By Keith Norbury
Churchill Home Building Centre put in a big order for about $1 million of stock early this spring in anticipation of a good year, said Dale De Meulles, a lifelong resident of the remote Manitoba town who co-owns the store with his wife Rhoda.
Buoying his optimism were a flood of inquiries from customers in even more remote communities in Nunavut to buy much of that stock. The good news was that the store received its stock before severe flooding in late May wiped out sections of the Hudson Bay Railway, the sole land-link connecting Churchill with the rest of the continent. The bad news is none of those inquiries from Nunavut turned into orders. As Rhoda De Meulles explained, the northern customers didn’t bother sending barges to Churchill because the railway wouldn’t be able to deliver their other supplies. Instead, those Nunavut communities turned to shippers in Montreal.
By Theo van de Kletersteeg
As is explained in the adjoining article, business and personal relationships among North Americans will likely be among the casualties of a NAFTA renegotiation process that fails or that produces unsatisfactory results.
In many respects Canada has taken open U.S. borders and free trade for granted. By and large, Canadians were able to move across the border with very little formality. However, ever since 9/11 and the creation of Homeland Security, things have become more difficult, little by little. Admittedly, when it appeared that business began to be affected negatively, bi-lateral discussions were successfully conducted to ease restrictions and facilitate the movement of goods and people.
By Alex Binkley
Federal legislation to ban oil tankers from the northern section of the British Columbia coast is inconsistent with provisions of the U.N. Law of the Sea and should be subject to regular reviews, shipowner groups say.
In submissions to the Commons Transport Committee study on the bill, the Chamber of Shipping and the Shipping Federation of Canada called the bill an unjustified move that interferes with maritime commerce. Meanwhile the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the world’s national shipowner associations and 80 per cent of the world merchant fleet, warned, “Such a draconian step could lead to serious concerns being raised by Canada’s international trading partners.” Simon Bennett, ICS’s Director of Policy and External Relations, said, “We would instead encourage Canada to continue its strong history of environmental protection and support for responsible global trade through the implementation of practical measures consistent with international best practices. This includes respecting IMO’s’s role in developing safe and sustainable shipping regulations and recommendations that might address any concerns that Canada may have.” The global shipping industry “fully recognizes the importance of robust environmental protection measures, and is committed to the goal of zero pollution, consistent with the comprehensive global regulatory framework adopted by the IMO in accordance with the U.N. Law of the Sea to which Canada is a State Party,” he said.
By Theo van de Kletersteeg
A good many of Canada’s small business community, notably farmers, incorporated professionals and small business owners are upset over one or more of the income tax changes proposed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Change upsets the status quo, and creates winners and losers, and the current proposals are no different. With the federal government being in chronic deficit, it should be no surprise that it is looking for new sources of revenues, and this time, rather than increasing taxes on the middle classes even more, it appears to have found a possible source of revenues that would be paid for by entrepreneurs and professionals, in other words, people of above-average incomes. The current government’s strategy of extracting higher levels of income taxes from upper income Canadians has both merits and significant potential long-term pitfalls neither of which will be discussed here.
By K. Joseph Spears
On June 7, 2017 Canada’s Liberal government released its 113-page Defence Policy Review entitled Strong Secure Engaged. The review was a culmination of a year-long process that sought input from Canadians along with that of our allies, parliamentarians and subject matter experts. The goal was to set the stage going forward to 2027 to provide a roadmap for Canada’s Defence policy in a changing world and signify priorities and sustained funding for these policy goals. It also provides a twenty year funding commitment that is set out in the document. The day before, Canada’s Minister of Global Affairs announced a new direction in foreign policy that arguably interacts with the Defence policy review. Both of which demonstrate the need for Canada to have a robust naval capability.
K. Joseph Spears
Canada’s Navy was founded in 1910 and has a long and illustrious history through two world wars, the Cold War and into the 21st century, a century which has seen a war on terrorism and piracy. In a complex threat environment, navies have become increasingly important and relevant globally. Over time, Canada’s Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) pioneered a variety of naval capabilities including the use of large helicopters from small warships, in support of antisubmarine warfare. Canada’s RCN is an integral part of NATO and works closely with allied partners around the world in support of counterterrorism and force projection maintaining the security of global maritime shipping, which is the foundation of international commerce.