the Geographic
Branch, country-specific funds etc.).
Contracting, ‘results-based management,’ etc.
was there before Stephen Harper and is not simply a nefarious plot of the big bad Conservatives.
The Chicken Little-ism of the NGOs is overblown. Their loss of independence vis-à-vis the
government has been much longer in the making.
Nikolas Barry-Shaw
Montreal, Que.
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—8
Who will
DND Photo
■ If nothing else, the Libyan fiasco should
have taught us to ask that question.
Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard receiving a medal in 2011.
Inside Defence
hile all eyes are on the intensifying
civil war in Syria and the deterioration of relations between Israel
and Iran, scant attention is being
paid to recent alarming events in Libya.
This suits those Western leaders who
helped facilitate the overthrow of President
Muammar Gaddafi just fine.
Canada led the NATO air campaign through
the talented leadership of Lieutenant-General
Charles Bouchard. We also outdid all of our allies
in the staging of celebratory victory parades.
In the wake of all these marching bands
and military fly-pasts on Parliament Hill, the
Harper government hoped that all Canadians
would take a measure of collective pride in
our forces for having ousted a dictator in the
name of democracy and human rights.
Like a Hollywood script, the good guys
win, the credits roll and everyone heads
home to bed feeling self-satisfied.
The proclaimed success of Libya is now
being touted as a possible template for international intervention in Syria. There’s no need for
Western soldiers to get bogged down fighting
costly counter-insurgencies like Afghanistan
or Iraq when we now know that our air forces
can simply bomb with impunity for months on
end, until the pro-democracy forces finally oust
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Unfortunately for all involved, those
pesky Libyan pro-democracy forces insist
on displaying very undemocratic behavior.
Following the ouster, capture, sodomization
and brutal public murder of Gaddafi, those
Libyans who fought against his tyranny
were quick to establish their own.
The various militias and factions who were
supported by NATO had little in common other
than their opposition to Gaddafi. Whether it
was tribal affiliation or religious ideology, the
former rebels were as disparate a collection of
cutthroats and brigands ever assembled.
In the wake of NATO’s victory these illdisciplined, poorly-trained fighters refused
to disarm and were soon clashing amongst
themselves. To this day, the rebel faction from
Zintan that captured Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam
Gaddafi, have refused to turn their prisoner
over to the impotent National Transitional
Council in Tripoli. They are keeping him in custody as a human bargaining chip.
The residents of Bani Walid, a former
Gaddafi stronghold, drove former rebels
from their town and have proclaimed their
own autonomy. Last week the tribal leaders
in the eastern, oil-rich region of Cyrenaica
also declared independence in Tripoli.
In response to this development, the unelected, pro-democracy Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul
Jalil vowed to use force to defend national unity.
For those unfamiliar with Libyan geography
and forgetful of recent developments it needs to
be pointed out that it was in Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica, that the tribal leaders first rose
up against Gaddafi’s central authority in Tripoli.
When Gaddafi threatened to use force
to subdue the rebellion, the United Nations
Security Council authorized NATO to impose a
no-fly zone in order to protect Libyan civilians.
Now the very same leader that NATO
bombed into power in the name of democracy is vowing to employ the same measures that Gaddafi would have used to prevent the dissolution of Libya.
The difference in this case is that Foreign
Minister John Baird met with Abdel Jalil for
30 minutes last June 27, as part of a half-day
whirlwind visit to the rebel stronghold of
Benghazi at the height of the rebellion.
Baird, on one of his first-ever visits to
the Middle East, had a brief face-to-face
with Abdel Jalil. Immediately following that
encounter Baird told any reporter who
would listen that he was now “a believer” in
the National Transitional Council.
“They have a roadmap that includes a democratic Libya that respects human rights [and]
that respects the rule of law,” claimed Baird.
To add emphasis to his statement,
Baird—who had already been whisked to
the Canadian airbase in Sicily—proceeded
to handwrite a message on a bomb “Free
Obviously Baird is not one who lets experience cloud his judgment. Despite the failure
in Libya, Baird remains fully committed to
supporting the Syrian opposition in their
quest for regime change in Syria.
Even though Baird’s office recognizes the
fact that the splintered Syrian rebel factions
make the Libyans look like one big happy
family, at every opportunity our foreign minister bellows “Assad must go!”
Missing from Baird’s rhetoric is any suggestion of who or what form of government
will successfully replace Assad. If nothing
else, the Libyan fiasco should have taught
us to ask that question.
Two weeks ago, Libyan Islamic fundamentalists shocked the West when they ran amok
and desecrated a World War II allied cemetery.
Among the headstones damaged was that of
Flying Officer Martin Northmore, a Canadian
pilot killed in 1943 in the skies over Libya.
The Libyan mob was reaction to the
news that United States forces had burned
copies of the Koran in Afghanistan.
Such a violent backlash serves to indicate just how little lasting goodwill was
gained through NATO’s military assistance
in Gaddafi’s overthrow.
Scott Taylor is editor and publisher of
Esprit de Corps magazine.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—9
What happens in
a Canada-China
trade dispute?
Two lawyers weigh in on how they often play out.
anada’s economic relationship with
China continues to grow each year,
creating attractive partnership
opportunities for Canadian and
Chinese companies.
Despite the obvious benefits of such
growth, Canadian and Chinese companies
should be aware of the sleeping dragon that
can arise in the event of a contract or trade dispute, based on differences in how some parties
approach the process of dispute resolution.
These differences can add cost and complexity, as well as uncertainty, to an already
complicated process. This article highlights
some of these differences and offers suggestions to mitigate the risks that can arise in
the course of resolving a dispute involving
Canadian and Chinese companies.
Given the legal, commercial and cultural
diversities between Canada and China, it
is not surprising that there could be differences in how some parties in each country
approach dispute resolution. These differ-
ences often relate to the significance of the
terms of a contract or trade legislation, rules
of procedure and court (or tribunal) orders.
Being aware of these potential differences
can reduce the likelihood of unwelcome surprises in the event that a disagreement arises
regarding a proposed or completed transaction. This is particularly important given the
additional (and typically unbudgeted) operational and financial resources that may be
required in order to resolve the dispute.
Chinese imports targeted
Foreign companies operating in Canada
should be aware that Canadian courts will
expect strict compliance on the failure to
abide by the terms of a contract, trade legislation, or the rules of procedure.
They will penalize contraventions of such
rules, particularly once an order has been
issued setting out clear expectations and deliverables. And further failure to abide by such
an order will result in additional consequences
and penalties, including increased legal costs.
In Canada, procedures for commercial
and trade dispute resolution are set out in
each province’s Rules of Court, the Federal
Courts Rules, and trade legislation such as
the federal Special Import Measures Act.
PMO Photo
Foreign Minister John Baird and
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
at the signing of various bilateral
agreements on Feb. 8 in Beijing.
Parties to disputes are required to follow the steps and timelines prescribed for
each forum. Canadian courts have held
that parties’ contractual and legislative
obligations should be enforced barring
good reasons otherwise, in aid of providing
market certainty.
As such, Canadian courts seek to ensure
the litigation process closely follows the
rules of procedure in order to resolve disputes in a manner that is intended to be
both just and efficient.
Similarly, the Canada Border Services
Agency and the Canadian International Trade
Tribunal have consistently demonstrated an
intention to investigate allegations of trade
law violations in order to ensure strict compliance with trade legislation.
Both agencies are governed by legislation that sets tight timelines and filing
requirements, and which offers limited flexibility. Imports from China have been the
target of a number of investigations.
Not everyone agrees with rules
Companies doing business in Canada
also need to be aware of the potential for
disputes over not just their substantive
legal obligations under contract and legislation, but also their respective procedural
obligations in the resolution of disputes.
Businesspeople assume at their peril
that everyone knows of and agrees to the
rules of the game. Financial and logistical
consequences follow when a party does not
abide by the rules.
For example, some trade and commercial
cases demonstrate that certain companies
operating in Canada do not always view the
dispute resolution process in the same manner
as that prescribed by Canadian legislation.
In particular, some companies may not
see contracts, legislation, rules of procedure
and even court orders as binding rules that
govern the parties’ conduct and relationship.
Instead, such rules may be considered
useful but not definitive guideposts as to
how the parties may or ought to act within
a particular relationship.
Further, there are always two sides to
a story, that are not always apparent from
court and tribunal rulings.
