‘India’s combative response to the bombshell allegations demonstrate once again that it is not a responsible global actor.’ Photograph: Vuk Valcic/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

Watching news of Justin Trudeau’s explosive statement about intelligence indicating Indian involvement in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar did not shock those familiar with India’s security and intelligence operations. Friends and family of Sikh activists regularly express concern about our wellbeing due to a fear of being surveilled by Indian agents, and ultimately being subject to some form of violent reprisal.

The statements made in Canada’s parliament were finally an acknowledgement of the reality that young Sikhs like me have lived through for decades: Sikh dissidents expressing their support for an independent state may face the risk of imminent harm, even in the diaspora.…  Seguir leyendo »

It Is No Longer Possible to Escape What We Have Done to Ourselves

On the drive to our cottage here in June, my wife and I collided with the dense wall of Canadian wildfire smoke. The clear spring air began turning a sickly orange in the Adirondack Mountains, the sun was reduced to a red spot, and by the time we reached Montreal the skyline was barely visible from across the St. Lawrence River. On that day, June 25, Montreal had the worst air quality in the world.

Up at our lake, we soon learned to track the sheets of smoke online as they swept across Canada, down into the United States and even across the Atlantic Ocean.…  Seguir leyendo »

Smoke rises from the Texas Creek wildfire south of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada, on July 9. Canada is already on pace to have its worst wildfire season in recorded history. BC Wildfire Service/Reuters

Dear Canada,

What I wouldn’t give to turn back the clock 40 years — to listen more closely to the harbinger wildfires and the future they foretold of catastrophes to come during my tenure as a firefighter in the United States.

Today, smoke rolling into the US from massive wildfires in provinces to the north makes me think this is Canada’s year to listen to its fires and pivot the way we should have.

One of our biggest errors: We failed to align building and infrastructure development with fire protection responsibilities.

In the US, most authority for this development rests with our local government entities, while the vast majority of wildland acres are protected by state and federal firefighting organizations.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Fossil fuel companies and their executives don’t need our money. In fact, they use it against us.’ Photograph: Canadian Forces/Reuters

Canada is on fire from coast to coast to coast. Thousands have been evacuated, millions exposed to air pollution, New York a doom orange and even the titans of Wall Street choking.

Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, back-to-back cyclones in the Pacific islands and droughts in Africa haven’t been enough to create a tipping point for action. Now that climate impacts have hit the economic capital of western power, will it spur governments in the global north to get serious?

A lack of scientific knowledge about climate change is not the barrier. Nor is a lack of cleaner, safer, cheaper energy alternatives.…  Seguir leyendo »

A commercial airplane flies past the sun, covered in haze—made from the smoke of Canadian wildfires—in Washington, D.C., on June 7. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Arsonists, space lasers, pyrotechnic drones; the global right wing is on the hunt for a culprit responsible for Canada’s raging wildfires. Not on the suspect list: climate change.

As a cloud of smoke floated from raging fires in Quebec across the Eastern Seaboard, turning the Manhattan skyline a hazy orange, conspiracy theorists on both sides of the border began peddling steadily more outlandish explanations for the unprecedented burns. In the process, they made clear just how little they understand the climate.

As it stands, there are 45 out-of-control wildfires in Canada—primarily in Nova Scotia, central Quebec, and Northern Alberta. The smoke from those fires is drifting southward, bathing New York and Washington, D.C.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Smoke Darkens the Sky, the Future Becomes Clear

My father, who died of lung cancer, used to say that as soon as people inhaled their first cigarette, they immediately knew, if they weren’t in denial, that they were harming themselves.

I felt the same way on Tuesday in New York, my eyes itching and my nose burning and the taste in my throat like I’d swallowed a charcoal bonbon. This had to be bad. The sky wasn’t quite the apocalyptic orange of Australia’s Black Summer or San Francisco’s Day the Sun Didn’t Rise, but it had grown confrontationally eerie, enveloping the city in a blanket of toxic smog.

Until now, if people in the green and leafy Northeast looked at arid Western cities covered in smoke from wildfires, they could say, that can’t happen here, thank God.…  Seguir leyendo »

Canada is edging toward creating a right to suicide

Shortly after Robin Williams died by suicide on Aug. 11, 2014, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tweeted an image of Aladdin tearfully hugging Williams’s character from the iconic Disney film. “Genie, you’re free”, read the caption. The tweet, as The Post’s Caitlin Dewey noted at the time, carried the “implication that suicide is somehow a liberating option” and was promptly blasted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, whose chief medical officer warned “suicide should never be presented as an option”.

