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SEPT 2017 ISSUE

US AND NORTH KOREA

NAFTA

talks continue

REFUGEES the numbers are increasing

climate change and politicians CORRUPTION IN POLITICS

July-Aug-Sept

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contents

ISSN# 1929-8811 Publishers Midland Publishers Inc. Canada Address 401-50 Burnhamthorpe Rd. Suite 401, Mississauga On. L5B 3C2 Phone: (905) 230-3647 Email info@midlandpublishers.com

Refugees 7 Climate Change and Politicians 10 Corruption in Politics 16 NAFTA Talks Continue 24 US and North Korea 30 Trudeau's Cabinet Reshuffle 34 The 47th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 2017 38

Websites www.midlandpublishers.com www.lepolitician.com Editors Alexandre Hart Justin Golschneider Patricia Melnyk Lauren Stephen Designer Karen Hue Chief Marketing Officer Issac Shiff National Director Amir S, Ali

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ matteostallone/18906834782/in/ photolist-cVmcyj-qpqzGf-a5u21d-uNJth3596QEJ-f16zZX-7xo8e-pMx8ai-7TmitrG3UsE-4zxDM-fFu4zg-9yvS26-4WbXMZ-8JeuE2dMDoqd-bbTfAF-9zPzFz-dMW2ka-eeRBmf-nZKAGg-pwrCB5-oxddmH-4gMcph-n9RoS72yXqdy-ogpBQK-gCK6jG-ddsSCS-b7YycX-c4RdrybJ7N3D-pJaguC-6qDw7k-9zSyRW-nLp2Zf-b6vwBvqixdsS-592EzM-dvCBkq-596Qjo-6oJzdV-aYQvia1bGbA-e1WVeo-nUMQAA-njhtnH-9zaYTh

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Editor’s Desk

Economy and Interest Rate

Hike

The Bank of Canada raises interest rate again to an overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1- 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent. This is the 2nd rate hike in this year and 3rd is expected before the year end. The Bank of Canada has observed that the global economy continues to strengthen and growth is broadening across countries and regions. The US economy was tepid in the first quarter of 2017 but is now growing at a solid pace, underpinned by a robust labour market and stronger investment. Abovepotential growth is becoming more widespread in the euro area. However, elevated geopolitical uncertainty still clouds the global outlook. Canada’s economy has been robust, fuelled by household spending. As a result, a significant amount of economic slack has been absorbed. The very strong growth of the first quarter is expected to moderate over the balance of the year, but remain above potential. Growth is broadening across industries and regions and therefore becoming more sustainable. As the adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete, both the goods and services sectors are expanding. Household spending will likely remain solid in the months ahead, supported by rising employment and wages, but its pace is expected to slow over the projection horizon. At the same time, exports should make an increasing contribution to GDP growth. Business investment should also add to growth, a view supported by the most recent Business Outlook Survey. The Bank estimates real GDP growth will moderate

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further over the projection horizon, from 2.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.0 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019. The output gap is now projected to close around the end of 2017, earlier than the Bank anticipated in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR).


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R

EFUGEES the numbers are Dominic Mainella

increasing

In May of this year, President Trump stated intention to withdraw the protective status of the refugees from Haiti who took shelter after the earthquake in 2010; now, almost 58 000 people facing the possibility of deportation as soon as January 2018. Trudeau’s policies and frequent proclamations of Canada as a safehaven to refugees, while Trump had buckled down on immigration back in January, banning people from seven countries where the population is predominantly Muslim, has encouraged approximately 11 000 people to cross the border, prompting a huge spike in asylum claims Canada-wide.

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Emergency measures have had to be taken, including the converting of several buildings into temporary havens, as well as the addition of tents, in order to house the influx of asylum seekers. The Olympic Stadium in Montreal is one such structure, currently being used as a temporary centre to house the asylum seekers coming up from the States, the majority of them Haitian refugees, adding to the title wave of people seeking shelter in Canada since 2015. As of late July, refugees have been taken to the stadium by the busload where nearly 450 cots have been set up inside close by the concession stands.

