Justin Trudeau

Strikes Continue as Canada Post Goes Into Chaos and CUPW Requests for a Mediator

The Canadian postal workers Union recently asked the federal government to appoint a mediator for all contractual communications with Canada Post as it refused the Crown Corporation’s latest offer.

The Union made this request in the late hours of Saturday only minutes before the deadline was passed on all Canada Post time-sensitive proposals that were required to cease rotating strikes; thereby, affecting the approximate 42,000 urban staff members and 8,000 suburban and rural postal carriers.

Source:mymcmurray.com

As a result of the strikes alternative shipping services like Secureship.ca are being bombarded with new customers. Secure Ship spokesperson Sandy Ahluwalia said, “Although we welcome the new customers and dramatic increases in new shipping orders, we do worry for all the affected businesses, workers and families who as a result of the strikes may lose jobs, customers and at worst their business.”

Patty Hajdu, the official spokeswoman for the Labour Minister, refused to comment on whether Ottawa would oblige the postal workers’ request stating only that this is a positive sign of both parties continuing to work together to find a resolution.

Veronique Simard stated in an email that they are encouraged of talks being continued to consider all the options available in a pursuit of finding a solution.

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, weighed in with a last-minute request to both parties on Saturday night only a few hours before the final deadline at midnight regarding the Crown Corporation’s offer.  In one of his Twitter posts, Trudeau cited the arrival of the holiday shopping season urging both parties to resolve their differences speedily and reach a resolution.

However, as the deadline for offers expires, the Union of Canadian Postal Workers has issued a statement saying that it had responded by giving the Crown Corporation a list of global offers addressing their [the postal workers] demands and needs.

The CUPW stated on Friday that the new proposals from Canada Post was helping to make positive steps, but this was not enough to cease the cycling strikes which have closed all postal workings in over 200 communities; thereby, creating an outstanding amount of backlog in the undelivered post.  The Union said they would not present the offers to their members, yet both parties continue to sit at the bargaining tables.

Source:nsnews.com

When the deadline passed on Saturday night, Canada Post indicated that they were determining the following steps.  The Retail Council of Canada has now urged Ottawa to bring an end to the strikes using a back-to-work legal regulation.

Diane Brisebois, the council president, described in her letter to Prime Minister Trudeau that as retail merchants, the workforce of approximately two million and consumers will now enter the busiest period of the year bringing the postal system to a near-halt.

Earlier in the week, eBay Canada contacted the government to discuss an end to the discussion before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events begin as they are linked to the USA’s holiday Thanksgiving.

The Prime Minister stated last week that all of the options would be available to cease postal disruptions if no progress in bargaining was seen.

An anonymous government source stated that decisions to end the job strikes by Canada’s postal workers might present as early as Sunday with the use of legislation being part of “all options” mentioned by the Prime Minister.

Trump To Get Played By Putin?

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It has been confirmed that the US President Donald Trump will meet Russian President, Vladimir Putin on July 16, in Helsinki. This summit comes at an awkward moment when America is pretty much destroying its long-built relations with allies all over the world.

All this is happening while the US intelligence agencies are claiming that Moscow has meddled with 2016 elections from one side, and from the other, Trump tweeting: “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” POTUS also said numerous times how there was no foul play by Kremlin.

Just before Trump goes to meet with Putin, he will sit down with 29 members of NATO for talks that will be held in Brussels. America wants other members to spend more money on the military alliance needs, but that is not all. NATO was created in 1949 since West needed something that would counter Moscow influence both politically and more importantly military. Many, Trump included, are questioning the missions of the alliance.

If we take a look at the economic aspect of Trump’s politics, it is clear that leaving the G-7 meeting in such manner like POTUS did, might not be beneficial for the US or its allies. What many noticed is that Trump, later on, talked about the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, as someone who is “very dishonest and weak.” And if you remember, he praised Kim Jong Un, North Korean Dictator. Something similar could happen with Putin, as we do expect for him to be praised by his American colleague.

Source:rte.ie

It has been clear for so many years that no country can prosper alone, and therefore, everyone needs allies. As a result of that, both NATO and G-7 were created, and now, some of the moves that were made by Trump are threatening to destabilize these two organizations giving more room for Moscow and Beijing to increase their influence on the world scene.

Looking at the relationship that POTUS has with other world leaders, it seems that he is getting along far better with Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin than with any of the US-allied leaders. With the summit between the two leaders, Putin will get praises from his counterpart thus significantly improving his and Russia’s image after annexing Crimea, military conflict in Syria, and tampering with the US elections, all that happened in the last few years.

