OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly kicked off two days of meetings Wednesday at the United Nations to help mobilize a global response to the food security crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Joly met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Rosemary DiCarlo, the undersecretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, before taking part in a ministerial “call to action” on the growing problem of food insecurity around the world.
The meeting, convened by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was dominated by the escalating humanitarian crisis triggered by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, which is about to enter its 13th week.
Prior to the start of the war in late February, the number of people around the world facing a crippling food crisis reached more than 161 million people in 2021, up from 108 million in 2016, Blinken said in his introductory remarks.
The World Bank has estimated the invasion could well drive an additional 40 million more people around the planet into extreme poverty, he added.
“Every driver of the crisis that we’ll discuss today has been made worse by President Putin’s war of choice,” Blinken said. “It’s a crisis that demands a global response.”
Russia has blockaded Ukraine’s ports, stopping exports of wheat and sunflower oil to countries that rely on them in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
“Canada’s approach will be bold: from providing funding at the multilateral level to logistical supply chain support to food inspectors and cargo shipments, we will get involved,” Joly told her fellow delegates.
“We will free Ukrainian grains, and countries will receive their shipments. To the secretary-general, of course, we will support his efforts to find peaceful and lasting solutions to get those grains out.”
Canada will be sending cargo ships to ports in Romania and other European countries neighbouring Ukraine to help it export its wheat — what Joly described in her speech Wednesday as “freedom wheat.”
The UN World Food Program has warned that the conflict has not only driven up the price of grain, making it more expensive to feed the hungry, but could push nations that rely on Ukrainian wheat toward starvation.
Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, with some countries, including Lebanon and Bangladesh, relying on it as a staple food.
“Let me be very clear and to the point: failure to open the ports will be a declaration of war on global food security, resulting in famine, destabilization of nations, as well as mass migration by necessity,” said David Beasley, the former South Carolina governor who now serves as the program’s executive director.
“This is not just about Ukraine. This is about the poorest of the poor around the world who are on the brink of starvation as we speak. So I ask President Putin, if you have any heart at all, to please open these ports.”
Julie Marshall, Canadian spokeswoman for the World Food Program, said Ukraine produces enough to feed about 400 million people around the world. But millions of tons of wheat, much of it bound for developing nations, is sitting in silos and stranded on ships because of the conflict.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Yulia Kovaliv, told a committee of MPs that not only is Russia blockading Ukraine’s ports, it is stealing its grain stores and attempting to ship them to Russian-held Crimea.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has warned that the Russians are also targeting farm machinery and equipment needed to gather and distribute Ukraine’s harvest.
Canada is one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters and has said it will do what it can to help with the shortfall. But Bibeau has said that Canada and the U.S. had a weak harvest last year because of a drought so stocks of grain are lower than usual.
“Our farmers are in the field; planting season has started,” Joly said, describing herself as the granddaughter of a wheat grower and miller. “Let’s hope Mother Nature is on our side.”
She acknowledged that Canada — one of the world’s largest producers of potash, a key ingredient in fertilizer that is also in short supply — has not imposed sanctions on Russian and Belarusian exports the same way that other G7 countries have done.
The government is working on ways to get its own potash to ports around the world, Joly said, and will “chart a path for a long-lasting solution” to the question of sanctions.
On Thursday, Joly will take part in an open debate at the UN Security Council, which the U.S. currently heads, on the links between conflict and food security.
During that debate, Joly will “highlight the need to find long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty, hunger, and conflict, and to increase resilience, especially in the least-developed countries,” Global Affairs Canada said in a release.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.
Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press
India tells Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats: official
Canada needs diplomats in India to help navigate the “extremely challenging” tensions between the two countries, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday in response to demands that Ottawa repatriate dozens of its envoys.
India reportedly wants 41 of 62 Canadian diplomats out of the country by early next week — a striking, if largely anticipated, deepening of the rift that erupted last month following Trudeau’s explosive allegations in the House of Commons.
The prime minister bluntly spoke of “credible” intelligence linking the Indian government to the shooting death in June of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader India has long assailed as a terrorist.
The demand, first reported by the Financial Times, comes less than two weeks after the Indian government first called on Canada to establish “parity in strength and rank equivalence in our diplomatic presence.”
Canada has a much larger diplomatic corps in India, owing in part to the fact it’s a country of 1.4 billion people, compared to 40 million in Canada — about 1.3 million of whom are of Indian origin.
Trudeau would not confirm the reports Tuesday, nor did he sound inclined to acquiesce to India’s request.
“Obviously, we’re going through an extremely challenging time with India right now,” Trudeau said on his way to a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.
“That’s why it’s so important for us to have diplomats on the ground, working with the Indian government, there to support Canadians and Canadian families.”
Canada, he continued, is “taking this extremely seriously, but we’re going to continue to engage responsibly and constructively with the government of India.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said largely the same thing.
“In moments of tension, because indeed there are tensions between both our governments, more than ever it’s important that diplomats be on the ground,” Joly said.
“That’s why we believe in the importance of having a strong diplomatic footprint in India. That being said, we are in ongoing conversations with the Indian government.”
During Tuesday’s daily briefing at the State Department, deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel was at pains to avoid exacerbating tensions any further.
“We are — and continue to be — deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau and we remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners,” Patel said, a message the U.S. has had on repeat for weeks.
“It’s critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice. We also have … publicly and privately urged the Indian government to co-operate in the Canadian investigation and co-operate in those efforts.”
