Minister Fast Highlights Benefits to P.E.I. of Canada’s Pro-trade Plan

Connecting Canadian businesses to international markets boosts exports and creates jobs and opportunities

August 22, 2014 – Summerside, Prince Edward Island – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today met with business and municipal leaders to announce federal government support for Prince Edward Island and to highlight the many benefits the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to businesses and workers in the province.

Minister Fast visited Confederation Cove Mussels Co. Ltd. and was joined by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on a visit to Royal Star Foods Ltd., representatives of which accompanied Minister Fast on a trade mission to the Seafood Expo Global 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. Prince Edward Island’s world-renowned fish and seafood industry, which employs 3,000 Islanders, will benefit under the Canada-EU agreement. The industry will see current tariffs, some as high as 25 percent, completely eliminated.

Ministers Fast and Shea also visited Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic, where Minister Fast announced that the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) will receive up to $87,000 from the Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program to support Canada’s aerospace sector success in markets abroad.

AIAC will use the funding for an aerospace business development visit to South Korea and to attend the Aero India exhibition taking place in Bangalore, India, next February. These are just two of the many projects that GOA will help fund.

Ministers Fast and Shea announced that the City of Summerside will receive up to $26,000, and the City of Charlottetown up to $9,000, from the federal government’s Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program to help attract foreign direct investment to P.E.I. and create local jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of $17 trillion. It is also the world’s largest importer of fish and seafood, with a global import market averaging $25 billion annually.
  • On the first day the Canada-EU trade agreement comes into force, almost 96 percent of EU tariff lines for fish and seafood will be duty-free. This includes lobster, currently subject to a rate of 20 percent, and mussels, subject to rates of up to 20 percent.
  • P.E.I.’s fish and seafood exports to the EU were worth an annual average of $14.7 million between 2011 and 2013 and ranked as the province’s second-most valuable export to the EU.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is Canada’s first in Asia and will serve as a gateway to new markets for Canadian businesses and workers.
  • Under the agreement, all South Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products will be eliminated. Nearly 70 percent of fish and seafood product tariff lines will be duty-free within five years of the agreement coming into force. For example, South Korean tariffs on lobster, currently at 20 percent, will be eliminated.
  • The Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program is contributing up to $3 million this year to 37 industry associations across Canada to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in markets around the world.
  • A priority sector under the Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), Canada’s aerospace industry employs more than 35,000 Canadians and realized more than $12-billion worth of exports in 2013.

Quotes

“The Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will provide greater market access for Prince Edward Island’s world-famous fish and seafood industry by eliminating all tariffs on its key exports. This will generate massive benefits and create jobs for the fish and seafood sector, a key driver of P.E.I.’s economy.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

“The benefits of the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will boost our Island economy for years to come. Island businesses like Royal Star Foods, Confederation Cove Mussels and Vector Aerospace, to mention a few, now have greater opportunities in international markets, which in turn improves exports and creates jobs at home.”

– Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont

“Direct foreign investment is a significant opportunity for the city of Summerside. Our participation in the Government of Canada’s Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program is allowing us to develop projects focused on making local investment opportunities more accessible and attractive to foreign investors. These initiatives are key components of our city’s economic development strategy.”

– Basil Stewart, Mayor of Summerside

“Charlottetown has been recognized as a top location for business, and many companies that operate globally have chosen Charlottetown as their home. Our partnership with the federal government through the Invest Canada Community Initiatives is an excellent opportunity to showcase our advantages to foreign investors and advance our profile to a broader audience.”

– Clifford Lee, Mayor of Charlottetown

“I am pleased to have Minister of International Trade Ed Fast at Confederation Cove Mussel to highlight the benefits and opportunities that the Canada-European Union trade agreement will present for Island seafood.”

– Stephen Stewart, President, Confederation Cove Mussel Co. Ltd.

“With over 500 million people in Europe, the Canada-European Union trade agreement ‎will increase potential trade for P.E.I. seafood products. Royal Star is in a great position to take advantage of this new tariff-free‎ access to Europe.”