Uncertainties abound
The litigation process is already marked
by inherent risks and uncertainties. If an
opposing party disregards contractual
terms, trade legislation, rules of procedure
or court orders, this creates further uncertainties and economic costs.
When a disagreement arises, both parties should be aware of the differences outlined above in order to properly prepare for
the litigation process and the rules-based
expectations of commercial relationships
in Canada, as well as the associated costs if
such rules are disregarded.
Parties can somewhat mitigate the risks
of these problems through proper planning
before and after a transaction is completed.
Consider including detailed enforcement
mechanisms in a contract if specific contractual compliance is essential; including provisions for the payment of legal fees relating
to contract compliance or enforcement; and
including Canadian legal counsel in settlement negotiations to protect substantive and
procedural rights.
No one can predict if or when a deal may
go sour. What everyone can do is to prepare
for the possibility such that if it does occur, the
prospects of an efficient outcome are enhanced.
Roy Millen is a partner with a diverse litigation practice in the Vancouver office of Blake,
Cassels & Graydon LLP, with particular experience in commercial law, international trade matters, aboriginal and resource disputes, and public
law. Andrew Crabtree is a litigation associate in
the Vancouver office of Blakes with experience
in commercial and aboriginal law, international
trade matters, and insolvency and restructuring.
The preceding was adapted from a Feb. 16
Blakes article titled The Rules of the Game.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—10
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—11
NDP leadership candidates weigh in on foreign policy
Before they duke it out at the March 23-24 leadership convention in Toronto, Embassy asked each person vying to lead the official Opposition the same three questions on their foreign policy priorities.
As the leader of the NDP, what would
be your top three foreign affairs
priorities, in order of importance?
“I would keep our troops
home and provide veterans
with the support they deserve,
make the minister of foreign
affairs explicitly responsible for peace,
conduct a public defence policy review
and then redefine the Canadian Forces’
roles and needs accordingly.
“In the Middle East, Canada would
call for a two-state solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an end
to violence targeting innocent civilians.
“I would also create a new Canadian
International Development Agency,
called Solidarity Canada, that makes
fighting poverty Canada’s number one
priority on the world stage. As well,
I would advocate for the Financial
Transactions Levy worldwide, which
could provide billions more for climate
change mitigation and adaptation, and
to fight global poverty and disease.
“We also need a trade policy that’s
integrated with our aid policy, as nontariff barriers continue to block products
from poorer countries. We need a government that promotes fair trade agreements that include enforceable standards for human rights and the environment, and that defend public services.
“We must guard against foreign
takeovers that threaten Canadian
labour standards and jobs.”
“Reducing poverty, promoting peace, and fair trade will
restore Canada’s reputation
in the world. It will create the
conditions for successful diplomatic and trading relationships. Over
time, that level of interdependence will
foster a safer, more secure world.”
“I have a BA in global
political economy from
the University of Manitoba
and received an MA from
the Norman Paterson School of
International Affairs at Carleton
University. I have begun work on my
PhD in peace and conflict studies.
“From 1999 to 2001, I studied at the
United World College of Hong Kong. I also
had internships with the United Nations
and with two Canadian embassies, and
co-ordinated volunteers at the Athens
“Finally addressing climate
change would be my first foreign
affairs priority. This is a pressing
human security issue, and Canada
must join with other responsible nations to
fight catastrophic climate change now.
“The human upheaval and ecological
fallout from continuing Canada’s sorry
record of inaction requires us to rise to
this challenge, which is a key reason why
Stephen Harper’s majority needs to be
replaced by a progressive one.
“Other priorities would include improving
efforts to address poverty, public health, and
safe drinking water in the developing world;
and working with other countries to ensure
trade agreements have meaningful protections for workers and the environment.
“A world with an ever-expanding gulf
between haves and have-nots that uses
resources in an unsustainable way is something Canada can and should seek to correct.”
“The fact is that under Mr. Harper,
Canadian foreign policy is increasingly shifting towards shipping as many
raw resources as we can abroad.
This was best seen by his recent trip to China,
which involved not his industry minister but
the natural resources minister.
“In the long run, making climate change
worse does not make Canadians more
secure; and the damaging effects of a petrocurrency on many sectors of Canada’s
economy needs a serious discussion.
“Under Mr. Harper’s leadership, powerful
oil interests dominate Canada’s environmental and economic decisions—an imbalanced
approach that needs to change now.”
“Before being elected to
Parliament, I worked in international development, primarily in Latin
America and Africa. I’ve seen many
of the problems developing countries face
up close, and have lasting memories of my
time working abroad.
“It is also where I learned Spanish,
which I believe is an important asset given
the importance of Latin American economies to Canadian economic diversification.
“As an MP, my critic areas were environment and natural resources. Part of my
duties included attending international
climate change talks, where I witnessed
disgraceful contempt for meaningful action
from Mr. Harper’s government.”
“Climate change is the greatest threat to our
collective existence. Canada must become an honest partner in international efforts to tackle climate
“As leader of the NDP and prime minister, I will be an
active participant in global negotiations on climate change.
The complexity of the negotiations with 192 countries has
become an excuse for those like Mr. Harper who wish to
maintain the status quo.
“To ensure a better outcome at the global negotiations,
the G20’s focus must be expanded to include climate change.
At my first G20 meeting, I will play a leadership role to make
progress on an agreement among the countries that account
for the vast majority of emissions and hold the economic
capability to take action against climate change.
“Canada should also play an active role in mitigating,
not militarizing, conflicts. I will establish a Centre for Peace
Building and Human Security with a dedicated team of
experts to deliver practical and interdisciplinary responses
to human security threats like conflict, humanitarian disasters, large-scale human rights violationas, and environmental degradation.
“As well, women and girls are the greatest asset in the
struggle to promote economic growth, increase equality, and
strengthen democracy in the developing world. Under my leadership, a new Department of International Development would
focus efforts on gender equality as a key path towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
“Canada will fight the proliferation of rape as a weapon
of war and promote women’s meaningful participation in
peace building as a central plank of Canada’s international
“A responsible Canada in an ever-changing world
would recognize climate change as the greatest
threat to our collective security.
“Mr. Harper’s approach is not only hurting our
diplomatic influence in the world. His refusal to address
concerns about the environmental impact of the oil sands,
for instance, has reduced Canadian access to US and EU
“By becoming an honest partner in climate action,
Canada can realize its incredible potential in energy efficiency and green energy production.”
“As an aid worker in South America, I’ve learned
about the importance of tackling poverty at home
and abroad.
“As the NDP’s foreign affairs critic under Jack
Layton since 2007, I have had firsthand experience on the
ground in Africa, the Middle East, and around the world.
“Through years of experience on the national and international stage, I have come to understand that the challenges we face in Canada, be it economic, environmental,
or security-related, can only be addressed with effective
leadership that understands the world and is committed to
How would your foreign policy make
Canada a safer and more prosperous
place than under this government?
“My first priority will be to make ending the use of
sexual violence as a weapon of war a priority for an NDP-led
government. We will do so by, for instance: providing the
International Criminal Court with the necessary resources
to effectively prosecute sexual violence as a war crime; and engaging with local, frontline experts to develop new strategies for preventing and responding to sexual violence in war zones.
“Another priority will be to realign our foreign policy on peace
building and to resist the militarization of our foreign policy that has
dominated under the Conservatives. Specifically, I would: recommit
Canada to spend 0.7 per cent of its GDP on development assistance
by 2022, resurrect the Democracy Canada initiative, and cancel
plans to purchase the unproven and inappropriate F-35 fighter jets.
“A third priority will be to integrate aid, trade, human rights,
and climate change policies by, for instance: offering preferential
trade and assistance to countries based on their commitment to
human rights, labour standards, and environmental protection; and
offering deeper, longer-term assistance to a more limited number of
countries as an incentive to progress, while using the prospect of
bilateral treaties on trade or immigration to reduce the problem of
aid dependency.”
“Canada must regain an independent foreign policy to
protect its interests under current trade agreements and
any future agreements.
“For too long Canada has been sheltered in the shadow
of our closest friend: the United States. We must work with our
friends, but not be afraid to act independently when our interests
diverge—most notably on issues such as international trade and
Arctic sovereignty.