The Liberal party have received criticism from both the New Democratic Party and the Conservatives over the openness of Canada’s policies on the matter, claiming that reform will be needed, that Canada must buckle down on border security, or alternatively repealing the Safe Third Country Agreement to limit the number of people entering Canada, often illegally, from the United States. However, with the American position on refugees changing, becoming increasingly hostile and restrictive by the day, Trudeau stands by his position as the fear of deportation from the United States rises.

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Unfortunately for many refugees, Canadian authorities deem Haiti to be a safe country, which means that several of the individuals who are now crossing into Canada from the U.S. could be denied asylum and still deported back to Haiti regardless. Most people who seek to claim asylum and do so at the official land crossings between Canada and the United States are denied before they set foot on Canadian soil. Therefore, as

Canada’s policy on the matter favours those who are already with the country, there has been a spike in the number of individuals who enter the country illegally. While the Federal government and the province of Quebec are claiming that this influx of refugees was predicted, no one knows whether the numbers will continue to rise or slowly diminish. Many are wondering whether Canada will have the resources needed to house so many new residents. Now, with over 300 000 Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar into Bangladesh, the limits of Canada’s generosity towards those seeking asylum is sure to be tested.

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Don’t pray, vote for politicians who believe in science.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLITICIANS BY AMIR S. ALI

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During the last few weeks we read news on natural disasters all over the globe, hurricanes in Florida, floods in Chicago and Tuscany, fires in Canada and Croatia, and an 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Mexico. It seems that nature strikes back at us for ignoring what scientists have been saying for decades, ‘save the planet earth’. Are we still going to ignore climate change?

W

hat’s even more interesting are politicians who deny that global warming and natural disasters are a direct consequence of human actions. They think the progress will stop if we take it seriously. For example, President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold from the Global Climate Treaty got the widest echo in the global public. If the leader of one of the most relevant countries in the world comes up with a decision like that, what message does it send? The world is pointing fingers at U.S. president Donald Trump for denying the ongoing climate change and thus endangering us all by announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The U.S. has become one out of three countries outside the Paris agreement framework besides Syria and Nicaragua. Expectedly, this outcome is compliant with president Donald Trump’s statements related to climate change during the election campaign when he repeatedly stated that climate change is a "hoax". He tweeted that China is to blame for the concept of the global warming and that it was invented only to make America noncompetitive in the global market of goods. Although it makes sense to do what he promised to his voters, there is little logic in putting the rest of the planet in danger when it comes to crucial things like global environmental politics.

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Climate change denial doesn’t get us anywhere, on the contrary. What we see from the U.S. president is not action; it’s not even a reaction to the current events. It only warns people to evacuate and putting their lives over their property, praises the U.S. Coast Guard and promises to visit the places that were hit by the hurricane. Is the current U.S. president aware that he is denying his citizens the right to fresh air and unpolluted water? Not to mention that America is giving a bad example to the rest of the world. The issue of climate change cannot be tackled individually but only with joined forces of every country.

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The purpose of the Paris agreement is to prevent further rising of global temperatures due to emissions. It recommends lowering 2 degrees C or even 1.5C at least. Furthermore, the committed countries agreed to limit the amount of gases caused by human activities to a level that can be absorbed by nature. Every country’s contribution to reduce emissions should be valued, and developed countries should help those less developed, in fighting and adapting to climate change, by devoting/ volunteering time and by supplying technology to fight it. The crucial question is, are politicians the one to blame or those who put them in power in the first place? Raising global awareness on climate change might be the key but we have to bear in mind that the clock is already ticking.

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For decades, countries of Asia’s Pacific Region are at the bottom half of the Corruption Perceptions Index. In 2016, Cambodia was listed as the most corrupt Asian country but there are countries with much more difficult, highprofile corruption scandals such as South Korea, Thailand, and Pakistan. What is the reason for such a high level of corruption in these countries? This is where we emphasize everyday corruption issues, lack of security, narrow space for civil society, no trust in government and no rule of law.

