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July 2, 2009

The CBC reports that, "Canada will not extend its mission in Afghanistan beyond 2011, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Tuesday — despite an anticipated diplomatic push by the U.S. to get the country to stay."

Cannon said, "Let me be perfectly clear: Canada is abiding by the motion that was adopted in our Parliament. Our position is perfectly clear — we are not going beyond 2011."

(Even if this commitment is kept it still means another 30 months for Canada in Afghanistan.)

"Sources told The Canadian Press they were contacted by the White House and asked for advice on how to get Ottawa to change its mind."

July 2, 2009

The UK Guardian reports that, "Barack Obama has reportedly tapped Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to be the next head of the World Bank."

"Lula, an immensely popular leader at home and abroad, has indicated he would be 'honoured' to take the job at the bank after he steps down as Brazil's president in 2011, according to the Brazilian magazine Exame."

"The moderate leftist raised eyebrows by recently blaming 'white, blue-eyed bankers' for the global financial crisis."

"The report followed a recent article in Foreign Policy, a Washington-based journal, that the Obama administration was considering Lula or Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, to head the financial institution."

"As the biggest shareholder, the US has traditionally chosen the bank's president, which is a five-year, renewable post."

The full article is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/02/obama-lula-world-bank.

July 2, 2009

A joint media release from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) states that, "The WTO/UNEP report on 'Trade and Climate Change' published today examines the intersections between trade and climate change from four perspectives: the science of climate change; economics; multilateral efforts to tackle climate change; and national climate change policies and their effect on trade."

"National policies, from traditional regulatory instruments to economic incentives and financial measures, have been used in a number of countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase energy efficiency. ...The report also reviews extensively two particular types of pricing mechanisms that have been used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: taxes and emissions trading systems."

The Globe and Mail editorial board writes today that, "(The report says) 'border adjustment measures' – in other words, new trade barriers with real or ostensible environmental purposes – that are elements of cap-and-trade or carbon-tax schemes ...may well be justifiable under international trade law."

July 2, 2009

The Orillia Packet and Times reports that, “Environmentalist David Suzuki has written Premier Dalton McGuinty asking him to halt any further construction at landfill Site 41. In calling on the province to act, Suzuki joins a growing number of individuals and organizations -- including the Council of Canadians -- opposed to the landfill project.”

The article highlights, “Next Saturday, Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chair and adviser to the United Nations on water issues, will be leading a march from Elmvale to Site 41 at 10:30 a.m. On Friday at 7 p.m., she will show the documentary film, FLOW (For Love of Water), at the First Nations campsite opposite Site 41 on the 2nd Concession of Tiny Township. For further details, visit www.canadians.org/events/index.html.”

The growing list of Site 41 critics now includes:

June 30, 2009

So it looks like Harper will be heading to Mexico August 8 to 11 for the fifth annual North American Leaders Summit. And once again we had to get the information from the U.S. State Department, not the Canadian government.

Actually, Harjap Grewal, our west coast organizer, saw it first on Wikipedia under the SPP section and then confirmed it on the State Department website. It was news to most of the organizations in Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as legislators, who worked so hard to contest the SPP agenda at these secretive North American summits, which seems to call Obama's bluff during the primaries last year that his summits would be more transparent, more accountable.

Less than six weeks from the next North American meeting, we know nothing of what's on the agenda or which government ministers will be attending from any of the three governments. That's hardly accountable.

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