The Americans, bless them, never miss an opportunity to hype a product or an issue. And the so-called "fiscal cliff" is another example of the type of drama that characterizes its noisy policy scape. Frankly, the sooner the cliff is reached the better. And Canadians have much at stake too.
Diane Francis is the Editor-at-Large at the National Post, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC in the Eurasia Section, Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University in Mountain View California, a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University Ted Rogers School of Management and a Director of Lake Shore Gold. She is one of the world’s leading business writers and keynote speakers on the trends and geopolitics that transform companies, individuals, governments and societies around the world. <br> <br> Diane has written nine books on white collar crime, politics, immigration, economics, geopolitics and finance, including the bestseller, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and the Future of Canadian Business. Diane is a regular guest on Canadian and U.S. news television and radio and was a columnist for Maclean’s Magazine, New York Sun, the Financial Post and Toronto Sun Newspapers. She was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and has been a Media Fellow for the World Economic Forum for 20 years. <br> <br> Diane divides her time between Toronto and New York City. <br> <br> Learn more about Diane at <a href="http://dianefrancis.com" rel="nofollow">dianefrancis.com</a>
China's track record in Canada is checkered, to say the least, and yet the China-Canada trade deal would open the floodgates to tens of thousands of sovereign enterprises then exempt them from Investment Canada scrutiny if they want to buy more.
11/29/2012 07:58 EST
A group of Canadian businessmen has obtained the blessing of Alaskan tribes and Canadian First Nations to build a railroad through their lands that could carry up to five million barrels per day from the oil sands to the super tanker port in Valdez, Alaska. This is truly a nation-building project that must be seriously evaluated by all governments and the oil industry.
11/20/2012 12:28 EST
<img alt="2012-11-05-HP_World_Graphic_300x70.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-11-05-HP_World_Graphic_300x70.png" width="300" height="70" /> Obama's victory was critical because it's the only way the Congressional gridlock regarding the deficit can be overcome. That is because Obama belled the cat in 2011 with his eleventh hour deal that imposed a deadline now nicknamed the "fiscal cliff."
11/07/2012 05:11 EST
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.
11/06/2012 12:25 EST
Sovereign-owned or controlled enterprises (SOEs) from questionable countries have no business in the boardrooms of Canada or other free enterprise nations. This concern about SOEs is not just about China. Russia is another questionable regime with companies investing here and all over the world that are owned by The Kremlin or by oligarchs who answer to it.
10/29/2012 03:49 EDT
On November 6, three states have on their ballots the outright legalization of marijuana -- Washington, Oregon and Colorado. So far, support is strong and bipartisan. The last such vote occurred in 2010 in California where a state-sanctioned referendum on legalization narrowly lost. So you may not hear about the marijuana issue in debates or from the campaign stump, and in polls, but people south of the border are taking the matter into their own hands.
10/22/2012 05:16 EDT
Pierre Lassonde, one of the world's foremost experts on gold, says the only way's up for the shiny stuff. He should know and has made his fortune in the gold game. This week, he spoke at a mining seminar in Toronto organized by mining consultant Terry Ortsland, Chair of the Mineral Resource Analyst Group.
10/17/2012 12:11 EDT
If the CNOOC/Nexen approval is given, before the Keystone pipeline is approved, a new set of questions for the Americans will be opened up. Letting China Inc. have special access could give President Obama a reason not to approve Keystone, and could also Romney, if he wins, a reason to consider not approving the line as he has pledged to do on Day One.
10/10/2012 05:22 EDT
Clearly, China is testing whether this Boy Scout of a nation will roll over. Turning down Nexen should be mark the beginning of a Canadian conversation about governance. Canada must decide what kind of table will be set to encourage investment here, who will be invited to dine and how guests must behave. Otherwise, Canada itself will become dinner. There should be no compromise and a turndown need not be difficult, won't burn any bridges and can be done elegantly in this way.