Another thing that Putin will want is the relief from US sanctions and while we don’t think that this will happen, improving the relationship between Washington and Moscow will certainly help them.

There are several topics that will be cowered by Trump and Putin, and those include Syria, Crimea, Ukraine, sanctions, arms race, etc.

Source: newyorker.com

If Donald Trump Breaks NAFTA, North America Will Connect Through Sports

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The World Cup is underway, and Mexico surprised everyone by defeating Germany, the reigning champions. The people in Mexico City celebrated the victory, and they created a small artificial earthquake, and this tremor was registered on seismographic sensors.

Meanwhile, the United States national team didn’t qualify for the World Cup, but there were celebrations in many of the United States cities as well. Many Americans are supporting the Mexican national soccer team, and according to Sports Illustrated, they are calling it “America’s other team.”

The relationship between the United States, Mexico, and Canada keep improving, and they will host the World Cup in 2026, showing the world that the three countries have become partners on the global stage. But is it like that in the other aspects of life not named sports?

The governments of these countries are on the brink of a trade war. So far, they have been glued together with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the US president Donald Trump has firmly decided to renegotiate the “worst trade agreement ever.” The negotiations stalled and instead of coming to a joint solution, Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada.

The days before the World Cup announcement, Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a talk in which Trump called Trudeau “weak and dishonest” when Trudeau justified his decision for retaliatory tariffs. And this was nothing compared to what Trump had to say about the Mexican immigrants who are trying to cross the border and enter the United States.

Source:nationalreview.com

With the World Cup in North America approaching, three countries are becoming closer, but they have never been so distant as well. Even though it is a bit contradictory, these are the facts. Over the last few decades, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have become intertwined to the measure nobody saw it coming. Mexico and Canada are the main export markets for the United States, and they account for around 33 percent of the US trade.

Not many could predict this, but the three countries have turned into one, North American market. Some industries such as cars and appliances are now North American – they are not Canadian, Mexican or from the USA specifically. The production takes place all across the continent, and every country is doing their part. Cars and appliances especially are built by the people of North America, and you cannot find a product which has the personal print of one country only.

This integration of economy is just one of the reasons why the United States became competent in manufacturing. But the production has risen in Canada and Mexico as well, which helped raise wages, pushing many people to the almost non-existent middle class. As you can see, the three countries have been working diligently to improve their economic status and elevate their industries, but their societies also grew fond of each other. And this is seen through sports.

For instance, the National Hockey League has taken place in both Canada and Mexico, while the Major League Baseball has always included at least one Canadian team. Starting from this years, games will be played in Mexico and the first squads to have the privilege are San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers who will go against each other in Monterrey. Furthermore, the National Basketball Association has had a Canadian team as well, and the clubs from the NBA started playing games in Mexico in 2017. Let’s not forget about the National Football League where teams played in Canada from 2008 to 2013, and they also had regular-season games in Mexico City.

Meanwhile, soccer has always been a popular sport in entire North America. Mexicans have been passionate about it for decades, and that passion spilled over to the United States and Canada, countries that are facing a growing interest in popularity of the sport. Moreover, a lot of European stars crossed the continent and played for the MLS teams, and it all started with David Beckham, just recently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic came to the States.

The cultural ties between the United States and Canada are not surprising at all considering that the two countries have the same heritage as former British colonies. Many of these connections had been established before the NAFTA was signed. The people speak the same language, and their economic development is on a similar level. However, the cultural ties between the US and Mexico are growing, and this was something nobody could assume would happen. The two nations have a different history, and the people are not even speaking the same language. Furthermore, legal systems of the two countries differ and the United States is far more progressive than Mexico.

However, by cooperating, the two countries managed to overcome the differences and grow together. Sure, there are still gaps to be filled and issues to be solved, but Mexico and the US have never been closer than they are today. And this also had a positive impact on the relationship between Canada and Mexico.

More than 10 percent of people living in the United States are of Mexican descent whereas almost 2 million US residents are living and working in Mexico. The culture of the two countries, although initially different, connected the people and what they need to realize is that their country’s economies are tied together, and they will grow or decrease together. Also, let’s not forget about the Oscars. The last four out of five Oscars for the best director went to Mexican filmmakers, and that only shows that culture knows no borders.

And then politics meddled in. It is too early to tell whether the tariffs imposed by the US president Donald Trump will be just the obstacle countries will be able to overcome, or it will leave permanent consequences on the relations between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico. The negotiations to reinvent NAFTA so that it will be more in favor of the US are going to be tough, and even though Canada and Mexico have been the friends of America, they will not give up every benefit they have from the current trade agreement just to please Trump.