– Francis Morrissey, General Manager, Royal Star Foods

“We are very pleased with this free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea. In our overall business expansion plan, the Asia-Pacific market is extremely important to us, due to its geographic location and strong projected growth and our customer base. We have been taking steps to expand our presence there, with close proximity to our customers, with the purchase of a facility in Brisbane, Australia, two years ago; the construction of our new Greenfield operation in Singapore, scheduled to open later this year; and an increase in incremental sales resources throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

– Jeff Poirier, President of Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic

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Contacts

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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UN vows to radically scale up Ebola fight as ‘invisible’ caseloads are escaping detection

22 August 2014 – Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola who was appointed by the Secretary-General to establish how best the UN can support affected communities, was wrapping up the first leg of a visit to all Ebola-effected countries in West Africa.

In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this afternoon, he told reporters at the end of his two-day visit that more health workers will be brought to the country to deal with the outbreak, saying “The United Nations is looking at ways to radically scale up support to fight Ebola.”

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, UN World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Health Security, who is travelling with Dr. Nabarro, said at the press conference: “This is not a hopeless situation.”

Also at the same press conference, Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of UN Operations in Liberia, said that UN peacekeepers were not involved in quarantining people due to Ebola.

Meanwhile, the Geneva-based WHO said in its latest update that the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, has been underestimated for a number of reasons.

In parts of Liberia, WHO said, a phenomenon is occurring that has never before been seen in an Ebola outbreak. As soon as a new treatment facility is opened, it is immediately filled with patients, many of whom were not previously identified.

For example in Monrovia, it said, an Ebola treatment centre with 20 beds, which opened last week, was immediately overwhelmed with more than 70 patients.

“This phenomenon strongly suggests the existence of an invisible caseload of patients who are not being detected by the surveillance system,” the UN health agency said.

WHO said: “Many families hide infected loved ones in their homes. As Ebola has no cure, some believe infected loved ones will be more comfortable dying at home. Others deny that a patient has Ebola and believe that care in an isolation ward – viewed as an incubator of the disease – will lead to infection and certain death.”

The health agency went on to say that in rural villages, corpses are buried without notifying health officials and with no investigation of the cause of death. In some areas, most notably Monrovia, virtually all health services have shut down.

Meanwhile, WHO reiterated that it does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade. It stresses that closing borders doesn’t work and is detrimental, as affected countries will be pushed towards a humanitarian crisis and the international community’s ability to fight and reverse the Ebola outbreak will be hampered.

WHO and the rest of the UN system also continue to highlight that the virus is not airborne and that becoming infected requires direct physical contact with body fluids of people who have been infected or died from Ebola.

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Over 20,000 people risked their lives in Indian Ocean sea crossings this year – UN report

22 August 2014 – Over 20,000 people risked their lives in sea crossings in the Indian Ocean in the first half of this year, many of them Rohingya who fled Myanmar, according to a new report released today by the United Nations refugee agency.

The report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on irregular maritime movements in South-east Asia also notes that several hundred people were intercepted on boats heading to Australia.

Produced by a newly-established Maritime Movements Monitoring Unit at UNHCR’s Regional Office in Bangkok, the report focuses on departures from the Bay of Bengal and elsewhere passing through South-east Asia, and highlights the abuses people are facing on their journeys, and developments related to Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy.

It shows that more than 7,000 asylum-seekers and refugees who have travelled by sea are at present held in detention facilities in the region, including over 5,000 in Australia or its offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

“Because of its clandestine nature, the full extent of people smuggling remains hard to determine,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

“But in-depth interviews with survivors have offered insights into what goes on during the long and arduous journey from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond.”

The report estimates that 53,000 people departed irregularly by sea from the Bay of Bengal in the 12 months ending June 2014 – a 61 per cent increase over the previous 12 months. In the two years following the June 2012 outbreak of inter-communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, some 87,000 people – mostly Rohingya but also Bangladeshis – embarked on the dangerous journey in search of safety and stability.

