Jamilah Taib Murray founded Sakto Corporation, one of Ottawa's foremost property development and management companies. She is a long-time philanthropist with a particular dedication to fostering education for women and children, and female empowerment through promoting participation and leadership skills building
Over the decades anyone who's a mover or shaker, along with those wishing to be, appear in Davos in a fascinating attempt at reading the global tea leaves. We know who they are and their ranks have grown to include celebrities -- actors, singers, authors -- who mix with the traditional grouping of financiers, politicians, and non-profit leaders.
Globalization has brought significant benefits to the global economy, including developed countries' economies. However, it has led to decrease in the manufacturing base and employment in Canada and the US. If policies that require local content are introduced, it could boost employment in the manufacturing sector.
Countries pledging to take serious action on climate change are also party to, or are aggressively negotiating, trade and investment deals that contain a mechanism that gives large corporations the right to challenge any changes to the current rules under which they operate -- be they environmental, health or human rights -- that negatively affect corporations' bottom line. ISDS essentially grants corporations equal status to governments in these negotiations and privatizes the dispute settlement system between nations.
As Canada celebrates Labour Day weekend, there are important questions concerning Gandhi's premise that we must begin asking ourselves. For example, how do we deal with a world of wealth without work? Upon entering an era of ironies, we find ourselves forced to deal with some increasing contradictions -- employability replaces employment, people without jobs, jobs without people, numerous part-time jobs replacing full-time ones, employment numbers going down because people have stopped looking for work altogether.
This week, ministers from 12 countries representing 40 per cent of the world's economy will meet to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the largest trade agreements ever. As talks are rushed to conclusion, Canada is still fighting to have its supply management system excluded from the deal. We wish the government well in its quest to protect supply management, but we wish it would go to bat for other core Canadian values and industries. Unlike our European and even American counterparts, Canadian discussion on the TPP has been limited to chickens, eggs and milk.
A weaker Canadian dollar poses a threat to imported inputs to Canada's production machine, and to future Canadian investments abroad. But the soaring U.S. dollar isn't the only currency in play. Movements in other currencies are less dramatic. Perhaps this is an opportunity to scan the globe both for inputs to our production process and for direct investment undertakings in less-traditional markets.
Globalization may have played a role in the emergence of poverty in developed countries. When people in the lower income group experience long-term unemployment, they may slip into poverty. While the poverty rate has remained between 12 to 15 percent in the last few decades in the U.S., the number of people living in poverty actually increased.
When international trade collapsed in 2009, the Canadian economy turned inward, and for a change, discovered a steady source of growth. That source is now tapped out, and economy-watchers have for some time turned their eyes back to trade. So far, the view has been uninspiring. Will Canadian trade carry growth forward, or is our hopeful gaze in for a big disappointment?
Canada's corporate extension into Honduras is emblematic of this neocolonial pillage of public resources that impoverishes the majority as it enriches oligarchs and foreign investors. Corporate globalism has everything to do with profit and exploitation, and nothing to do with fair trade, human rights or labour rights.
At first blush, the recent decision of the Canadian government to shift its foreign affairs focus from diplomacy to servicing private industry came as something of a shock to many. We have become just another nation interested in building up its own wealth at the expense of being an effective influence in the larger struggles facing the globe -- poverty, climate change, localized conflicts, and a general breaking down of democracy's legitimacy.
Plenty of people will shamelessly demand government spend lots of extra money to "buy local," even if the cost is millions or billions of dollars more. This is daft. The notion that jobs in Canada come at the cost of employment in Japan, India, China or Germany, or vice-versa, is profoundly mistaken. Jobs can be created in one's own country and abroad at the same time.
Corporate empowerment deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the as yet unratified Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA), a bilateral agreement with China, empower corporations to the extent that government legislation becomes subordinated to corporate profits. There are ways to combat this, but it will not be easy.