Toronto, May 17 (Canadian-Media): A Special Issue of Canada Watch “Mapping Pathways for Canada-India Collaborations- Preserve, Share and Explore” was officially launched on May 15 by Professor Ashwin Joshi, Director of the MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business, in the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), in collaboration with the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and the York Centre for Asian Research, at 924 The East Mall, Etobicoke, Ontario from 3 pm - 5 pm.
This Special Issue of Canada Watch, part of the research conducted by members of the Canada-India Project for Research and Innovation (CIPRI) or York University aims to highlight existing research and collaboration between Canada and India.
Pramod Goyal, president of ICCC, officially welcomed all the columnists, the panelists, other members of York University present there as well as the audience on behalf of all the ICCC stakeholders, sponsors, media partners.
Devika Penekelapati, VP & Corp Sec, Pramod Goyal, Pres & Board Chair, ICCC ICCC
Goyal also thanked Professor Kundu for taking the initiative for this project. Goyal said ICCC had been promoting Canada-India relationships in all sectors for several decades and now this relationship has to move forward. Canada and India have taken several strides for bilateral relationships in different sectors, but there are still several untagged areas for future cooperation and collaboration. Tremendous work has to be done by both countries to promote Canada brands in India and vice versa.
Official launch of the special issue of Canada-Watch was done by Professor Ashwin Joshi, Director of the MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business.
The Columnists were as follows:
The panelists were as follows:
Other important members present during this event were as follows:
Some other important members present were shown in the following group photos.
#UnitedNations; #hateSpeech; #UNAllianceofCivilizations; #UNClimateSummit
United Nations, May 14 (Canadian-Media/UN): On a three-day visit to New Zealand, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres paid his respects to the victims of the horrific mosque attacks in Christchurch, where dozens of Muslims were gunned down in two separate incidents during Friday prayers on 15 March, UN reports said.
Image Credit: MUN Photo/Mark Garten: The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, lays a wreath at one of two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where worshipers were shot dead in March 2019. (May 2019)
Calling for solidarity to counter the recent upsurge in hate speech, the UN chief visited both Linwood Mosque, where he laid a wreath, and Al Noor mosque. On 15 March, a lone gunman killed 51 people at the two places of worship while livestreaming the attacks on social media.
At Al Noor mosque on Tuesday, Mr. Guterres told the Muslim community that while there were no words to relieve the hurt and sorrow and pain, “I wanted to come here personally to transmit love, support and total and complete admiration.”
He said that like so many around the world, he had been moved by the poignant stories of compassion and grace from Christchurch.
“But in many ways, I was not surprised. This community reflected a spirit that I have always known to be deeply embedded in Islam – a faith of love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy,” he said.
He recalled that as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, he had seen witness the generosity of Muslim countries opening their borders to people in distress in a world where so many other borders are closed.
“This is in line with what I regard as the most beautiful prescription for refugee protection in world history. It is found in the Surah Al-Tawbah of the Holy Quran: ‘And if anyone seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he can hear the words of Allah. Then escort him where he can be secure,’” quoted Mr. Guterres.
He also recalled that during a visit to Cairo last month, he had been honoured to meet the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and had thanked him for his recent interfaith meeting with Pope Francis in the United Arab Emirates. The declaration signed by the two leaders calls on people of faith to recognize and respect one another and work together for the good of humanity.
“We must stand together in this period of difficulties,” said the UN chief, adding that: “Hate speech is spreading and public discourse is being coarsened. Social media is being exploited as a platform for bigotry. We must all show solidarity in response to this dangerous upsurge in hatred.”
There is no room for hate speech
The Secretary-General spotlighted two recent initiatives he has set in motion two initiatives, respectively to protect holy sites and to address hate speech.
He has asked the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites.
Meanwhile, Mr. Guterres has also asked his Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to bring together a UN team to scale up our response to hate speech and present a global plan of action.
“Hate speech is spreading like wildfire in social media. We must extinguish it,” said the Secretary-General, declaring: “There is no room for hate speech – online or offline.”
