Canada: The Crucible 1991 to Present Section 10 Canada in Afghanistan: War on Terror In 2001 a Jihadist organization called Al Qaeda destroyed the World Trade Center. The Taliban of Afghanistan provided support and a safe haven to the attackers. NATO attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. Canada officially joined the fight three months later as part of Operation Apollo in the province
of Kandahar. The first Canadian fatalities came during the Tarnak Farm Incident. Canadian soldiers training at night were killed by an American pilot. Operation Athena Operation Athena was a two phase operation: during phase one the Canadian army safeguarded Afghanistans capital city of Kabul so the country could develop its constitution and hold its first elections. Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of Afghanistans first ever democratic election on December 9, 2004. In 2006 Canada took part in
the largest military operation called Operation Archer (six Canadians were killed). The first Canadian woman killed in combat was Nichola Goddard (killed at the Battle of Panjwaii (2006)). Improvised Explosive Devices During Operation Mountain Thrust Canadians secured the Panjwaii District. The Taliban was forced to withdraw and make use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to attack NATO forces. In 2009 Canadians took part in the Marja Offensive to wrest the Marja area from Taliban control. At this time the Americans poured
thousands of more troops in to Afghanistan (in a move called the surge) in order to knock the Taliban out once and for all. 2011 Combat operations for Canadian Forces ended on July 11, 2011. Canadians shifted their role to training the Afghan National Army and National Police. Canada helped rebuild the Dahla Dam and irrigation system, built schools, immunized children, decommissioned tanks and other weapons, and removed 10-15 million land mines.
On March 12, 2014 Canada pulled out of Afghanistan entirely. Canadians Radicalized at Home In December of 2006 a terror plot to attack the CN Tower and Parliament was uncovered by Canadian security agencies. The Toronto 17 were all brought up on charges of terrorism. On October 20th, 2014 two Canadian soldiers were rammed by a vehicle driven by a jihadist. Patrice Vincent died from his injuries. Several days later another jihadist shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa. The jihadist then entered
Parliament where he was killed by gun fire. Bill C-51 The Conservative Government passed Bill C-51 in to law in January of 2015 in response to the two terror attacks in Canada (as well as the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris). The bill was intended to give security agencies broader powers to monitor electronic communications of Canadian citizens. The bill is not just about terrorism; it grants greater power to police to target any activity which could undermine the security of Canada or that are detrimental to
Canadas interests. Bill C-51, continued Many Canadians were concerned about the broad new powers given to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) by Bill C-51. In particular CSIS would no longer just spy on citizens but could be used to disrupt activities detrimental to the interests of Canada. Some critics of the bill argued that under the bill protestors protesting the construction of oil pipelines could be classified (and treated) as terrorists for disrupting the economy.
ISIS & CANADA The Syrian Civil War (2011-2016) caused millions of people to flee Syria as refugees. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) took advantage of the political instability in Iraq and Syria to acquire territory. ISIS wants to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate. In September 2014 Canada began Operation Impact, e.g. Canadian fighter jets began dropping bombs on ISIS targets. On the ground, in May (2015), Major Andrew Doiron was killed in a friendly fire incident with Kurdish forces. Canadian soldiers were training
Kurdish rebels to resist ISIS. ISIS & CANADA, continued Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to end Canadas military participation in Operation Impact. This mission ended in 2016. Approximately 3,000 Syrian refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The image of a drowned little boy captured the attention of Canadians. This led to move by Canada to support bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees. Reaction to the refugees was mixed, e.g. Muslims attacked in Toronto and mosques burned in Red Deer and
Peterborough. The Meltdown 1). Before 9/11 financial investors at Wall Street favored buying Tbills from the Federal Treasury (an investment which was basically like loaning the American Government money (which was a pretty safe loan to be paid off)). 2). Following the financial instability after the World Trade Center attacks (9/11), the Treasury lowered interest rates to help grow the economy.
