New Delhi/Ottawa: The entire Trudeau Cabinet abstained from voting on 22nd February when the Canadian House of Commons voted in favour of a Conservative motion that underscored China’s actions against the Uighur minority in its western Xinjiang region. The contention of the Motion was that the Chinese actions against the Uighurs met the definition of genocide as spelt out in the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention.
266 of the 338 MPs voted in favour of the motion.
The motion passed by the Canadian Parliament accuses the Chinese government of committing genocide against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. It also calls on the government of Canada to formally take a stand that China is committing genocide, and would go for a joint response against it with the U.S. and other allies. The motion is further aimed at mounting pressure on the international Olympic Committee to shift the 2022 Winter Olympic Games out of Beijing.
While Cong Peiwu, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada, denounced the vote as meddling in China’s internal affairs, the entire Trudeau Cabinet abstained from voting.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau was the only cabinet minister present in the House. When it was his turn to vote, he said that he was abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada.
What should be marked is that it is the same Trudeau, who has chosen not to interfere in China’s internal affairs, was rather loud mouthed in extending support to the agitating farmers in India. He had also announced that he would be there “to defend the rights of peaceful protest”. It is an entirely a different storey that soon thereafter he was bending over backward -as if his spine was made of rubber -when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone to seek a large consignment of COVID vaccines from India.
Extending support to the farmers agitating for complete withdrawal of new farm laws introduced by the Modi Government in India, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had expressed concern and said his country will “be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest”.
How peaceful the protest was got demonstrated by the Republic Day violence in Delhi that was fanned by Khalistani elements, mainly in Canada, US and Pakistan.
It is an entirely a different matter that Trudeau later talked to Prime Minister Modi over phone to seek COVID vaccines from India. This could be a good diplomatic move to build bridges but his kind of politics that relies on support from Khalistan groups is only jeopardising global peace.
At the June 2020 Canada-led Ottawa Group meeting on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform and COVID-19, it was underscored by Canada that more than ever now was the time to work closely together with international trading partners because Canadians depend on open and flowing trade. It was emphasised that priorities in this direction must include greater transparency on export restrictions, besides “predictable and open trade in agriculture”.
A WTO joint statement from countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, European Union, China, Japan, United Kingdom, New Zealand and United States, which was released on the request of Canada on 22 April 2020, opposed agriculture export restrictions and emphasised that countries should refrain from implementing unjustified trade barriers on agriculture and agri-food products and key agricultural production inputs.
The Joint statement reiterated the need to ensure that supply chains remain open and connected so that international markets can continue to function in supporting the movement of agricultural products and agriculture inputs, which plays an instrumental role in avoiding food shortages and ensuring global food security.
Further the WTO declaration emphasised that restraint will have to be exercised in establishing domestic food stocks of agricultural products that are traditionally exported so as to avoid disruptions or distortions in international trade.
The collective will of the WTO member nations is also opposed to imposition of agriculture export restrictions and implementation of unjustified trade barriers on agriculture and agri-food products and key agricultural production inputs.
It is in this backdrop, it’s shocking though not the least surprising that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau took a u-turn on the Canadian government’s stand vis-à-vis trade barriers on agriculture and agri-food products and he tried to lecture India by opposing Modi government’s farm reforms and supporting the farmers bent upon maintaining status quo with relation to the MSP (minimum support price) regime and the agriculture markets (Mandis) that presently function under the vice-like-grip of middlemen (adhatias in Punjab) who are essentially the money spinners for political parties. It is this stranglehold that Narendra Modi is targetting. The Modi Government wants to guarantee maximum benefit to farmers by driving out the middlemen from the procurement process, prevent huge stocks of grain from rotting in government or the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns, curb corruption, and ensure proper storage and smooth movement of agricultural produce with the help of the private and corporate sector.