The main sailing season has continued to be between October and the first quarter of the year when seas are calmer. Typically, passengers were ferried on small boats to larger fishing or cargo boats that could each hold up to 700 people. Most were men, but there were also rising numbers of women and children.

According to the research, most passengers interviewed said they paid between $50 and $300 to board the boats and were at sea for an average of one to two weeks. Some waited for up to two months for their boat to take on more passengers. Many said they fell sick along the way. There are also unconfirmed reports of deaths due to illness, heat, a lack of food and water and severe beatings.

UNHCR cited “a very challenging protection environment” for refugees in the region. States, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, are not signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention and lack formal legal frameworks for dealing with refugees.

“Without a legal status they are often at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation under immigration laws,” said Mr. Edwards. “It also makes legal employment impossible and drives many people, including women and children, into exploitative and vulnerable situations.”

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Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project : Public Comment invited on Draft Terms of Reference for Environmental Assessment by Review Panel

August 22, 2014 — Ottawa — Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency invites the public to comment on the draft Terms of Reference to establish an independent review panel for the environmental assessment of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project in southwestern British Columbia.

The Agency has developed the draft Terms of Reference, which will establish the mandate of the review panel, its composition, as well as the process and timelines for the environmental assessment.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the draft Terms of Reference in either official language to the Agency by September 22, 2014. Documents submitted or generated as part of the environmental assessment will be considered public and posted on the online public registry. After taking public comments into consideration, the Terms of Reference will be finalized and made public.

To submit comments or to be included on the distribution list and be kept informed of the panel review process and activities, contact:

Debra Myles, Panel Manager
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 613-957-0626 or 1-866-582-1884
Email: RobertsBank@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Quick Facts

  • The draft Terms of Reference, along with more information on the environmental assessment, are available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference number 80054.
  • Port Metro Vancouver proposes the construction and operation of a new three-berth marine container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta, approximately 35 km south of Vancouver. The proposed project, to be located next to the existing Deltaport and Westshore Terminals, would provide an additional 2.4 million units of container capacity per year at Roberts Bank.
  • On January 7, 2014, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq referred the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project to a review panel for an environmental assessment.

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Contact

Lucille Jamault
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Telephone: 613-957-0434
lucille.jamault@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

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Minister Paradis concludes participation at the 5th Congrès mondial acadien

Canada helping to foster economic growth in developing countries as well as providing humanitarian assistance in the West Africa Region 
    
August 22, 2014 – Edmundston, New Brunswick – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, concluded a productive two-day visit to the 5th Congrès mondial acadien (CMA). The event, held for the first time in two Canadian provinces (New Brunswick and Quebec) and one American state (Maine), brings together Acadians and their friends from around the world to celebrate their culture and heritage as well as strengthen and develop economic ties among various partners.

The 2014 CMA main events are taking place in Edmundston, located in the north-west corner of the province of New Brunswick. The city shares its borders with both Quebec and the American state of Maine.

“I would like to congratulate the organizers of the CMA as well as the people of the region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests for a successful event,” said Minister Paradis. “The Government of Canada is proud to support the CMA, and is committed to supporting communities, arts and culture by investing in projects that also contribute to our economy.”

During his visit, Minister Paradis was the guest speaker at the CMA Economic Summit and hosted a Francophonie economic round table with representatives of New Brunswick private sector companies and civil society organizations working in La Francophonie member countries. At both events, the Minister reiterated Canada’s determination to promote an economically dynamic La Francophonie by strengthening the private sector and improving the business climate in such a way as to foster economic growth.

The round table is the fifth in a series hosted by Minister Paradis around the country. These meetings are part of Canada’s preparations for the 15th Summit of La Francophonie, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on November 29–30, 2014. The theme of the Dakar Summit will be Women and Youth in La Francophonie: Agents for Peace and Development.

“Canada looks forward to the upcoming Summit of La Francophonie as it will work toward the adoption of a new economic strategy,” added Minister Paradis. “Canada’s efforts will also focus on food security, education, child protection as well as the importance of maternal, newborn and child health.”

