Canada To Boycott Commonwealth In Sri Lanka [video]

Canada PM Stephen Harper said that the main reason behind the boycott is the concern of human rights abuse. He has always expressed his desire to cut off its funding as well. Mr Harper issued a statement on Monday emphasising on the failure by the government of Sri Lanka to uphold the core values of the Commonwealth. He further added that Canada had remained to be disturbed by the reported confinement and intimidation of journalists and political leaders in the South Asian country. There has been alleged harassment of the minorities in the country. People have strangely disappeared and there have been alleged illegal murders. Even though there have been assumptions that Canada may boycott the next Commonwealth summit to be held in Sri Lanka, Mr Harper’s confirmation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meet now makes it official. In addition to the boycott, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned that Canada might cut off its funding to the Commonwealth organisation on the grounds of the consistent reports of alleged human rights violation in the host country. Mr Harper was speaking at the APEC summit when he expressed that the decision to boycott the summit had been made with a “heavy heart”. Canada’s decision to boycott the Commonwealth summit this year does not, however, come as a surprise as it has been expressing its desire to do so since 2011 when the Commonwealth leaders’ meet was held in Australia . On the other hand, Mr Harper’s candid views on the political condition of Sri Lanka create the ripples. The Commonwealth organisation was formed with 54 nations who were under the British rule in the past and are now facing economic crisis to exist on the global platform.

Canada blocks network sale to Egypt’s Sawiris, citing security

REUTERS/Cynthia By Euan Rocha and Jeffrey Hodgson TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian government said on Monday it blocked a bid from a company controlled by Egyptian telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris to buy a fiber optic network, citing national security concerns. The surprise move by the country’s Conservative government was made with little explanation and comes as many question its appetite for foreign investment in sectors ranging from telecommunications to oil sands. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc (MTS) had announced in May it would sell its Allstream fiber optic network for C$520 million to Accelero Capital Holdings, which is controlled by the Egyptian telecom magnate. But MTS said late on Monday the federal government blocked the deal, citing “unspecified national security concerns.” The government also rejected MTS and Accelero’s offer to take necessary actions to address those concerns, the company said in a statement on Monday. Canadian Industry Minister James Moore confirmed in a brief statement that the deal was blocked under the national security provisions of the Investment Canada Act. The statement did not provide any specific details on the government’s concerns, but it noted that MTS Allstream operates a national fiber optic network that provides critical telecom services to businesses and governments, including the Canadian government. The government declined to comment further. TAKEOVERS RARELY BLOCKED Canada has rarely used its veto power to block a foreign acquisition of a Canadian asset under the Investment Canada Act. The legislation gives the government wide-ranging powers to review whether such deals are of “net benefit” to the country and whether they pose a threat to national security. In 2010 it blocked mining giant BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid for the world’s top fertilizer company Potash Corp, stating that the deal was not of “net benefit” to Canada. This followed a 2008 decision to block MacDonald Dettwiler’s attempt to sell its satellite division to Alliant Techsystems Inc, due to national security concerns. The rejection of the Allstream deal comes as struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd, one of Canada’s best- known technology companies, is in talks with foreign players including Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP about selling them all or parts of itself, sources have told Reuters. Accelero said in a statement it was “very disappointed” by the Canadian government’s unexpected rejection of its proposed acquisition of Allstream. “Throughout this process, we were comforted by Industry Canada that our filings were in order, our submissions complete and constructive, and our proposed binding undertakings serious and substantive so that the transaction would meet the ‘net benefit’ test,” Sawiris said in the statement.

Canada Building Permits Fall From Record on Non-Residential Work

Failure to do so will continue to condemn those stricken with illness to long wait times for medically necessary care,” said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute director of health policy studies and author of two chapters in of Reducing Wait Times for Health Care: What Canada Can Learn From Theory and International Experience . Wait times for health care in Canada have stalled at historically high levels, in spite of current government strategies aimed at improved timeliness. Canadians wait longer than citizens of many other OECD countries with universal access health care systems, from emergency room visits to physician consultations to elective surgeries, despite Canada’s relatively large health expenditures. “Waiting for health care has important medical, personal, and economic consequences,” said Dr. Steven Globerman, director of the Center for International Business at Western Washington University and senior fellow at the Fraser Institute who edited the 168 page book. Failing to fix wait times has affected the economic well-being of Canadians in a number of important ways. One estimate, from the Centre for Spatial Economics assessing just four procedures – total joint replacement surgery, cataract surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and MRI scans – found that excessive waits were costing Canadians $14.8 billion, plus another $4.4 billion ($19.2 billion, together) in lost government revenues from reduced economic activity. Long waits for health care may also be affecting both short-run and long-run economic growth by impacting investments in education and training, parental involvement and support for school-aged children, and both absenteeism and presenteeism in the workforce. While a precise estimate of the economic and non-economic gains associated with any reduction in wait times is not feasible, the evidence suggests that the gains would be substantial. Besides being expensive, waiting can be cruel. In Chapter 3, The Consequences of Waiting, Dr. Brian Day, an orthopaedic surgeon and former CMA president, argues that waiting can lead to a worsening of conditions; depression; discomfort and indignity; disruption in work; and even death. Among children, he found, the long-term effects of waiting for surgery can worsen health so severely, that the wait may impact young people’s education and prospects.

Canada’s Long Wait Times for Health Care Leading to Patient Depression and Death; Fundamental Reform of the System Required

Economists forecast a 7.4 percent fall according to the median of eight responses to a Bloomberg survey. The Bank of Canada is counting on a shift in demand to business investment and exports from debt-fueled consumer spending , a process that has taken longer than expected, Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem said in a speech last week. The central bank has kept its overnight interest rate at 1 percent since September 2010 to encourage borrowing and spending. Its a little bit worrying to see the weakness on the non-residential side, though it did show a strong gain last month, said Paul Ferley , assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. Its not indicating non-residential is poised to start leading growth. Canadas dollar declined 0.3 percent to C$1.0322 per U.S. dollar at 9:43 a.m. in Toronto. One Canadian dollar buys 96.88 U.S. cents. July Record Permits for non-residential construction fell 37.9 percent to C$2.43 billion from the July record of C$3.91 billion, with commercial projects dropping 45.8 percent to C$1.40 billion. Industrial permits declined 1.2 percent to C$526 million led by manufacturing plants, following Julys 17.7 percent rise, the agency said.