Wednesday Night #2065

Written by  //  October 13, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Quebec Healthcare
Dr. Mark Roper has confirmed that he will be joining us around 10pm to discuss the latest development in the battle for family doctors in Montreal. He adds that Julius Grey is a ‘definite maybe’.   The announcement that Quebec’s health minister reduced the number of new family doctors who are allowed to practice in Montreal and increased the number who can practice in nearby suburbs has poked our favorite never somnolent Wednesday Night civil rights bear. Julius Grey says he will ask a judge to suspend Quebec’s system for determining how many family doctors can practice in a specific region and will file a court challenge. He and Dr. Mark  (‘It’s deadly not to have a family doctor’) are working together. Check out the website Where are the Family Doctors? and support them in every way you are able.
See also Beryl Wajsman: Quebec decisions are disastrous for Montreal health care

Watching this week:
Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund Monday, October 11, through Sunday, October 17
World Economic Outlook October 2021 (See more on Global economy)

Multilateralism at work?
At a special meeting of the G20 the participants agreed on the need for humanitarian aid to alleviate the crisis in Afghanistan, where banks are running out of money, civil servants have not been paid and food prices have soared, leaving millions at risk of severe hunger.
Much of the aid effort will be channelled through the United Nations, but there will also be direct country-to-country assistance, despite a refusal by most states to officially recognize the hardline Taliban government. Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas debate the leverage that economic aid, e.g. unfreezing the country’s ($9 Billion+) assets would give without affording formal recognition of the Taliban government.
So far so good, but the list of countries which have not signed on may be more significant
Global Deal to End Tax Havens Moves Ahead as Nations Back 15% Rate
More than 130 countries agreed to set a minimum tax rate of 15 percent as governments look to end a race to the bottom on corporate taxation.

China-U.S.-Taiwan
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas agree that the tone of current rhetoric must be lowered. Will the U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity be a sufficient counterweight to Xi’s ambition to secure the ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan as part of his  legacy , no matter what the cost?

C Uday Bhaskar writes on the: LAC and the India-China stalemate
Almost six decades after the war of October 1962, India and China are yet to arrive at a modus vivendi on an intractable territorial issue, which, at its core, is a manifestation of major power contestation within the Asian grid … while the texture of the US-China relationship will have implications for all the major powers, it is of heightened relevance for India and Russia — and their own bilateral relationship.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that New Delhi is racing to wrap up a clutch of quick-fire bilateral pacts by the end of March as economic necessity spurs a shift from India’s usual go-slow approach on trade deals. Archana Chaudhary reports it also means Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is prioritizing “early harvest” pacts over comprehensive free-trade agreements with partners.

These and other hot spots are worrisome, but for Canada the current political situation in the United States should be the principal concern. If anything, Trump has become more influential and dangerous since leaving the presidency and the decimation of the traditional Republican Party is more devastating with each day’s news. The most recent newsletters (October 11, 2021 and October 12, 2021 from Heather Cox Richardson lay out the problems in stark terms. (Should you need more convincing, see The Republicans; SCOTUS & the US courts December 2020-; 6 January 2021 Assault on The Capitol and aftermath; and U.S. Government & governance August 2021-).

John and Joumane Buchanan have returned to Beirut where things seem to be going from bad to worse: Lebanon suffers 24-hour blackout, food poisoning, business closures amid fuel crisis

Meanwhile, Ottawa is in no rush to wake up says Politico’s Ottawa Playbook and we must agree. Ottawa isn’t tripping over itself to get back to governing. We know that a new cabinet will at least be named before the end of the month, and the House of Commons will sit again, eventually, this fall — presumably in November. Why does it take so long to name the Cabinet – surely most ministers have been doing a good job -and are doing so in the interregnum. Why not confirm them in place, replace the four who are gone, maybe add a couple of parliamentary secretaries and do a shuffle in six months time. And, please, could we skip all the woke considerations and look for relevant competence.

And now for some good news.
William Shatner had a really excellent day on Wednesday

The Nobel Prize for Economics was split three ways and one of the recipients is Canadian-born David Card. The award was for their pioneering research on the labour market impacts of minimum wage, immigration and education, and for creating the scientific framework to allow conclusions to be drawn from such studies that can’t use traditional methodology. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three have “completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences.”

I am thrilled to have received a copy of our friend Terry Mosher (Aislin)’s latest book “Aislin’s Favourite Covid Cartoons From Around the World”. Note the reference to our dear friend: “Aislin’s own cartoon, inspired by a photograph by the late Mathew Cope and extremely popular in its original publication, showing a mask on the downtown Leonard Cohen mural”.
All the cartoonists – Pulitzer Prize winners and small-town artists alike – donated their work to help raise money for the people and institutions who cared for us during the pandemic.
It is an extraordinary collection and will serve as a reminder of the unusual times we have -and are- enduring. I am doubly happy that proceeds are going to the Lachine Hospital – now my favorite hospital!
Then, on October 1st, Canada Post announced a special stamp issue paying tribute to five legendary editorial cartoonists: Serge Chapleau, Brian Gable, Aislin, the late Duncan Macpherson and Bruce MacKinnon.

The cover story of the October issue of The Montrealer
Linda Leith – a lifelong love of literature that has led to several careers in writing.
Peter Kerr’s publisher’s notes of the same issue are largely concerned with Bill 96 and the forthcoming November elections, noting that Albert Sévigny will be writing a weekly column for the website. There is a highly complimentary shout-out to Colin Standish and the Task Force on Linguistic Policy including Andrew Caddell and their virtual press conference of October 5th.

Varia
These two will be missed, but not by Jason Kenney
Outgoing mayors Naheed Nenshi and Don Iveson reflect on their relationship with Alberta’s UCP government
Calgary and Edmonton will both elect new mayors Oct. 18
KGB archives show how Chrystia Freeland drew the ire (and respect) of Soviet intelligence services
The Soviet Union’s secret police, the infamous KGB, praised her savvy and erudition, even as she frustrated their attempts to spy on her in Cold War Ukraine. They tagged her with the code name Frida. But today we know Chrystia Freeland as Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Such a great story!
After 45 years, Randy Bachman’s cherished 1957 Gretsch guitar finally found — in Tokyo
Rare 6120 Chet Atkins model was stolen from Toronto-area hotel in 1976

COP26: Risks and opportunities for Canadian business and society
FREE VIRTUAL EVENT
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 12:30 P.M. – 1:45 P.M. ET
Join The Globe’s Climate, Environment and Resources Senior Editor Ryan MacDonald, in conversation with a panel of experts as they explore what Canada’s business community can do to encourage and contribute to net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, as nations are striving to galvanize climate finance, policy and regulatory actions to meet this critical target.

Long reads and Listens
‘Starting a Fire’: U.S. and China Enter Dangerous Territory Over Taiwan
The self-ruled island has moved to the heart of deepening discord and rivalry between the two superpowers, with the potential to ignite military conflagration and reshape the regional order.
Electrify everything: an optimist’s climate solution
CBC Radio What on Earth: an electrifying conversation with Saul Griffith. The scientist and inventor has dedicated himself to halting climate change. His book Electrify lays out a detailed blueprint —optimistic but feasible— for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. And the work he says, begins right at home – your oven, your dryer, your car and much more.
Extensive coverage of the Pandora Papers in The Guardian, including
Pandora papers: what has been revealed so far?
‘It’s Not Sustainable’: What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close
An enduring traffic jam at the Port of Savannah reveals why the chaos in global shipping is likely to persist.

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