Again quoting the Holy Quran, he said: ‘We … made you into races and tribes so that you may know one another.’
Thanking the Christchurch Muslim community “for doing what you’re doing to help us better know each other – and see our shared humanity,” Mr. Guterres said: “In these trying times, I am here to say with a full heart: You are not alone. The world is with you. The United Nations is with you. I am with you.”
The Secretary-General's visit to New Zealand is part of a tour of the Pacific Island States in which the urgent issue of climate change figures strongly. On Wednesday, he will address the Pacific Islands Form, being held this year in Fiji, before moving on to stops in Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Mr. Guterres is convening a major UN Climate Summit to be held at UN Headquarters in New York in September.
#ThomasPiketty; #present-daywealthinequality; #prehistoricMediterranean;
#anthropologicalarchaeology; #ThomasLeppard; #societalhierarchies; #FloridaStateUniversity
Florida (U.S.), May 11 (Canadian-Media): A theory by Thomas Piketty, a renowned economist, on present-day wealth inequality explains a lot about how smaller-scale societies in the prehistoric Mediterranean developed, research of a professor from Florida State University (FSU) suggests, Science X Newsletter reports said.
While progress of economic conditions can slow the rate of wealth inequality and low-growth can accelerate it, says Piketty's theory.
In a new study, Thomas Leppard, FSU Assistant Professor of Anthropology argues that certain hierarchical Mediterranean societies from about 3500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. fall into this low-growth context described by Piketty .
Leppard's research is published in the journal Current Anthropology.
The reason Mediterranean societies could not reach the levels of societies in richer environments throughout the Old World, argues Leppard, was due to their development in zones that were not prime for agriculture provided opportunities.
Similarly In high-growth environments of larger, urban societies located in Mesopotamia, or near the Nile and the Yellow rivers, income inequality was slow to occur, suggests Leppard.
"We know that agriculture was, to an extent, vital for the emergence of urban and 'state' societies," Leppard said.
Piketty's theory, says Leppard, illustrates how very different conditions can drive similar social outcomes, and this challenges some current models in anthropological archaeology on how societal hierarchies developed.
"Ultimately, if very different processes can drive the appearance of societies that appear structurally similar, we're going to have to start thinking about multiple pathways to societies that we like to think of in one category," Leppard said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, May 10 (Canadian-Media): A Special Issue of Canada Watch “Mapping Pathways for Canada-India Collaborations- Preserve, Share and Explore” would be launched by The Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and the York Centre for Asian Research, at 924 The East Mall, Etobicoke from 3 pm - 5 pm, media reports said.
Every body is cordially invited to this event. The agenda for this event is attached.
This Special Issue of Canada Watch is part of the research conducted by members of the Canada-India Project for Research and Innovation (CIPRI) with the aim to highlight existing research and collaboration between Canada and India.
The members have used an interdisciplinary approach in their articles to highlight comparative perspectives from Indian and Canadian academics, scholars and policy makers.
To articulate the factors underpinning success, as well as to identify hurdles and challenges, these articles also throw light on ways to enhance the scope of cooperation and engagement between the two nations.
Besides recognizing future possibilities and emerging opportunities between Canada and India, this publication also strives to bring together ideas to develop appropriate and relevant policies to changing and challenging circumstances.
The event will be followed by networking and High Tea.
Please register here.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#French-LanguageEducation; #Ontario; #PrioritiesandPartnershipsFund; #LisaThompson
Ottawa, May 9 (Canadian-Media): An investment of $19.41 million in several projects and initiatives would be made by Ontario government to support students, parents and teachers in French-language schools to help provide healthy, safe and accessible learning environments for students, media reports said.
This investment is part of the new $330 million Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF) to promote high impact initiatives that directly support students in the classroom.
"We continue to take action to protect what matters most to Franco-Ontarian families by putting them first," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. "Every Franco-Ontarian family in this province should feel supported when it comes to ensuring their child has access to a meaningful and modern education."