“An independent foreign policy also means taking care of Canada
first regarding energy security. The Conservatives have been
chumps when dealing with NAFTA: they caved on softwood lumber,
rolled over on ‘Buy America,’ and are selling out our energy security.
Projects like Keystone XL will export tens of thousands of valueadded jobs to the US, while the proportionality clause of NAFTA will
force us to keep those valves open, even if Canada’s own energy
needs increase.”
“My international experience includes work on the free
trade in professional services component of NAFTA while I
was president of the Office des professions du Québec, the
regulatory agency responsible for overseeing all professions
in that province.
“I was the first Canadian elected to the board of directors of the
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, then an emanation of the Council of State Governments. I delivered numerous
speeches and wrote several articles on the subject in both the United
States and Canada for groups such as the American Bar Association.
“While I was Quebec’s minister of sustainable development,
environment, and parks I led official delegations to France, Ireland,
and Austria. I was also the only provincial environment minister
ever invited to address a UN conference of the parties to the Kyoto
Protocol (COP 9 in Milan, Italy).
“While Opposition finance critic, I was invited to attend and
address numerous international conferences, notably in Paris and in
“My foreign affairs priorities will
focus on promoting sustainability,
peace, and equality around the world.
“I will move to swiftly address
Canada’s failed international leadership on
climate change by signing on to aggressive
targets rather than pulling out of international
agreements and obstructing negotiations.
“I will take quick action to restore Canada’s
valued global reputation as a peace broker, taking a proactive approach in the international
organizations to which Canada belongs.
“Canada will be an active voice for human
rights and the rule of law, while empowering
women and supporting their meaningful inclusion in foreign affairs.
“This ties in closely with fulfilling Canada’s
commitment to the Overseas Development
Assistance budget of 0.7 per cent of GDP, with
an immediate increase of $500 million and further increases each year.”
“My approach to foreign policy
will make Canada a safer and more
prosperous place because it is ultimately about more peaceful relations
with global nations in the spirit of co-operation, diplomacy, and respect.”
“I have had numerous opportunities to develop my expertise in
foreign affairs, beginning with a visit
to Latin America during the 1970s.
My experience in countries such as Chile,
Venezuela, and Argentina, which faced political upheaval, helped shape my strong belief
in political engagement.
“I was fortunate to have served as an election observer in post-apartheid South Africa
and twice in Ukraine.
“I attended the World Social Forum in
Porto Alegre, Brazil and joined in protests in
Argentina against an agreement that would put
in place the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
“I have visited the Middle East and helped
develop a project through the International
Transport Federation working with trade
union leaders in Israel and the West Bank to
assist truck drivers.
“I represented the Canadian Auto Workers
at important global events such as the UN
Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen,
Denmark. I also led committees and discussions on human rights, women’s rights, and
labour rights at various international gatherings and conferences in Europe, Asia, Africa,
and Latin America.”
What personal, political, academic or
other related experience do you have
in the field of foreign affairs? MARTIN SINGH
Mr. Singh did not respond to questions
before publication deadline.
While other candidates have released
foreign policy platforms, his campaign
website and media interviews show his
focus on three issues: health care, the
environment, and business.
When asked by the CBC, he said in
early February, “The difficulty that we
have in foreign policy is that the goodwill
that Canada enjoyed so often has been
eroded.” He said that he would advocate
signing Canada back up to the Kyoto
Protocol and ensure Canada has “a comprehensive climate change program so
that our foreign partners can see that we
are capable managers of the economy in
a way that also serves the needs of the
He has pitched himself as the business-friendly candidate, playing up his
career as a businessperson and pharmacist. His entrepreneurship strategy included a proposal to encourage more foreign
Before getting into the pharmacy business, Mr. Singh told Straight Goods News
that he was a chemical engineer doing
environmental work in mining development. He said he has an understanding of
both the economic benefits and environmental challenges of Canada’s oil sands.
He said he’s “uniquely positioned” to find
a balance.
He is a member of the Canadian Forces
reserves and in a separate CBC interview said he wasn’t deployed to serve in
Afghanistan, but if he had been he would
have “absolutely” done it.
Based in Musquodoboit Harbour, NS,
Mr. Singh has been an NDP member for
about 15 years and acted in local leadership roles within the party, but is not
elected to Parliament. In any case, some
pundits have said that he has been able
to hold his own in leadership debates.
The Canadian Press reported March 12
that one of Mr. Singh’s former campaign
workers was urging Mr. Singh’s supporters to rank Mr. Mulcair as their second
choice. Sukh Johal suggested Mr. Singh
might ask his supporters to do the same
soon. But Mr. Singh’s campaign manager
said Mr. Johal’s assertions were wrong.
“Canada should return to its traditional role of being a
voice for justice, peace, and human rights.
“This includes adding our voice to those calling for a
truth and reconciliation process in our Commonwealth partner Sri Lanka. We should also add our voice to those calling on both
sides of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute to implement a peace settlement. That would include full mutual and international recognition
of both Israel and Palestine and their peaceful coexistence in secure
and recognized borders, free from terror, and at peace with all of
their neighbours.
“Canada needs to rebalance its development and defence investments. We should commit seriously to the United Nations’ Millennium
Development Goals. The eager militarization of our foreign policy
under the Harper government is out of touch with our shared values
and traditions. We must make it clear that national development in
the Global South should be focused on the needs of its citizens.
“A key goal of our foreign policy should be to end the international race to the bottom on trade, tax, and environmental policies.
Canadians have a clear interest in systematically developing new
export markets while maintaining and strengthening traditional
markets. An NDP government should work closely with the business
community to develop international partnerships—always mindful
of our social and environmental goals and obligations, as well as of
our economic ones.”
“Foreign policy that is focused on development that
meets citizens’ needs and peace building will contribute to
international security.
“International economic policies that protect the environment, labour rights, and the capacity of the state will result in sustainable prosperity that is shared more equally.”
“My experience as a senior staff member in a federal system has provided me with skills and experience in negotiating intergovernmental agreements. I believe those skills can
be expanded and applied on the international stage.
“My government experience was in the premier’s office in
Saskatchewan. Most of our work focused on domestic issues. But there
were things to learn about Canada’s relationships with other countries.
“I participated in some of our government’s work in Washington,
for instance, which attempted to thread through the tangle of interests in Congress that was creating trade disputes over Canadian
wheat and durum exports at the time. It was an eye-opening look at
our trade relationship with the United States.
“I participated in ‘Team Canada’ trade missions to Mexico, Brazil,
Argentina, Chile, Korea, the Philippines, and Chile. That was a look
at the benefits—and limits—of government trade promotion work.
“And our government ‘adopted’ a South African province after the
fall of apartheid. I did some mentoring of a team of premier’s office
staff, sent over to study our legislature. That was a look at how Canada
can help other countries committed to democratic development.
“I later gave talks to delegations of political parties from Egypt,
Mexico, and Jordan through the National Democratic Institute on
similar themes.”
—Responses were compiled by Carl Meyer and Kristen Shane, and
edited for style and length.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—12
Shake up World Bank chief selection
and support emerging powers
The following is an open letter sent to Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty March 6. Copies went
to Foreign Minister John Baird, International
Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, and Mr. Flaherty’s
chief of staff Kevin McCarthy.
new president of the World Bank is
to be formally chosen in April. The
deadline to nominate candidates,
March 23, is quickly approaching.
Now is your opportunity and Canada’s
chance to take a lead role in setting a new
tone in selecting the leadership of key global institutions.
What was once an informal deal between
the United States and Europe to always
approve an American is now to be a ‘meritbased and transparent’ process. Canada, as
you know, has already been a strong supporter of ‘enhanced voice’ in an unfairly balanced World Bank leadership.
We need to encourage the world’s emerging
economic powers such as China, India, and
Brazil to put forward their own candidates.
These countries have abundantly demonstrated they have highly competent leaders.
But good, serious candidates, the ones
needed for a re-energized and focused World
Bank, will only come forward if influential
leaders like you make it clear that there will
really be a fair and open competition. They
will not take part in a ‘done deal.’
We cannot expect such leadership
from the US in an election year, but the
Americans will understand a Canadian lead.
We also want to gain the commitment of
emerging powers to share in global leadership, including the burden of financing institutions such as the World Bank and IMF.
