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April

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    MPndp
    Arms Control - time for a mature conversation Should we sell Arms to Saudi Arabia? What is Canada’s position on the Iranian Nuclear agreement? Recently these questions have dominated the foreign policy debate in Canada and the United Kingdom. While these are important questions the debate itself reveals something is profoundly lacking. Plaining put what is our foreign policy on arms control both conventional and unconventional? As a country that prided itself on the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Land Mines and leaders in Nuclear Non Proliferation recently we have been missing in action. After a decade of despair in diplomacy particularly in arms control it’s time to put on our skates and get back on the ice. O There is incredible opportunity for Canada to make a real difference and now is the time So where to begin? Conventional Weapons Whether it’s the Middle East or North Africa many regions have become awash with small and medium sized weapons which has enabled extremists groups like ISIL, Boco Haram instability and support. Remember what happened in Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011? The weapons stockpiled by Gaddafi were quickly spirited over the border via the black market and were used in Mali and Iraq. The most obvious way to impact the threat of illegal arms sales is to sign and ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty. While we may be late to the party we can still be a champion to this important treaty which would help repair the damage of the previous government bizarre reluctance to sign the treaty. The new Liberal government has committed to sign the Arms Trade Treaty which is a good start but we will need to ratify the treaty as soon as possible to make up for lost time. In fact 130 Countries have signed the agreement and 80 Countries have ratified, this May states who have signed and ratified the agreement will be filing their annual reports, but not Canada, so we need to catch up. The importance of this UN treaty cannot be overstated it requires countries to adopt reports of exports and end use, national control lists and other regulations and measures. The treaty lays out various reporting and accountability measures involving government and industry, there is also a role for civil society and our Parliament. In the case of our Parliament Canada should adopt the UK Parliament’s structure of their House of Commons Committee for Arms Exports and Controls. The UK committee consists of members from the standing committees of Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Business and Skills Development we could assemble a similar committee in our Parliament. This committee could monitor our compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty and provide a forum for industry and civil society to be heard. As we have seen with the Saudi deal once an export is approved it becomes difficult to monitor use and hold end users to account. Along with signing and implementing the ATT we should become vigorous champions of the treaty and promote its implementation by other countries similar to Canada’s support of the Ottawa Land Mines Treaty. Nuclear Weapons Along with conventional arms control Canada must contribute to nuclear non-proliferation. Recently The Doomsday Clock, the symbolic countdown to humanity’s end due to the threat of nuclear weapons, was calculated at three minutes to midnight, this should be a wakeup call. Historically Canada has a proud tradition of limiting the proliferation, testing and use of nuclear weapons. However in recent years we have impeded progress on nuclear weapon controls. At a time when we see new states seeking to proliferate and old ones looking to refurbish there nuclear stockpiles Canada is on the sidelines. For example the previous government refused to support the P5 plus one negotiation with Iran and most recently we refused to sign the 2014 Vienna Protocol on Nuclear Weapons. Despite Canada’s anemic response there has been some positive moves on the nuclear non-proliferation front; in 2009 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s challenged the world to get behind his five point plan proposal to curb and eventually eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons in this was followed by a unanimous motion in both the Canadian Senate and House of Commons in 2010 calling our government to support t Ban Ki-moon’s initiative. Indeed Canada can play a constructive role; we can support the recently negotiated Iran deal by offering financial and human resources to monitor the agreement. We should sign the Vienna Protocol on Humanitarian Effects of