October 21, 2017

Hollywood North…South East and West

by on July 27, 2010

In Hollywood, you can always tell the “talent”, i.e., the actors, writers, and directors, by the casual way in which they dress. Jeans and t-shirts are the norm. And usually, the more casually dressed, the more talented (or at least the more successful). On the studio lot and around town, this show business dress code also serves to separate the talent from the “suits”, those studio chiefs, network executives, and agents, who, like their counterparts in traditional business, wear, well, suits.

What are not so easy to spot in Hollywood are the Canadians. Yet, it turns out that there are a lot of them and they have been turning up in Hollywood since before talkies. From the Silent Era to the Golden Age to the New Hollywood, Canadians have in large part shaped show business. Hollywood’s foremost “suits” and “talent” are and have been from Canada. 

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A Canadian Marshal Plan

by on June 30, 2010

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Weary world leaders were in Toronto this past weekend to continue their concerted efforts to prop up the world’s economy. It was the fourth G20 meeting to focus on the global economic chaos that began in 2008. In Washington that year, ground zero of the crisis, the G20 readily embraced a coordinated stimulus package proposed by then President Bush. Back then, G20 leaders were united in their understanding of the breadth and depth of the problem and of the need for allied action. The result was the largest and most comprehensive monetary and fiscal stimulus the world had ever seen. The U.S. again led the way in subsequent meetings in London and Pittsburgh in 2009. These meetings resulted in further coordinated stimulus commitments and established the G20 as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation.”

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Trickle Down Theory: How Canada’s Water Can Save the World

by on June 18, 2010

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Recently, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs introduced The Transboundary Waters Protection Act. The legislation, known as Bill C-26, prohibits the bulk removal of water from rivers and streams that flow across the Canada-U.S. border. The new Act supplements existing rules banning the bulk removal of water from lakes that straddle the border. Bill C-26 ostensibly has two goals: to ensure that Canadian watersheds are maintained and properly replenished so that Canada can continue to enjoy its freshwater riches; and to ensure that Canada’s water stays in Canada.

Unfortunately, the legislation places too little emphasis on the first goal and too much on the second. With a change of emphasis, Canada can not only preserve its vast freshwater resources but also command a leading role in combating and solving the pressing problem of global water scarcity.

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The Kiwi Cross

by on May 27, 2010

SheepSmallThanks to a snub by New Zealand, Canada now has a fantastic opportunity to forge valuable new trade ties with Asia, further distinguish itself as a major global player and, as a bit of a bonus, leave the United States behind to play catch-up.

Canada, the United States and nearly every other western country has long been keen to negotiate trade agreements with China and the other emerging economies in Asia.  It is easy to understand why. Asia, led by China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Indonesia, is a market with about one-half the world’s population and one-third the global GDP. Also, like Canada, most of Asia has already hit the ground running in terms of economic recovery. Even the current crisis in Europe is not considered a serious threat to Asia’s growth.

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Give Peacekeeping a Chance

by on April 28, 2010

Blue_helmetThe United Nations has asked Canada to take command of approximately 20,000 peacekeepers currently deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N.’s Mission, known as MONUC, has been in The Congo for over ten years and its peacekeepers are training and equipping Congolese police and soldiers, protecting civilians, and disarming rogue militia combatants.  It is the largest single peacekeeping mission in the U.N.’s history.  Canada should jump at this chance to reestablish its peacekeeping reputation and in the process further establish its position as a global leader.

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Parity Time!

by on April 7, 2010

CurrencyPictureAfter less than two years, the Canadian dollar has once again reached parity with the U.S. dollar. For most of its life on the free-floating exchange markets, the Loonie has been happy to languish at about three-quarters the value of the Greenback. After clawing its way up from an historic low of U.S. $0.62 in 2002, the Canadian dollar reached a peak of $1.10 U.S. in November, 2007. It last traded above the U.S. dollar in July 2008, when the global financial crisis finally began to push commodities-driven currencies, like the Loonie, lower.

While today’s return to parity comes fairly soon after the Loonie’s last such foray, there has been a sea-change in both Canada’s and the world’s economy during this time that has forever altered Canada and its currency. The world will never again see a 75 cent Canadian dollar.

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What’s Past is Prorogue

by on March 23, 2010

Parliament of CanadaParliament is back in full swing after being suspended by Prime Minister Harper in December. Back then Harper insisted that prorogation was necessary to “recalibrate” his government’s economic agenda. Whatever the reason, now that he is back, the Prime Minister has wasted no time invoking Canada’s recent global successes, most notably Canada’s tremendous performance at the Winter Olympics, to help sell his government’s wide ranging and revolutionary reforms.

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