The new Canadiana and her role on the “world stage” including borders, people and resource management.
Award-winning journalist Jane Kokan explores how the world is changing, with a focus on four key areas: the strength and meaning of international borders, the rise of homegrown terrorism, the true value of natural resources, and steps to creating a lasting peace. And lastly, but not least, the respect for human rights.
Lecture 1: Borders. Do borders matter really?
Many of us live “safely” and “peacefully” along the 49th parallel, the Canadian-U.S. border. This is the world’s longest, unmilitarized border in the world. Border security has been an issue of public concern for years – and is now exacerbated by the realities of mass migration and the human smuggling industry, as well as cross border smuggling of guns, drugs, and people into Canada from various international routes.
Also, what about the billions of dollars of commerce traversing the U.S.-Canadian border every day? Who is in charge really?
And why are there so many disputed borders around the world?
There are now more than 150 disputes under way that involve territory, mostly in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region, but also in Europe and the Americas.
As a journalist, I have covered “disputed” borders for many years.
- Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands, East China Sea. The East China, South China, and Yellow seas.
- Kuril Islands
- The Korean peninsula
- Western Sahara.
- Tigray – Ethiopia/Eritrea
…. And let’s not forget Brexit, and how this is challenging the way borders are defined. And of course, how can we forget the legacy of the past borders drawn up the British Empire and other colonial powers. The Durant line drawn up in Pakistan-India.
As people look to their leaders for answers, governments in turn shut their borders, and focus their efforts on keeping national populations safe, and addressing the needs of their own people first. Jane Kokan will centre this issue around the Canada – US border, featuring on-the-ground research and reporting on how the partial border closure is playing out.
- Lecture 2.Water wars?
Next time you turn on the tap for the kettle and cup of tea, or enjoy a lovely game of golf on the pristine green grounds, do you realize where your water is coming from and how long – realistically - will the supply last?
Just because we share three oceans, here in Canada - the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean – doesn’t mean we have a sustainable source for the years to come.
Water is more valuable than gold, oil and natural gas.
As the world focuses on the fight against Covid-19, another battle is brewing on an even larger scale. Water H2O – the legality of who owns the global water resources? With global warming and climate change accelerating, water is more precious than ever. Jane has reported from “disputed waters” around the globe from Ethiopia/Eritrea to the Canadian Arctic waters.
Global warming and climate change will force yet another reckoning, and it will begin with water. The abundance of clean fresh water in this country makes Canadians complacent, but how sustainable and secure is our supply? Jane Kokan explores the issues around our use of water, how we can protect our precious water resources, and how best to share them. On paper Canada “holds/owns” 20 per cent of the world’s water resources.
This is a list of countries who for now hold the most fresh water reservoirs in the world: Number 1: Brazil. Number 2: Russia. Number 3: Canada: Number 4: United States: Number 5. China
At least 47 Canadians including eight men, 13 women and 26 children are detained in Kurdish-run camps and prisons because of their alleged ties to the Islamic State terrorist group, according to the report titled “Bring Me Back to Canada.”
The “two Mikes” in China.
The “two Mikes” have disappeared into the black hole of newsgathering.
Chinese prosecutors have declared espionage charges against the two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, in cases widely seen as retribution for Canada’s role in helping U.S. law enforcement to pursue senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
The announcement by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate almost certainly foreshadows lengthy prison sentences for Spavor, previously a businessman based on the China-North Korea border, and Kovrig, a former diplomat who worked as a researcher in Beijing for the International Crisis Group.
Jane Kokan has previously been detained in China for her human rights journalism work. She has worked with the BBC World Service and Channel 4 News (UK) and reported on forced labour in Chinese prisons.
Lecture 4. Canada’s role on the “world stage
A member of the G7, G20, UN, WTO Commonwealth and Francophonie and security partner in NATO, NORAD and the Five Eyes group, Canada has both place and standing on the international stage.
What about the domestic stage? Should the Canadian leadership be doing more at home: assisting First Nations communities with access to fresh clean drinking water, socio-economic infrastructure and critical medical care? There are over 50 different Indigenous Nations in Canada. Many feel neglected.
As per the Liberal website: Justin Trudeau states: “So today, I want to offer a positive vision of Canada’s unique and multi-faceted role in an increasingly unpredictable era. One where we support the middle class, stand firm for our interests and values, and step up when others step back.”
“Ours is a country rooted in diversity and openness. We are a trading nation. Collaborative and influential, but not big enough to single-handedly dictate world affairs on our own.”
“For these reasons and more, Canadians directly benefit from global cooperation, multilateral institutions, and international relations governed by rules and principles?”
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