Sunday, March 28, 2010
Click on the graph for a larger view.
The G8 Research Group at the Munk Centre for International Studies in Toronto has released its 2009 L'Aquila G8 Summit Interim Compliance Report and it shows that Canada has dropped from second place to third place overall.
For the report, a total of 24 priority commitments were selected from the 254 commitments made at last July's summit in Italy.
Commitments concerning climate change research and development, financing and forest degradation received the highest ratings. Trade and development assistance scored poorly. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do before the final report is issued later this year.
Canada hosts the next G8 Summit June 25-26 in Muskoka, Ontario.
To read the full report, please click here
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today is World Water Day. This year's theme is water quality. World Water Day has been celebrated every March 22 since 1993 as a way to focus the world's attention on the importance of safe, clean drinking water for everyone.
To find out what is happening in your community (in Canada) please click here.
Monday, March 15, 2010
With the Paralympics in Vancouver now underway, the Government of Canada has now officially ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said that promoting the rights of the disabled would become part of Canada’s foreign policy.
“Canada is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and enabling their full participation in society,” said Mr. Cannon, in a press release. “Ratification of this convention underscores the Government of Canada’s strong commitment to this goal.”
For the approximately 4.4 million persons with disabilities in Canada (14.3 per cent of the population), ratification of the convention is a watershed moment.
“This convention requires governments to agree to monitor progress and report on the progress made to improve the status of persons with disabilities,” said Laurie Beachell, national coordinator, Council of Canadians with Disabilities, in a telephone interview.”
“This turns the page. This moves us into a new realm where people with disabilities are recognized as equal citizens with equal responsibilities and access to the goods and services in this country,” he said.
Mr. Beachell wants the federal government to look at improving access to federally regulated transportation systems, new initiatives to address the disproportionate poverty that Canadians with disabilities face, new initiatives to ensure that people have access to improved health care, education, work training programs.
According to Mr. Beachell, the immediate priority facing the disabled community is to address the poverty issue – and in particular – aboriginal people with disabilities where the federal government has a clear responsibility.
“If you went and looked at the welfare rolls across this country, anywhere between 45 to 60 per cent are people with disabilities,” said Mr. Beachell.
Disabled does not just mean someone in a wheelchair. It includes people with mental health concerns, people with developmental disabilities who may have been institutionalized, the deaf community, people with vision loss, as well as people who use mobility devices.
“When we talk disability, we are talking about a very broad community,” said Mr. Beachell.
Canada was the 82nd country to ratify the convention after being one of the early signatories of the document, which the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2006. The convention entered into force in May 2008.
According to statistics on the UN website, more than 600 million people in the world have various types and degrees of disabilities.