Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Canadians wary of growing economic relationship with China, a new poll suggests

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) gestures to Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau ahead of their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, on Aug. 31, 2016. (Pool/Getty Images)

Canadians wary of growing economic relationship with China, a new poll suggests

Image result for Eighty-eight percent of Canadians don’t want China to have unfettered access to Canada’s economy
Eighty-eight per cent of Canadians don’t want China to have unfettered access to Canada’s economy, according to a poll conducted for The Globe.  Two-thirds of Canadians want this country to link human rights with free trade. Last month, Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye told The Globe that “democracy or human rights” had no place in the trade talks. Eight in 10 people want the federal government to run national security tests to properly vet Chinese state-owned companies looking to take over Canadian firms. The Trudeau Liberals, who have engaged in exploratory bilateral talks, have made free trade with China a core plank of their foreign policy goals. 

The federal government is expected to roll out legislation on Thursday that will legalize marijuana. The bill will put strict controls on how producers market marijuana products, treating the product more similarly to tobacco than alcohol. The legal pot industry is shaping up to be big business, with mergers expected and investors lining up to get in on the high stakes action.

For the adults and children who share names with individuals on the no-fly list there was no redress in the 2017 federal budget. Parents of kids who are affected are confused and Ottawa remains tight-lipped on the delays to improve what it calls a “seriously deficient” system. In November, the Liberals established a plan to create an independent no-fly list but a source tells The Globe that Finance Canada and the Treasury Board didn’t approve the proposal.

A comprehensive report on the state of the federal government’s science funding commissioned by Science Minister Kirsty Duncan revealed that Canada is lagging compared to its global peers. The panel tasked with understanding how the billions in funding is spent found that the system was “weakly co-ordinated” and “inconsistently evaluated.”

And a Canadian soldier who developed PTSD while serving in the former Yugoslavia in 1993 has filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, saying he should not be discriminated against for wanting to return to the reserves. The Armed Forces does not allow people with PTSD from being deployed at any time. Joshua Dorais, who was a nursing officer, says his PTSD wouldn’t affect his work and that he has his condition under control.

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The U.S. has concluded that Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun last week, according to a senior U.S. official. At G7 talks between foreign ministers in Italy, the U.S. also said that it was seeking support from allies as questions remain on the increasingly complicated situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump is readying himself for a vast rift between the United States and its allies over climate change and environmental policy. At the centre of this is the new administration’s campaign pledge to drop out of the historic Paris Climate Accords. The rest of the G7, including Canada, has been pressing the White House on its climate stance and lobbying for it to stick with the landmark agreement.

And Mr. Trump promised to bring his winning ways to Washington. He seems to be doing that in one area: The amount of days spent at a golf course during the first 81 days of a presidency. His 17 trips are the most for any president since Bill Clinton, who went to the golf course three times in 81 days. Neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama went to a golf course during the same time period at the start of a presidency.

The writ officially drops in B.C. today, setting off a four-week campaign between the governing BC Liberals and the Opposition NDP that could be one of the nastiest in recent memory. Neither party waited for the day’s formalities – they’ve already launched their campaign machinery and started rolling out promises, including the Liberals who released their full platform on Monday.

Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals will be spending the next four weeks touting the performance of the province’s economy while warning the NDP would set that progress back. John Horgan’s New Democrats will paint the Liberals as a party more interested in helping wealthy donors than British Columbians, while contrasting that with promises including $10-per-day daycare. For more on what to expect, read our primer on how the campaign is likely to unfold and what issues are expected to define the election.

And Gary Mason says the Liberal platform released Monday “is one of the dreariest, least-inspiring vision documents put forward by a governing party in recent memory.”

James Keller, Assistant B.C. Editor
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In the 1980s and 1990s the U.S. war on drugs focused on the crack cocaine epidemic, which disproportionately affected black communities. Policy responses often boiled down to harsher enforcement and longer sentences. In recent years the opioid epidemic has ravaged communities across North America. In the U.S., sufferers have been disproportionately white and the response from lawmakers has been accompanied with compassionate pleas. Vox explores what it means “when a drug epidemic’s victims are white.”

“I hope my colleagues share the sense of urgency to act and put forward different measures to unclog the system. We all have our different part to play.” Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée on the federal government’s decision to meet with the provinces over mounting court delays stemming from the Supreme Court’s R v. Jordan (2016) ruling.
Barrie McKenna (The Globe and Mail): “The government is reviewing the National Research Council, the SR&ED program and science policy.The tragedy is that all this tinkering isn’t working. Canada has been slipping behind other advanced countries on many of the key metrics of innovation. While we’ve been writing reports, the best-performing countries have been putting real dollars into priority projects, and producing concrete results.”

Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail): “Mr. Trump is a man who is completely guided by the instinct of the moment. There’s no use trying to figure out the Trump Doctrine, because the Trump Doctrine is whatever impulse feels right to him right now.”

André Picard (The Globe and Mail): “Why stop at marijuana? If you want to lessen the harms caused by drug use, why is possession ever a crime? Wouldn’t the money and effort that goes into prosecuting drug use be better spent on providing better health care for drug users who are experiencing harm?”

Chantal Hebert (The Toronto Star): “If only to counter the perception that Trudeau can’t be counted on to keep his word, delivering on the marijuana promise before Canada next goes to the polls has become non-negotiable. But it will not be a cakewalk. The prime minister’s promise has always been more popular than his own party. That is still the case as the government readies to introduce its marijuana bill later this week. But polls suggest that as Canadians hear more details about the plan more of them may be having second thoughts. Support for the measure was always high, but it may also always have been soft.”

Catherine Rampell (The Washington Post): “As a businessman, [Trump] surely knows that one of the key things companies need to plan and make investments is a clear understanding of what the policy environment will look like going forward. And on almost every major policy front — tax reform, health care, immigration, even more bite-size regulations — his administration continues to inject huge amounts of uncertainty into the economy.”

Written by Mayaz Alam.