Not least, these increasingly powerful
countries, which are fellow G20 members, are
critical to Canada’s long-term security and economic wellbeing. Europe, the US, and Canada,
all need to engage them as essential partners
in re-energizing the global economy and in ending an already over-long financial crisis.
The new reality is a changing world
order. It is time for Canada to do its utmost
to ensure shared leadership of the global
financial institutions—in the spirit of cooperation and mutual accountability and for
long-term stability.
The public and private message from
Canada should be that now is the time for
change, for a new beginning in global governance, a transition to a better, shared leadership of global institutions.
The immediate need is for a public statement from Canada. This should say: Canada
strongly supports a principle of rotation in
World Bank leadership; we encourage candidates from all member countries, including
developing countries—which are among the
World Bank’s principal clients and shareholders.
Your statement could also indicate
Canada’s thinking on the skills needed
in this very powerful figure. The bank is
already a well-run organization, so what is
needed in its president is superior leadership skills and geo-political credibility.
Minister, you know better than most that
there will be a lot of backroom negotiating.
Some may involve you directly, but most will
be with other officials, including Canada’s
executive director at the World Bank.
This election is also triggering high-level
email traffic and conference calls among the
capitals of BRICS members. This is the new
reality of a changing world.
At the end of the day, Canada will rightly
make its own choice. But our hope is that
you and your colleagues will be pressing
over the next few weeks for an enhanced
global governance agenda, reiterating that
Canada truly wants an open and fair election.
We look forward impatiently to the time
when a qualified person from a Brazil, Nigeria,
or Indonesia is elected as World Bank president.
Refugee policies should be
based on fact, not fiction
Academic research suggests detaining asylum claimants is
expensive, harmful to claimants, and doesn’t deter.
anadian policy-making on refugee
issues is ignoring the evidence of
leading researchers in the field.
Empirical research that would
improve refugee legislation and the practices of our refugee determination system is
being overlooked to the detriment of refugees and the Canadian public.
A key example is the immigration detention process.
Professor Delphine Nakache of the
University of Ottawa recently completed a
detailed 100-page report on the Canadian
immigration detention system managed by the
Canada Border Services Agency. The research
methodology was comprehensive including
site visits, key informant interviews, and a
review of government reports and academic
literature. Ms. Nakache drew on key international and domestic legal principles to review
Canadian practices and looked at statistics on
who is detained and on the system’s cost.
Her research raises a number of concerns about the current system including its
legality and practices.
Ms. Nakache points out that international human rights law requires that immigration detention should be the exception
rather than the rule; must be in accordance
with the law and not arbitrary; and that the
detention conditions be humane.
Her findings are disturbing. Refugee claimants including women, children, and people with
mental health issues are being detained in prisons across the country including high-security
prisons where they must wear prison uniforms,
may be handcuffed and shackled when moved
for medical treatment, and their access to legal
counsel and communications is severely limited.
CBSA detention facilities are not sufficient
for the number of people that they choose to
detain so local, provincial, and federal jails
are being used resulting in inconsistencies in
services and jurisdictional tensions.
Ms. Nakache’s efforts to determine how
many refugee claimants were being detained
were not successful because of the inadequacy of CBSA statistics; they do not distinguish between refugee claimants and those
whose claims have been denied nor do they
count minors detained with their parents.
She found inconsistencies in decisions made
by CBSA officers across the country; the likelihood of being detained appears to depend on the
port of entry where the asylum seeker arrives.
Similarly, she was unable to comment on the
cost effectiveness of the system because of the
lack of available, up-to-date data. The information she did uncover suggests that detention is
very expensive. The cost of detaining the 492
men, women, and children from the MV Sun
Sea is over $22 million. Treating these people as
regular claimants would have been considerably
cheaper and certainly more humane.
Ms. Nakache’s study builds on the 2011
work of UK researcher Alice Edwards who
studied international law governing detention and provided a critical overview of
existing and possible alternatives to detention drawn from research in five countries
including Canada.
She concludes that there is no empirical
evidence to give credence to the assumption
that the threat of being detained deters irregular migration or discourages persons from
seeking asylum. Threats to life or freedom in
an individual’s country of origin are likely to
be a greater push factor for a refugee than
any disincentive created by detention policies in countries of transit or destination.
She also found that over 90 per cent of
refugee claimants and people awaiting deportation comply with the terms of their release
from detention and that the alternatives to
detention are a significantly cheaper option.
Australian researcher Amy Nethery confirms that two decades of immigration detention in Australia have not deterred asylum
seekers arriving by boat. The rise and fall in
the numbers of arrivals correspond with the
rise and fall of people movement globally.
In addition to being ineffective, detention
is extremely expensive and is harmful to those
detained. A recent systematic study of refugee
claimants in detention by Janet Cleveland
and colleagues at McGill University shows
that even short-term detention has a negative
Edward Jackson and John Sinclair are members of the McLeod Group, an Ottawa-based collective of professionals working in foreign policy, international development, and diplomacy.
The group advocates for an improved Canadian
role in the world. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sinclair
wrote on the group’s behalf.
[email protected]
Possible president?
The following people are some of those rumoured as possible candidates to be the next World Bank president.
- US Senator John Kerry
- US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice
- US economist and former Obama adviser Lawrence
- US economics professor Jeffrey Sachs (openly campaigning)
- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (denies it)
- Former US president Bill Clinton
- US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
- Former US treasury secretary Robert Rubin
- Microsoft mogul Bill Gates
- Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- Former Turkish finance minister and World Bank
executive Kemal Dervis
- Former Indonesian finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati
—Sources: Agence France-Presse,
Washington Post, The Guardian
—Compiled by Kristen Shane
impact on the health of both adults and children that may persist long after release.
The evidence shows that the Canadian detention system is flawed and not compliant with the
Canadian Charter; detention is not a deterrent
to people seeking refuge and is detrimental to
their well-being; and, alternatives to detention
are cheaper, effective, and more humane. But
the CBSA continues to detain on average 5,000
men, women, and children every year. The proposed bill, C-31, Protecting Canada’s Immigration
System Act allows for refugee claimants who
arrive in groups to be subjected to mandatory
detention for up to a year.
Government policy-making should be
based on empirical evidence not false, misleading, and often egregious assumptions
about the motivations and behaviour of people legally seeking the protection of our country. The perils of ignoring such knowledge are
too great—legally, socially, and economically.
Canada has a strong network of academic
and practitioner researchers across the country working on forced migration issues, and
they are linked with international colleagues.
The Centre for Refugee Studies at York
University has been producing leading research
for almost 25 years and is hosting the global refugee research network of over 1,000 members.
The now-defunded Canadian Metropolis
project has five university-based research centres across the country with over 600 researchers focused on migration and settlement issues.
The March 9 virtual conference of the
Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers
brought together 250 academics and practitioners from six different sites across the country to debate the proposed refugee legislation.
The upcoming May conference of the
Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced
Migration Studies at York University is to feature over 120 research presentations.
Canadian policy-makers have a rich resource
of refugee research to draw on and our refugee
policies and practices need this knowledge and
expertise if they are to be legal and humane.
Susan McGrath is the director of the Centre
for Refugee Studies at York University.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—13
In search of Canada’s ‘true North’
Today, there is a
diplomatic circles
that Canada’s value
is not much more
than an echo of states
less worthy than it.
Canada’s voice lost on world stage
I fear the result is long-term damage to
the Canadian diplomatic brand—a brand
that made Canada the 9-1-1 call for mediating
intractable international disputes from the
Suez crisis to the Middle East peace process.
Today, there is a real perception in international diplomatic circles that Canada’s value
is not much more than an echo of states less
worthy than it.
Such a perception makes clearer why the
UN Security Council seat was not awarded to
Canada. It appears Canada has lost its voice
on the international stage—a voice based on
enduring Canadian values and moral suasion.
While it is open for the Canadian government to abandon, through its actions,
decades of workable and respected policies,
I am pessimistic of what will remain—at
least in terms of the Middle East.
Embassy Photo: Carl Meyer
rior to my recent appointment as
the Palestinian Ambassador to
Canada, I served in the United States
and Mexico. During those postings,
there was a quiet envy south of the border
of Canada’s place as an understated voice of
wisdom in the international community.
Building on the legacy of Lester B. Pearson,
Canadian diplomats—many of whom I’ve had
the pleasure of working with—have earned an
almost immutable reputation as an international moral force. In fact, one of my first memories
of the noble calling of diplomacy was Canada’s
role in defusing the Suez crisis.