Nuclear Weapons But we can go further we should pursue a global treaty on nuclear weapons. Canada has a unique credibility in taking a leading role in such efforts. At the height of the Cold War, Canada chose not to develop nuclear arms. As a country, we have always known the dangers of nuclear weapons. But we need to engage and inspire a younger generation of people who may not have the intuitive understanding of nuclear weapons that came with life during the Cold War. This September 26th the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons we should host a conference for an eventual Nuclear Weapons treaty. Canada is a significant world power, we have the experience the trust and self-interest to and lean into the major issues that face our globe, instead of ambiguity and chasten responses let’s with clear vision, clear objectives and the will to follow through. We can achieve more on Arms Control to make the world a safer place and have our country take its rightful place on the global stage.
    Apr 25, 2016 11:06 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    This also happened this week ......
    Apr 23, 2016 7:54 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    While the NDP convention was notable for many reasons we also debated some key issues like Nulcear Disarmament
    Apr 18, 2016 11:46 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Three years after Rana Plaza many still suffering - more attention to the supply chain required to support responsible conduct - government, industry and citizens/consumers all have a role
    Apr 18, 2016 6:58 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Perfect day for for the solar dyer and bid adieu to the hockey gear for another year
    Apr 17, 2016 3:16 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Below is the statement based on three days of consultations with civil society, political parties and government officials regarding the upcoming municipal elections in Lebanon. I was part of delegation comprised of former UK MP Meg Munn, Tunisian Civil Society leader Rafik Halouani and Leslie Campbell NDI Senior advisor. Main conclusion is not withstanding all the challenges that Lebanon faces (Syrian refugees, war in Syria and political deadlock at the national level) it is imperative that the Muncipal elections go ahead to build confidence and give the citizens of Lebanon an opportunity to decide who should represent them at the local level. Below is a copy of our report with recommendations.
    Apr 14, 2016 9:11 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Here in Beirut, Lebanon on a pre-election mission with NDI - municipal elections are slated for May. Yesterday was the anniversary of the civil war that began in 1975 and ended in 1990 You can still see evidence of the war alongside of the rebuilding.
    Apr 14, 2016 7:17 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Here in Beirut, Lebanon on a pre-election mission with NDI - municipal elections are slated for May. Yesterday was the anniversary of the civil war that began in 1975 and ended in 1990 You can still see evidence of the war alongside of the rebuilding.
    Apr 14, 2016 5:51 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Apr 14, 2016 5:25 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    this was predictable and requires immediate action
    Apr 10, 2016 3:44 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Apr 07, 2016 1:22 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Apr 07, 2016 1:20 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    A big congratulations to my cousin Greg, Well played Greg!
    Apr 07, 2016 1:16 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Look out Trump, Cruz, Clinton and Sanders Wille is on the beat, at least in Austin, Texas
    Apr 06, 2016 2:36 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Just finished my Texas tour with Global Atlanticists a group of Germans, Americans and a Canadain (me) we went from Laredo, San Antonio and finished in Austin Texas, great meetings with people about immigration, environment and of course the upcoming election
    Apr 05, 2016 3:54 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    The picture below is of community leaders from Laredo Texas the place where Donald Trump wants to build a wall - to quote one of them "we find the whole idea of wall between Texas and Mexico offensive"
    Apr 02, 2016 3:38 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    I'm in Laredo Texas today will be speaking with local officials, politicians about discussing immigration policy, border issues and the upcoming US election. These are pictures from my hotel, you can see Mexico across the river.
    Apr 01, 2016 5:28 am | Ontario, Frontenac

