The Great Debate UK

Canada’s role in averting a global water crisis

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Bob Sandford is the EPCOR Chair in support of the United Nations Water for Life Decade in Canada and a member of the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. He is also an advisor to RBC’s Blue Water Project. The opinions expressed are his own.

Because of its small population, large area, extensive agricultural regions and relatively high per capita availability of water, Canada is considered to be among the world’s most important food-producing nations.

It is one of the top ten producers of barley, wheat, soybeans and corn; and among the top five hog and beef producers in the world.

Canada’s agriculture sector also contributes significantly to Canada’s prosperity. Primary agriculture alone contributes more than C$20 billion a year to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Women friends

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BRITT

Katherine Govier is the author of nine novels and three short story collections.  Her most recent novel The Ghost Brush is about the daughter of the famous Japanese printmaker, Hokusai, creator of The Great Wave. The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters is hosting a live blog on March 8, 2011 on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

On my last trip to Vancouver I walked around the sea wall with Hanna, a girl I particularly liked in Grade 7. It had been – egad don’t say it!- close to 50 years since I’d seen her.

from Breakingviews:

Blocking BHP’s Potash bid could damage Canada

Blocking BHP's move on Potash Corp could be damaging for Canada. The government will decide by Wednesday whether to allow the $39 billion deal to proceed. A BHP takeover might squeeze the tax the fertilizer giant pays its home province. But those costs are outweighed by the discount that the country's companies would suffer if Canada was deemed to have turned protectionist.

Under the Investment Canada Act's broad remit, foreign investments must be a net benefit to the country. The government must weigh factors like the impact on jobs, competition, productivity, the ongoing participation of Canadians in the business, and the country's ability to compete in world markets.

from Breakingviews:

Waiting game may favor BHP in Potash battle

BHP Billiton is playing a waiting game. The longer regulators take to approve the miner's $38.6 billion offer for Canada's Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the more time there is for a rival bid to emerge. Yet any white knight is bound to face similar scrutiny. BHP's one-month head start in the lengthy process could prove to be a tactical advantage.

To be successful, the Anglo-Australian miner's bid must get past competition authorities in Canada and the United States. It also needs to win approval from foreign investment bodies including Investment Canada and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Are publication bans outdated in the Internet era?

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IMG01299-20100115-2004The debate over freedom of expression and the impact of social networking on democratic rights in the courts is in focus in Canada after a Facebook group became the centre of controversy when it may have violated a publication ban.

The group, which has more than 7,000 members, was set up to commemorate the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Oshawa, Ontario.

from FaithWorld:

Israel rejects Jordanian bid to claim Dead Sea Scrolls

dead sea scrolls

Section of Dead Sea scrolls at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, 14 May 2008/Baz Ratner

Israel has rejected a Jordanian claim that the historic Dead Sea Scrolls belong to them. Jordan has asked Canada to seize sections of the 2,000-year-old scrolls that were recently exhibited in Toronto and hand them over to Amman.  It said Israel took the scrolls illegally when it won control over the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war .

from UK News:

The royals on tour

HORSE-RACING/Prince Charles is in Canada, the Queen is expected to go there next year and William is preparing to go to New Zealand and Australia -- but are there signs that the locals are revolting?

Polls published in advance of Charles' visit show support for Canada's constitutional monarchy is weak, even if the public's frosty opinion of the Prince of Wales himself has begun to warm just a bit.

The art of the dying general at 250 years old

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generalwolfe1- Carl Mollins is a Toronto-based journalist who has worked at the Toronto Daily Telegram, Reuters (in London), The Canadian Press news service (in Toronto, London, Ottawa, Washington, DC) and Maclean’s magazine (in Toronto and Washington, DC). The opinions expressed are his own. -

It was long ago, in 1761, when Pennsylvanian portrait artist Benjamin West moved east—across the Atlantic. Nine years later in England, he looked back west to produce a controversial but renowned portrayal of the death of British General James Wolfe during England’s seizure of Quebec from France 250 years ago, on September 13, 1759.

Making the most of the Commonwealth’s potential

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d2- Danny Sriskandarajah is Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The opinions expressed are his own -

In recent years the Commonwealth has become an easily derided organisation. From its inception as a clever way of easing de-colonisation to the heady 1970s and 1980s when the association showed a radical dynamism on issues like Apartheid, the international association has shown itself to be unique and useful.

from The Great Debate:

China and the world economy

gerard-lyons Dr. Gerard Lyons is chief economist and group head of global research, Standard Chartered Bank. The views expressed are his own.

The world is witnessing a shift in the balance of power, from the West to the East. This shift will take place over decades, and the winners will be:
- Those economies that have financial clout, such as China
- Those economies that have natural resources, whether it be energy, commodities or water, and will include countries, some in the Middle East, some across Africa, Brazil, Australia, Canada and others in temperate climates across, for instance, northern Europe
- And the third set of winners will be countries that have the ability to adapt and change. Even though we are cautious about growth prospects in the U.S. and UK in the coming years, both of these have the ability to adapt and change.

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