For many decades Canada used to be the
international community’s compass for matters of international law and human rights.
Canada was the ‘true North’ on the compass
of international diplomacy.
For the last six years, starting with the
minority Liberal government, Canada’s diplomatic compass has been askew—with interference from domestic, riding-specific, and
ethnically-focused, partisan objectives.
The local, and temporary nature, of successive minority government objectives has
resulted in what appears to be enduring
interference with loftier and long-standing
Canadian values on the international stage.
As an outsider, regrettably, much of this
domestic interference has been felt in a negative
way in the realm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What was once touted as a nuanced Middle
East foreign policy based on a deep understanding and appreciation of complicated, multilayered interests, has been set aside in favour of
unapprised swing voters in a handful of ridings.
The actions of the Canadian government
have more influence and credibility when
they are anchored in Canadian values. As I
have come to appreciate, these are based on
principles of fairness, democracy, rule of law,
and human rights. Canadian values, when
followed, can have a powerful impact on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of these values are embodied in Canada’s official policy,
which has rarely been invoked by the government in recent years.
They include that: “Canada does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of East
Also, “Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West
Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip).”
Further, the Foreign Affairs website
states: “The Fourth Geneva Convention
applies in the occupied territories and
establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to
the humane treatment of the inhabitants of
the occupied territories.”
And, it says, “Israeli settlements in the
occupied territories are a violation of the
Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements
also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”
When Palestinians look to Canada, they
see a disconnect between Canadian values, which Palestinians aspire to, and the
with up-to 500 of your closest friends & family!
actions of Canada’s government, which seem
detached. This makes it challenging for my
delegation to meaningfully interact with
Canadian ministers when it is unclear what
interests underpin Canada’s foreign policy.
While many challenges lie ahead, I
remain optimistic that Canadian values
will ultimately realign Canada’s diplomatic
compass. I am even more optimistic that
Canadian values offer the way forward for
an enduring peace in the Middle East—one
based on principles of fairness, democracy,
the rule of law, and human rights.
Said Hamad is the representative of the
Palestinian General Delegation to Canada.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—14
Embassy Photo: Sam Garcia
A drummer at an Ottawa event celebrating the lead-up to the 50th anniversary of Canada-Korea diplomatic relations on Jan. 17.
Are the stars aligned for a
revival of Korea trade talks?
US-Korea deal, Harper trip, beef truce cited as motivating factors; auto sector still an issue.
Sneh Duggal
As Prime Minister Stephen Harper gets set
to visit South Korea at the end of this month,
many observers expect him to announce the
resumption of talks in the stalled CanadaKorea trade deal—but others caution that
even if this happens, it won’t necessarily
mean the deal would be wrapped up quickly.
The two countries launched free trade
talks in 2005 under the previous Liberal
government. But after 13 rounds, the talks
hit an impasse in 2008. At that time, Korea’s
market was closed to Canadian beef after a
ban due to the outbreak of mad cow disease
in Canada. The auto industry also had concerns about such a deal.
But Korea announced Jan. 20 that it was
reopening its market to Canadian beef and
cattle, and that has the Harper government
This decision “removes the most significant
bilateral trade irritant and creates positive
momentum in our relationship,” wrote Caitlin
Workman, spokesperson for the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in
an email to Embassy.
Since then, Mr. Harper has included Korea
in a list of trade talks he discussed with the
CBC, and Canada’s high commissioner to
the United Kingdom Gordon Campbell said
Canada is “looking to revitalize the trade
agreement with Korea” in a speech to the
Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 10.
As well, in December, Trade Minister Ed
Fast met with his Korean counterpart on
the sidelines of a World Trade Organization
John Curtis, former chief economist at
DFAIT, said current events point towards a
resumption of talks.
“The government has moved 180 degrees
in the last five years towards trade with Asia,
so they’re going to want to deal with all their
Asian partners,” Mr. Curtis said.
“Korea’s very important because it’s sort
of a middle-sized economy like our own.”
The prompter could be Mr. Harper’s
upcoming visit to Seoul, he said.
“You have the US [deal], you have the
prime minister’s visit, you have the beef
being sorted out…I think there will be a real
push to get the thing done,” said Mr. Curtis.
On March 15, the United States will see its
own trade deal with Korea kick in. That is far
more significant than anything that has happened between Canada and Korea directly,
said Mr. Curtis.
“I think we’d be at quite a disadvantage...
our agriculture, beef and everything else,” if
Canada didn’t try to play catch-up, he said.
John Masswohl, director of government and international relations with the
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, agreed
that the US deal means Canada will be at
a disadvantage—meaning the pressure is
mounting to sign.
The Korean tariff on beef is currently 40
per cent, and the tariff for the US will go
down to about 37 per cent initially and then
continue to decrease, he said.
“Every year we fall behind,” said Mr. Masswohl.
John Weekes, who was Canada’s chief
negotiator for the North American Free Trade
Agreement and is currently a senior business adviser at Bennett Jones LLP in Ottawa,
agreed that Mr. Harper’s visit to South Korea
presents a golden opportunity to announce
the resumption of talks, and that the US deal
has lit a fire under government officials.
“It puts a new urgency into getting the
negotiation restarted and trying to ensure
that Canadians will have the same tariff treatment as the Americans in the Korean market,”
said Mr. Weekes.
Cars and politicians
The auto industry in Canada, however,
has traditionally had reservations with a
Korea deal. As well, some are cautioning that
any deal will need sustained political will.
Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian
Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, said
Korea still remains one of the most closed
markets in the world. He said less than 5 per
cent of the vehicles sold there are imported.
If talks resume, Mr. Nantais noted, the
governments can’t just start where they left
off in 2008, since they will need to consider
the fact that Korea has done deals with other
countries during the past few years.
The Canadian Autoworkers Union
released a study in 2007 that indicated a deal
with Korea would cause a loss of up to 33,000
manufacturing jobs, including 4,000 auto
jobs, according to a Postmedia News report.
Meanwhile a 2005 statement from the
union said while Canada imported 130,000
vehicles from Korea in 2004, only 400 were
sold to Korea.
Canada has a 6.1 per cent tariff on Korean
cars, and automakers feel they will be disadvantaged with a free trade deal, Mr. Curtis said.
“If [the tariffs] disappear as part of the
Canada-Korea free trade agreement then that
lowers the price of Hyundais and Kias even
more…[making them] more tempting to the
consumer, and presumably would lead to
more coming in,” said Mr. Curtis.
He noted that Korea also has non-tariff barriers in place, such as domestic regulations
that make it difficult for North American manufacturers to meet the country’s requirements
for engines, emissions, and other auto parts.
As well, in order to get the ball rolling again,
there has to be political will on both sides,
wrote Donald MacKenzie, chairman of the
Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea, in
an email to Embassy.
“It’s been very positive to see the beef
market once again finally open to Canadian
beef, but it took nine years and the threat of a
[World Trade Organization] action,” he said.
He added that while Canadian beef has been
allowed into the market, it is not at the same
preferable rates as Canada’s competitors.
“Also, Korea is currently in an election year
where the issue of free trade is squarely at the
center of the debate,” Mr. MacKenzie added.
Conservative MP Joe Daniel, who is also the
co-chair of the Canada-Korea Interparliamentary
Friendship Group, said there are ongoing discussions between Canada and Korea in several areas.
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—15
Human rights activists urge Canada to
work more with Mexican civil society
Mr. Xicotencatl: “…Mexico is not a safe
country for people, specifically migrants,
young people, indigenous, human rights
defenders. Now there’s another type of people,
like the small- and medium-sized businesspeople, who have small shops in neighbourhoods.
Organized crime asks them for a quota, a payment, for them to keep having their business.
If they denounce what’s happening to the public authorities, the small- and medium-sized
businessmen are killed. If they refuse to make
this payment, their businesses are burnt. They
don’t have anywhere to go.
“In international treaties, these people
might not be considered as a sector of the
population at risk. But they actually are.”
Kristen Shane
olanda Moran Isais’s brown eyes appear
pained as she pulls back a red scarf to
reveal a yellow button pinned to the lapel of
her black coat.
A photo of a young brown-haired man’s
face is printed on it, along with the Spanish
acronym FUUNDEC, which stands for the
United Forces for our Disappeared in
Coahuila, a state in northern Mexico.
