In The News This Week – Sep 4, 2016

With the PM wrapping up his pre-G20 visit to China and some interesting headlines on the home front, don’t miss out on the top #Cdnpoli stories from this week:

1.The PM was in China this past week along with key Ministers. Canada-China relations were up-and-down under the Harper government, and it remains to be seen whether this will really change under Trudeau. As an economic powerhouse, Chinese business is extremely important to Canadian business. But that can come at a cost of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses. Here is a recap of the visit and the main outcomes:

  • Business Agreements: 56 contracts were signed between Chinese and Canadian firms, worth a total of $1.2 billion. Canadian firms were opened up to supplying products to Alibaba, the China-based Amazon rival.  Not so successful were the efforts to get China to reduce its strict import laws around canola – a significant Canadian export to China. – CBCGlobe and Mail
  • Trade Agreements: No free trade agreement was expected to be reached this week, but it was confirmed that “Canada and China will launch a feasibility study on an eventual free-trade deal.” – Globe and Mail
  • Tourism: Both countries asserted their dedication to the trend of increasing tourism between the nations. For Canada’s part, they will open 7 new visa offices in China to support the efforts. – CBC
  • Human Rights: The PM used one of his speeches to a Shanghai business crowd to call out the benefits of free expression, human rights and gender equality – all of which are noticeably lacking in China. To Amnesty International and the family of jailed Canadian Kevin Garratt, this is not enough. –   CBC
  • Photo Op: Never one to miss an opportunity for a photo op – the PM’s trip was complete with a visit to the Great Wall, opportunity to coach a high school basketball team alongside Yao Ming, and check out a local business run by fellow Montrealer. – Globe and Mail

2. China and the US have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, an exciting step forward for the agreement. “The signal of the two large emitters taking this step together and taking it early, far earlier than people had anticipated a year ago, should give confidence to the global communities and to other countries that are working on their climate change plans, that they too can move quickly and will be part of a global effort” – Reuters

3. Conservative MP Kellie Leitch, who has thrown her name in the hat for the party’s leadership, released a quiz to her supporters in which she asked whether immigrants to Canada should be screened for anti-Canadian values. Good idea? Bad idea? She is being challenged by Canadians and fellow MPs across the country  for this but has defended the decision, saying “Screening potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values that include intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations, violent and/or misogynist behaviour and/or a lack of acceptance of our Canadian tradition of personal and economic freedoms is a policy proposal that I feel very strongly about.” – Global NewsCBCCBC – Opinion

4. As the first month under the new foreign home buyers tax in BC comes to a close, it looks to have succeeded in tempering the market. Home sales have dropped 22.8%, and average sales prices are showing a decline. – Financial Post

5. Restricted gun ownership increased by 9.5% last year across Canada. The increase is thought to be driven by the “trend in the United States with this growing market, with all kinds of marketing and advertising and so on, is naturally just pushing the same trend in Canada and we see growth in restricted firearms licences as a result.” – CBC


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week

Source: Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

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