CORRUPTION I N POL I TICS By INVANA TOSKOVIC

According to Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International in 2016, South Korea was 52nd, Thailand was 101st, and Pakistan was ranked as 116th out of 176 countries. Even though anti-corruption legislation is increasingly enforced in South Korea, Thailand has the legal framework and a range of institutions to effectively fight corruption. In Pakistan, the law provides for an independent judiciary yet powerful economic and political factors still influence the system. Political corruption represents the misuse of government power for purposes of illegitimate private gain. While corrupt societies may have formal legislation to protect them, it cannot work without government officials. In all the named above countries, corruption is widespread, particularly at the highest levels of government and business.

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SOUTH KOREA

was shaken by corruption scandals in 2016. In April 2015, the prime minister of South Korea, Lee WanKoo, resigned after being connected with a construction company in a corruption scandal. He was found guilty of taking a bribe in January 2016 and received eight months in prison. After that, President of South Korea, Ms. Park Guen-hye was impeached by Parliament for numerous allegations of corruption, involving important figures in the Korean government and business community. She faced impeachment in late 2016 and was charged of bribery, abuse of office and other corruption-related offenses. In South Korea, a bribery conviction alone is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and the maximum life sentence.

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In Thailand, all levels of society suffer from corruption. Thaksin Shinawatra was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Thailand in 2001 (who served a full term). After his re-election in 2005, he served as a Prime Minister until 2006, when he was ousted by a military coup. In 2008, he was sentenced to two years in prison for a corrupt land deal; he has lived in self-imposed exile since to avoid the sentence. His government launched programs to reduce poverty, expand infrastructure, promote small enterprises, universal healthcare, and declared a “war on drugs”. However, after selling shares of his corporation worth more than a billion dollars to foreign investors without paying taxes, he amended the Thai laws.

Years later in 2011, his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became Thailand's first female Prime Minister. She was also removed from office in 2014 by a Constitutional Court decision that found her guilty of abuse of power that reportedly cost the state around USD 16 billion. In the military coup that followed in 2014, she was overthrown by Prayut and arrested along with former cabinet ministers and political leaders of all parties. Even though they declared “war on corruption” after seizing power in 2014, coup d'etat, and set up a military junta, corruption allegations were used to get rid of political enemies.

Another example, as a Prime Minister, Thaksin unsuccessfully wanted to buy the English, Premier League, football clubs Fulham and Liverpool. Finally, in June 2007 (already out of office), he bought Manchester City football club for £81.6 million; he sold the club to foreign investors in 2008, for £200 million.

Thai authorities are considering introducing the death penalty in some corruption cases. Amnesty International has condemned that move in the

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past saying that it was “a huge step in the wrong direction”. Crimes already punishable by death in Thailand include murder, rape, arson, and treason.

coup two years later) and re-elected in 2013, or a third term as Prime Minister. Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing criminal charges along with his family but in a recent by-election on his seat

The newest case happened in Pakistan in 2017. Pakistan's democratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was declared ineligible to hold office for corruption allegations by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, according to their Constitution. The leaked documents revealed that Sharif and his children owned real estates in London, through offshore companies, they could never afford legally. One interesting fact is that he was already

his wife won, people just don’t get it. They keep electing them, only God knows why.

ousted before! His government was dismissed over suspicions of corruption in 1993. He was elected for a second time in 1997 (overthrown in a

We could say that South Korea’s civil society is among the most active ones in the Asia-Pacific region. Civil society organizations have taken an active role in monitoring the activities of the government and businesses. Pakistan is one of the world's least safe places, even though civil rights are protected by law, insecurities, and corruption stay in practice. Today, in the 21st century, we still have a dilemma in Thailand, basic freedom and rights of civil society are in question with the Internet and press both considered “not free”. It deepens the connection between corruption, discrimination, and inequality. Increasingly, people are turning to populist leaders who promise to fight corruption, and it only helps nurture the tradition of nepotism.

