al-Maliki admitted he had mixed feelings about making his first trip to Ottawa given the Conservative governments strong opposition to the Palestinians bid for non-member state status at the UN this past November. Canada was one of only a handful of countries to vote against the resolution and lobbied other countries to vote against it as well. There was also concern about Mr. Bairds meeting with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in April in East Jerusalem, which Canada and much of the rest of the world considers occupied territory belonging to the Palestinians. Visiting East Jerusalem and visiting the office of Tzipi Livni there, even if it was for a coffee, it was really violating international law, Mr. al-Maliki said. But the Palestinian minister said he was pleasantly surprised by the reception he received from the Conservative government during his trip. And either I want to stay hostage to actions that have happened and keep the Canadian-Palestinian relationship hostage to such events, he said, or liberate that relationship from what happened and to see if there is any possibility for engagement. Related Youll face consequences from Canada if you take Israel to International Criminal Court: Baird to Palestinians I believe that the Canadian government, that the foreign minister himself, felt that there are common issues with Palestine and there is space that can be developed with Palestine, Mr. al-Maliki added. This week, Mr. Baird announced $5-million to help with economic development in the West Bank, which is on top of $25-million pledged earlier this year.
Canada-EU reach tentative deal on beef and pork
In Canada, we face the same sad reality. But as the number of people developing the debilitating condition continues to grow, its becoming increasingly clear that its impact on Canada is just as heavy when described in financial terms. And its not pretty. The overall costs of treating and caring for the 747,000 Canadians who currently have the disease are some $33 billion a year. By 2040, its expected to cost nearly $300 billion a year. Thats a huge hit on precious health dollars, not to mention the lost productivity of exhausted family caregivers. What Canada needs is a national plan to deal with this slow-motion crisis. Such a strategy would bring a sharp, united focus to the work of medical research projects, doctors, Alzheimer associations and even front-line caregivers. The federal government should listen to the rising voices of organizations like the Alzheimer Society of Canada and create a national strategy. As Alzheimer society CEO Mimi Lowi-Young told the Economic Club of Canada this past week, Unless we start defusing the dementia time bomb this disease will be the greatest threat to our economy, to our countrys productivity and to our quality of life. Strong words, but appropriate. As a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded, dementia has exceeded cancer and heart disease as the most costly illness in America. In Canada, we face the same sad reality. Instead of following countries like Britain, where Prime Minister David Cameron is holding a dementia summit this December, Canada has no overall plan to manage the disease.
“If that message has been received by our EU counterparts, that’s good news for moving the negotiation forward.” Sources say there are still several contentious areas, apparently including financial services, procurement, cheese, fish and investor state dispute settlements. Talks have been bumped up to the highest level of government in recent months in the hopes of breaking the logjam that has held up any formal announcement of a deal. At the same time, Ottawa insiders say Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants some economic trophies to put in the showcase for his throne speech next month. On Thursday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a new plan for what he hopes will become a national securities regulator. Stuart Trew, a trade expert with the Council of Canadians, said his organization’s executive director was dismayed to hear of a breakthrough on “agricultural issues” when he visited Brussels recently to present European parliamentarians with a petition signed by Canadians who oppose the deal. Trew said the council is concerned that Harper will agree to a deal, under pressure to get something finished before the ramping up of Europe’s talks with the United States in October. The council has repeatedly criticized the government for being too secretive about the negotiations. “We’ve seen there’s a lot of pressure on Harper from the business community in Canada, from Europe,” Trew said in an interview Friday. A Canadian source close to the talks, who insisted on anonymity, said inaccurate information on the talks has regularly leaked from Brussels from a variety of sources, including EU parliamentarians, member countries and various agencies. “I would caution anyone to think that there’s been a complete resolution on agriculture across the board. Negotiations continue on these matters and a variety of other matters,” the source said. “Anyone telling you that there’s a big breakthrough and we’re preparing to make it public is not close to the talks.” If Harper and the EU are able to agree on the broad strokes of a free trade and investment deal over the coming weeks, they are likely to present it to the public in the form of a framework, with technical details to be worked out in the following weeks before the entire deal and all its intricacies are presented.