Source:alwaght.com

NAFTA is going to survive in one form or another. But we cannot assume what POTUS’ next move is, and he can always pull the United States out of the deal, which would be disastrous for every country involved. So many companies have made major investments in join manufacturing all around the continent and to break these ties suddenly would cost those companies money, and people would lose jobs. Furthermore, all three countries would lose competitiveness and the connections they have been making in the past decades.

Even if NAFTA ceased to exist, this wouldn’t stop the three countries from staying culturally interwoven. When looking at the future of these nations, there is the light at the end of the tunnel. Current trade tariffs will end at some point whether Trump decides to abandon them or the people are bound to wait for the next US president. The 2026 North American World Cup is taking place, and it is the event that will rejoice the entire continent and show the world how close Canada, Mexico, and the United States actually are.

Source: foreignpolicy.com

Trump Imposes New Trade Tariffs on Canada, Invokes 1812 War

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President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the new tariffs that are imposed on steel and aluminum imports from Canada. According to one of the sources familiar with the conversation, POTUS invoked a historical reference that was wrong.

The sources claim that Trudeau was opposing Trump, grilling him about justifying the tariffs as a “national security” issue. Trump responded: “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812.

The problem with this is that it has nothing to do with the tariffs. Also, the statement was incorrect because it was the British troops who burned down the White House in 1812. The British army had to do something after the Americans attacked York, Ontario, so they invaded Washington.

Source:mediaite.com

One source was asked whether this was meant to be a joke and he responded: “To the degree, one can ever take what is said as a joke. The impact on Canada and ultimately on workers in the US won’t be a laughing matter.” Meanwhile, the White House restrained from commenting, and although CNN requested an answer, the National Security Council didn’t give it immediately.

According to National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, there are some short-term tensions between the United States and its Northern neighbor, but despite this conversation, the two countries remain “very good.” Kudlow said: “I have no doubt that the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short-term disagreements may occur.”

Trudeau denounced the “national security” justification in the interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. He said: “The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable.”

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chystia Freeland was perplexed by Trump’s comments. Freeland said: “And I would just say to all of Canada’s American friends — and there are so many — seriously? Do you really believe that Canada, that your NATO allies, represent a national security threat to you?”

Source:businessinsider.com

As a Corker spokeswoman told CNN, Freeland met with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker in order to express her concerns regarding the new tariffs. Corker questioned Trump’s policy and his ridiculous justification. “There is no reason to use this provision to consider imposing tariffs on the automobile industry, and this appears to be either an attempt to affect domestic politics ahead of the election or for some other transactional purpose regarding ongoing trade discussions. This is a dangerous course and should be abandoned immediately,” Corker said in the statement.

As expected, POTUS wrote on Twitter, defending his decision on the newly-imposed tariffs. He said: “The United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on trade.” One of the senior administration officials didn’t want to discuss details of the conversation, but Trump and Trudeau definitely had heated moments and confrontations. The official said: “It’s understandable that change causes friction.”

Just a few months ago, Trump promised Trudeau that Northern neighbor would be exempt from the new tariffs, as the Canadian officials confirm to CNN. At one point, the US granted Canada and Mexico a reprieve from tariffs as the three countries are trying to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement known as NAFTA.

Source:thenational.ae

Trump said that it was concerning that the Chinese steel and aluminum arrives in Canada first and from there, it is shipped to the United States. Meanwhile, the Canadian prime minister announced increased funding and border vigilance “to prevent transshipment and diversion of unfairly priced foreign steel and aluminum into the North American market.”

The officials from Ottawa thought that this would satisfy the US president, granting them a permanent exemption from taxation. One of the Canadian officials said that they were just trying to “keep Trump happy” just ahead of the G7 Summit in Quebec. In the meantime, Trudeau didn’t want to comment Trump’s invocation of the 1812 War.

Source: edition.cnn.com

If America’s Frist, where is Canada?

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Repeated statements made by the United States President Donald Trump that he will make America Frist, especially when it comes to trade, has left its northern neighbor worried.

The United States is Canada’s number one trade partner and any disruption in the cross-border trade are bound to have a significant effect on Canada’s economy. Even threats of dissolving NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), signed in 1998, was enough to cause turbulence on Canada’s stock market. Mr. Trump once called NAFTA “the worst trade deal ever made,” yet he agreed to enter negotiations to renew the agreement. The first deadline for the adoption of the new NAFTA was set for May 1st, but negotiating teams failed to meet it. The new date is set for July 1st, and all three sides are working fervently in order to get things done by then.