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As the talks surrounding the North American Free Trade agreement continue, many are wondering what will become of the 23-year-old deal. With Trump’s continued threats to pull out of NAFTA the possibility of dissolving a contract with trillions of dollars in annual trade goods across North America at stake is becoming a very real concern.

After the first round of talks concluded in Washington, DC on August 20th, Trump has remained consistent in his rhetoric, claiming that they will either “renegotiate NAFTA” or “terminate” it.

NAFTA TALKS CONTINUE By Heather Hewitt

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Talks go on and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland leads the NAFTA council in discussion on the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement, in Toronto on Sept. 22, 2017. To show how important it is NAFTA file was given to her and not to the Minister of Trade, François-Philippe Champagne. The outcome of negotiations are yet unknown.

Mexico has already begun to prepare for the worst, settling on how to replace billions of dollars worth of trade goods that the country typically imports from the United States as well as hosting trade talks with Brazil, focusing on a potential future without NAFTA. Trudeau, however, promises to work “seriously” to improve the agreement. The Americans are asking Canada to surrender Chapter 19 arbitration rights which has often allowed the Canadian government to challenge American duties on products such as softwood lumber. Chapter 19 outlines the procedure for trade disputes between countries and forces them to be settled by an independent panel, which the Trump administration feels is a violation of their sovereignty, preferring instead to have American courts to settle any disputes. Canada, however, is prioritizing the amendment of Chapter 11 regarding government vs. businesses, having faced nearly 40 lawsuits, mostly from American businesses, against its natural resource and environmental protections policies. Canada pushing to strengthen environmental protections and labour protocols as well as add "progressive" chapters on indigenous rights and gender to the NAFTA agreements, focusing primarily on jobs. However, the Liberal government is being heavily criticized by their Conservative associates for driving these issues before settling the basics… Canada is also prioritizing its key agricultural industries which are managed under quota systems, protecting Canadian cultural industries and telecommunications, and developing clear rules for digital commerce including those which would protect the

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privacy of all Canadian-located consumer data. The Canadian government would further like to streamline cross-border travel for business professionals and integrated industries, allowing for easier transport of goods back and forth. The U.S., however, is prioritizing American intellectual property, such as copyright and trademark laws, and patents. They are also focusing on equivalent environmental and labour standards; a move which they’re hoping will prevent big businesses from outsourcing much of their labour, as well as fighting for tighter rules of origin to further ensure the usage of domestic goods and materials. The U.S. is demanding further protections against

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American industries against what they deem to be unfair subsidies. Mexico’s main concern is easier transport of goods and labour across the borders to have greater access to U.S. and Canadian markets, especially for potential investors. Much like the U.S., Mexico is prioritizing the rights to intellectual property and adjustments accounting for e-commerce. With approximately 7 to 9 talks considered and an accelerated schedule to work with, progress will have to be made in leaps and bounds if the three counties hope to find a satisfying conclusion by January.

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US AND-

North

Korea By BRITTANY MAILHOT

Where do we go from here?

The tensions between the United States and North Korea began to rise last month when the Kim Jong-un regime began testing weapons with more frequency, triggering threats from the U.S. government and escalating the conflict to a new level. President Trump has given clear warning to North Korea in his Sept. 19, 2017 speech. He said, “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.” North Korea has conducted several nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the United Nations Security Council made a unanimous vote earlier this week to harshen the already severe sanctions in place against North Korea. The hope is to deter the country from continuing with its nuclear and ballistic missile tests by cutting 30% of its annual fuel imports and putting a worldwide ban on importing the country's textiles, taking away one of the its primary sources of income. After the sanctions were put into place, threats from the Kim Jong-un regime began to escalate. A North Korean government organization declared that the United States should be destroyed, along with its ally Japan. One government official articulated that “now is the time to annihilate the U.S. imperialist aggressors. Let's reduce the U.S. mainland into ashes and darkness”, making one of the most violent threats so far in this conflict.