The lowering of interest rates helped grow the economy and did two other things: firstly, it lowered the amount of profit Wall Street investors could make by investing in T-bills (this meant investors started looking at other places to invest their money); and secondly, the lower interest rate made it easier for banks to borrow money from the Treasury; thirdly, banks had extra money (credit) which they in turn lent to investors. 3). The easy availability of credit encouraged banks to over leverage. During the Stock Market Crash of
1929 banks lent more total money they actually had in their vaults. When the market collapsed banks owed money they did not have (and consequently lost all their customers money). The Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1933 which made it illegal for banks to loan more than 15% of the money they actually possessed in their vaults. This prevented banks (and investors) from taking too large a risk and protected the economy because this act made sure the majority of the nations money would not be lost if markets collapsed in the future. 4). Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999 to remove
limitations from both banks and the financial services industry (Wall Street). The repeal of this act led to the creation of new financial products and a return to banks over-leveraging themselves with the hope of earning huge, quick profits. 5). With de-regulation the economic system reintroduced the same vulnerability it faced in 1929. Wall Street took out huge loans from the Federal Treasury. Invested that money in to new financial products like collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), made a huge profit, and then repaid their loans. 6). Ordinary investors saw how much money was being made by Wall Street. Wall Street used CDOs
(defined below) to connect investors with home owners, i.e. banks bought thousands of mortgages, bundled the mortgages together, and then sold these bundled mortgages to investors (and called them CDOs). Investors would profit because they would make money whenever home owners paid their monthly mortgage payments. 7). Investment bankers split CDOs (home mortgages bundled with student loans, car loans, etc.) in to three parts, e.g. safe, okay, and risky. The safe part included those home loans given to people with high incomes who were the most likely to pay their
monthly mortgage. When a home owner belonging to the safe category paid their mortgage, people who owned part of the safe bundle received some of that money in the form of profit. Likewise when people belonging to the other two categories paid their monthly payments investors received a profit. 8). The system worked well for a number of years until banks ran out of home mortgages to bundle in to new CDOs to sell to investors; they needed more home owners. Therefore, banks reduced their standards for giving out loans so that more people could take money out to become home owners. These new loans carried
comparatively more risk than even the risky loans posed, e.g. people working insecure and low paying jobs like Wal-Mart greeters were purchasing 400,000 dollar homes on credit (leading to over leveraging of the financial system). Normally, a bank does not want to risk money by giving money that is not likely to be paid back. This changed because of the desire for profit. 9). Bankers had two incentives to give out bad loans (called sub prime mortgages) despite the risk: firstly, people selling mortgages received personal commissions whenever they gave a loan to someone
(this meant mortgage officers werent protecting either the bank or the consumer by avoiding giving bad loans; instead, these mortgage sellers were only worrying about personal profit); secondly, bankers believed the overall risk to be low, i.e. because when risky loans were bundled with safe loans the danger posed by the risky loans was reduced, i.e. investors were always guaranteed to see some sort of return on their investment. 10). However, the game started to unravel once the ratio of risky to safe loans became unsupportable (too many risky loans), e.g. people
with risky loans defaulted (could not pay) on their loans. These people lost their homes, went bankrupt, and walked away from what they owed. This left all of the debt in the hands of the banks. The banks now overleveraged did not have the means to pay back the money they themselves borrowed from the Federal Treasury. The financial system was insolvent. 11). The global economy ground to a halt because suddenly all the easy credit dried up: banks refused to give out any loans. This meant no student loans, no car loans, no home loans, no small business loans
were being given out. The collapse in the housing market led to an overall collapse of the entire global financial system. 12). The world risked going in to a second great depression. The financial system was saved when world governments printed hundreds of billions of dollars to give to the banks so that banks would have money to loan again (which would in turn get the economys wheels turning again). Canada & the Recession: 2011-2012 1). The global economic meltdown led to a series of protests around the world by the so-called Occupy
Movement, e.g. Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, etc. 2). Countries like Greece continued to struggle with the economic meltdown well in to 2015. 3). While Canada emerged from the economic crisis relatively unscathed, finance minister Jim Flaherty warned in 2012 that Canadians continued to spend money they didnt have, e.g. Canadian individuals and households were carrying more debt than theyd ever carried before. 4). One of the main reasons Canada did so well despite the crash was China went on a spending spree building malls, office towers,
cities, condos, etc. which boosted Canadas commodities. 5). Also, Canada did relatively well compared to other countries because of regulations (laws) in this country which prevented banks from over-leveraging themselves, i.e. these laws protecting Canadians and banks from themselves (greed). Harpers Conservatives Win Majority 1). The Conservatives won 167 of 309 ridings. 2). The NDP won 102 seats making it the official opposition for the first time in its history.
