German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Ottawa for a visit on Monday, but she may not be bringing the news Stephen Harper wants to hear when it comes to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). That's because the German government wants to re-open CETA and amend the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. This controversial provision allows a transnational corporation to sue a national government that passes public interest or environmental legislation that impacts their future profits.
According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Norway had 5.83 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of January 1, 2014, the largest oil reserves in Western Europe. The enormous income to the state from the industry made it possible to create a global pension fund that now owns more than one per cent of global share value.
Recently there is an increasing need for exports to be built into the growth strategy of any business. Without exports, businesses, whether they are small businesses or multinationals, increasingly risk their long term health and prosperity by ceding rapidly growing markets and brand awareness to up and coming competitors over the long term.
It has been over two decades since B.C.'s wineries first received international gold medals for producing premium wines, yet most Canadian consumers still struggle to get their hands on a bottle. To make matters worse, FedEx has recently given notice it will no longer ship B.C. wine products without provincial regulations that allow for it.
Moves like this don't escape the notice of financial markets, though. Exports will increasingly benefit from the nascent weakening of the Canadian dollar, but the emergence of surpluses may attract portfolio inflows that stem the slide of the loonie. On balance, we don't expect a reversal in our dollar, but there is a risk that as in the past, markets will overreact.
Ever wonder why some Canadian small businesses have a harder time selling their goods in the next province than they do in Europe? That's because we Canadians put a lot of effort in crafting trade deals with countries around the world -- which is a very good thing. But we fail to do the same within our borders.
Canada needs to make more use of direct programming with target countries (nearly 80 per cent of official aid went to foreign agencies in 2013, often on a sole-sourced basis). And more should be done to connect Canadian expertise to multilateral development banks and international humanitarian institutions.
Canada has actually become an international leader in the fight against "pirate" fishing. Shouldn't we be demanding that same level of leadership from others? Shouldn't we be at the table pushing for an agreement that makes strong, legally-binding environmental legislation the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable global economy?
The Obama administration, the Harper government and the Peña Nieto administration in Mexico all hope to boost economic growth and create jobs by opening up global markets and letting the best North American firms and workers compete. Before stepping into the ring with the world's heavyweight economies, North America needs to listen to Muhammad Ali.
When concluded, the Canada-Japan EPA would create a year-on-year multi-billion-dollar gain for the Canadian economy. A joint study by Canada and Japan has estimated the annual boost to Canada's gross domestic product from an EPA would be between $3.9 billion and $9.3 billion, while the gains for Japan's economy are estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.1 billion.
Big Media lobbyists and unelected bureaucrats are holding closed-door meetings in Malaysia this week, as they continue secret talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a highly secretive and extreme trade deal that includes extreme new copyright rules that could end the open Internet as we know it.
Here at OpenMedia.ca, we've already been hearing from Canadians outraged that our own Members of Parliament are still being denied access to the TPP text -- access that has now been granted to their counterparts in Washington D.C. We know that Canadians will not accept their Members of Parliament being kept in the dark
Stephen Harper's problem is that he thinks too small. No short-term partisan advantage is too minute for him to pursue and no long-term challenge facing the country is too large for him to ignore. By contrast, we need national leaders who will think forward and think big; who will govern intelligently and respectfully; who will call for a new federalism for the 21st century.