In Canada, however, consensus seems to be consolidating around a different conclusion: Suicide is, in fact, a liberating, acceptable option for whoever wants it.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los presidentes de Estados Unidos y México, Joe Biden y Andrés Manuel López Obrador, junto al primer ministro de Canadá, Justin Trudeau, durante la Cumbre de líderes de América del Norte en México los días 9 y 10 de enero de 2023. Gobierno de México

Acaba de celebrarse en Ciudad de México la X Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte. Los presidentes Andrés Manuel López Obrador (México), Joe Biden (EE. UU.) y el primer ministro canadiense Justin Trudeau fijaron la nueva agenda diplomática, económica y política trilateral para la región. Entre los principales acuerdos destaca la sustitución coordinada de importaciones, lo que intuye un cambio en el paradigma del modelo de globalización actual.

En la cumbre trilateral se habló de tomar acciones conjuntas para la lucha contra el narcotráfico, pero también de cambio climático, competitividad regional, salud, migración, equidad y desarrollo económico inclusivo.

Para mejorar la competitividad de la región se propuso la creación de un grupo de trabajo trilateral con actores públicos y privados para desarrollar una estrategia común de sustitución de importaciones.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Sunday, the Pope landed in what we call Treaty Six Territory, but you are more likely to know it as Edmonton, Alberta. The purpose of his visit was delivering an apology for the Roman Catholic Church’s involvement in the genocidal project known in Canada as residential schools — a system that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their parents and tried to assimilate them into Euro-Christian society.

“I am deeply sorry — sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous peoples”, Pope Francis said.

The Pope addressed his comments to several thousand residential school survivors in a pow wow arbor.…  Seguir leyendo »

I often hear elite-level American intellectual types — pundits and academics and futurists and so on — express great optimism about Canada’s potential. The country is framed as a glimmer of hope in a bleak world, a dynamic, modern, urbane, democratic, multicultural, open-minded success story, free of the toxic nationalism and populist authoritarianism steering the rest of the planet into a ditch.

The great blind spot of such optimistic analysis has always been Quebec — a province housing 8.7 million of Canada’s 38.7 million citizens, and a place preoccupied with pursuing policies at odds with every flattering Canadian stereotype. On virtually any metric one might correlate with a promising, modern society — a hospitable business climate, an up-to-date education system, open and inviting communities, robust protection of individual liberties, a moderate and rational political class — Canada’s second-largest province marches unapologetically in the opposite direction.…  Seguir leyendo »

An oil drum at a grand opening event for the Suncor Energy Fort Hills oil-sands extraction site near Fort McKay, Alberta, in 2018. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg News)

“The world needs more Canada”.

The phrase began life as a bookstore slogan, but has since evolved into the foreign policy mantra of a certain sort of Canadian.

“We’re Canadian, and we’re here to help”, was how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put it in his 2016 address to the United Nations.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the shake-up of the world order that it has provoked, Canadians inclined to view their country as the world’s answer to everything have emphasized one particular helping hand they’re eager to extend: oil and gas.

European nations import around a quarter of their oil and about 40 percent of their natural gas from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde hace una semana, Ottawa, la capital de Canadá, es una ciudad en estado de emergencia. Miles de camiones y decenas de miles de manifestantes han tomado su centro en torno a la sede del Parlamento canadiense, en Parliament Hill.

Todo empezó con un grupo de camioneros que hicieron sonar los cláxones de sus vehículos contra las restricciones del Gobierno de Justin Trudeau, que ha prohibido a los transportistas no vacunados atravesar la frontera con los Estados Unidos.

Según una encuesta de Abacus Data citada por la BBC, el 32% de los canadienses dice tener “mucho en común” con los transportistas.…  Seguir leyendo »

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, da la bienvenida al presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, en la Oficina Oval de la Casa Blanca en Washington, Estados Unidos, el 18 de noviembre de 2021. Esta fue la antesala de la cumbre trilateral con Justin Trudeau. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Durante la cumbre de líderes de América del Norte —conocida como Los Tres Amigos—, donde participaron los presidentes de Estados Unidos, México y Canada en la Casa Blanca estadounidense, hubo muchos saludos, abrazos y charlas, pero no cambios ni acuerdos sustanciales. Sobre todo, en uno de los temas principales: la migración.

En las reuniones entre el estadounidense Joe Biden, el mexicano Andrés Manuel López Obrador y el canadiense Justin Trudeau —y sus equipos— quedaron claros los temas por solucionar que los líderes de América del Norte comparten: la pandemia por el COVID-19 y las vacunas que se requiere que los países desarrollados donen; el bloque comercial que Biden impulsa para confrontar a China; el anhelado y complicado combate al cambio climático; y, principalmente, la idea de un acuerdo continental para regularizar la migración, que tantos problemas causa a los presidentes de México y Estados Unidos, y tanto dolor a las personas migrantes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Foto de archivo del 5 de marzo de 2012 de la reunión entre el entonces vicepresidente estadounidense, Joe Biden, con el entonces candidato presidencial mexicano Andrés Manuel López Obrador, en Ciudad de México. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)

Ha transcurrido un lustro desde que se celebró la última reunión de “Los tres amigos”, como solía llamarse al encuentro frecuente entre el primer ministro de Canadá y los presidentes de Estados Unidos y México.