“There is positive momentum, but as we all know it won’t be done until it’s done,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Source:uk.businessinsider.com

Despite Mr. Trudeau’s optimism, there are some people in Canada who remained worried. Milk industry representatives are among those who fear that new NAFTA will end a long-standing policy of guaranteed price for Canadian milk and steep tariffs for imported ones. Mr. Trump has particularly mentioned this system as an example of Canadians exploiting their southern neighbors through this deal.

Another sector that is under attack is logging industry. For years, Americans have argued that Canada is subsidizing its loggers by charging only minimal fees for logging on public land. Donald Trump’s administration took this one step further and imposed import tariffs of more than 20% on Canadian softwood lumber. According to Susan Yurkovich, of the British Columbia Lumber Trade Council, the only reason that industry is alive is a high demand from the United States and that any hint of the market slowing down would spell disaster for Canadian loggers.

All these have left a mark on the Canadian economy, according to Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. Too much uncertainty has even forced some investors to abandon their plans and instead of in Canada, invest south of the border, especially in the lights of tax cuts Mr. Trump introduced recently. Considering that the trade between two countries totaled $674 billion last year, it is easy to see why any turbulence could cause a massive loss of money and jobs. That is why Mr. Trudeau and his associates are spending a lot of time in Washington, trying to charm American officials into accepting the new NAFTA.

Source:netivist.org

Canadians are not the only ones pushing for the new deal. Many Americans share their opinion that NAFTA is an excellent agreement and that it should be renewed, even Republicans who are pro-trade are trying to pressure Mr. Trump into accepting it. With the new deal signed, temporary restrictions granted to Canada’s steel and aluminum manufacturers would probably become permanent, which is vital for many communities in Canada, especially Hamilton in Ontario, whose steel industry employs more than 10,000 people in the area.

Source: bbc.com

Can Mexico and Canada Persuade Trump to sign NAFTA?

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Donald Trump had a memorable presidential campaign. It was something we have never seen, and he attacked and trounced his political opponents – every last one of them. Even “Crooked Hillary” didn’t manage to beat Trump despite being the front-runner. But one of the things Trump complained about in the campaign were trade deals and two of them in particular – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). About the latter, he said that it was “the worst trade deal ever signed.”

When he became president, Mr. Trump immediately removed America from TPP, but it appears that he realized it was a bad move. He expressed his remorse for withdrawing, and he wants to get back into the club. On the other hand, in prolonged talks with Canada, the possibility that America comes to the agreement about the NAFTA deal has been born. But will Trump agree to put his name on “the worst trade deal ever signed?”

Source:nationalhogfarmer.com

According to CNBC, the representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico are meeting on April 20th for the talks which will last for two weeks, as Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative said. Trump managed to irritate both Canada and Mexico with his crazy demands and “America First” policy, but what’s good for him is that America’s neighbors are exempted from the new steel while aluminum tariffs are imposed as well.

This entire process is questionable, and there is still a long way to go for the US to sign the NAFTA. Flavio Volpe, who represents Canadian auto parts makers told Bloomberg that “on balance, we may be close enough . . . to get a deal done.” However, there are many issues which remained unresolved, and some of them include cars and agriculture, to name a few.

According to the Bank of Canada, the NAFTA remains in its initial form, but they warned that “a wide range of outcomes are still possible for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.” Last year when this deal was discussed both Mexico and Canada got a sense that America was the only one that would come out as the winner of the deal and they thought so for a reason. For the NAFTA deal to work, there must be a win-win-win situation. Otherwise, one of the countries will withdraw from the talks. Meanwhile, Lighthizer will have difficulties in Congress due to differences in opinions. Free-trade advocates, such as Kevin Brady, and skeptics such as Bill Pascrell will have to see the benefits of this deal, and it will be difficult for America’s Trade Representative to bridge a gap so wide.

Source:huffingtonpost.ca

In all this, Trump remains the biggest problem. Although he bragged that he could strike much better deals, he keeps struggling with the trade agreements. Furthermore, let’s not forget that he boasted about lying to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As if that isn’t enough already, he is constantly posting on Twitter statements which are false, and he cannot differentiate between a trade deficit and a surplus. Not only is he tweeting inaccurate things about the relationship with Canada, but he also does so with the relationship between the US and China or the US and Mexico. Trump will have to realize that deals such as NAFTA are important for this country, but with him involved in the process, the American neighbors will have to pray that he has one of the “good days.”

The whole “America First” philosophy can cost this country a great deal in the future. Trade agreements are slowly collapsing, and we will see the true value of such deals once they are gone.

Source: vanityfair.com