By Jan Arden
Canada used to be a place of high regard for international students and those wishing to migrate there from their home countries for a variety of reasons, mostly well-paid jobs or economic opportunities for themselves or their progeny. In that vein, many from Mauritius have been on the trail of that Eldorado as nurses or trades people. One of my well-heeled university students in the seventies had only one dream, to be a forest lumber-jack in the wide open spaces of that country. So, it had generally held up its high esteem either on its own, with Commonwealth credentials, or as a side door to the USA with which it shares thousands of miles of relatively unattended international borders.
Canada safe haven for terrorists. Pic – India.com
Canada’s internal politics were mostly about language and culture tugs of war over Quebec and the francophone areas or the vexed question that remain to be addressed about reparations due over centuries of injustices and spoliations of the country’s native inhabitants. In international relations, it only pulled some credence as a somewhat whimsical member, whose country was dependent on the USA for agriculture, trade and economic development.
That image had been wearing thin lately. Cuddling up with Zelensky, Justin Trudeau invited the latter last week on an official trip and speech to the Canadian Parliament with effusive applause and promising more Canadian dollars even while EU nations are increasingly cautious about the ongoing war and most of the Third World nations annoyed by the war’s continued disruptions. Mr Zelensky has criticised Poland, Slovakia and Hungary for banning imports of Ukrainian grain, and may have shared with Justin Trudeau his view of Indian leaders as “low-IQ” for not backing Ukraine! And Mr Trudeau may well have chuckled at remembrances of his 2018 visit to India where he took a couple of khalistani members of his cabinet on official tour, even frolicking publicly on bhangra tunes in a Punjabi disguised attire. As for the effusive applause in the Canadian Parliament it was extended to a 93-year-old former Ukrainian Nazi, presented as a war hero, leading a widespread feeling of mockery, disgust and shame that has left Trudeau with considerable egg to wipe off his juvenile face.
Trudeau’s personal credibility and that of his minority Liberal party, hostage to campaigning and MP support from khalistani sympathisers among the Sikh community, had already by that time drifted from bad to lousy. By wading publicly against India for the murder of khalistani terrorist Nijar and trying childishly to rope in the Five eyes (Anglo-Saxon security agencies US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada), Trudeau had obviously committed a blunder of monumental proportions in extremely sensitive matters, always dealt in sheltered and secluded environments. India’s response was immediate and brutal, exposing Canada’s links and safe haven provided to numerous terrorists over decades and the total absence of cooperation from Canadian services with the Indian authorities for their arrest, charges or extradition for trials in India.
Are the nefarious activities of khalistani-controlled Gurdwaras or open posters and calls to kill hindus in Canada okay with Trudeau? India’s neighbours, except Pakistan, sided with India on Trudeau’s less than honest role in such security matters concerning their own terrorists safely hiding in Canada. Rapidly, Trudeau’s umpteenth word salads about “free speech”, “democratic values” or “freedom of expression” were torn to shreds by real hard facts as opposed to his Google or khalistani-fed hunches or allegations. Has Canada, like Pakistan, turned into a safe-haven for terrorists, asked the Indian authorities, and as no sensible reply was forthcoming, there is now demand that Canada be investigated by the APG-FATF for “grey-listing” under counter-terrorism and associated money-laundering measures.
A country search will indicate that Canada’s mutual evaluation, last carried in 2016, was judged inadequate in several of the 40 areas/measures and the country was placed under increased monitoring particularly for weak or no monitoring of NGOs and their transactions. While, like Mauritius, it worked diligently to upgrade its financial systems and anti-terrorism protection processes, by October 2021 Canada was compliant on 11 of the 40 Recommendations and largely compliant on 23 of them. More serious work remains to be done as it remains only partially compliant on 5 Recommendations and non-compliant on one on the original 40 recommendations, to which 9 others have been added.
Canada’s next FATF-APG evaluations were scheduled for December 2025 and India may well press that the date be brought forward in view of the free reins granted to khalistani elements whose NDP party and Cabinet ministers keep Trudeau on a leash that would have been blasted for any Third World country leader. Can he backtrack and close the unholy can of worms he opened, either immaturely or without evidence? Has Canada lost its moral bearings and international stature, ask many, including Conservative Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre. India-Canada ties on many fronts will hopefully overcome this bruising period, but affronted Indian authorities may well allow the three-times elected Trudeau to wither away before a return to normalcy in State relations.
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Trump hit by a bus
Meantime across the Canadian border, former President Donald J. Trump has been hit by a massive summary judgement in the New York Supreme Court in the civil case brought by NY Attorney General Letitia James to the tune of $ 250 million for a history of fraudulent dealings by Trump, the Trump organisation and members of his family. While the Trump team will no doubt appeal to appellate courts including the US Supreme Court, the blunt and abrasive language of the NY judge against both the Trump team and their attorneys was very unusual.
If the judgement is confirmed after appeal has been spent, AG Letitia James will have scored a remarkable and swift win against fraudulent practices that may bar Trump and his family from ever conducting business in NY and force them to sell off some prized assets to pay those massive claims. All the while, the several other criminal cases roll on and may take their toll on Trump’s ability to run his campaign for re-election as US President as he juggles with upcoming court appointments and hearings and his campaign meetings. But he has status of Republican cult leader in middle America and among white and Anglo-Saxon protestants, who feed the ongoing and now acute US culture war. In the unique US presidential electioneering system, only a few hundred thousand voters in 5-6 “swing states” will eventually decide the next Commander in Chief of the USA and “leader of the free world”, a formula that is less and less used in the multipolar world context.
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Why bother with tenders?
In our local setting, we have commented the controversies surrounding tenders launched by State Owned Enterprises. If tenders can be so comfortably side-stepped without any qualms, on whatever reasons, even good ones, why bother launching international tenders? Is it only to allow some jockey to have full information, precious to winning the race without participating?
The strange departures of the CEB from due diligence of bidders of a photovoltaic farm project requiring mandatorily some 300 acres of land and the permit granted to the winning bidder to say that it did not actually have the land either on sale or lease, has been commented last week. Again one wonders why engineers, accountants and lawyers spend enormous time preparing detailed specifications and tender conditions, if those can be sidestepped with comfortable ease after the bid has been awarded.
Ever since the pandemic’s emergency procedures gave government departments and their controlling Ministers a relatively free run at procurement running at levels of billions of MRU, our entire procurement system seems to have reached a dead end. Major SOEs and other state buyers can be taken off the Central Procurement Board list with little political consequences and several Procurement Officers in different departments can die of suspicious deaths. Many wonder how long will such dysfunctions continue without consequences.
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 29 September 2023
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