10/02/2012 12:04 EDT
According to David Foot of the <em>Boom, Bust & Echo</em> fame, "You can forecast economic success based on whether there are too many young people or too many old people in a country." Obviously, demographic advantages alone are not sufficient to create success. All governments and businesses must shape decisions to reflect their demographic realities.
09/26/2012 05:17 EDT
China's growth, while enviable, is slowing. But power is opaque here, a problem in a globalized world, and the government controls information flow. It in the midst, like America, of a power struggle over who will run their nation. America is undertaking a noisy and disruptive election process while China is undergoing a power struggle behind closed doors as to who will run the superpower for the next 10 years.
09/18/2012 05:34 EDT
The presence of 15,000 journalists in Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions was ridiculous but even wackier is the size of "Nation PR." Likely bigger than Newark or its governor, this is an industry of propagandists, bloggers, twitterers, scandal-mongers, pundits, spin doctors, pollsters, journalist-partisans who pen biased op-eds and columns, campaign operatives and dewy-eyed "Monicas" who will do anything for the boss. Nation PR never sleeps and now the fun, for the rest of us, begins as they launch their saturation bombing campaign on US voters to capture victory in November.
09/10/2012 05:12 EDT
The Republican convention showcased a party that has become a loose coalition of social conservatives and a membership base that does not reflect the national demographics. This was embodied in the "mystery" speaker, Hollywood Star Clint Eastwood. His rambling speech, with failed prescriptions and disrespect toward the President, will become a metaphor for this disjointed, grumbling party and its campaign.
09/06/2012 05:19 EDT
Canada is finally moving toward a smart, two-step immigration policy -- like Australia and others have -- that will recruit talent through a targeting policy of foreign student education. Most foreign students in Canada get their degrees and never come back. Most Australians apply to remain and the majority stay.
08/29/2012 07:44 EDT
On May 25, I questioned and debunked Facebook's "active users" number of 900 million in a column. This month, the company admitted that their unaudited numbers are wrong and misleading. Zuckerberg may be a technological whiz kid, but he has yet to demonstrate that he can run a public company.
08/17/2012 05:38 EDT
A recent glimpse into a frightening future occurred on August 1 when a computer glitch at Knight Capital Group Inc., that handled 11 per cent of all U.S. stock trading, was obliterated by an unproven algorithm. In less than an hour, the firm's new "program" bid for 150 stocks incorrectly. Immediately, rival computers traded against the bids and, by the end of the day, Knight had lost $440 million and had to be rescued. Clearly, the regulators must smarten up and impose Draconian measures to end this hyper trading-for-trading's-sake abuse of markets and investors.
08/15/2012 12:09 EDT
Mitt Romney has every right in the world to keep his tax returns private, but not as a Presidential candidate. To some, Americans may appear to be going too far, but not to me. In Canada and other mature parliamentary democracies, politicians disclose assets, liabilities and income to a "conflict" commissioner, not to the public. Summaries are available but details are not and tax returns are not disclosed to anyone. Full disclosure should be required. For every politician.
08/06/2012 08:11 EDT
When we talk about foreign ownership of Canadian resources, it's nothing to do with economics or ideology. This is about street smarts. The foreign buyout of resource, infrastructure and agricultural corporations simply has to stop. Canada must state clearly that all of its resource-related and infrastructure assets and corporations must be Canadian-owned and controlled and that no single foreign entity can own more than 10 per cent, or we'll all regret it.
07/31/2012 05:08 EDT
The flap over Yahoo's appointment of a pregnant 37-year-old executive as its CEO is a surprising, and disappointing, re-run of Father Knows Best and Gloria Steinem footage from the 1960s. Ladies (and gentlemen), the war has been won and the war was about giving women choices. The best advice, quoted by <em>Bloomberg</em> this week, comes from comedian Tina Fey in her book<em> Bossypants</em>.
07/24/2012 04:34 EDT
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