PPF funding will support a wide range of projects and initiatives including: assisting French-language school boards to implement initiatives in French-language schools in Ontario, engaging students to develop their sense of belonging to the French-language school system and their community; supporting six French-language school boards; Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) meetings organized regionally by French-language school boards to support SHSM programs in schools, share expertise and encourage networking among school boards; Funding for Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA) to promote the success of French-language students with special needs.
"Education for Francophone students in Ontario is imperative, and I am proud of the work our government is doing to support students and families in our French-language education system," said Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education. "We will continue to work with our education partners to ensure French-language education continues to thrive in our province."
A $50-million Canadian-owned art collection is up for U.S. auction despite its cultural significance
Works from the estate of Montreal’s Arnold and Blema Steinberg are headed for international auction this month amid a debate about how much authority the federal government should have over keeping art in Canada. A new law allows Ottawa to block the export of important art older than 50 years; some of the major pieces from the Steinberg collection only turn 50 this year. (for subscribers)
Sotheby’s is billing the art, including two pieces by U.S. abstractionist Mark Rothko, as the most important collection of colour-field painting ever to come to auction. The estate is also selling off Canadian art by the likes of Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku
#UN; #culturalAgency; #UNESCO; #SDGs; #UNICEF; #UNDP
Exclusion and deep inequality will forever thwart “long-lasting peace and sustainable development”, a high-level official from the United Nations (UN) cultural agency said on Thursday at the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue.
Image Credit: Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Azerbaijan: Night time view of Baku, Azerbaijan.
If societies are not inclusive, they will be weaker, less resilient and more vulnerable to violence”, Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), told the High-level Panel at the UN-backed conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.
She underscored the need to not only fight against social, economic and political inequalities, but also to change mindsets, which aligns perfectly with UNESCO’s mandate “to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women”.
While the agency’s mission “has not aged a day”, she acknowledged that “we have to follow a fast-changing world”.
According to Ms. Al-Nashif, this puts in question the relevance of old institutions to tackle current challenges, such as violent extremism, the migrant and refugee crisis, and the rise of hate speech in social media.
Citing events “from Sri Lanka to Libya, and in many spots in-between”, she said that the UN will be strengthening the role of diplomacy and dialogue.
“This calls for revitalized partnerships – from Member States to the private sector, from universities to civil society – so that we can work together to build innovative projects for inclusion, to scale our impact on the ground”, she asserted.
A new focus must be concentrated on building resilience, preventing conflict, learning lessons and empowering individuals with new skills that pay “particular attention and support” to young people.
“In a world where ignorance of ‘the other’ is on the rise, we must more than ever find new ways to empower young women and men as change-makers in their communities, providing them with the necessary skills and intercultural competences to become engaged global citizens, who promote peace in their everyday life”, she underscored.
According to Ms. Al-Nashif, a UNESCO priority is to promote girls’ education, because “access to and the quality of educational opportunities for girls remain major issues”, constraining their transformative power to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
“The Baku Forum is an outstanding opportunity to reaffirm the principles and practices of inclusive dialogue for more effective and more impactful multilateralism”, she concluded.
A passion for tourism“Tourism is my passion”, said Manuel Butler Halter, Executive Director of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it is “a matter of the heart”.
“I believe that tourism is a facilitator of intercultural understanding and peace” because it makes people more open-minded, he said, adding that meeting people from diverse backgrounds and different cultures “helps us to see ourselves from a different perspective”.
It also fosters trust because “we realize that despite the cultural difference, all humans really are the same”, he continued.
Tourism is a facilitator of intercultural understanding and peace. Meeting people from diverse backgrounds and different cultures helps us to see ourselves from a different perspective – UNWTO Executive Director Manuel Butler Halter
Finally, the UNWTO official credited tourism for making us “more creative because learning about other cultures forces us to think differently and consider new ideas”.
And so, Mr. Halter deduced that “the more people travel, the more inclusive our societies become”.
He did, however, acknowledge that uncoordinated tourism can harm the environment, which is why UNWTO promotes sustainable tourism, in line with the SDGs.