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In retaliation to the sanctions, North Korea performed their 15th missile test this year with a ballistic missile that traveled over 2,300 miles and flew over Northern Japan in the process. Japan reacted defensively by telling all citizens to take shelter and warning of the potential path of the missile.

This volatile situation presents limited options. Two possible options that have been considered are taking out the country's nuclear weapon supply or initiating a regime change. However, these options are not likely to be seriously considered as they will cause a high number of casualties to both U.S. troops and surrounding countries, such as South Korea and Japan. There's no telling how the rogue state of North Korea would retaliate if the U.S. attempted to eradicate its nuclear supply. A regime change would cause technical and economic problems in the region and likely result in opposition from China, which has a large economic interest in North Korea. Another option is to take the diplomatic route and negotiate, but this is not likely to end in an agreement that pleases both parties. The United States wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, while the Kim Jong-un regime wants to enforce its status as a sovereign state and protect itself against a U.S.-led regime change. A fourth option is to impose more sanctions, but this is likely to be ineffective. Sanctions against North Korea have been in effect since the country's first nuclear test in 2006 and, while the North Korean people have suffered greatly as a result,

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it hasn't deterred the government from continuing with weapon development. So what comes next? In this moment, it's difficult to say how the events will pan out, but as the situation continues to develop it will likely prevent new challenges. With luck, it will also present new solutions.


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TRUDEAU’S

CABINET RESHUFFLE: PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU BELIEVES THE GOVERNMENTS CREAKY OLD STRUCTURE HAS BEEN PUSHED AS FAR AS IT CAN GO AND TO NO AVAIL IN THE END. HE DECIDED ON RESHUFFLING HIS CABINET TO IMPROVE Jane Philpott RELATIONS WITH INDIGENOUS TRIBES. By Ola Aly

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When Trudeau took office in 2015, promises were made to improve the lives and status of the indigenous people. First Nations believe these promises were broken and nothing was mended. Trudeau pledged billions of dollars be put towards improving their health care and safety, however, none of this was implemented in reality, stressing on the situation. This even led to aboriginals protesting on July 1, Canada day festivities and building up a tent on Parliament Hill. In an attempt of reconciliation, Trudeau split the federal indigenous and northern affairs ministry into two separate sections with two senior ministers in charge. With Carolyn Bennett, the former Indigenous Affairs minister, heading major changes to be made on government policies towards the tribes and confirming their rights in the government. Jane Philpott, the


POLITICIAN LE POLITICIEN Sept 17

Ginette Petitpas

Kent Hehr

Carla Qualtrough

Seamus O'Regan

There are about 1.4 million indigenous people in Canada which represent 4 percent of the Canadian population that has been neglected for too long. The suicide rate has significantly increased recently in this district due to the unfortunate living standards. They suffer from severe poverty, terrible healthcare, poor education systems, low employment rate and even have difficulty reaching clean and safe water. They are lacking their basic human rights and are in desperate need for change.

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former Health minister, well recognized for her prestige work, will be in charge of enhancing living standards for the tribes by securing their daily services like education, health and so on.

quit for health reasons, Carla Qualtrough, former minister of Sports, took her place as Public services minister. And so, Kent Hehr from veteran’s affair replaced Qualtrough as minister of Sports. MP Seamus O’Regan took over as minister of veteran’s affair and MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor is now minister of federal health, both young liberals are new faces to join the cabinet. Trudeau’s previous reshuffling in January instated Chrystia Freeland as the first female minister of Foreign Affairs and Ahmed Hussen, the first Somali-Canadian in the cabinet, as the minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, plus other changes done. It is clear that Prime Minister Trudeau is making positive changes by adding diversity and young, new faces to the government. Despite the ongoing problems between the crown and the indigenous people, Trudeau still upholds a healthy reputation and has public approval according to opinion polls, if this continues to be the case; it will come in handy for the upcoming elections in October 2019.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde, from the Association of First Nations, representing the indigenous people stated that the reshuffling is a significant step towards restoring the nation-tonation relationship between First Nations and the Crown. Besides the major change in the indigenous and northern affairs ministry, Trudeau decided to revive his government by making other changes in his cabinet again. He last reshuffled his cabinet in January before Trump’s presidency to equip for Trump’s administration. After Judy Foote recently