El expresidente estadounidense Donald Trump fue quien suspendió estas citas anuales, que iniciaron en 2005, porque su gobierno prefirió priorizar las relaciones bilaterales. Pero la semana pasada las tres administraciones que conforman el bloque norteamericano anunciaron la reanudación de esta práctica que en ocasiones anteriores ayudó a profundizar la cooperación y a resolver los desacuerdos.

La expectativa sobre la agenda de temas es tan grande que los tres gobiernos están obligados a jerarquizar las preocupaciones.…  Seguir leyendo »

The strange and unpredictable world of geopolitics played out over the Pacific skies Friday as one commercial jet carrying the j ust-released daughter of one of China's most prominent tycoons flew westbound while another carrying two Canadians incarcerated in apparent retaliation for her arrest flew in the opposition direction.

The arrangement, in effect a modern-day version of a Cold War prisoner swap, brought an abrupt end to a saga that has severely poisoned relations between Canada and China, cast an unwelcome spotlight on one of China's trophy tech companies, Huawei, and complicated Beijing's public relations efforts to project a happy face with the Winter Olympics less than five months away.…  Seguir leyendo »

In an election few wanted and which ended up as the most expensive in Canadian history, Justin Trudeau, on Monday managed to return his party to the government benches in the House of Commons for the third consecutive time.

He failed to obtain a majority of seats -- forcing him once again to reach across the aisle to opposition parties in order to pass key legislation, and the costly exercise should raise questions about Trudeau's credibility, especially when the Covid-19 crisis remains far from over.

The Liberal Party leader never said he was gunning for a majority, but his opponents -- including his main opponent, Erin O'Toole of the Conservatives -- insisted a wasteful power grab was the objective.…  Seguir leyendo »

Statement on China's Release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

Of all the words Crisis Group has written it’s hard to imagine any meaning more to us than these: Michael Kovrig is free.

After more than 1,000 days in detention in Beijing, our colleague Michael was released, together with another Canadian Michael Spavor, on 24 September. Both Michaels are on their way back to their loved ones in Canada. We’re relieved the government of China has righted this wrong.

Crisis Group is hugely grateful to many people who have worked tirelessly in support of Michael. We thank the Canadian government for securing his release and the resolute efforts of many Canadian officials throughout his detention.…  Seguir leyendo »

Canada's prime minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau delivers his victory speech with his family at election headquarters in Montreal, Canada after winning a third term. Photo by Dave Chan/Getty Images.

Justin Trudeau gambled on an early election call hoping to benefit from the public support for his government’s management of the pandemic, but exhausted voters seemed annoyed at the sudden intrusion of electoral politics into already complicated lives.

Although the prime minister averted a looming disaster in the middle of the campaign when the opposition Conservative Party overtook his Liberal Party in the polls, he emerges from the election a victorious yet diminished figure. His party will continue to stand by him – he won, after all – but questions about his future electoral prospects are likely to return.

His main rival – Conservative leader Erin O’Toole – faces more immediate problems within his own party following his failed electoral strategy to win more Conservative seats by moderating his party’s positions on issues such as climate change and gun ownership, which had alienated centrist urban and suburban voters in previous elections.…  Seguir leyendo »

Over the past 50 years, China has undeniably established itself as a global power. It has made progress on many fronts, particularly in furthering the development agenda. Nonetheless, President Xi Jinping’s efforts to cast his country as a responsible and benign super power ring hollow when his government continues to engage in hostage diplomacy. As a current academic dean and a former business executive and diplomat, I can unequivocally say that the world is eager to see China firmly commit to not using people as bargaining chips.

This is especially relevant to me because a staff member of the International Crisis Group – an organization that I co-chair – today marked his 1,000th day in Chinese detention for no other reason than the fact of his Canadian citizenship.…  Seguir leyendo »

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians behind bars in China

In what Canadian officials have described as "arbitrary" decisions, Chinese courts this week have handed down a harsh sentence to Michael Spavor, accused of espionage, and upheld a death sentence for Robert Schellenberg, convicted of drug smuggling in the Asian country in 2018. The decisions come as the extradition trial of the Chinese tech giant Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is entering its final stages in a Vancouver courtroom.

Meng is wanted by the United States on multiple serious charges, including bank fraud and violating US sanctions against Iran by selling telecom equipment. She was arrested in late 2018. Meng and Huawei have denied the allegations.…  Seguir leyendo »