The man is Ms. Moran’s son, Dan Jeremeel
Fernández-Moran. He disappeared three
years ago and is still missing.
He was a 33-year-old professional with a
wife and four kids when he vanished. Ms.
Moran believes military intelligence soldiers
snatched him.
Six were involved, she said. Four were
arrested and thrown in prison. But she said
a group of armed men drove into the prison
grounds in a truck one day and beat, killed, and
burned the bodies of those four. A fifth man
later picked up and put in the same prison was
similarly killed. The sixth hasn’t been caught.
The fact that the armed men were allowed
to enter the prison grounds and kill the accused
soldiers, Ms. Moran said, shows the level of infiltration of organized crime in the Mexican state.
“Personally, [I think] they were killed
because someone didn’t want them to
speak,” she said, holding a notebook of
newspaper clippings about her son’s case.
“Like my case, we have lots of cases like
that,” she said through a Spanish interpreter.
“Army officials have become criminal
because of the power that their uniform
grants them.”
The Mexican government has in recent
years deployed some 50,000 troops and
police to squelch organized crime and drug
trafficking. But there have been constant
reports of corruption within the law enforcement establishment itself.
The government has worked to fight this
by giving drug and lie detector tests to police
officers and purging bad apples. It fired nearly 10
per cent of its federal police in 2010, for instance.
Mexican Attorney General Marisela
Morales said President Felipe Calderón’s
government has made progress in protecting
human rights and has “pushed for unprecedented openness and transparency.”
Mr. Calderón has said 90 per cent of the
drug war victims are criminals. And allegations of military abuses are “not true because
the [soldiers] always respect the dignity of
criminals and put them before a judge,” the
Associated Press reported in November.
Whoever is to blame, the violence has
left traumatized people in its wake like Ms.
Moran. Her organization of families of people
forcibly disappeared had to change its name
to encompass all of Mexico, as she said disappearances are happening beyond her region.
In a stuffy Ottawa hotel room March 8, she sat
beside three other Mexican human rights activists who are together touring Canadian universities. While in Ottawa they met with MPs including
members of the human rights subcommittee of
the House foreign affairs committee, a long list of
Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade senior staff, and the Immigration and
Refugee Board’s research division.
Amnesty International and six Canadian
universities sponsored their visit. In background notes, Amnesty stressed that
Canadians should care about human rights
in Mexico because it’s in their backyard;
Canada’s NAFTA ties with it have helped to
Embassy Photo: Carl Meyer
Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer working with indigenous communities; Dolores González Saravia,
director of a peace-building NGO; Alberto Xicotencatl Carrasco, director of a shelter for migrants;
and Yolanda Moran Isais, a member of an group of families of people forcibly disappeared.
further integrate bilateral trade, political,
and social links; and Canadians represent
part of the drug trade market.
Mexico is also a contested candidate to
be placed on a list of so-called safe countries
that could be created with the passing of Bill
C-31, a government immigration bill meant
to speed asylum claimants from democratic,
human rights-respecting countries through
the refugee system to prevent squandering
resources on their current high numbers of
rejected and withdrawn claims.
Seated around Ms. Moran were: Dolores
González Saravia, director of SERAPAZ, a
Mexican NGO that works on conflict prevention and peace building; Vidulfo Rosales
Sierra, a lawyer with the Tlachinollan Human
Rights Centre that does human rights monitoring and works with indigenous communities in Guerrero state; and Alberto Xicotencatl
Carrasco, the director of the Casa del Migrante
shelter in Coahuila, who works with migrants.
They came with stories representing a
cross-section of Mexican human rights issues,
from those of undocumented migrants to
those related to Canadian mining companies’
perceived encroachment on indigenous lands.
An interpreter translated their responses
from Spanish to English. The following interview has been edited for style and length:
What is the human rights situation in
Mexico, generally?
Dolores González Saravia: “In Mexico, we
are going through a crisis situation. There is
an escalation of violence in this crisis. The
number of victims of this violence is also
increasing. More than 50,000 people are dead.
More than 10,000 disappeared. One piece
of data from the National Commission on
Human Rights is that 10,000 [undocumented]
migrants are kidnapped every six months.
“There are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, but it’s hard to tell
right now at this point [exactly how many].
“This is the general scenario as a result of
this war on drugs in Mexico.
“These dynamics are produced as a result
of these links of between [the] informal
power of organized crime, public authorities,
and even private investment, especially large
“The level of infiltration of the government
by organized crime is really high. Seventythree per cent of local governments…are
under the control through corruption or
under threat by organized crime. We’re talking about 2,444 municipal governments…
“There will be upcoming elections [later
this year]. But there’s not really democratic
conditions because organized crime has infiltrated the state.
“This is actually fought among different
drug cartels over the control of state power.
“That comes with a big social cost…We’re
talking also about the tearing apart of the social
fabric of Mexico. It takes two expressions: first as
a society that has a lot of fear, and the second is
a generalization of violations to human rights…
“It’s also the issue of human rights defenders that are finding it really hard to get out of
the country and seek refuge.
“I can tell you that the three of them [the
other Mexican activists in the room] have been
threatened. And in any moment, they can be
in a situation of life and death. And they don’t
have many options to leave the country.”
Why is it so important, then, to risk your
lives to tell people in Canada about the
Alberto Xicotencatl Carrasco: “…If we
keep things anonymous, if we just don’t
speak about them, it’s like they never happened. The more awareness, the more guarantees of safety we’re going to have.
“There are no guarantees for us in the country, or space in the country, for us to speak.
That’s why we had to come to other places to
speak about these issues. So the international
community can take a look at this.
“That doesn’t mean that we’re not working within.”
You see a lot of Mexicans coming to Canada
to apply for refugee status. The Canadian government has a bill going through Parliament
that could create ‘safe countries.’ And a lot
of people think that Mexico could be on that
list. It would mean that refugee claimants who
come to Canada from Mexico would be expedited through the process. Should Canada
consider Mexico a ‘safe country,’ when it’s
looking at refugee claimants who come here?
Why come here, talk to Canadian politicians? What do you want them to do?
Ms. González: “We want recognition for
what’s happening in Mexico. For us to start,
we need to start giving information about
what’s happening.
“We are recognizing that what’s happening
in Mexico is part of a regional security strategy.
So we want to change the way in which the
security strategy is perceived and implemented
in Mexico and at the regional level, within North
America and including Central America as well.”
“The main focus right now between
Canadian and Mexican relations is trade and
national security. So what we’re trying to
do is make a change in terms of how these
issues are perceived. Instead of talking about
national security, what we’re proposing is:
let’s look at preventive measures that can
actually address social issues.”
The Canadian government is very keen to
promote corporate social responsibility for
mining companies on a voluntary basis.
And we have an office for an extractive sector counsellor for corporate social responsibility. Is that the best way for Canada to be
working with the Canadian mining companies to help protect the people affected by
their operations abroad?
Vidulfo Rosales Sierra: “…What we want
is that they respect the right [of indigenous
peoples] to be consulted and to be informed
about the mining projects in Mexico before they
are actually implemented. We want the Canadian
and Mexican governments and the mining companies to respect that right.
“What we want is that the Canadian government, the Mexican government, and the
Canadian mining companies respect the
rights of indigenous people that have been
stated in the UN Declaration of Indigenous
Peoples and the ILO Convention 169.
“Right now, the government has given
concessions to mining companies in the
mountain region for about 15,000 hectares,
and most of the extraction is silver…
“The Mexican government and the
Canadian mining companies are violating the
right of indigenous peoples to be consulted.”
Ms. González: “There’s going to be a
legacy of environmental degradation here
because of mining that also threatens social
cohesion in these communities. And social
cohesion has prevented the penetration of
organized crime in these communities.
“So we want a different way of having cooperation in the economic sectors between
Mexico and Canada. This is not co-operation,
this is accumulation.
“…We need to start thinking maybe
about a dialogue. What we want is a dialogue
that includes civil society.”
[email protected]
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—16
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821370. Stephen Weiner, Coldwell Banker
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at l’UQO. Condo is model suite 401 at http:// Contact: 506-7430123, or [email protected]
Panoramic view of the Ottawa River.
Walking distance to Parliament Hill and
Rideau Centre. Luxurious one bedroom
with den. Hardwood flooring throughout.