March

February

January

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    MPndp
    Why we need Humanitarian Corrid in Syria, this could have been prevented
    Jan 30, 2016 1:33 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    I recently joined the Board of Partners in Health Canada, below is a great initiative by Canadian artists who raise awareness and $ for projects sponsored by Partners in Health in countries like Haiti and Malawi
    Jan 30, 2016 1:28 pm | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Below is a summary of community consultations on Lebretton Flats from 2008 February 25, 2008 Community Vision for LeBreton Flats OTTAWA – NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) released the report of his community dialogue on LeBreton Flats redevelopment. “This report is the product of an engaging dialogue by people in our community,” said Dewar. “Its vision of a vibrant village as a model of diversity and sustainability shows the values that our community upholds”. On January 19, 2008 Paul Dewar hosted a community dialogue on the second phase of LeBreton Flats’ redevelopment. The report’s key recommendations include: • There must be real, meaningful, and ongoing community consultation • The redevelopment must be an example for Canada and the world • It must include permanent affordable housing • It must demonstrate environmental leadership • It must recognize and respect the culture, history, and current claims of First Nations • It must consider and be integrated with existing neighbourhoods • It must include public transit planning • The bidding process must change • The development must be accessible • Public art, cultural events and festivals are important to the area • The development must include and support mixed incomes and uses • Local and small-scale commercial and light industrial uses are needed Phase I of redevelopment went ahead without proper consultations. Paul Dewar’s initiative comes before the National Capital Commission (NCC) begins its planning of phase II. Dewar will present the report to the NCC at the earliest opportunity. Dewar previously held another community dialogue on transparency in the NCC. Since then the NCC has implemented certain reforms which have opened the door to greater public input in the Commission’s decision making process. Dewar will ensure that his report on LeBreton Flats also yields positive results for Ottawa’s families. “Our community cares about LeBreton Flats redevelopment and it has great ideas about what should be done with it” concluded Dewar. “The NCC will benefit from listening to the community”. - 30 - POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE Le 25 février 2008 Une vision communautaire des plaines LeBreton OTTAWA – Le député néodémocrate Paul Dewar (Ottawa-Centre) a publié aujourd’hui un rapport donnant suite au dialogue communautaire qu’il avait initié autour de la revitalisation des plaines LeBreton. « Ce rapport est le fruit du dialogue entamé avec la communauté, a déclaré le député Dewar. La vision qu’il propose, celle d’un quartier dynamique, est un modèle de diversité et de durabilité qui traduit bien les valeurs qui sont le fondement de notre communauté. » Le 19 janvier 2008, Paul Dewar avait tenu une réunion de dialogue communautaire sur la deuxième phase de revitalisation des plaines LeBreton. Les principales recommandations du rapport qui en découle sont les suivantes : • Le projet de revitalisation doit faire l’objet d’une consultation réelle, substantielle et constante avec la communauté. • Il doit être un exemple pour le Canada et pour le monde. • Il doit inclure des logements permanents à prix abordable. • Il doit faire preuve d’innovation en matière d’environnement. • Il doit reconnaître et respecter la culture, l’histoire et les revendications actuelles des Premières nations. • Il doit tenir compte des quartiers voisins et s’y intégrer. • Il doit inclure un plan de transport en commun. • Le processus d’appel d’offres doit changer. • Le projet doit être accessible. • Les œuvres d’art publiques, les manifestations culturelles et les festivals sont importants pour la vie de ce quartier. • Le projet doit inclure et favoriser une diversité de revenus et d’utilisations. • Les commerces de proximité et de petite taille, ainsi que des industries légères, sont nécessaires. La phase I du projet de revitalisation avait été lancée sans consultation en bonne et due forme. L’initiative de Paul Dewar vise à anticiper le lancement, par la Commission de la capitale nationale (CCN), de la planification de la phase II. Le député Dewar présentera le rapport à la CNN à la première occasion. Le député Dewar avait déjà, dans le passé, entamé un dialogue avec la communauté sur le manque de transparence de la CCN. Depuis lors, cette dernière avait entamé certaines réformes visant à faire une place plus importante à l’avis du public dans le processus de décision de la Commission. Le député Dewar s’engage à faire tout son possible pour que ce rapport sur les plaines LeBreton ait également des retombées positives pour les familles d’Ottawa. « Notre communauté prend la revitalisation des plaines LeBreton à cœur, et a de grandes idées sur ce que pourrait être l’avenir de ces dernières, souligne le député Dewar. La CCN a tout à gagner à écouter la communauté. »
    Jan 26, 2016 9:10 am | Ontario, Frontenac
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    MPndp
    Interesting piece of history .....
    Jan 25, 2016 6:05 pm | Ontario, Frontenac

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