Canada: International relations, defense and foreign policy November 2023-

Written by  //  November 24, 2023  //  Canada, Foreign Policy  //  No comments

23-24 November
Mark Camilleri: As EU leaders visit Newfoundland, the message is clear: It’s time to step up, Canada
Canada needs to produce more of what the EU and other allies need—especially energy and critical minerals
(The Hub) For the EU, its relationship with Canada represents a pivotal opportunity in the midst of growing global uncertainty: a stable, like-minded partner with enormous reserves of energy and critical minerals that is a friendly alternative to other authoritarian sources of these goods. One problem? Canada’s seeming inability to capitalize on this pressing demand.
The EU is one of Canada’s major trading partners—its third-largest, in fact, after the United States and China. The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), sits at the heart of this trade relationship and is, by conventional measures, working well. Trade has increased by over 50 percent since the agreement’s signing in 2016, with a greater participation of companies, especially SMEs.
Yet for all this success, the potential for Canadian businesses in the EU market (the world’s second-largest economy) remains—as it has for decades—largely untapped. Current developments in the EU offer significant opportunities for Canadian companies to expand their reach.
Trudeau launches EU-Canada Summit in Newfoundland with research announcement
Trudeau launches EU-Canada Summit in Newfoundland
(Canadian Press) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off a two-day summit with the top two heads of the European Union on Thursday night.
Though formal discussions with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are expected to begin Friday, Trudeau wasted no time making announcements during his summit-opening speech on Thursday night.
He said Canada is joining the European Union’s $100-billion scientific research program, called Horizon Europe, which he called “the greatest research and innovation mechanism in the world right now.” Canada has also worked out a deal to build water bombers and ship them to the EU, after both regions faced devastating forest fires this past summer, Trudeau told the crowd.
Trump looms over EU-Canada summit
In St. John’s, leaders will be able to reaffirm their bilateral relationship.
(Politico Eu) When the EU and Canada meet for talks this week, their encounter will be calm, pleasant and even, in the words of one EU diplomat, “just plain boring.” But both sides will be contending with a looming problem — Donald J. Trump.
The prospect of another Trump presidency in the U.S. is spooking both Brussels and Ottawa as leaders plan to meet in St. John’s, a remote Canadian harbor city symbolic of their bilateral relationship: historically rooted, pleasant and friendly.
…leaders will be able to reaffirm their bilateral relationship and underscore their “shared commitment to democratic values, multilateralism and the international rules-based order,” which elsewhere are falling apart. The two sides are set to double down on their bilateral commitments in new policy fields with an “impressive list of deliverables,” according to the EU official, including a green alliance, more cooperation on raw materials, and a digital partnership.

18 November
As major Pacific summit wraps, Canada is sidelined on a new U.S.-led trade initiative
Canada’s ambassador to U.S. downplays threat of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework on Ottawa’s influence
Goldy Hyder laughed a bit when a reporter asked him Thursday evening what he thought Canada had accomplished at this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
“It’s a short list, unfortunately,” the president of the Business Council of Canada said, before lamenting something Canada hasn’t accomplished yet: membership in U.S. President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). It’s a group of 14 trading partners that concluded agreements this week on supply chain protections, lowering carbon emissions and fighting corruption — while promising more collaboration to come.
There’s no question Canadian officials from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on down were busy taking meetings all week.
“We’re doing the work,” Trade Minister Mary Ng insisted when reporters questioned why Canada still isn’t in IPEF, despite her insistence that all the current members would support having Canada at the table.

Spavor blames fellow prisoner Kovrig for Chinese detention, alleges he was used for intelligence gathering
(Globe & Mail) One of the two Canadians jailed by China for nearly three years in a case that was at the heart of a diplomatic crisis is seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement from Ottawa, two sources say, alleging he was detained because he unwittingly provided intelligence on North Korea to Canada and allied spy services.
Michael Spavor alleges that the deception was conducted by fellow Canadian prisoner Michael Kovrig, and it was intelligence work by the latter that led to both men’s incarceration by Chinese authorities, according to the sources.
These allegations cast a new light on the lengthy imprisonment of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor as well as on the work that Mr. Kovrig was doing in China.
Adam Zivo: It turns out it was one Michael and another Michael
Espionage revelations don’t excuse China’s hostage diplomacy
The arrest of the Two Michaels tanked Sino-Canadian relations and damaged China’s credibility among Canada’s allies. Many wondered: if Beijing was willing to achieve its diplomatic goals by essentially kidnapping ordinary foreigners, what else might it be capable of?
We now know that the truth was more complicated than the Trudeau government let on.

After close encounter at APEC summit, Trudeau appears to steer wide berth around Xi
China and Canada routinely rub elbows when leaders gather for photos at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering.
But outside the family photo, officials took pains to point out that the two leaders shared little Thursday beyond a perfunctory hello.

Justin Trudeau struggles to walk a very fine line on the Israel-Hamas war
PM caught between asserting Israel’s right to self-defence and reflecting Canadians’ grief and fear
Aaron Wherry
(CBC) The war between Israel and Hamas creates two challenges for Justin Trudeau, as it would for any Canadian prime minister.
First, he must try to take and hold a principled position on a dire conflict. Second, he must try to hold together a country whose citizens are understandably agonized by the death and destruction.
The strain of both those tasks only becomes more apparent with each passing day. Within 24 hours of Trudeau’s remarks on the conflict Tuesday, Trudeau was heckled by pro-Palestinian protesters inside a Vancouver restaurant for what he didn’t say — and scolded online by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for what he did say.
15 November
Trudeau criticized for calling on Israel to ‘exercise maximum restraint’ in Gaza
‘The world is witnessing this — the killing of women and children, of babies,’ PM says of Gaza conflict

14-16 November
‘I can’t believe I won’t see her again’: Vivian Silver mourned at funeral
(Global news) A few hundred people gathered in Gezer Kibbutz to honour the life of Israeli Canadian peace activist Vivian Silver.
“I can’t believe Vivian won’t personally witness her advocacy for a better world bear real fruit. I will miss hearing her voice and above all, hearing her wonderful laugh. I can’t believe I won’t see her again,” Neil Silver said during his older sister’s eulogy.
On Monday, it was confirmed that the 74-year-old peace activist was among the 1,200 people Israeli officials say were killed during Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
In the weeks since then, her family believed she’d been taken hostage after they were told the Israeli government geolocated her cellphone in Gaza.
Vivian Silver, a Canadian-born Israeli activist who devoted her life to seeking peace with the Palestinians, was confirmed killed in Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel. For 38 days, Silver, who had moved to Israel in the 1970s and made her home in Kibbutz Be’eri, had been believed to be among the nearly 240 hostages held in the Gaza Strip. But identification of some of the most badly burned remains has gone slowly, and her family was notified of her death on Monday.
9 October
Revered peace activist is missing after sending harrowing text message during Hamas assault
(NBC) The silver-haired grandmother is regarded on both sides of the border as an irrepressible force, according to those who know and work with her.

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