Reuters: Canada to face U.S. trade problems even if NAFTA is signed: Ottawa. Trade challenges from U.S. firms will continue to cause turbulence for Canada even if talks to modernize NAFTA are successful, a senior Canadian government official said on Tuesday. Canada sends 75 percent of its goods exports to the United States and is vulnerable to what Ottawa complains is increasing U.S. protectionism since President Donald Trump took power in January 2017. Talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement are moving slowly as Canada and Mexico seek to address a series of radical U.S. demands for change. The negotiations were supposed to wrap up by end-March look set to overrun by months. “Even if a new NAFTA were to be signed tomorrow I think we would still face a lot of turbulence in our relationship with the United States on trade,” said Timothy Sargent, the top bureaucrat in Canada’s Trade Ministry.
Washington Post: Canadian PM Trudeau and LA mayor toast friendship with hike. Capping off a three-day swing through California that’s mostly been focused on business and trade, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toasted his country’s friendship with Los Angeles on Saturday by taking a brisk morning hike with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Dressed in shorts and athletic shirts, the two men spoke with reporters before walking through Griffith Park. The appearance came the morning after Trudeau gave a speech about the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
USA Today: Trump likes Canada’s merit-based immigration, but it’s not what he thinks. President Trump says we’d be better off with an immigration system based on merit. He’s right — but it’s not clear that he understands everything merit-based actually means. Today’s proponents of a merit-based fix to immigration didn’t invent the idea. In fact, it’s been on the U.S. negotiating table for years and other countries rely heavily on merit-based systems. They work, and not because the merit-based approach installs some kind of punitive purity test as the price of admission. It’s not one-dimensional and it doesn’t limit recruiting to one continent or country (Norway, say). Instead, merit-based immigration serves a clear economic purpose — attracting and welcoming people with a wide range of skills, all tailored to a country’s economic needs. By Jeremy Robbins.
CNBC: Sears CEO under pressure from Sears Canada creditors as retirees seek pension funds. Sears Canada creditors are calling out Eddie Lampert, the erstwhile controlling shareholder of the bankrupt retailer and current chief executive of Sears Holdings, for receiving dividend payments as the Canadian business crumbled in 2017. Late last week, a group of pensioners served court papers in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, requesting the appointment of a trustee in Sears Canada’s bankruptcy proceeding who would look for more funds for those creditors. Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, were “major beneficiaries” of roughly $3 billion in dividend payments since 2005, the papers said.
BBC: Philippines president to cancel Canada helicopter deal. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plans to cancel the proposed purchase of 16 helicopters from Canada. The statement comes after Canada ordered a review of the multi-million dollar deal over human rights concerns. The concerns were raised when the Philippines military chief said the aircraft would be used in internal security operations. Mr Duterte said on Friday he would ask the Armed Forces to stop buying defence materials from the US and Canada because” there is always a condition attached”.
The Guardian: Canada: indigenous groups urge reform after shock of white farmer’s acquittal. Indigenous activists have called for urgent changes to Canada’s legal system after an all-white jury acquitted a white farmer of murdering a young Cree man in a case that has exposed deep racial divisions. Gerald Stanley, 56, was found not guilty of second-degree murder over the death of Colten Boushie, 22, from Red Pheasant First Nation in the province of Saskatchewan. Boushie’s family and aboriginal activists say the racial makeup of the jury underscored a weakness in the country’s court system, which allows defence teams to manipulate jury lineups in their favour. Activists now hope to convert disappointment over Friday’s verdict into action to reform what they believe is a broken system.
Irish Times: Canada opens doors to Irish while other countries close theirs. Australia, New Zealand and US are tightening immigration. Canada is doing the opposite. Between now and the end of 2020, Canada will welcome around one million new permanent residents. Announcing the multi-year plan in November, immigration minister Ahmed Hussen, himself a Somali immigrant to Canada, said the plan would “result in the most ambitious immigration levels in recent Canadian history, and represents a major investment into Canada’s prosperity now and into the future”. Of these newcomers, the majority will be admitted as economic migrants, chosen for their experience, education level, age, language skills, and employment prospects. Canada also offers family sponsorship programmes, giving Canadian citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to sponsor their foreign spouse or common-law partner, parents, grandparents, or dependent children.
Deutsche Welle: Canada won’t accept bad NAFTA deal. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has adopted a “no deal is better than a bad deal” approach as Canada renegotiates the NAFTA free trade pact with the US amid protectionist demands by the Trump administration.
Kapitalis – Tunisia: Canadian Ambassador visits agri-products conglomerate. Carol McQueen, Ambassador of Canada to Tunisia, has visited the Tunisian agricultural products manufacturer, RANDA, and discussed ways to strengthening cooperation between the manufacturer and Canadian entities, both public and private, as well as its affiliates in Canada. The facilities visited by the Canadian delegation included La Société Meunière Tunisienne, Tunisie Farine, La société BVM Happys, and La société Alma; all subsidiaries of RANDA. McQueen was accompanied by Maria Lo, Deputy Director of Policy, Trade and Development at Global Affairs Canada, and Philippe Armengau, Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy in Tunis.
Maan News – Palestine: Palestinian Representative honours MP Laverdière. In a dinner ceremony, the Palestinian Representative in Canada, Nabil Marouf, has honoured the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, MP Hélène Laverdière, for her unyielding calls in the Parliament to promote Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Canada and recognize Palestine as a state. Marouf has also met with Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara, Chair of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CPPFG), and reviewed the program of a planned visit by a number of Canadian parliamentarians to Palestine end of next month. Marouf has also thanked NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice for his role in establishing the CPPFG and arranging the upcoming trip.
Al Rai – Jordan: Vocational Training Corporation and World University Service of Canada sign agreement. The agreement, financed by the Government of Canada as part of the ‘We Lead’ initiative for the economic and career development of women, will provide for the training of 600 women in health care service and management in Jordan. The training programs, spread over 10 local communities across three provinces, are estimated to impact 5,665 personnel directly, and another 520 thousands indirectly; 60% of whom are female. The programs will take place until 2020.
Al Rai Media – Kuwait: Charest visits Kuwait, promotes investment. The former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Charest, has met with Kuwaiti investors, including the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Petrochemical Industries Company, and discussed with the latter its partnership with Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline and other investment opportunities in the petrochemical sector in Canada. Charest also met with board members of the Canadian Business Council in Kuwait, and discussed ways to strengthen the Canada-Kuwait trade relations. Charest’s meetings came on the sidelines of an event with Kuwaiti businessmen, in which he promoted Canada’s investment climate, namely its sound financial system, low business costs, stable and progressive democracy, and innovation with a global outlook.