NEW YORK — Canada embarked on a high-level Big Apple charm offensive of sorts Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump barrelled into the UN General Assembly with his trademark bombast and braggadocio, singing the praises of his protectionist “America First” agenda to decidedly mixed reviews.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and lieutenants Chrystia Freeland and Jim Carr began their day far from the gridlock and diplomatic mayhem of Trump Day at the United Nations, choosing instead to wave the Canadian flag at an early-morning gathering of the Council on Foreign Relations.
And while the divisive U.S. president was never mentioned by name, his larger-than-life impact was ever-present Tuesday, whether in the chaotic New York traffic, the must-see-TV vibe of his General Assembly speech or in the vision spelled out by Canada’s leaders.
For the better part of the last 70 years, the United States has taken a leadership role in overseeing and managing the global world order that emerged from the ashes of the Second World War, a job for which Freeland made a point of thanking the well-heeled, baby-boomer audience.
“That was an era of clear American leadership,” Freeland said.
“Our reflection in Canada… is that we observe that Americans — and I’m talking also about regular people, the people who vote — are starting to say, ‘You know what, maybe that mantle of leadership is too heavy for us; maybe we’re not so ready to keep on doing it.'”
Much of that anxiety and insecurity stems from lingering doubt about the future, in particular how technology is hollowing out the traditional job market and leaving an increasing number of people in the Western world on the outside looking in, Trudeau added.
“As leaders we have to make a decision: do we see those fears and choose to amplify them for short-term gains, or do we say, ‘We can solve this if we work together,'” he said.
“That choice between choosing to augment insecurities and amplify them, versus saying, ‘We got this together,’ is one of the starkest contrasts we can see in political discourse today.”
Just two hours later, Exhibit A strolled to the rostrum in the main UN assembly hall and gave his unique brand of leadership a rousing endorsement, evoking laughter at one point from the normally staid gathering of dignitaries and heads of state.
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said, prompting a round of chuckles and head-shaking that appeared to catch him off-guard.
“I didn’t expect that reaction,” he said. “But that’s OK.”
Before long, the president was repeating a familiar message about his government’s efforts to renegotiate “broken” and “terrible” trade deals, although he did not specifically reference Canada or the ongoing talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.
U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer offered clues earlier Tuesday about how that process is going.
“I think the U.S. would like (Canada) to be in the agreement, but there’s a still a fair amount of distance between us,” Lighthizer told a conference taking place on the fringes of the General Assembly.
“There are a number of significant issues between us… I think Canada wants to do it, I know we want to do it, and we’ll see what happens. We’re sort of running out of time.”
At some point this week, Lighthizer and Freeland are expected to sit down to continue in person the “continuous negotiation” that has been going on for the last month, sometimes by phone or email, other days in person at Lighthizer’s office in Washington.
For her part, Freeland was keeping close-mouthed about the state of the talks, repeating her familiar mantra that the two sides “don’t negotiate in public.”
Freeland also said she plans to sit down this week with Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir to discuss Canada’s ongoing dispute with the kingdom over its public criticism of perceived human rights abuses and the detention of Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif has been in prison there since 2013.
The two counterparts have been in close contact all summer — “We call each other on our cellphones,” said Freeland, who acknowledged Al-Jubeir’s hard work on working towards a solution.
“We are hoping to meet in New York this week, and I think that’s a good thing,” Freeland said.
While Canada will always stand up for human rights, “we feel a particular obligation to women who are fighting for their rights around the world,” she said, as well as those with a connection to Canada.
“There are lots of people with connections to Canada around the world and they should know their government is going to stand up for them,” Freeland said.
“Having said that, we have a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia… we recognized the impressive reforms that are happening in Saudi Arabia and talked about our support for them, while we also referred to ongoing human rights concerns.”
Trudeau made an appearance later in the day at an event with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May promoting the importance of educating girls around the world, where he brought his experience as a teacher to bear on the discussion.
It’s not simply a matter of fairness that girls should have equal access to education, he said, although kids have an innate sense when something’s not right in the world.
“Anytime a kid would complain about their grades, I’d say, ‘Oh, OK, whatever.’ But whenever they said, ‘It’s not fair,’ I’d stop,” Trudeau recalled.
Kids, he said, have an inherent sense of fairness that is upended whenever they see an obvious injustice.
“It takes away their sense that the world should be fair.”