During his remarks at the CMA Economic Summit, Minister Paradis highlighted the candidacy of the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada and current UNESCO special envoy to Haiti, to succeed the outgoing Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie, His Excellency Abdou Diouf. Canada, together with the governments of Quebec and New Brunswick, are endorsing her candidacy. The next secretary general of the OIF will be chosen at the Dakar Summit. 

Minister Paradis also took time to announce humanitarian assistance funding to support the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet the humanitarian needs of people in countries in the West Africa region.

“Many countries in the West Africa region face high levels of poverty, underdevelopment, food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada is committed to supporting a strong international humanitarian system. Partners, such as the ICRC, are crucial to ensure that the immediate assistance and protection needs of families, women and children affected by conflict and insecurity are met quickly and appropriately.”

Canada’s support to the ICRC will contribute to improve health, living conditions and protection of crisis-affected people in the West Africa region.

Quick Facts

  • Since 1994, the CMA has been giving Acadians and friends of Acadia the opportunity to reconnect every five years and celebrate their culture and heritage with pride.
  • The 2014 CMA is being held in two countries, and involves two Canadian provinces and one American state in a region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests. This region includes northwestern New Brunswick, Témiscouata in Quebec and Aroostook County in Maine.
  • La Francophonie is a network of member states and governments sharing French as a common language. The network includes several independently established institutions dating back to the 1960s.
  • Canada is the second-largest contributor to La Francophonie. The provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are also members of La Francophonie and important contributors.
  • At the 15th Summit of La Francophonie in Dakar, Senegal (November 29–30, 2014), discussions will include priority issues for Canada, including stimulating sustainable economic growth as means for reducing poverty and improving maternal, newborn and child health.
  • Many countries in West Africa face high levels of poverty, underdevelopment, food insecurity and malnutrition. Many West African countries are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and flooding, as well as outbreaks of disease.
  • In 2014, Canada confirmed the West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal as countries of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
  • On May 8, 2014, Minister Christian Paradis was appointed as Chair of the OECD’s World Economic Forum and charged with promoting a more systematic approach to testing and scaling up financial innovations and blending capital in order to accelerate progress towards development objectives.

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Contacts

Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
343-203-6238
sandrine.perion@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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A Bold New Way of Measuring A Country’s REAL Wealth

Ed note. This piece appears in Project Syndicate and is reprinted with permission. The author, Mahmoud Mohieldin, is Corporate Secretary and the President’s special envoy at the World Bank

When the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline expires next year, the world will be able to point to several important achievements since their launch in 2000. Extreme poverty has been halved during this period; an estimated 100 million slum-dwellers have gained access to safe drinking water, and millions to health care; and large numbers of girls are now receiving an education. But considerable unfinished business and significant performance discrepancies remain.

The post-2015 development agenda will continue where the MDGs left off, while adding further objectives relating to inclusion, sustainability, jobs, growth, and governance. The success of the coming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend on how new programs are developed, implemented, and measured.

Strong economic growth enables people to improve their lives and creates space for new ideas to thrive. But such growth is often accompanied by environmental degradation, which diminishes human health and quality of life, threatens water supplies, and compromises ecosystems, impeding growth for future generations. Moreover, short-term growth that erodes natural capital is vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles, and can cause people who live close to the poverty line to fall far below it.

Taking a longer-term view of growth and accounting for social, economic, and environmental equity must be a top priority for the post-2015 development agenda. Discussion of the SDGs is now taking into consideration the need to incorporate food, water, and energy security, together with urban planning and biodiversity. But translating prospective goals into actions at the country level will not be feasible without measurable and meaningful indicators to guide policy and measure progress.

One method of measurement is “natural capital accounting,” which assesses the value of natural resources in development planning and national accounts, just as a family would account for their home’s value – and the cost of maintaining it – when deciding how much of their regular income to consume. A recent World Economic Forum report proposes a “dashboard” for inclusive and sustainable growth. This model brings together natural capital accounting, a human-opportunity index, a gender-gap index, measures of public investment as a percentage of GDP, a competitiveness index, indicators of shared prosperity, and disaggregated unemployment data.