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Trudeau thrives to eliminate the gap between the northern people like the aboriginal Metis and Inuit Canadians and the non-indigenous Canadians. He is restructuring his cabinet specifically the department of indigenous and northern affairs to renew and strengthen the relationship between the government and the indigenous people. Let’s hope that by splitting the department with two heads, each will focus on presenting realistic and timely mattered solutions to the indigenous people and most importantly, give them a heard voice in the government.


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47th

the

By Mirjan DeSilva

Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 2017 Montreal’s Olympic stadium will be hosting the 47th Artistic Gymnastics World Championship of 2017 starting next Monday, Oct. 2nd celebrating Montreal’s 375th anniversary and Canada’s 150th anniversary. FIG President (The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique), Morinari Watanabe visited the Olympic Stadium in Montreal back in March to discuss the preparations for the World Championships. This elite stadium with a spacious capacity to seat thousands of spectators previously hosted the 1976 Olympic Games and the 1985 World Championships making it well-known in the world of sports.

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This major event marks the start of the new Olympic cycle leading to the 2020 Tokyo Games with more than 500 gymnasts from all over the world flying in, competing for the gold medal. The official spokesperson for the event is no one other than the legendary, Olympic star Nadia Comaneci who will be returning to Montreal after mesmerizing the world back in 1976, scoring a flawless 10 at only 14 years old at the Olympic Games.


POLITICIAN LE POLITICIEN Sept 17

On September 13th the wait was finally over! The eager gymnasts from over 80 countries got a look at the program. The draw that determines the order of the competition was announced at the International Gymnastics Federation headquarters in Lausanne, attended by Donatella Sacchi, President of the FIG Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee and Jani Tanskanen, the Athletes Representative for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics. Sacchi assures that coaches now will be able to schedule training sessions and the gymnasts will have time to adapt to the time difference in preparation for the competition. The disciplines for the Championship are senior men’s artistic gymnastics (MAG) and senior women’s artistic gymnastics (WAG). As for the apparatus, the women will compete on vault, balance beam, uneven bars, and floor exercise while the men will compete on pommel horse, still rings, floor exercise, vault, and parallel and horizontal bars. Each apparatus targets a specific physical characteristic; the gymnasts need to perform flawlessly and gracefully. In regards to the program, the men’s podium training will be on Sept. 29th and 30th while the women’s podium training will be on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st. The opening ceremony will be on Oct. 2nd where millions of spectators around the world will be tuning in to watch! Oct. 3rd and 4th will be the men and women qualifications for the games to finally begin on Oct. 5th. It’ll start with the men’s all around final and the women’s all around final

will be on Oct. 6th, the individual apparatus final is on Oct. 7th and 8th then the big finale, the closing ceremony on Oct. 8th. Some famous, world champions will be competing in the upcoming Championship, highlights like the legendary Kohei Uchimura, champion of six world titles and two gold Olympic medals, Catalina Ponor the triple gold Olympic medalist, and Sanne Wevers, winner of the beam title in the Rio Olympics are a few. Other world champions like Kenzo Shirai, Oleg Verniaiez, Denis Abliazin, Yang Hak-seon, and more will also be competing. This year, the gold champions of the Artistic Gymnastics championship will be receiving their medals from “Gymnastic Ambassadors” for the first time, the Olympic queen, Nadia Comaneci and Canada’s Olympic pride, Kyle Shewfelt who won the gold medal in artistic gymnastics, at the 2004 Olympics. This will definitely be a moment we don’t want to miss. Gymnova will be the official supplier of the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championship. Montreal is preparing for the biggest gymnastic championship in the world and so should you! Get ready to cheer for your country and favorite athletes soon as the competition approaches.

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