Central air-conditioning. fireplace in living
room. 1.5 Bathrooms. fully equipped
internet, cable TV, telephone and indoor
parking included. $2,500. Phone 613738-3088 for info and viewing. See
also Kijiji Ad ID 337848665.
Studio & 2 bdrm apts. The luxurious
Juliana offers spacious suites with spectacular views of the city, Ottawa River, &
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view: 613-688-2222 or visit www.
Beautiful Victorian 2 floor apartment overlooking Patterson Inlet. Spacious, carefully
renovated. Hardwood floors, fireplace,
eat-in kitchen, ensuite laundry, 3 BR, 1.5
baths, private garage, steps to restauratns
and shopping. $2695/mo includes heat,
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email [email protected]
Large, bright one and two bedroom.
Newly renovated and balcony units
available. Minutes away from St.
Laurent Shopping Mall, dozens of great
restaurants, movie theatres, transit and
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center, hot tub, sauna and party room
and library. Indoor and Outdoor parking available. Parking and Hydro extra.
One bedrooms starting at $995 and two
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Somerset at Elgin, one and two bedroom
units. Newly renovated units available.
Some balcony units available. Minutes
away from fabulous shopping and restaurants and transit. Indoor and Outdoor
parking available. Parking and Hydro
extra. One bedrooms starting at $900
and two bedrooms starting at $1200.
For more information please call 613234-1802 or visit our website at www.
Large, bright one and two bedroom units
available. New energy efficient appliances. Close to transit and downtown,
minutes away from shopping and restaurants. Indoor Swimming pool, hot tub,
fitness and laundry centers and outdoor
tennis courts. Indoor and Outdoor parking available. Parking and Hydro extra.
One bedrooms starting at $979 and two
bedrooms starting at $1259. For more
information please call 613-565-8520
or visit our website at
Large, bright one and two bedroom
units. Newly renovated units available.
Close to transit and downtown, minutes
away from shopping and restaurants.
Laundry room, fitness center, hot tub
and outdoor tennis courts. Indoor and
Outdoor parking available. Parking and
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3 Bedroom apartment with parking.
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EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—18
Party Time
Embassy Photos: Sneh Duggal
Julie Pocock, the British high commissioner’s wife, along with the Rideau
Grannies and the Peter Cochrane’s Grannies, held a reception at the high
commissioner’s residence on International Women’s Day, March 8. They
raised funds to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation and grandmothers in
Africa caring for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
1. Hat designers Barry Moss and Alan White of Hats etc. gave a portion of
their sales to the cause.
2. Staff from DFAIT’s foreign policy and diplomacy service secretariat:
Georgina Collins; Helen Rodney; Katherine Herran-Magee; and Avril O’Neill.
3. A hat for sale.
4. Ms. Pocock; Angela Quinlan, of the Peter Cochrane’s Grannies; and Cécile
Latour, of the Rideau Grannies.
Embassy Photos: Sneh Duggal
Embassy Photo: Sam Garcia
The Canada Ukraine Foundation, the University of Ottawa’s chair
of Ukrainian studies, the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations, and
the Ukrainian Canadian Congress held a reception March 7 at the
Chateau Laurier in Ottawa to kick off their Ukraine at the Crossroads
5. Alyona Hetmanchuk, director of the Institute of World Policy in
Ukraine; Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottawa political science
professor; Svitlana Zalishchuk of Centre UA, a Ukrainian NGO; and
Ralph Lysyshyn, special adviser in the Liberal leader’s office.
6. Current Canadian ambassador to Ukraine, Troy Lulashnyk; former
Canadian ambassador to Ukraine Derek Fraser; Nestor Gayowsky,
former Canadian consul general and chargé d’affaires to Ukraine;
former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine Andrew Robinson; and
former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine G. Daniel Caron.
7. Conservative MP James Bezan and Taras Zalusky, executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
The Argentine Embassy hosted an ‘Argentina Beats to your Rhythm’ tourism presentation March
10 at the Ottawa Convention Centre in association with the Travel and Vacation Show.
8. Argentine Embassy counsellor Edgar Flores; Inés Segarra, director of the Argentina Tourism
Office in New York; Argentine Chargé d’Affaires Jose Nestor Ureta; and Travel Show organizers
Halina and Bob Player.
Travel Show
The Taiwanese community in Ottawa hosted a gala dinner March 6 at the Sala San Marco banquet hall in Ottawa to
celebrate the year of the dragon.
16. Conservative MP Chungsen Leung performs the bagpipes.
17. Taiwan Representative David Lee ‘opens the eyes’ of the newborn dragon by filling in its pupils with black paint.
TECO Photos
Embassy Photos: Sam Garcia
Embassy Photos: Sam Garcia
The Japanese Embassy marked the first anniversary of the
tsunami and nuclear crisis with several events March 8
including a reception.
9. Japanese Ambassador Kaoru Ishikawa and Conservative
MP Wai Young.
10. Former independent senator Marcel Prud’homme shares
an anecdote with Mr. Ishikawa.
11. Michael Smith, high commissioner of the Bahamas;
Jamaican High Commissioner Sheila Sealy-Monteith; and
Edward Evelyn Greaves, high commissioner of Barbados.
12. Ambassadors of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, and
Italy: Biljana Gutic-Bjelica, Teppo Tauriainen, and Andrea
Dignitaries attended the opening of the 2012 Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show March 10 at the
Ottawa Convention Centre.
13. Chef Don Thibeault, responsible for the New Brunswick culinary kitchen at the show; ElizabethAnne McCleave, responsible for the New Brunswick pavilion; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
(Americas and Consular Affairs) Diane Ablonczy; Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; and Travel Show
organizer Halina Player.
14. Estonian Chargé d’Affaires Riho Kruuv, Ms. Ablonczy, Lithuanian Ambassador Ginte Damusis,
and Latvian Ambassador Juris Audarins.
15. Ms. Ablonczy cuts the ribbon opening the show. She’s joined by, from left, Argentine Chargé
d’Affaires Jose Nestor Ureta, Ms. Damusis (back row), Turkish Ambassador Rafet Akgunay (clapping), Malaysian High Commissioner Hayati Binti Ismail, French Ambassador Philippe Zeller
(behind), Kenyan High Commissioner Simon Wanyonyi Nabukwesi, Mr. Watson, Mr. Kruuv,
Czech Ambassador Karel Zebrakovsky, Ms. Player, Philippines Ambassador Leslie Gatan; and
Vietnamese Ambassador Sy Vuong Ha Le.
EMBASSY, Wednesday, March 14, 2012—19
Envoys & Events
Veteran envoy hits the ground running
Diplomatic Circles
his year marks the 20th anniversary
of diplomatic relations between
Kazakhstan and Canada. But when
Kazakhstan’s new ambassador was
accredited March 8, he had a little anniversary celebration of his own.
While it was his seventh time being accredited as an ambassador, it was his 10th ceremony overall.
Since his Feb. 6 arrival in Ottawa, Konstantin
Zhigalov has hit the ground running, meeting
with government and business types and preparing for upcoming visits by government officials.
Mr. Zhigalov brings with him a breadth
of experience. He served as assistant to
Kazakhstan’s president from 1991 to 1993. He
was then the country’s deputy foreign minister until 1994 and again from 2009 to 2012.
He said his two stints in this role were
quite different, since the first was soon
after the former Soviet republic gained
independence in 1991. That meant building
Kazakhstan’s diplomatic corps.
“It was very difficult to arrange a number of young diplomats to be educated...
we should also establish the new face of
Kazakhstan abroad, so we had different tasks
at that time,” he said in an interview March
12. “It was necessary to put a new, independent country on the global political map.”
He also served as minister counsellor
to the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2000.
Between 2001 and 2009, he was ambassador to Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands,
Luxembourg, the European Union, and NATO.
To mark Canada and Kazakhstan’s 20 years
of bilateral relations, “We wanted to celebrate
this day, this special year by increasing our
relations with Canada,” said Mr. Zhigalov.
To that effect, a “top-level” delegation of
20, including the chair of Kazakhstan’s civil
service, will visit Canada from April 16 to
21. Mr. Zhigalov said they are also planning
a reception to celebrate.
There might be a visit from Kazakhstan’s
agriculture minister in April or May. Mr.
