Canada was born of empire and still thrives within that milieu. It is the progeny of French and British imperial quests in the ‘New’ World and is accompanied by its siblings within the Five Eyes, the most influential being the United States. Canada’s creation out of mostly British imperial interests carried all the factors of imperialism internally as it developed across the North American continent. Currently, it still acts within the imperial prerogative, both domestically with its indigenous population and overseas with various other countries, frequently under the aegis of the U.S., but often enough acting on its own accord.
There were cautious hopes for the G7 meetings held in early June this year, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the world’s seven economically wealthiest countries – came together to discuss key global issues. A remnant of the neo-colonial nature of such forums, they represent a place where decisions with global impact are made.
The G7 produced two notable outputs that concern global health governance: the first being the Carbis Bay Health Declaration which commits to taking efforts to prevent a pandemic similar to COVID-19 occurring again in the future; and the second being a commitment to provide more than a billion vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year.
In these Covid times, “There is an ongoing attempt to reframe G7 as the representative and champion of the democratic world in the struggle against autocracy, shorthand for China…. West’s indifference to the vaccination needs of the developing world will be on full display at the G7 summit”.
Fine words will accompany the G7 summit this week. Much will be promised. And little will be delivered. It has long been like this. The G7 is no longer fit for purpose. Comprising the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, in the 1970s the G7 was the overlord of the global economy. Today, the G7 is but a pale shadow of what it once was, reduced to the role of a declining faction within the global economy. It still talks in grandiose terms about its intentions, but the world has learnt to discount them. It is entirely appropriate that this week’s summit will be chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a grandmaster of verbal exaggeration and empty gestures.
The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”.
The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly won’t be a reset.
The controlling interests behind the hologram that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian” threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia and China.
Ottawa: Canada’s opposition New Democrat Party (NDP) will formalize policy opposing interference in Venezuela’s sovereign affairs and sanctions against the South American country during the party convention later this week, parliamentarian Don Davies said on Tuesday.
Ahead of the NDP convention, which is set to kick off on Friday, several riding associations have put forth resolutions to adopt official party policy that would oppose interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs, remove Canada from the Lima Group and seek to end sanctions against the country.Read More »
Canada’s Failed Foreign Policy for Latin America and Venezuela should be Abandoned, not Re-furbished
Radhika Desai, Venezuela Peace Committee, Winnipeg
Alison Bodine, Fire This Time Venezuela Solidarity Campaign, Vancouver
Maria Páez Victor, Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle, Toronto
Alan Freeman, Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre, Winnipeg
We write in response to the article, ‘Canada and the U.S. must unite to help Latin American refugees’ by four prominent public figures including former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and former Canadian Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy urging U.S.-Canadian cooperation on important hemispheric issues, particularly the ‘crisis in Venezuela’ and the region’s mounting refugee crisis.Read More »
Leo Victor Panitch, one of the intellectual pillars of the Canadian left and a leading scholar of the global depredations of neoliberalism, died Saturday from COVID-19. He was 75.
Born into a working class Jewish family in Winnipeg in 1945, Dr. Panitch was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Distinguished Research Professor in Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy at York University in Toronto. He was one of the world’s most respected students of the writings of Karl Marx.Read More »
For those who support a truly just foreign policy comparing Canadian politicians’ reactions to protests in Hong Kong and the slightly more populous Haiti is instructive. It reveals the extent to which this country’s politicians are forced to align with the US Empire.
Despite hundreds of thousands of Canadians having close ties with both Haiti and Hong Kong, only protests in the latter seem to be of concern to politicians.Read More »
Canada’s Anti-War Movement Needs to Challenge Government
Should antiwar forces challenge power or praise government officials in the hopes of getting some crumbs for their pet issue?
Douglas Roche’s recent Hill Times column suggests the latter. In an article extolling Canada’s new ambassador to the UN Roche writes: “When Canada lost its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council the second successive time last June, I thought a foreign policy review from top to bottom was the solution to get Canada back on track internationally. But I’ve changed my mind for two reasons: the world is in multiple crises revolving around COVID-19 that need to be acted on now, and Bob Rae has arrived on the scene. I don’t mean to present the estimable new Canadian ambassador to the UN as a world saviour, but he has quickly established himself as a champion of the UN humanitarian agenda, which centres around reducing the grotesque economic inequalities that the pandemic has worsened.”Read More »
Trudeau Parades as Workers’ Defender, but Canada’s Unemployed Face ‘Disaster Capitalism’
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds up a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt as he returns to the Offices of the Prime Minister after taking part in an anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, June 5, 2020. Trudeau continues to play the part of a progressive center-left leader, but the unemployment system his government oversees in need of major reforms to help jobless workers. | Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press via AP
TORONTO—Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has prorogued, or suspended, the country’s parliament until Sept. 23 in an effort to position his Liberal Party as defender of the 7 million Canadians who lost their jobs this spring, the 8.4 million who needed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the $2,000-a-month aide for those made jobless by COVID-19, as well as the 4.5 million who will still need CERB after it expired Aug. 29.Read More »