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					GLOBAL CURRENTS                                                                                                               PAGE 4

isn’t going to cut it. Trade and diplomacy
are intricately linked between both
countries, and Canada must build on our
common interests and build trust in order
to nurture symbiotic investment and
manage our massive two-way flow of

The Stephen Harper reign of
disengagement and tension between
Canada and China must end if we are to
have any chance of competing for the
unlimited potential that the Chinese
market represents.

In the realm of global trade, luck without
preparation is not an option.

                                             Sukh Dhaliwal and Hon. Bryon Wilfert at the China Forum in March 2010


B   y opposing the Liberal motion to
protect Canada’s traditional position on
                                             The Liberal motion also sought to ensure
                                             that humanitarian assistance is not going
                                             to become conditional upon a George W.
                                                                                          globe that makes the case for greater
                                                                                          international support for sexual and
                                                                                          reproductive health programs.
reproductive rights and family planning,     Bush-style “global gag rule” that required
the Harper Conservatives have reopened       all NGOs receiving federal funding to        “Once again, the government is putting its
debate on reproductive rights with their     refrain from promoting medically-sound       socially conservative ideology ahead of
G8 maternal and infant health initiative,    family planning. Instead of assuring         the best interests of women and girls,”
Liberal MPs said today.                      Canadians that a similar rule would not      concluded Ms. Zarac.
                                             be adopted by Canada, Conservative
“For the past 25 years, Canada has           CIDA Minister Bev Oda referred to the        BACKGROUND
promoted reproductive rights and funded      global gag rule condemnation as an “anti-
the full range of family planning, both      American attack.”                            • In mid-March, Action Canada for
domestically and internationally,” said                                                   Population and Development released a
Liberal Health Critic Dr. Carolyn Bennett.   “Minister Oda has implied that her right-    Call to Action on Maternal and Child
“Contrary to Minister Oda’s statement        wing government agrees with the global       Health at the G8 Summit
this morning, by opposing our motion         gag rule policy, even though the rest of
that supports the status quo, the            the world has rejected it,” said Liberal     • A 2006 International Planned
government is rejecting the status quo.      Status of Women Critic Anita Neville.        Parenthood Federation (IPPF) report
And rejecting the status quo is reopening    “The global gag rule was universally         ("Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and
the debate on women’s reproductive           condemned and immediately rescinded          Poverty") demonstrates that women who
rights.”                                     by President Barack Obama when he            can’t access reproductive health services
                                             came into office; by Minister Oda’s logic,   are more likely to obtain an unsafe
Liberals put forward a motion in the         is President Obama anti-American?”           abortion, and more likely to die as a result
House of Commons today calling on the                                                     of pregnancy, childbirth or unsafe
Harper government to include all family      Liberal MP Lise Zarac said that by not       abortion.
planning and reproductive health options,    supporting the Liberal motion, the
including contraception, in its G8           Conservatives are deliberately ignoring      • The report from the Guttmacher
maternal and child health initiative.        the volume of research from around the       Institute and the United Nations
                                                                                          Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3                                                                                                                 PAGE 5
maternal deaths in developing countries        • According to the UN Population                June 2009, a UN Human Rights Council
could be slashed by 70 per cent and            Division, 61 percent of the world’s             resolution also committed Canada to
newborn deaths cut nearly in half if the       population live in countries where              provide “the effective promotion and
world doubled its investment in family         abortion is permitted. Providing safe           protection of the human rights of
planning and pregnancy-related care.           abortion services where abortion is legal       women and girls” which includes “sexual
                                               would prevent many of the estimated             and reproductive health.”
• The report states that “investing in both    68,000 deaths of women each year from
family planning and maternal newborn           complications arising from unsafe               • Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed
services can achieve the same dramatic         abortions.                                      onto last year’s G8 Leader’s statement,
outcomes for $1.5 billion less than                                                            which clearly promotes accelerating
investing in maternal and newborn              • International human rights law states         progress on combating child mortality,
services alone.”                               that maternal mortality constitutes a           incl udi ng through “sexual and
                                               violation of the right to life and is linked    reproductive health care and services
• The risk of maternal mortality increases     to or results from violations of many           and voluntary family planning.”
with each pregnancy. Yet research shows        other human rights, including the rights
that 215 million women who would like to       to health, education, equality and non-         • In a January 2010 speech, US
delay or avoid childbearing do not have        discrimination.                                 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said,
access to modern contraception.                                                                "In the Obama Administration, we are
Providing contraception to those who           • Canada is a signatory to several              convinced of the value of investing in
want it would avert about one-third of         agreements that commit to providing a           women and girls, and we understand
maternal deaths.                               full range of safe and reliable family          there is a direct line between a woman’s
                                               planning methods and reproductive               reproductive health and her ability to
• About 20 million women have unsafe           health services. The Development                lead a productive, fulfilling life."
abortions every year. About 8.5 million of     Assistance Accountability Act, for
those women need hospital care for             example, requires that any assistance
complications, but such care is not            provided by Canada be consistent with
available to about three million of these      international human rights standards. In

A national discussion is slowly emerging
about what Canada should look like at                                                          Led first by Lester Pearson and followed
150 years of age (2017). A pivotal                                                            by an imaginative Pierre Trudeau, a new
moment in our history, that date might                                                        spirit was alive in the land. But it was not
well prove to the world what this country                                                     to prevail without a battle. Large and
thinks of itself and its place in the global                                                  significant players weighed in that any
family. The world recently had its                                                            effort to move this country into the world
collective eye on Vancouver and the                                                           should be led first and foremost by our
Olympics, and so it seems like a logical                                                      concern for international investment and
occasion to hold a coast-to-coast-to-coast                                                    national self-interest. The debates were as
dialogue on our self-identity, our                                                            forceful as any before or since. The irony
challenges and our dreams.                                                                    of the situation was clearly on display
                                                                                              when Maurice Strong, a millionaire and
When it comes to international                                                                business entrepreneur, was selected as
development, and foreign aid in                                                               the Director General of the External Aid
particular, I would suggest that Canada at                                                    Office in 1966, just months prior to the
150 should look a lot like it did at 100.                                                     Centennial. The corporate community
Just prior to the memorable celebrations                                                      smiled to itself at having one of their own
of our Centennial, a formative process                                                        at the helm, but it wasn’t long until
was taking place concerning some solid          Hon. Michael Ignatieff, Hon. Bob Rae,         Strong pressed in a new direction that left
thinking outside of the box when it came         Glen Pearson, and Peter Donolo with          many around him dizzy at the pace.
to how we would negotiate our                  United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-
compassionate presence in the world,                                                          Frustrating business leaders and
                                                                Moon                          bureaucrats alike, Strong brought in
especially as it applied to the poorest of
the poor. The dynamic that came out of                                                        remarkably talented people who often
those days caused the rest of the world to                                                    reasoned how Canada could lead the
realize that Canada possessed a robust                                                        world in international compassion. Two
view of development. I have interviewed                                                       years later, Strong oversaw the inception
some who were in the inner circle in those                                                    of the Canadian International
days and they still regard that era as the                                                    Development Agency and just like that
best days of their lives.

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