James McCarten, The Canadian Press
Pfizer documents challenge Health Canada COVID-19 vaccine narrative
From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
By Ray McGinnis
Dr. Theresa Tam and senior federal health officials walked onto a stage this fall, socially distanced. Each wore masks, addressing an empty room.
Have they been living in a bubble?
The New York Times reported on February 21, 2023, that wearing masks did nothing to protect people from the COVID-19 virus.
Reporting on a rigorous and extensive study, Oxford epidemiologist Tom Jefferson said, “There is just no evidence that they [masks] make any difference. Full stop.” Jefferson said that even if one were to don an N-95 mask that it “makes no difference – none of it.” The microscopic hole in an N-95 mask was 35 microns. The much smaller droplet from the C-19 virus was 0.15 microns and could easily float through the N-19 mask hole. And why would a mask only be needed to protect us in public when we are not eating or drinking?
Health Canada continues to encourage the public to get COVID-19 boosters this fall. The agency asserts: “It’s considered safe to get both your COVID booster and a flu shot at the same appointment.” They are also “reviewing updated booster shots for children six months and up.”
However, release of the Pfizer Documents reveals people would be wise to avoid getting anymore boosters.
During its brief clinical trials, and in the first 12 weeks of the mRNA vaccine rollout, Pfizer compiled over 55,000 documents that related to clinical trials and other research the company conducted. The company hoped these documents would be sealed from public view for 75 years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration supported keeping the data secret.
Nevertheless, a US court disagreed. The documents began being released in 2022. Steve K. Bannon hosted whistleblower Dr. Naomi Wolf on his War Room podcast. Together, they issued a call for medical and scientific experts to examine the documents. Project manager, Amy Kelly divided 3,500 highly trained specialists into teams. And they went through the material with a fine-toothed comb Their findings are published in the War Room/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Analysis Reports.
The teams learned that Pfizer had many reports of serious adverse events after the initial 12-week rollout – 158,000 – that they had to hire an additional 2,400 full-time staff to manage the caseload.
A Pfizer Safety Branch Report concluded that by February 28, 2021, 1,223 people had died because of the vaccine.
Pfizer did not disclose all of its vaccine ingredients. In fact, a news story reports: “Health Canada Confirms Undisclosed Presence of DNA Sequence in Pfizer Shot.” The Epoch Times explains that the Simian Virus 40 DNA sequence is in some of the the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, citing scientists who warn that it can be carcinogenic.
It seems that Pfizer kept sloppy records of the clinical trials. Pfizer Documents Investigation Team 5 reported: “a great deal of data… [is] missing from Pfizer’s analysis of adverse events that were reported after the Pfizer mRNA vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration…. The outcomes of almost one-quarter (22%) are not known.” They added, “Pfizer’s 3.7% fatality rate for the adverse event cases with known outcomes doesn’t include patients that Pfizer said had not recovered at the time of the report (30 April 2021).”
Team 1 reported that from December 1, 2020, “Pfizer was aware that the vaccine…had limited efficacy.” They reported that:“1,625 serious cases of vaccine ineffectiveness….” This included 136 people dying of COVID-19 related pneumonia after getting the Pfizer shot.
Team 3 examined what Pfizer did to ensure the safety of their vaccine. Did the vaccine stay in the arm, or did it travel to other places?
It was known that the engineered nanomaterials in the vaccine can cross or bypass the blood-brain barrier. What were the implications for the central nervous system? Team 3 discovered that: “This evaluation was never done in the Pfizer safety and efficacy trials… it is impossible to know whether the vaccine is safe in this arena. Pfizer did not prove the safety of the nano-lipid delivery system for the brain:” They just didn’t look under that rock.
In March 2022, the Journal of Pediatrics reported that the Seattle Children’s Hospital at the University of Washington had 35 cases of myocarditis in children within one week of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Team 1 reported that it was clear to both Pfizer and the FDA that by June 2021 there was a “serious problem of myocarditis in adolescents following mRNA vaccination….” Nonetheless, the FDA went ahead and issued the Emergency Use Authorization to include teenagers, and they did not mention the risks.
The Pfizer Documents also reveal that by February 28, 2021, they knew that serious stroke adverse events were occurring after vaccination. Pfizer observed 275 patients who had a stroke post-vaccine….“Strokes are life-altering events. Even Pfizer categorized all the reported stroke as serious.” Nonetheless, even after Pfizer examined the stroke adverse events, they offered an upbeat assessment: “This cumulative case review does not raise new safety issues.”
