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Archive for the ‘North America’ Category

Country Analysis Brief — Canada

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief — Canada
Source: Energy Information Administration

Canada is a net exporter of most energy commodities and is an especially significant producer of conventional and unconventional oil, natural gas, and hydroelectricity. It stands out as the largest foreign supplier of energy to the United States, its southern neighbor and one of the world’s largest consumers of energy. Just as the United States depends on Canada for much of its energy needs, so is Canada profoundly dependent on the United States as an export market. However, economic and political considerations are leading Canada to consider ways to diversify its trading partners, especially by expanding ties with emerging markets in Asia.

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What Would Happen If Health Care in the U.S. Improved?

October 23, 2014 Comments off

What Would Happen If Health Care in the U.S. Improved?
Source: Commonwealth Fund

The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but the Commonwealth Fund report Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally shows the U.S. underperforms relative to 11 other industrialized countries on most dimensions of performance. Use this interactive to see what would happen if the U.S. were to raise its health system performance to the levels achieved elsewhere in the world.

Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Historically, and for a variety of reasons, CFIB has found entrepreneurial characteristics to be strongest in Canada’s prairie cities and the urban areas that ring large urban cores. What they have in common is ‘newness’—the prairie economies have only been developed in the past 150 years or so. Only a few generations separate today’s urban prairie residents from their entrepreneurial forbearers. Similarly, suburban entrepreneurs sought the benefits of urban markets already in place, but found outlying areas more conducive to the structure and cost of doing business.

One often sees higher entrepreneurial activity in resource regions as well–although economies there can suffer from wider boom and bust business cycles. Favourable resource development conditions will attract businesses seeking to service increased activity—and, when conditions deteriorate, a strong base of experienced business owners often becomes the primary pillar of community support.

Among major centres, Canada’s overall top-ranked entrepreneurial communities in 2014 fit all these main characteristics. The combined communities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane and Chestermere that ring around Calgary’s periphery takes the top score of 70.8 out of a possible 100. This area also received the top score in 2012 and 2013. Periphery communities around Edmonton (which include Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove, Leduc and other smaller municipalities) climbs to second spot. Saskatoon slipped back a little, but still held its place above Saskatchewan’s other major city Regina. Kelowna is not far behind in fifth spot.

Among mid-sized urban areas, the prairie region is also still well represented, including Lloydminster, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Red Deer. Here, the obvious common element is the resource sector, which has offered many new entrepreneurial and development opportunities. Medicine Hat is another Alberta community in the top 10, as are Camrose and Brooks, which are new to the study this year. Another newcomer, Collingwood, is Ontario’s representative in the group, while Thetford Mines and Saint-Georges takes Quebec’s top spots.

Payback Time? What the Internationalization of Climate Litigation Could Mean for Canadian Oil and Gas Companies

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Payback Time? What the Internationalization of Climate Litigation Could Mean for Canadian Oil and Gas Companies
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

This report explores scenarios in which the legal landscape concerning climate damages litigation could suddenly and dramatically change—and finds that Canadian oil and gas companies could be liable for billions of dollars of damages for their contribution to climate change. This study is part of CCPA’s Climate Justice Project and is co-published with West Coast Environmental Law.

Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries (PDF)
Source: Public Safety Canada

Effective witness protection is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in the fight against organized crime. Traditional witness protection focuses on the safety of the witness. Experience shows, however, that individuals are not willing unless they have confidence that the State will protect their rights and safety as well as those of their immediate family.

Witness protection programs serve many purposes. They provide opportunities for victims and witnesses to participate in a criminal process with the expectation that they and their families will not be put in danger. They offer the hope of accountability and give threatened witnesses a way to seek shelter from the scene of victimization. Witness protection provides a space in which individual traumas may be treated and enables a victim/witness to regain more control over their life. It can also lead to a serious disruption of the lifestyle of the witness and any persons accompanying them into the program. It may even have implications for third parties. For these reasons, witness protection programs must have a good foundation in legislation or policy.

This paper reviews the practices and outcomes of witness protection programs using open source literature on the legislation and practices followed in Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and compares them with both federal and provincial programs in Canada.

CA — Applications for Ministerial Review, Miscarriages of Justice – Annual Report

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Applications for Ministerial Review, Miscarriages of Justice – Annual Report
Source: Justice Canada

Under Canadian law, the Minister of Justice has the authority to review a criminal conviction to determine whether there has been a miscarriage of justice. This report outlines the history of this power, describes the role of the Department of Justice in such reviews, and outlines how the criminal conviction review process works. It provides statistical information, examines various emerging issues, and describes developments expected in the coming year.

Report debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Report debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Farming in Canada isn’t what many Canadians think. CFIB’s report, Realities of Agriculture in Canada – A sector of innovation and growth, debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture.

According to a recent study commissioned by the federal government, Canadians have many misconceptions about the agriculture industry, including that it’s not innovative, is shrinking, it potentially harms the environment, and that family farms are becoming extinct. Our new report, which debunks these misconceptions, is based on data collected from CFIB farm members who participated in our The State of Canadian Agriculture Survey.

Results show that, in fact, the majority of farmers – 51% – plan to adopt new, innovative technologies over the next three years, and 44% are planning to expand their business.

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