One doesn’t need rocket science to conclude why Trudeau chose to be a double face. Obviously, he was being dictated by the political expediency of keeping the Khalistani group in Canada on his side, when he chose to meddle in the internal affairs of India much to the chagrin of the Indian citizens and majority of the Indian diaspora across the world.
When Trudeau sides with the pro-Khalistan elements to further his politics, one wonders what’s wrong with him. He is not so naïve that he can’t see what’s axiomatic. The world knows who the Khalistanis are and what they stand for. If Trudeau is blank on this count, he he should be reading “Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan” by veteran journalist Terry Milewski. It reveals, as the forward to this report says, the concept of Khalistan as a project of Pakistan, designed to subvert the national security of both Canada and India. Thirty-five years after the horrific Air India bombing, and 73 years after the independence and partition of India and Pakistan, Milewski conducted a complex and penetrating research into the geopolitical dimensions of the Khalistan cause and its affiliations with Pakistan’s ongoing policy of practicing state terror as statecraft, the report goes on to underscore.
In June 2019, Punjab Chief Minister and the unquestioned Congress leader in his state, Capt. Amarinder Singh had cited a 2018 public report released by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and urged the Modi Government at the Centre to take serious note of disclosures about the Khalistan groups and mount global pressure on Canada to put an end to the use of its soil to spread terror in India. “India had, for too long, been soft towards Canada and needed to crack its whip aggressively, even seek UN sanctions if needed, to end the growing threat once and for all,” the Punjab CM had said in a statement.
Vancouver: In a significant decision on Thursday (30 August 2018) the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that the federal government’s approval of the project violated its legal obligations to protect endangered orcas under the Species at Risk Act.
This ruling is a critical win for communities that stand to be affected by this risky pipeline project, for the climate, and for coastal ecosystems, including the endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Going forward, we urge politicians and other project proponents to shift their focus away from projects that lock us into dependence on fossil fuels. Dyna Tuytel, Ecojustice lawyer
Ecojustice, Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation — conservation groups that fought the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline project in a historic hearing last October — are calling the Federal Court of Appeal ruling “a critical win” for endangered killer whales, communities, the climate and the coast.
In a statement, Raincoast Conservation Foundation said: “The decision means that the government’s approval of the project cannot stand. If the project is to proceed, the government must now backtrack to address marine shipping issues and the impacts they would have on Southern Resident killer whales.
Ecojustice lawyers appeared in court on behalf of Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation to argue that the National Energy Board report on the project, released in 2016, used an overly narrow interpretation of the law to avoid addressing the pipeline expansion’s impact on endangered Southern Resident killer whales and their critical habitat. Therefore, the groups argued, Cabinet broke the law when it relied on the NEB report to approve the project.
The pipeline expansion would lead to a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through the critical habitat of the Southern Residents. According to expert evidence filed by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, if the project were to proceed without efforts to address vessel noise, pollution, and shortages of prey for the whales, it would result in a more than 50 per cent chance of the Southern Residents becoming effectively extinct this century.
“Lost in the midst of the government’s push to build the Trans Mountain project was a small population of endangered killer whales. With as few as 75 Southern Residents left and even fewer reproductive individuals, this population will likely be unsustainable if the project were allowed to proceed. The Court has sent a clear signal that the rule of law will not accommodate environmental decision-making that fails to address these environmental risks,” Raincoast Conservation Foundation Senior Scientist Paul Paquet said.
The groups’ application for judicial review of the government’s approval was one of multiple cases that the court heard during a marathon two-week hearing in October 2017.
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc Nation, Sto:lo applicants, City of Burnaby and City of Vancouver also challenged the project in court, and the government of British Columbia intervened in the hearing.
The Federal Court of Appeal also found that the government did not properly consult with First Nations before approving the project.
“We’ve said from the beginning that the risks this project poses to coastal ecosystems, to the communities that surround them and to endangered killer whales in particular are simply too high. Today’s decision affirms that dangerous projects like the Trans Mountain project cannot go ahead without considering these threats,” Karen Wristen, executive director of Living Oceans Society said.
