During the Trudeau-Obama talk in D.C., it was clear that amongst the lobbyist and government relations crowd at the talk, there appeared to be a heightened sense of anticipation for this visit; above what one would normally expect for a run of the mill head of state visit. And this is good news for Canada with Trudeau as PM.
A recent intelligence report warns that peaceful anti-petroleum protests could be infiltrated by extremists to incite violence. While the report itself was just released, the actual study likely pre-dates the new Liberal government. It was probably intended as a companion to Bill C-51, which many Canadians have seen as an attempt to curtail the right to demonstrate on hot-button issues like proposed pipelines.
The bottom line with the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Canada is that it really doesn't have a choice about whether or not to join. The Americans and Mexicans are joining and they're taking the North American market i.e. Canada's market, the source of its prosperity, with them -- whether or not Canada agrees. The TPP will turn North America from a privileged table for three, which Canada has more or less had to share only with Mexico, into a crowded sauve qui peut la vie table for 12.
I truly believe that the offer to awaken ones soul with exploration, and the discovery of new cultures and the experience of immersion in something brand new will get people to live healthy. To truly live for the moment. Nothing inspires me to go out and be active like the thought of climbing Machu Picchu in South America.
Justin Trudeau's speech on the importance of North America on Monday echoed most of the current wisdom on Canada's standing in North America -- we're in trouble and the issue needs some serious attention. The idea for a cabinet level committee on the U.S. relationship proposed by Trudeau is good, but in reality it would have to be a committee on North America, which means including Mexico. And Trudeau seemed half way there in his speech.
When I shop, I want to know how the pieces I like are made. I look at the tag. I ask where the fabrics are from. I read about the designer. These details reveal the process of a piece that earns a hanger in my closet. This is what separates Heather Smith's designs of Laos-based shop Passa Paa from fast fashion retailers and puts a value on owning her pieces.
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.
To my fellow Muslims -- the 99 per cent who are peaceful -- here is my message. Online articles, information and resources, including amateur video productions, are everywhere. "Policing" opinions on religious matters is unrealistic in most instances. But some of you say "Innocence of Muslims" is a special case and should be banned. Personally, I disagree. The video should not be banned, nor should any video that one finds disturbing because of its anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian or anti-religious content. Why? For a number of reasons.
International relations scholar Henry Nau suggested two metaphoric approaches to U.S. foreign policy. The first is the jigsaw puzzle. The second is the chess game. The United States will determine whether it wants to play chess or jigsaw for the future of North America. The question is, will Harper decide to play nicely with the others?