Because “tourism by its nature”, has links with many fields, from trade and social development to environmental protection, security and health, Mr. Halter expressed certainty that it could “directly or indirectly contribute to all of the 17 SDGs”.
Highlighting SDG 8, on decent work and economic growth, he said that globally, one-in-10 jobs is connected to the tourism industry. With tourism also accounting for more than 40 per cent of half of the poorest countries’ GDPs, he stressed “I think it is key to include locals in the value chain”.
Economy, youth and exclusion
Evinj Hasanova, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Economy, spoke about how the young nation has reduced poverty from almost 42 per cent to five per cent.
“This is less than in some developed countries with more economic resources and GDP per capital”, she told the panel.
Inspired by the comprehensiveness of SDGs, she spoke at length on how her government has nationalized the goals, including by creating a high-level Council to coordinate their implementation.
“And we have started the process with the UN residential office,” she said.
For his part, Aaron Greenberg, Senior Regional Advisor for Europe and Central Asia, Child Protection at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), underscored the importance of investing in early childhood development.
Noting that the investment does not have to be in monetary terms, Mr. Greenberg stressed that children must be raised in a way that prevents them from suffering psychological disorders later in life that would perpetuate a cycle of violence and poverty
“I do not believe there is any other way that is surefire than investing in younger children today for getting equitable outcomes in the future”, he stressed.
Meanwhile George Bouma, Head of Sustainable Development in the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Istanbul Regional Hub, spoke about underlying causes of inequalities that are creating “a crisis of opportunities”.
He painted a picture of exclusion and mounting inequality fueled by an increase in populism and flawed political systems globally, attributing rising disenfranchisement to political, economic and social factors.
“The private sector has a role to play in creating jobs and moving people from the social welfare system to more productive employment”, he said.
#UN; #WorldPressFreedomDay; #UNESCO; #freedomofexpression; #AudreyAzoulay
United Nations, May 2 (Canadian-Media/UN): At a time when disinformation and mistrust of the news media is growing, a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights”, said the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, in his message for World Press Freedom Day, marked on Friday, UN reports said.
No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information, said António Guterres, describing unfettered journalism as “the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power.”
This years commemorations which began on Thursday across the world, are focussing on the powerful role that good reporting plays in championing democracy and free elections, when disinformation is becoming a larger problem in even the world’s oldest and most sophisticated democratic systems.
“Facts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives”, said the UN chief, noting that “while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred.”
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), almost 100 journalists were killed going about their work in 2018, with hundreds imprisoned. A total of 1,307 journalists were killed between 1994, and last year.
Mr. Guterres said he was “deeply troubled by the growing number of attacks and the culture of impunity…When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.”
Facts must win out: UNESCO chief Azoulay
The head of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, said in her message for the day that it was essential to “guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information, based on factual truths.”
She said societies which value a free press, needed to “constantly vigilant. We must act together to protect the freedom of expression and safety of journalists”.
A free media is a “prerequisite” for the proper functioning of democracies, she added: “Independent journalism provides an opportunity to present facts to citizens and to form an opinion. Press freedom guarantees transparent societies where everyone can access information”.
Among the commemorative events that got underway on Thursday, were a global conference on “Media for Democracy, Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, jointly organized by the Government and the African Union Commission, together with UNESCO; and a conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut, on the same theme, organized by the local UNESCO office in partnership with the Ministry of Information.
A high-level event takes place at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday where the Secretary-General and President of the UN General Assembly are due to speak, followed by an expert roundtable
#Educationsectorlabournegotiations; #OSSTF; #changestoclasssizes;
#e-learning; #OntarioSecondarySchoolTeachers'Federation; #EducationthatWorksforYou
Toronto, Apr 30 (Canadian-Media): Today, Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the start of education sector labour negotiations, media reports said.
