Tag Archives: Canada

The boogeyman is coming for you… no matter where in the world you are, by Simon Black

There are no geographical limits to the application of US law. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

The anti-terrorism unit suited up.

This was an international affair… a deal between the USA and New Zealand, two members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Helicopters, tactical suits, high caliber firearms—the whole shebang. They busted in the doors and successfully raided the multi-million-dollar compound.

What was this… capturing the next in line after Bin Laden? Busting an international human trafficking ring?

Actually, elite New Zealand law enforcement was acting at the request of the United States to arrest a guy named Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom is a large, jovial man of German-Swedish origins. He founded Megaupload, an online platform that allowed us to basically watch movies online for free.

Unfortunately for Kim, a lot of that content included American movies, with American copyrights.

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Canada: Shielded From the Populist Wave No Longer, by Benjamin L. Woodfinden

Justin Trudea, dashing progressive hero, may end up a goat if Canada’s seething populist discontent explodes. From Benjamin L. Woodfinded at The American Conservative via theburningplatform.com:

In the aftermath of the 2016 election and the rapid spread of populism around the globe, one country seemed immune: Canada. Justin Trudeau, the charismatic, dashing, and woke prime minister, sees himself as progressive liberalism’s leading light. But Canada is ripe for a populist revolt, and Trudeau may end up being its perfect catalyst.

Contrary to its mild-mannered international image, Canada has a long history of populism. Its upper crust are sometimes referred to as the “Laurentian elite.” Concentrated in downtown Toronto, Montréal, and Ottawa, these are Canada’s equivalent of East Coast elites. They dominate their country’s political, academic, cultural, media, and business institutions, and are ideologically homogeneous.

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Older NAFTA 2.0: Free Trade or Central Planning? by Ron Paul

So-called free trade agreements are almost always managed trade agreements. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

Last week the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sadly, instead of replacing NAFTA’s managed trade with true free trade, the new USMCA expands government’s control over trade.

For example, under the USMCA’s “rules of origin,” at least 75 percent of a car’s parts must be from the US, Canada, or Mexico in order to avoid tariffs. This is protectionism designed to raise prices of cars using materials from outside North America.

The USMCA also requires that 40 to 45 percent of an automobile’s content be made by workers earning at least 16 dollars per hour. Like all government-set wages, this requirement will increase prices and decrease employment.

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“Canada Just Got Played”: How Mexico Stabbed Canada In The Back, by Tyler Durden

Has Trump divided and conquered (at least as far as trade goes) North America? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In what was the biggest economic news of the day, Donald Trump concluded bilateral trade negotiations with Mexico, a deal which he called the US-Mexico Trade Agreement (profiled previously) and which will replace the trilateral NAFTA which has – for now at least – been scrapped until Canada also comes to the negotiating table and hammers out an agreement with the US (read: concedes), from a position of weakness and virtually no negotiating capital.

There were some odd twists in the announced deal, for example the agreement on the “sunset clause”, which as some pointed out is strange as it is a “trilateral matter” – i.e., one which would involve Canada – and it was unclear how it squares with the U.S.Mexico pledge that their talks were purely on bilateral issues.

Confirming that Trump was engaging in some good old “divide and conquer”, was the announcement from a White House official that, if Canada doesn’t agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, it will go ahead with a two-way deal with Mexico, although another official claimed that splitting up the negotiations is “standard practice and not about squeezing Canada.”

That may not have been exactly true because even though Mexico’s foreign minister Luis Videgaray said it’s necessary for Canada to be part of the deal, he then said that if a trilateral Nafta deal with Canada is impossible, a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico would also be acceptable.

At this point the alarm bells went off, and as Globe and Mail correspondent Adrian Morrow said, “it looks like the U.S. and Mexico went far beyond bilateral issues and agreed to a pile of trilateral stuff without Canada.” He also noted that while it was unclear whether any of the negotiated terms were okay with Canada, “it puts enormous pressure on Ottawa to agree or hold up the deal.”

To continue reading: “Canada Just Got Played”: How Mexico Stabbed Canada In The Back

The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War, by Patrick Buchanan

The Saudi Arabian government does not much value being told by Canada how to run their country. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Is it any of Canada’s business whether Saudi women have the right to drive?

Well, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland just made it her business.

