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Was reading the less-than-stellar analysis of Globe Opinion writer Jeffrey Simpson the other day when I noticed this little gem:
France and Canada are on the same wavelength on issue after issue, including Afghanistan and trade (Canada and the European Union are entering serious talks about a free-trade agreement). They both opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Canada and EU free trade deal? I read a lot of news so I was wondering why I hadn't seen more of this before.
I'm no fan of free trade and think NAFTA should be abolished, but do believe in the benefits of fair trade as long as never-ending growth isn't part of the deal.
Canada's trade has been almost entirely dependent on the US since colonization. Would a free trade agreement with the EU mean less dependence? Would Canadian standards plummet on certain issues? What would the impacts on social justice, the tar sands, mining and other issues be?
After a visit to Nicaragua, Peter Kent, Canada's junior foreign affairs minister continued on to Guatemala, Central America's most populous country, and the site of one of the most horrific wars in the Western Hemisphere.
Kent participated in a high profile ceremony with President Alvaro Colom, where he announced a $10 million donation from the Canadian International Development Agency destined for rural development in the Sololá region.
Kent allegedly agreed that Canada would loosen some of the terms in the deal, long seen as having been killed by Canada's refusal to open up the sugar market.
Today, Canadian mining interests are of utmost importance in Guatemala, and it may be politically expedient for Canada to agree to up sugar quotas in order to guarantee that the mining sector has better investment conditions.
George Monbiot discusses fishing, free trade and modern day pillage in his article titled Rich countries once used gunboats to seize food. Now they use trade deals.
Monbiot writes: "Where once they used gunboats and sepoys, the rich nations now use chequebooks and lawyers to seize food from the hungry. The scramble for resources has begun, but - in the short term, at any rate - we will hardly notice. The rich world's governments will protect themselves from the political cost of shortages, even if it means that other people must starve."
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.