If you look around the world at successful dairy farms, they are consistently faced with the issue of competitiveness, which I define as the ability to product a commodity profitably in a sustainable manner year after year. While we have our own challenges in the Canadian dairy sector, we are also fortunate to be working within a system that offers stability and consistency.
It is the deadliest conflict since World War II, the epicentre has been called the "rape capital of the world," and it has produced a long list of accused before the International Criminal Court charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is a far away conflict in a far away land. But unbeknownst to many readers, it's also in your pocket. Congolese mineral deposits are invaluable to the production of basic electronics, like the cell phone in your pocket and laptop in front of you. The link between the joy our toys bring to us and the suffering they bring to others is irrefutable. Such a reality should be unacceptable.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
Because countries often have differing political and economic systems, agreements are needed to protect those invested in trade. Canada has signed numerous deals. Treaties, agreements and organizations to help settle disputes may be necessary, but they often favour the interests of business over citizens.
The Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a historic 12-player deal with the Florida Marlins. As last evening wore on, the hype and hoopla on Sports Talk Radio in The Big Smoke was ratcheted. Ah, but Toronto being Toronto, all that giddiness, all that love, all that manic mirth was short-lived. By the time I turned on Sports Talk Radio this morning at 6 a.m., confidence in the trade had turned to caution.
Last week, a casualty of China's unfair treatment of foreign investors spoke privately about the new trade deal signed between Ottawa and Beijing. Ottawa capitulated to China on everything. The deal, using a hockey metaphor, allows only a select few to play on Team Canada on a small patch of ice in China and to be fouled, without remedies or referees.
We are shifting out of the patriarchy. The old model built for men does not work for us women as we read in Anne-Marie Slaughter's piece, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." I admire Slaughter. Except there is one major difference that allows me to have it all; I am a Social Entrepreneur. I don't take this for granted and invite women to design the world they wish to live in.
Canada's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations last week has been hailed as a new direction for the country's trade policy. It would be wise for Canadian policy makers to also bring to the table new views on trade. Canada's position on trade has been based on clear national identities ("Made in Canada"). But countries are more and more relying on imported inputs to produce their exports. For instance, Canada produces only 70 per cent of its exports value at home, with imported inputs accounting for the remaining 30 per cent.
Geographic(al) indications, or "GIs" are a type of intellectual property that identifies a product as originating from a specific region and acts as a certification that the product has certain qualities or is made in a certain way. In a sense, a GI gives "street cred" to a product based on where it comes from. If Canada enters into a trade agreement and acknowledges all of the GIs currently recognized in Europe, Canadian companies will lose the ability to label products that are subject to GIS. Consider this: Kraft Parmesan cheese will no longer be allowed to be called "parmesan" (or "parmesan-like" as companies can't even draw similarities or make comparisons to protected GIs).
The average Canadian likely knows more about the "Caramilk secret" than it does about the issues currently on the table in two major trade negotiations that could significantly impact the Canadian food industry. Clues about the status of the talks and the issues on the table have largely come only through leaked information and speculation.
On Friday, Mark Carney told us that advocates of the so-called Dutch Disease theory have it wrong. A bit of data is a good thing in a heated debate. Consider Statistics Canada latest (seasonally adjusted) monthly manufacturing sales numbers covering June 2012 sales. And when you do, ask yourself a simple question: does the data support Dutch Disease -- or are we seeing a case of a Central Canadian Cold?
Aid and development are deeply complex and there are no easy answers. The physical donations of goods, be it food or clothes, often have negative impacts on the local economy. It would be far better for aid organizations to buy products locally. Aid shouldn't be about making North Americans comfortable with a culture of mass consumption and waste. It has to be actually making the lives of people in the recipient country better.
I remember reading, years ago, a rumour in the now defunct Frank Magazine claiming that one of the Canucks' top defense-men was traded because he was caught "banging the twine" with the goalie's wife. I have no idea if the rumour was true, but it made more sense than the official story in the papers.