Repeatedly denouncing Riyadh’s arrest of women’s rights advocate Samar Badawi, Freeland has driven the two countries close to a break in diplomatic relations.

“Reprehensible” said Riyadh of Freeland’s tweeted attack. Canada is “engaged in blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

The Saudis responded by expelling Canada’s ambassador and ordering 15,000 Saudi students to end their studies in Canada and barred imports of Canadian wheat. A $15 billion contract to provide armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia may be in jeopardy.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been backsliding on his promises to modernize the kingdom, appears to have had enough of Western lectures on democratic values and morality.

A week after Pope Francis denounced the death penalty as always “impermissible,” Riyadh went ahead and crucified a convicted murderer in Mecca. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can get you a death sentence.

Neither President Donald Trump nor the State Department has taken sides, but The Washington Post has weighed in with an editorial: “Human Rights Are Everyone’s Business.”

“What Ms. Freeland and Canada correctly understand is that human rights … are universal values, not the property of kings and dictators to arbitrarily grant and remove on a whim. Saudi Arabia’s long-standing practice of denying basic rights to citizens, especially women — and its particularly cruel treatment of some dissidents — such as the public lashes meted out to (Ms. Badawi’s brother) — are matters of legitimate concern to all democracies and free societies.

“It is the traditional role of the United States to defend universal values everywhere they are trampled upon and to show bullying autocrats they cannot get away with hiding their dirty work behind closed doors.”

The Post called on the foreign ministers of all Group of Seven nations to retweet Freeland’s post saying, “Basic rights are everybody’s business.”

To continue reading: The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War

Thinking is Dangerous, by Francis Marion

Hat tip to Francis Marion at theburningplatform.com:

Canadian government departments have quietly blocked nearly 22,000 Facebook and Twitter users, with Global Affairs Canada accounting for nearly 20,000 of the blocked accounts, CBC News has learned.

Moreover, nearly 1,500 posts — a combination of official messages and comments from readers — have been deleted from various government social media accounts since January 2016. CBC Nov 2017

Trudeau to Facebook:

Fix your fake news problem or face stricter regulations…

The Star.com Feb 8, 2018

Bank of Canada’s Poloz Is Right to Be Worried, by Peter Diekmeyer

Canada’s central bank has had a role in the “all-everything” bubble. From Peter Diekmeyer at Sprott Money via wolfstreet.com:

Three possibilities come to mind.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz cited numerous worries plaguing the economy during his speech to Toronto’s financial elites at the prestigious Canadian Club. However, the title of Poloz’s presentation, “Three things keeping me awake at night” seemed odd, given positive recent Canadian employment, GDP and other data.

Poloz highlighted high personal debts, housing prices, cryptocurrencies and other causes for concern, along with actions that the BoC is taking to alleviate them. His implicit message was (as always) “We have things under control.” But if that’s all true, then Canada’s central bank governor should be sleeping like a baby. So, what is really keeping Mr. Poloz up at night? Three possibilities come to mind.

The Poloz Bubble

Firstly, far from just a housing bubble, Canada’s economy shows signs of being in the midst of an “everything bubble.” Bitcoin, for example, hovered near CDN $23,000 this week. Stock and bond valuations are not far behind in their relative loftiness. Worse for Poloz, who took office four years ago, his fingerprints are all over those bubble-like levels.

Canadian stock, bond and house prices were already at dizzying heights when Stephen Harper hired Poloz with the implicit expectation that he would juice up the economy, in preparation for what Canada’s then-Prime Minister knew would be a tough upcoming election.

Poloz didn’t disappoint, promptly delivering a nice Benjamin Strong-styled “coup de whiskey” to asset prices in the form of two interest rate cuts, which brought the BoC’s policy rate down to just 0.50% during the ensuing months. Although Harper lost the election, loose BoC policy continues to provide the Canadian government with free money to borrow and spend as it wishes.

Here’s Canada’s ballooning Money Supply  M2 (via Trading Economics):

More broadly, the Poloz BoC’s current policy, like that of the US Federal Reserve, is to boost asset prices even higher in the hope that the resulting wealth effect will trickle down to spur economic activity among ordinary Canadians.

To continue reading; Bank of Canada’s Poloz Is Right to Be Worried