Zhigalov said while Kazakhstan buys many
cattle from Canada, there is room for further co-operation in areas such as agricultural machinery, or between farmers.
Also up for consideration is the idea
of an investment conference in Vancouver
April 13 or a later visit from Kazakhstan’s
industry and new technologies minister.
Embassy Photo: Sneh Duggal
Konstantin Zhigalov is Kazakhstan’s new ambassador. He’s marking 20 years of relations with Canada this year with a high-level delegation’s visit in April.
Nuclear agreement in the works
Along with meeting several officials including
Jillian Stirk, Canada’s assistant deputy minister
for Europe, Eurasia, and Africa; deputy agriculture minister John Knubley; and former Liberal
prime minister Jean Chrétien; Mr. Zhigalov
has met Michael Binder, the president of the
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Canada and Kazakhstan are discussing
an agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which Mr. Zhigalov said the two
sides hope to sign this year.
“It’s very important for us, because this
sphere of co-operation, nuclear energy,
[the] uranium industry…are very much
important for both sides.”
Mining is also a prime area of co-operation.
As of 2009, Canadian companies had invested
about $2.1 billion in Kazakhstan, a large
portion of which was in the mining sector,
according to a Canadian government website.
Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s wealthiest
country, according to the UK’s Telegraph
newspaper, thanks partly to large oil exports.
Riots by people including former oil workers
in an oil-rich region last December resulted
in at least 13 deaths, according to media
reports, when police fired on protesters.
OTTAWA Listings
The Politics of the Trail—Oded Löwenheim, Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, will give a talk on “The Politics of the Trail:
Biking along the Frontier of Jerusalem.” 4-5:30 p.m. D382 Loeb
Building, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr.
The Second Scramble for African Land, Water
and Resources—Join guest speakers Obang Metho and Felix
Horne for a talk on “The Second Scramble for African Land,
Water and Resources: The Case of Ethiopia.” Presented by the
Institute of African Studies at Carleton University. 5:30-7:30
p.m. 303 Humanities Bldg., Paterson Hall, Carleton University,
1125 Colonel By Dr. 613-520-2600 ext. 2220
13th Annual Kesterton Lecture—Join guest speaker
Elizabeth Palmer, London correspondent for CBS News, for a talk
on “Even Dictators Need Facebook: Perspectives from the Frontline
of the Information War.” The 13th Annual Kesterton Lecture is
presented by Carleton University. The winner of the James Travers
Foreign Corresponding Fellowship will be re-announced this
evening. 7:30 p.m. Free. Room 2220, River Building, Carleton
University, 1125 Colonel By Dr.
CADSI Networking Luncheons—Guest speaker
Peter Graham, project manager for the implementation phase
of the soldier systems technology roadmap, will discuss the
project with members of CADSI at a luncheon. $25 members;
$30 non-members. Air Force Mess, 158 Gloucester St. Noon.
Post-Authoritarian Politics in the Middle
East—Join three guest speakers for discussion on the Arab
Spring. Mazeen Chouaib, Clic-Consultants, will discuss “The
Foundational Changes in the Arabic Governance;” Rex Brynen,
McGill University professor, will discuss “The Democratization
Process in the Middle East and North Africa;” and retired
Carleton University professor emeritus Ozay Mehmet will
discuss “AKP Experience in Turkey: Some Possible Lessons
for Arab Countries in Transition.” Presented by the Society
for International Development’s Ottawa-Gatineau branch.
2-4 p.m., $5 members; $12 non-members. IDRC, David W.
Hopper Room, 150 Kent St.
Ryukyu and Taiwan on the East Asian Seas—
Join guest speaker Man-houng Lin, Taiwan historian at
Academia Sinica, for a talk on “Ryukyu and Taiwan on the East
Asian Seas.” Presented by the Department of Sociology and
Anthropology at the University of Ottawa. 3-5 p.m. Free. Room
083, Tabaret Hall, 55 Laurier Ave. E. 613-562-5800 ext. 1363.
Mr. Zhigalov would also like to focus on
education and health care.
More than 200 students from Kazakhstan
currently study in Canada. Mr. Zhigalov
would like to see that number rise. He said
he expects his country’s universities to sign
a number of memoranda of understanding
with Carleton University.
In health care, Mr. Zhigalov said Kazakhstan’s
president declared during his annual address
that one of his main goals was to lessen the number of deaths from cancer.
Nuclear tests in the country’s northeast
region during the Soviet era have been blamed
for health problems such as cancer, said a 2009
BBC News report. It also said cancer was oneand-a-half times more prevalent in the eastern
region than the rest of the country.
During a recent trip to Toronto, Mr. Zhigalov
visited Sunnybrook Hospital.
“We want to build [a] special oncology
centre in Kazakhstan; this is a specialization
of Sunnybrook,” he said.
A delegation from the hospital will visit
Kazakhstan this month to propose a feasibility study for building such a centre, he said.
Also interesting for Mr. Zhigalov is
Canada’s experience with multiculturalism,
since Kazakhstan too is a multi-ethnic and
multi-religious society.
“The experience of multiculturalism and
multi-pluralism in Canada is very important for us also,” he said, adding that as a
result, he met with the Global Centre for
Pluralism’s secretary-general, John McNee.
So far Mr. Zhigalov has visited Toronto
and Montreal. He plans to visit various
provinces because he said it’s important to
co-operate with them as well as the federal
Aside from the travelling and meetings,
he had the chance to attend a hockey game
between the Ottawa Senators and the New
York Islanders.
“I like ice hockey very much. Ice hockey
is very popular in Kazakhstan,” he said. “I
really enjoyed it.”
This is Mr. Zhigalov’s second time in
Canada. The first was last September when
he came to help his daughter move for the
start of her studies at McGill University.
“She has her own experience of what’s
going on; she also delivers [to] us additional
information from the young generation, how
they like Canada,” he said.
[email protected]
Afghanistan Beyond 2014—Join guest speaker
Hikmet Çetin, NATO secretary general’s former civilian
representative in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, for a
talk on “Afghanistan Beyond 2014.” Presented by the Turkish
Embassy and NPSIA at Carleton University. 3-5 p.m. Free. 613244-2479 or [email protected]
Reception to follow. For members only. 3-4:30 p.m.
Westin Hotel, 11 Colonel By Dr. Register to https://www.
Ottawa Orchid Society—Join guest speaker Marlene
Young for a talk on the upcoming World Orchid Congress
in Singapore and a side trip to China, and an exhibition of
orchids. 1:30 p.m. Non-members, $5. Presented by the Ottawa
Orchid Society. Tom Brown Arena, 141 Bayview Rd. 613-2370494 or [email protected]
One Year after the Great East Japan Earthquake—
The Japanese Embassy presents an exhibition of photos and children’s
drawings: “One Year after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Japan’s
Road to Recovery.” Runs until March 23. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Auditorium,
embassy of Japan, 255 Sussex Dr. 613-241-8541 or [email protected]
Tunisia celebrates its independence day. It gained
independence from France in 1956. For information on any
celebrations, call the embassy at 613-237-0330.
2012 CADSI AGM—The 2012 Canadian Association
of Defence and Security Industries annual general meeting.
2012 Air Force Outlook—The 2012 Air Force Outlook
will feature senior staff from the Royal Canadian Air Force
speaking and answering questions about projects currently
underway, upcoming opportunities, and what direction is expected
in the coming years for the Air Force. $170 CADSI members;
$50 CF/ Canadian government. Westin Hotel, 11 Colonel By Dr.
Women, Children and Citizens in the Russian
Election Campaigns of 2011-2012—Join guest
speaker Andrea Chandler, Carleton University political science
department, for a talk on “Women, Children and Citizens in the
Russian Election Campaigns of 2011-2012.” 2:30-4 p.m. Room
A602, Loeb Bldg., Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr.
[email protected]
CJSO March Dinner Meeting—The Canada-Japan
Society of Ottawa presents a talk on “One Year Later: 3/11”
with Gemma Villanueva. 6 p.m. Kiko Sushi, 349b Preston St.
RSVP by March 17 to
Embassy Listings is edited by listings editor Alia Heward
who can be reached at 613-232-5952, ext. 200. Information
regarding events should be sent to [email protected]
ca with the subject line ‘Embassy Listings’ by Friday at 5
p.m. Send in your event in a paragraph with all the relevant
details. Our fax number is 613-232-9055.
[email protected]
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