New Canadian Media

NEW DELHI – Congress president Sonia Gandhi along with son Rahul and other party leaders marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday to protest against [...]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Link

Read Full Article

Published in India

News East West

MUMBAI: India’s best-selling novelist Chetan Bhagat has criticized the authors and filmmakers who have returned various awards to protest against what they call the prevailing

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

News East West

Read Full Article

Published in India

NEW DELHI – Twelve filmmakers, including Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan, returned their national awards on Wednesday to protest “growing intolerance in the country” and to express solidarity with the FTII students.
The filmmakers’ decision mirrors that of a [...]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Link

Read Full Article

Published in India

New Delhi (IANS): The need for UN Security Council reform featured in almost all bilateral meetings Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with African leaders on Wednesday, with the leaders dubbing the world body’s current structure as “outdated”. India and Africa were “on the same page” on the Security Council reform, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in India

New Delhi (IANS): An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale with its epicentre in Afghanistan on Monday shook large parts of north India, sparking panic in the region and damaging property in Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and offered India’s help. […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in India

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Justin Trudeau on his election victory. Modi tweeted and also posted the following on his Facebook: “Congratulations Justin Trudeau for victory in Canadian parliamentary elections! We attach high priority to close ties with Canada. We share a strong bond of democracy & inclusiveness enriched by a vibrant […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National
Thursday, 01 October 2015 10:57

Foreign Policy Debate Ignores Diaspora Nation

by Ranjit Bhaskar in Toronto

Rightly or wrongly, foreign policy is not high on the list of issues that Canadians would like to know about during a federal election campaign. 

That said, this week’s Munk Debate, while holding a mirror to Canada’s role in the world, tended to reflect Canadian values and how we choose to see ourselves on the global stage.

While Canadian voters’ perceived lack of interest in foreign affairs can be questioned, there need be no such ambivalence when it comes to immigrant voters. With ties to countries of birth or origin still strong, they are likely keen to know policy directions the next government in Ottawa plans to take in their spheres of interest.

Currently, one in five – or 6.8 million – Canadians are foreign-born. This is the highest share of any G7 country and the Harper government has encouraged social, cultural and economic ties between new Canadians and their birth countries as part of its trade agenda.

The government has said that if re-elected, it will establish a new “Maple Leaf” designation to recognize new Canadians who work to build cultural, economic and social links between Canada and their birth country. The Minister of Foreign Affairs would be among those making the decision to award five to seven designations per year.

Scant mention of China and India

This enthusiasm for trade with countries that have big diaspora populations in Canada did not come through during the debate.

China and India, two of the world’s largest economies that also happen to be two of the largest immigrant source countries, were hardly mentioned during the bilingual debate.

To be precise, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau mentioned both once.

[W]hile China may soon pass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy, Canada might have already missed its opportunity for greater trade with the Asian giant.

Trudeau said the Harper government did not seem to understand how important it is to be engaged in global trade particularly with the growing economies of Asia.

“That’s why we applauded the Canada-Europe agreement. But Mr. Harper is yet to deliver on [many other agreements],” Trudeau said. “He is nowhere with China, even though Australia has just signed [an agreement with China]. We made a beginning with India after the rapprochement Mr. Harper tried to do recently with the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi).”

Despite being called a “diaspora nation” because of the diverse nature of immigration to Canada, it seems the country is still not ready to diversify trade and cut its umbilical cord to the United States.

Our share of Asia’s trade has fallen by half over the past decade. And while China may soon pass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy, Canada might have already missed its opportunity for greater trade with the Asian giant.

Missed opportunity

The voters too have missed an opportunity to know from the party leaders their foreign trade policy.

As Daniel Muzyka, CEO, and Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist, of the Conference Board of Canada, said in a recent article, if Canadians and Canadian firms are to succeed in the global marketplace, there are several questions they should ask.

Questions include what the leaders would do to build and mobilize interest in our global opportunities, what practical alternative would they support if they did not favour free trade, and what they would do differently to capture a fair share of trade with China.

[T]he repeated reference to our glorious UN peacekeeping past would have come as a surprise for many new Canadians whose countries of birth now carry much of that burden.

While the reluctance to diversify our trade due to the advantage of having the world’s largest economy south of our border was obvious during the debate, there was another theme that wasn’t.

Call it a collective denial or a national consensus to perpetuate a myth, the repeated reference to our glorious UN peacekeeping past would have come as a surprise for many new Canadians whose countries of birth now carry much of that burden.

Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, Nepal, Senegal, Ghana, China and Nigeria are currently the top 10 contributors. Canada ranks 62 out of 126 countries with 88 personnel.

Cold War soldiers

It is true that Canada was often the single biggest contributor to peacekeeping missions between 1956 and 1992, sending about 80,000 soldiers by the time the Blue Berets won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.

But, after these relatively benign observer missions, and two taxing tour of duties in Somalia and the Balkans in the 1990s, Canada seemed to lose its appetite for peacekeeping.

By design or not, the issue of Israel and Palestine was ignored amid the predictable sound and fury on the havoc caused by the Islamic State.

It is also important to understand that what motivated Canada all those years ago was the Cold War. It was to primarily defend western interests and our own strategic ones. Far from being peacekeepers, we were dedicated Cold War soldiers fighting the Soviets.

Fast-forward to the Munk Debate and it seemed the Cold War still looms over us.

Trudeau was asked how he would handle Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It elicited a nervous titter from the audience and a banal answer.

This obviously was not about foreign policy, but about paying lip service to the large Ukrainian diaspora in the same way as Trudeau said Harper had turned Canada’s support for Israel into a “domestic political football.”

By design or not, the issue of Israel and Palestine was ignored amid the predictable sound and fury on the havoc caused by the Islamic State. Several other topics of deep interest to Canadian voters, new and old, were overlooked.

But as the pundits have unanimously ruled that this debate was the best so far, so be it. The freeze is still on and we like to keep our myths alive.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Politics

New York (IANS): Climate change and cooperation in combating terrorism and boosting defence ties were high on the agenda of talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama here on Monday that saw both leaders renew the warmth of ties with hugs. After hour-long talks, including delegation-level, Obama in his media statement […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in India

Dublin (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday connected with a rapturous Indian diaspora in Dublin, promising more prime ministerial visits to Ireland in future. Modi, who is on a day-long visit to Ireland, in his address to a crowded reception by the Indian diaspora apologized for not being able to give the Indian-origin people […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in India

Abu Dhabi/Thiruvananthapuram (IANS): Thousands of Indian expatriates in the UAE have registered for a mega event in Dubai on Monday to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the Gulf country in 34 years. Organisers of the event to be held at the Dubai Cricket Stadium are expecting […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in Arab World

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

Zo2 Framework Settings

Select one of sample color schemes

Google Font

Menu Font
Body Font
Heading Font

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Top Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Header Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainmenu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Slider Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainframe Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image