Despite strong scientific evidence on impacts on the Southern Residents, widespread public opposition and multiple legal challenges, the Canadian government announced on May 24, 2018, that it will purchase the existing pipeline and planned expansion from Texas-based company Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.
Ecojustice is Canada’s largest environmental law charity. Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all.
Raincoast Conservation Foundation is a team of conservationists and scientists empowered by research to protect the lands, waters and wildlife of coastal British Columbia. As a charitable, non-profit conservation science organization that operates a research lab, research station and a research/sailing vessel, they are unique in Canada.
Living Oceans Society has been a leader in the effort to protect Canada’s oceans since forming in 1998. Living Oceans Society advocates for oceans that are managed for the common good, according to science-based policies that consider ecosystems in their entirety.
We agreed to strengthen our security cooperation. Terrorism and militancy are a threat for democratic and pluralistic society like India and Canada. It’s important for us to come together to face these forces. – Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
New Delhi: After holding formal talks with Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau here today, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said that both have agreed to fight terrorism and militancy.
In his press statement, Modi said that there is agreement between the two leaders that there should not be any place for those who use community for political purposes and for creating rift. Also, those who challenge the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of our countries cannot be tolerated.
The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of the two countries have also met earlier. They have finalised the Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, Modi said.
In our today’s meeting, the Indian prime Minister said, we reviewed all aspects of our mutual relations and identified the solid measures for increasing the mutual cooperation.
Modi further said:
We have also reviewed our economic relations. We have agreed that we will further deepen the economic relations between Canada and India.
India’s rapid and constant economic growth and economic reforms provide ample opportunities. Canada’s pension fund continues to be a powerful partner in India’s infrastructure development.
It’s essential to provide for an institutional mechanism for our economic partnership. In this context, we have instructed our negotiators to double their efforts to finalise a Bilateral Investment and Promotion Agreement and a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement.
Canada is an important destination for Indian students for higher studies. Today, more than one hundred and twenty thousand Indian students are there in Canada. The MoU on higher education which has been renewed today will helpfacilitate the increased movement of students and teachers of both the sides.
In order to increase the movement of skilled professionals and to facilitate their movement, I have requested the Prime Minister Trudeau. Both our countries will benefit from this and it will make the economy of Canada more competitive.
There are ample opportunities in our technology partnership. Our scientists and researchers have been discovering the new technologies and systems and these will have a positive impact on both the countries – Canada and India. Canada was a partner country in the Technology Summit, 2017. Our governments have also agreed to strengthen the cooperation in the field of information and communication technology.
Canada has been an energy super power and it can meet our growing energy requirements. Today we have decided to expand our energy dialogue and to prepare the contours of the future of our energy partnership.
The strength of our cooperation in the field of atomic energy is being reflected in the unhindered supply of uranium. Today, we have been adding nuclear science, technology and innovation to our cooperation.
My friend Prime Minister Trudeau and I have exchanged our ideas on the regional and global situation.
The situation in Afghanistan was discussed in detail. There is a clear need to help the government and people of Afghanistan in facing the challenges of cross-border terrorism and for making a peaceful, safe, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan.
Our views are similar on the issues of the freedom of navigation in Indo-Pacific; on the dangers of the links of proliferation related to North Korea; and on the restoration of democratic institutions in Maldives.
We have agreed to strengthen the cooperation in the field of establishment of peace and also on giving special attention for capacity building in the third countries.
People-to-people contact is the solid base for our strategic partnership.
India is proud of the achievements of Indian community in Canada. I’m delighted to note that the Prime Minister has brought several of them along with him in this visit.
We are committed for building friendship and harmony with the Indian community in Canada and we want their active participation in India’s progress and development.
India-Canada is a natural partnership of shared values. I wish for a stronger partnership between the two countries and hope for a bright future for both the countries becauseof this.