And what did Health Canada say?
Journalist Rodney Palmer reported to the National Citizens Inquiry that the Government of Canada reported that by “March 3, 2023, [there were] a total of 427 reports with an outcome of death…reported following vaccination.”
Unfortunately, Canadians are still living in a bubble with little understanding of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
Glencore-Teck deal reveals the irony of coal: Profitable and vital, yet endlessly shunned
From the MacDonald Laurier Institute
By Heather Exner-Pirot
Coal is not going anywhere, and while some countries will benefit, Canada will not be among them
In many ways, the US$8.9-billion deal Glencore has struck for Teck Resources’ coal assets represents an elegant split that plays to each company’s strengths.
Teck, the Canadian miner, can now focus on its core base metals business, in particular copper, as it bets on strong returns in the years to come. Swiss commodities giant Glencore can build up its coal empire, adding the steelmaking coal assets to its vast thermal coal trade.
But the deal also reveals how coal has its own set of rules. Despite how profitable and strategic Teck’s coal resources are, they will soon come under foreign control. It is hard to imagine this unfolding the same way for any other commodity.
Coal is an essential, ubiquitous material. It is the workhorse of the global power sector, accounting for more than a third of global electricity generation. And it is indispensable in steelmaking. The burning of coke, a coal-based fuel, produces the carbon monoxide needed to convert iron ore into a liquid, alongside high temperatures. The majority of steel in the world is made with coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal.
Owing to its carbon intensity, it has a terrible reputation. Investors and shareholders, not to mention Western governments, shun it. Teck’s intention to spin off its coal business is linked to shareholder desires to see a decoupling of its metals and coal businesses out of environmental concerns, which have weighed on its valuation. Even as it pursues Teck’s coal assets, Glencore is doing the same; it plans to separate its metals and coal businesses within two years and sought Teck’s premium steelmaking coal to make its other coal holdings more palatable.
But shareholder distaste for coal is increasingly divorced from its economics. Coal is still highly profitable. Last year witnessed high prices and record demand, in part owing to the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both Teck and Glencore benefited greatly. Teck earned record profits of $4.9-billion, with coal accounting for 75 per cent of that. Glencore’s core profit rose 60 per cent to a record US$34.1-billion, more than half of which came from coal production.
Teck’s steelmaking coal assets in B.C.’s Elk Valley are world-class – high-quality, with decades of reserves and a low carbon intensity relative to other deposits. Glencore’s deal for them will see it partnering with Japan’s Nippon Steel and South Korea’s PISCO, who will take minority stakes. The fact that the deal includes two of the world’s biggest steel producers is evidence that these coal assets have long-term customers. This deal is not about Teck unloading a bad asset; it is about removing the ESG noose around its neck.
That’s poor justification for letting such vital assets end up in foreign hands. Yet the federal government will likely let the deal happen.
Federal scrutiny of foreign investment and takeovers in our domestic mining sector has grown of late, as the need for friendly sources of critical minerals grows. As The Globe and Mail reported last month, Canadian firms have mainly been the targets, rather than pursuers, of acquisitions in the sector in the past decade. Canada has toughened the Investment Canada Act as a result.
While the Teck-Glencore deal will raise similar concerns, it has been designed to skirt them. Teck’s news release could have been written by Ottawa. It aligns with the federal government’s recent Critical Minerals Strategy and commits to remaining a Canadian-based miner focused on “future-oriented metals,” “an electric vehicle battery recycling facility” and support for “junior Canadian mining and exploration companies.” It also preserves B.C.’s coal mining jobs and revenues.
There’s a parallel universe where a G7 country protects its most exquisite metallurgical coal deposit, required to produce a critical material for any advanced economy, energy system or military. That introduces policy to reshore and build up its domestic steel industry in an era of growing geopolitical turbulence.
The world in 2023 is not this place. And Canada is not that G7 country. Indeed, the world view of the current federal and B.C. governments sees the decline of coal as both imminent and necessary. There is no way they will make the argument that the material is a strategic resource that must remain under Canadian ownership.
But coal is not going anywhere. Some countries will benefit, economically and strategically, from controlling it. Canada will not be among them.
Heather Exner-Pirot is the director of energy, natural resources and environment at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
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