3). The Liberal Party was reduced to the lowest seat count in its history, e.g. 34. 4). The Bloc Quebecois were reduced to only four seats (making them all but cease to exist). 5). Harpers majority government was indicative of a change in the views of Canadians moving from the center or left to centerright. Harper Uses His Majority 1). Over a 24 hour session of Parliament, Harpers Conservative government successfully pushed through a series of new laws. 2). Harper indicated the omnibus bill was necessary to make
sure Canada could whether the coming economic storm. He passed a second omnibus bill in October called the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act which had little or nothing to do with economics. 3). For example according to this act, the United States coast guard was given the right to arrest and detain people in Canadian waters. Also, the right to protest while wearing a mask was made illegal. Further, certain limitations were removed from developing environmentally sensitive lands for environmental purposes. Idle No More 1).In late October, four women in
Saskatchewan began exchanging emails about Bill C-45. They were concerned indigenous rights were being eroded by Bill C-45. 2). The Idle No More movement said it wanted to "stop the Harper government from passing more laws and legislation that will further erode treaty and indigenous rights and the rights of all Canadians." Canadian Election 2015 1). In October 2015 the Liberal Party of Canada, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, defeated the Conservatives by
winning 184 of the available 335 ridings. 2). The Liberals ran on a policy of real change, e.g. the Cabinet is made up of an equal number of men and women, it has aboriginals sitting on it, and the government is considerably more aggressive in dealing with investing in Canadas infrastructure and the risks posed to the country by climate change. Depletion of the Ozone Layer 1). Canada was a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration (1972). 2). Science determined in the 1970s that
hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) emitted due to human industrial activity was responsible for depleting the earths ozone layer. 3). In 1987 Canada and other nations of the world signed the Montreal Protocol. This protocol set up a framework and schedule for the phasing out of HCFCs and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). As a result of this agreement the ozone hole over Antarctica is shrinking. 4). In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established as a mechanism to help countries reduce greenhouse gas
emissions based on the premise that global warming was occurring and it was anthropogenic. 5). In 1997 Canada was a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol. Canada was obligated to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2012. Prime Minister Stephen Harper took Canada out of the Kyoto agreement in 2006. Between 1990 and 2015 Canadas GHG has increased by 25%. Canada leaving the Kyoto agreement hurt our international reputation as environmental leaders. Albertas Tar Sands 1). Alberta has been developing the tar sands since the
late 1960s; however, production has ramped up over the past two decades. Oil is extracted from the tar sands by using a mixture of high pressure hoses, water, and an admixture of chemicals. Canada is the worlds fifth largest producer of oil. 2). The extraction of bitumen oil from the tar sands producing three to five times more greenhouse gases than conventional drilling. 3). Canada is third in the world for the emission of greenhouse gases (second only to Australia and the United States). The Copenhagen Accord
1). In December 2009 Canada and the other industrialized countries of the world met in Copenhagen, Denmark to address the problem of climate change. 2). The Copenhagen Accord endorsed a continuation of the aims of the Kyoto Accord. The countries attending the meeting in Copenhagen acknowledge that climate change posed an existential risk to humankind. 3). Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, argued Canada could not afford the reductions to greenhouse gases recommended
by the accord. A coalition of environmental groups gave Canada the dubious distinction of being the Fossil of the Year. 4). Prime Minister Harper put economic development above all other aims. To this end he gagged scientists working for the government preventing them from sharing information vital to the public interest, e.g. information relating to ice thickness in the Arctic, impacts of the tar sands development and associated emissions, etc. 5). The government created an elaborate bureaucracy to hide scientific information from the journalists, e.g. in
order to get permission to share information with a journalist a scientist had to ask for approval from an elaborate bureaucracy of non-scientists (ten levels). The request to share information could be denied at any level in the chain. 6). In Sept 2013 dozens of scientists participated in a protest in Ottawa in a Stand Up for Science event. Scientists, and members of the general public, both desired decisions made by the government to be evidence based. Evidence based decisions are ones which take in to account reality when policies are created (as opposed to policies purely shaped by ideology, e.g. profit).
Canada and the Paris Climate Conference 1). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all of Canadas premiers participated in the Paris Climate Conference (December 2015). 2). Participating countries agreed to reduce rates of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in order to prevent greater warming than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. There will be an attempt to keep cooling to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 3). Canada, and the other signatories of the Paris Agreement, agreed to create a yearly fund of 100 billion USD to help countries deal with the effects of
climate change while promoting the creation and use of renewable energies. 4). The fundamental problem with the Paris Agreement, as with the Kyoto Accord or most other international agreements, is it is not binding because it is based in international law. As such, the growing economic powerhouse of India has said it would not stop building coal power plants (since coal energy is the cheapest and most efficient way to meet a growing economys needs), e.g. 500 to 1,000 plants are slated to be constructed in Asia alone in the next decade.
5). Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has promised to meet 30% of Saskatchewans energy needs through renewables by 2030. 6). Different promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions have been made by different provinces, e.g. carbon tax in British Columbia and a cap and trade system in Ontario.
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