"Our government took the unprecedented step this month of providing teachers' unions with an opportunity to start early good faith bargaining to allow labour negotiations to conclude in time to ensure our students will be in classes, where they belong, in September. The current education sector labour agreement negotiated by the previous government expires on August 31, 2019, which coincides with the start of the fall school year. We believe this is unacceptable. Our government will be considering changing the expiry date of future education sector labour agreements to a different time of year to minimize any disruption to students' ability to attend class.
We are pleased that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has taken up our invitation to start early good faith bargaining and we are calling on the remaining teachers' federations to follow their lead. We are extremely disappointed the remaining teachers' federations and education workers' unions have not responded to this opportunity. Beginning this process as early as possible is critical to protecting student achievement and the interests of Ontario families. Students need to be in class when school starts in September and parents need to be assured this will happen.
Those federations and unions who continue to delay the bargaining process are acting irresponsibly and causing unnecessary fear and anxiety for parents. They continue to prioritize their own agenda at the cost of student success and sow seeds of division and doubt.
Our government is committed to raising student test scores, addressing declining math scores and preparing students with the skills they need to enter the workforce. We have already taken steps to address a number of challenges our students face today. On March 15, 2019, our government shared its vision for education in Ontario, Education that Works for You. Our 2019-20 budget protects what matters most by increasing education funding by $700 million over last year.
We are improving students' math performance with our new $200 million four-year math strategy and we have added a $1.6 billion fund over the next four years specifically to ensure no teacher loses their job as a result of our proposed changes to class sizes or e-learning.
Those who are unwilling to join us at the bargaining table nonetheless remain outspoken about their disappointment in our vision for education. We remain focused on providing the best possible education system for our students and peace of mind for parents. Our government wants to work co-operatively with the unions to address the real issues with our education system and we are prepared to immediately begin bargaining in good faith."
#UNESCO; #Haiti; #IIEP-UNESCO; #EuropeanUnion; #EducationalPlanning
UNESCO, Apr 24 (Canadian-Media/UNESCO): In Haiti’s northern department, nearly half of all first and second cycle primary-level students are over the legal age for their grade, according to available data, UNESCO reports said.
One explanation for this is that children are slow to enter school. The level of internal efficiency is also worryingly low, with profound losses documented throughout the school cycle.
These new findings were recently uncovered as part of a coaching session for several education officers based in Haiti’s northern department. Led by the Ministry of Education and Professional Development and with technical support from IIEP-UNESCO and with funding from the European Union, this activity was part of a larger project to boost educational planning and management capacities countrywide.
The coaching session, which took place during two days at the start of April 2019, helped the planners and technicians define new indicators related to educational access, participation, and internal efficiency. The planners are now applying the indicators to a local diagnosis of the educational system, an activity being replicated throughout Haiti as part of this three-year project to help foster stronger education plans and implementation for better educational outcomes.
In addition to the high over-aged school population and low internal efficiency rate, the new indicators also led to the revelation that only half of the resources per pupil-year are used efficiently.
"Repetition and being pushed out of the system are the two main factors that contribute to this situation. It is a major handicap for the system, which will have to be solved," said Mackenzy Blaise, one of the project’s coaches.
The three education officers who received coaching - Denis Roosevelt (technician), Dérius Erick (planning manager), and Merla Christophe (technician) - calculated the over-aged student population based on a series of key indicators and data provided by the DPCE to the central Ministry. For the academic year 2018-2019, the northern department in Haiti has 286,650 students in the first two cycles at the primary level. They then calculated that only 53 percent of these students are of the right age, between 6 and 11 years old.
"The very large number of over-aged students in the first two cycles of primary school is a serious problem in the northern department, and it must be solved as soon as possible if the system is to be effective and normal,” said Fedner Devalon, a second coach in the project. “After fully diagnosing the education sector, we must now interpret these new data, analyse them carefully, and then proceed to develop a strategic plan for this department, including a special programme for over-aged students,”
Merla Christophe said that the team of planners from the Departmental Directorates of Education will now be much more effective in their work as the coaching and diagnosis have enabled them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the system, learn about educational priorities, and how to respond effectively. "This diagnosis,” Christophe added, “will help us determine which actions are likely to improve education for Haitian children.