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Frankly Speaking

India PM’s recent visit to Canada

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi recently visited Canada for three days, on an official trip. He travelled to Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Undoubtedly, his visit was of great economic and commercial significance for both countries. According to some economic observers, who are keen admirers of the Chinese and Indian economic development, think that India may even outstrip communist China in not too distant future! In view of the forthcoming Canadian elections, which may be held as early as October of this year, the signing of many trade agreements, between a developed and resource-rich country like Canada, with an emerging strong regional economic power like India, is expected to have great impact on the Canadian election results.

Some higher educational institutions complicit in war research!

It is unfortunate that universities, which should ideally be institutions for higher learning, are directly and indirectly complicit in war. It is an open secret that some Quebec universities are helping in lethal weapons research and helping the big weapons-producing Corporations, to improve in the effectiveness of improving bombs, hypersonic weapons and drones. It is ironical and unfortunate that budgets cuts to universities indirectly help in providing excuses to these institutions of higher learning for undertaking more military research, for their sustenance and survival. Universities use financial constraints imposed on them as a justification for increasing private funding, including from military agencies and contractors. Thus many universities have become more involved in war by ceding control of their research to military and private interests. While the federal government and the Quebec provincial government, may suggest what public should do as their part in fighting budget cuts including military, it is nothing but rhetoric. The fact of the matter is that the austerity measures of the governments, including that of Quebec, barely affect important and sensitive military research. It is tragic that federal spendings on infrastructure, in indigenous communities, have been slashed by 19 percent and spending on the federal affordable housing initiative by 49 percent.

Canada and USA are admirably fulfilling their international
immigration obligations

Canada and USA are truly multicultural and melting pot countries and we should be proud of them. This writer recently heard on the radio that many Syrian refugee families are being helped to settle down in the Quebec city of Sherbrooke, besides of course many other cities in Canada. This is as it should be. Canada is a vast resource-rich country, with only an estimated population of 36 million but still helping desperate refugees from all over the world to settle down in Canada. Again, the USA is a “melting pot” country with a population of around 317 million and counting! Thanks to the recent decision of American President, Barak Obama, more than 6 million undocumented immigrants, mostly from South American developing countries, have been allowed to stay in America. Long live USA and Canada for their relatively liberal immigration policies, in spite of being selective and bureaucratic at times!

Canadian provinces doing more for climate change than the federal government

Canadian premiers and territorial leaders, recently met in Quebec city to discuss an environmentally responsible Canadian environmental strategy, earlier agreed on in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in August of 2014. Their goal was to draw up a collectively-agreed policy on climate change, before the UN climate talks in Paris, France, scheduled to be held in December of this year. The premier of Quebec, Phillipe Couillard must be applauded for taking timely initiative on climate change, by inviting all the Canadian provinces and territories, to ramp up their efforts to fight environmental pollution and degradation by implementing a cap-and-trade system like that in Quebec and Ontario or a carbon tax as in British Columbia. According to the Quebec premier Couillard, because Canada is one of the most important producers of fossil fuels, she should be one of the most pro-active countries, on the planet to fight against climate change. Although Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol quite some time ago, Premier Couillard still requested the federal government to cooperate with the provinces for in taking climate change initiative.

by Gohar

April 14, 2015

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