A World Bank-led partnership, Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), shows governments how certain behavior depletes natural assets, and how natural capital accounting can help to establish more sustainable development policies. Following a campaign at the 2012 Rio+20 Summit, 70 governments, including those representing 40 middle- and low-income countries, endorsed natural capital accounting.

The method has already been put to good use around the world. “Forest accounts,” for example, have revealed that Guatemala has the fastest deforestation rate in Central and South America, with most uncontrolled logging being carried by households for their cooking needs. This information has spurred the Guatemalan government to review the country’s forestry law, and to fund new strategies to control firewood use, prevent unauthorized logging, and encourage families to use alternative energy sources.

Botswana’s attempts to diversify its economy are constrained by water shortages; but “water accounts” are helping the government to identify sectors – including agriculture, mining, and tourism – that can grow with minimal water consumption.

In the Philippines, where 60% of GDP is generated by industries and associated services in the Laguna Lake region of Metro Manila, pollution and siltation has already reduced the lake’s depth by one third. “Ecosystem accounts” have become instrumental in determining how better to manage this resource. These accounts are also being used to improve forest management in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where forests are a vital resource for two major growth sectors, tourism and hydropower generation.

These experiences are vital in shaping the post-2015 development agenda. Incorporating sustainability forces governments and businesses to consider the environmental impact of their decisions. A UN report calls on all governments to adopt natural capital accounting so that their sustainability efforts can be consistent, accurate, and comparable over the long term. Institutionalizing sustainability in this way will make it an intrinsic part of day-to-day governance.

Only by shifting to a broader understanding of growth and development can the world address the pressing problems of inequality and sustainability. Placing that understanding at the heart of the SDGs will help to improve the health and wellbeing of all societies long into the future.

Mahmoud Mohieldin, is Corporate Secretary and the President’s special envoy at the World Bank

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Thousands of migrants risking their lives at sea in South East Asia

22 Aug 2014

Listen /

Fishermen manoeuvre a boat in a waterway near Sittwe in Mynamar. © UNHCR/V.Tan

The outbreak of inter communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has forced over 87,000 people to undertake the perilous sea journey across the Bay of Bengal over the past two years, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Majority of those fleeing the violence are the Rohingya from Myanmar, but also Bangladeshis are among them.

This year alone, UNHCR estimates that over 20,000 migrants have made the long and dangerous journey from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and beyond.

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the migrants were paying human traffickers up to $300 for the journey across the Bay of Bengal.

“These developments take place in the context of a very challenging protection environment for refugees in the region. States including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are not signatory to the refugee convention and lack formal legal frameworks for dealing with refugees. Without a legal status they are often at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation under immigration laws. It also makes legal employment impossible and drives many people, including women and children, into exploitative and vulnerable situations. There are also unconfirmed reports of deaths due to illness, heat, a lack of food and water and severe beatings when people tried to move. Some passengers reportedly jumped off boats in desperation.” 

UNHCR says more than 7,000 asylum seekers and refugees who have travelled by sea are held in detention facilities in the region, including over 5,000 in Australia or its offshore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.44″

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Parliamentary Secretary Gerald Keddy to make Announcements in Cape Breton

SYDNEY, NS – August 22, 2014 — Members of the media are invited to attend three events where Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for ACOA, and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (ACOA), will make announcements regarding economic development initiatives in Cape Breton.

Date:            Monday, August 25, 2014

Time:            9:30 a.m.
Location:    CB Centre for Craft and Design
                      322 Charlotte Street, 
                      Sydney, NS

Time:            12:00 p.m.
Location:     Highland Village Museum
                       4119 Hwy 223,
                       Iona, NS

Time:            3:00 p.m.
Location:    Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre
                      606 Reeves Street,
                      Port Hawkesbury, NS

For further information, please contact:
D.A. Landry
ACOA Communications
902 564-3617

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