For almost three weeks, the Egyptian people took peacefully to the streets to change the system that deprived them of their rights and freedoms. Canadians and peoples around the world stood up in solidarity with the people, but not Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Not only was he slow in addressing the uprising but when he finally did, it was to publicly express his support for President Hosni Mubarak, insisting that he wanted "those in power in Egypt to lead change."
The Investment Canada Act, implemented in 1985 by the government of Brian Mulroney, replaced the Foreign Investment Review Agency, which had become a potent symbol of Pierre Trudeau's interventionism. While the new act was explicitly intended to welcome foreign investment (including takeovers) with open arms, it included a "net benefit" test to supposedly protect Canadian interests.
In a decision that must have added a certain edge to the next Cabinet meeting after it was announced, the Federal Court of Canada on Aug. 30 gave the green light to a $3-million lawsuit brought by Abousfian Abdelrazik against Lawrence Cannon, minister of foreign affairs. Abdelrazik is suing Cannon for misfeasance in public office, intentional infliction of mental suffering and breaches of his charter rights to mobility and to life, liberty and security of the person.
June 1, 2010
The open rebellion against a UN Security Council "terrorist" list is growing in Canada. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are the latest labour organizations to announce that they will hire Abousfian Abdelrazik despite Canadian law saying that it is illegal to do so.
When the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the Canadian section of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), announced at a press conference on 18 May that they, together with the Windsor District Labour Council, were hiring Abousfian Abdelrazik, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was forced to respond.
Gaza -- 46 years ago this month, Israel seized East Jerusalem, the home of many significant holy sites for Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as the proposed capital for any future Palestinian state. Since then, Israel has increasingly undertaken measures -- the placing of restrictions on Palestinian movement, the construction of a separation wall, the confiscation of Palestinian land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements -- that are threatening to push out the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem entirely.
The announcement last week that CIDA was being folded into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade provoked its strongest reaction in Quebec. Let's see about creating a Quebec Ministry of International Co-operation blurted out Jean-Francois Lisée, Quebec Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs.
For Montreal-based Alternatives, the major international affairs NGO, putting international development under the authority of diplomats spells the demise of international solidarity networks once fostered by CIDA.
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"France is in Mali for the long haul." That's the headline in today's France daily Le Monde. The newspaper's front page, as well as pages 2 and 3, are devoted to a discussion over 'what next' for France and the world in Mali.