Patel also demurred on the potential impact of an escalating tit-for-tat exchange of diplomatic staff on the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, a key element of U.S. efforts to mitigate China’s growing geopolitical influence.
“I certainly don’t want to get into hypotheticals,” he said. “As it relates to our Indo-Pacific strategy and the focus that we continue to place on the region, that effort and that line of work is going to continue.”
David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, has already confirmed that the allegations were buttressed in part on intelligence gathered by a key ally from the Five Eyes security alliance, which includes the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, along with Canada.
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, confirmed last week that the subject came up in his meetings in Washington, D.C., with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser.
Trudeau’s allegation “was not consistent with our policy,” Jaishankar told a panel discussion Friday hosted by the Hudson Institute.
“If his government had anything relevant and specific they would like us to look into, we were open to looking at it. That’s where that conversation is at this point of time.”
Jaishankar went on to note that the issue of Sikh separatists living in Canada had long been “an issue of great friction,” notably after the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182, the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history.
“In the last few years, it has come back very much into play, because of what we consider to be a very permissive Canadian attitude towards terrorists, extremists, people who openly advocate violence,” Jaishankar said.
“They have been given operating space in Canada because of the compulsions of Canadian politics.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.
With files from Mickey Djuric in Ottawa.
In the news today: Regimental funeral today for B.C. Mountie, NDP victory in Manitoba – National Post
- Deliver and maintain Google services
- Track outages and protect against spam, fraud, and abuse
- Measure audience engagement and site statistics to understand how our services are used and enhance the quality of those services
- Develop and improve new services
- Deliver and measure the effectiveness of ads
- Show personalized content, depending on your settings
- Show personalized ads, depending on your settings
Select “More options” to see additional information, including details about managing your privacy settings. You can also visit g.co/privacytools at any time.
All Flesh Redux
Director’s Notes, Stacey Christodoulou
MONTREAL October, 2023 – Combining polyphonic singing, dance, and theatre, All Flesh REDUX is a poetic journey through time and space. Part sing-a-long, Dadaist performance piece as well as a love letter to our planet, the work enfolds the public in an intimate theatre-in-the-round setting where humour, music, storytelling and movement reign. Bringing together the worlds of medieval composers Guillaume de Machaut, Hildegard von Bingen and modern composer John Cage, the company’s creation contemplates the unknowable past and the unimaginable future, and asks what acts of faith are possible in an uncertain world. October 13-22, seating is limited.
Director Stacey Christodoulou: “We could never imagine that the themes we spoke about in 2019 would become reality. In a certain way the show was prophetic. However, I believe that the message of creating beauty as a form of resistance is even more important now. The weaving of medieval song, contemporary dance and text continues our company’s interdisciplinary approach and reminds us that throughout history people have responded to turmoil with innovation and art.”
With: ENSEMBLE ALKEMIA (Jean-François Daignault, Dorothéa Ventura and Leah Weitzner), Stéphanie Fromentin, Erin Lindsay, Vanessa Schmit-Craan, Lael Stellick
Musical direction by Jean-François Daignault; scenograpy by Amy Keith; sound by Debbie Doe; costumes by Cathia Pagotto; lighting by David Perreault Ninacs and technical stage coordination by Birdie Gregor.
All Flesh REDUX
Studio Jean Valcourt du Conservatoire
4750, avenue Henri-Julien
Dates: Friday, Oct., 13, Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8pm; Sunday Oct. 14 at 3pm
Wednesday, October 18-Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8pm; Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3pm
Tickets/514 873-4032: $20, Students/Seniors: $15
Seating is limited
About THE OTHER THEATRE
Formed in 1991 by Artistic Director Stacey Christodoulou, The Other Theatre is devoted to contemporary creation. Working bilingually, their award-wining work has included adaptations, installations, theatre texts, and collectively written material performed in numerous venues in Montreal and abroad, including theatres, galleries, as well as a moving elevator.
Drawing inspiration from art forms other than theatre – dance, cinema, science, architecture, and the visual arts – the company presents evocative performances, grounded by thought-provoking texts. From a creole Macbeth, to sci-fi with polyphonic singing, to the horror of H.P. Lovecraft, their original creations are thrilling and visually striking. They have also presented the work of International and Canadian writers, giving them their French-language premieres in Quebec. Exploring the large existential issues of the time, The Other Theatre aims to move audiences to greater emotional connection and reflection, bridging communities and languages to create a hybrid theatre that is reflective of the cultural richness of Montreal. They value and foster artistic exchange, both locally and internationally and share their artistic process in Canada, the US, Europe and Mexico, through mentorships, workshops and cultural mediation in local communities and schools.
Toronto real estate plunges into 'buyers market' as sales slow and listings surge – Financial Post
India tells Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats: official
BofA analyst calls Canadian bank stocks a ‘dicey proposition’
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Business16 hours ago
GO Transit rail service expected to resume Wednesday after network outage
Art17 hours ago
Volkswagen faces heat over post involving Indigenous art installation in Hamilton
Business18 hours ago
Bank of Canada warns of inflation ‘feedback loop’
News15 hours ago
Migrant workers launch campaign and class action lawsuit alleging violations of fundamental human rights at the Montreal airport
News23 hours ago
Trudeau says he’s ‘not looking to escalate’ tensions as India reportedly tells 41 Canadian diplomats to leave
Business14 hours ago
Constant price hikes are making inflation worse, Bank of Canada deputy says in speech
News22 hours ago
Canada’s immigration department is undergoing major changes
Art19 hours ago
How to tell if your ART test kit has expired and if you can still use it