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Supreme Court decisions creating economic uncertainty for First Nations, for Canada

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Supreme Court decisions creating economic uncertainty for First Nations, for Canada
Source: Fraser Institute

Recent Supreme Court decisions on aboriginal rights and title are impeding, rather than helping, the economic prosperity of First Nation communities, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

“The positive aspect of the new jurisprudence is the Court’s recognition that aboriginal peoples did possess and continue to possess ownership of land. Unfortunately, these decisions have conveyed new property rights that First Nations will find difficult to use in Canada’s market economy,” said Tom Flanagan, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Clarity and confusion? The new jurisprudence of aboriginal title.

For example, the Tsilhqot’in decision—which granted title of more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in B.C.’s interior to the Tsilhqot’in Nation—is potentially of enormous economic benefit to First Nations. That benefit, however, is reduced because the aboriginal title is restricted to “communal” ownership, meaning that the lands cannot be sold privately. Research demonstrates that on-reserve property rights (ie: individual ownership) encourages economic growth and higher standards of living.
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Increased Use of Digital Technologies Could Add $1.36 Trillion to World’s Top 10 Economies in 2020, According to New Study from Accenture

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Increased Use of Digital Technologies Could Add $1.36 Trillion to World’s Top 10 Economies in 2020, According to New Study from Accenture
Source: Accenture

The increased use of digital technologies could boost productivity for the world’s top 10 economies and add US$1.36 trillion to their total economic output in 2020, according to a new study by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The study is based on the Accenture Digital Density Index, a tool that helps companies make better strategic investments based on granular measures of digital performance.

The Accenture Digital Density Index measures the extent to which digital technologies penetrate a country’s businesses and economy. A country’s “digital density” is determined by a scorecard comprising over 50 indicators, such as the volume of transactions conducted online, the use of cloud or other technologies to streamline processes, the pervasiveness of technology skills in a company, or an economy’s acceptance of new digitally driven business models.

At its broadest level, the Index reveals that a ten point improvement in digital density (on a 100-point scale) over five years would lift GDP growth rates in advanced economies by 0.25 percentage points, and by 0.5 percentage point in emerging economies. That would give the U.S. an uplift to GDP of US$365 billion in 2020. Emerging economies, such as Brazil, India and China could see rises of between $97 billion and $418 billion.

Police resources in Canada, 2014

April 8, 2015 Comments off

Police resources in Canada, 2014
Source: Statistics Canada

There were 68,896 police officers in Canada on May 15, 2014, 354 fewer officers than in 2013. This represented a rate of police strength of 194 police officers per 100,000 population, a decrease of 1.6% from the previous year. After remaining stable in 2011,Note 2 the rate has decreased every year since.

Gendered disparities in Mexico-U.S. migration by class, ethnicity, and geography

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Gendered disparities in Mexico-U.S. migration by class, ethnicity, and geography
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Men are more likely than women to migrate from Mexico to the United States. This disparity has been shown to vary by level of education, suggesting that gender may interact with other forms of social status to inform the relative risk of Mexico-U.S. migration for men and women.

Objective:
This study examines whether and how the gender disparity in migration from Mexico to the United States varies by class, ethnicity, and geography.

Methods:
Data from two waves of the Mexican Family Life Survey are used to estimate the rate of migration to the United States for men and women across class, ethnic, and geographic groups.

Results:
The gender disparity in Mexico-U.S. migration varies systematically by class, ethnicity, and geography. The gender disparity in migration is largest among those with the least education, with the least power in the workforce, in the most impoverished households, who both identify as indigenous and speak an indigenous language, and who live in the southern region of Mexico. It is smallest among those with the most education, in the least impoverished households, with the highest occupational status, who do not identify as indigenous, and who live in the northern regions of Mexico.

Conclusions:
Social privilege equalizes the gender disparity in Mexico-U.S. migration and social disadvantage exacerbates it. This pattern may arise because social status allows women to overcome gendered constraints on mobility, or because the meaning of gender varies by social status.

CRS — Seventh Summit of the Americas: In Brief (March 24, 2015)

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Seventh Summit of the Americas: In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On April 10-11, 2015, President Obama is scheduled to attend the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. The Summits of the Americas, which have been held roughly every three years since 1994, serve as opportunities for the Western Hemisphere’s leaders to engage directly with one another and discuss issues of collective concern. With Cuba expected to attend for the first time in 2015, the Summit of the Americas will be the only forum in the hemisphere that includes all 35 independent nations. The theme of the 2015 summit is “Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas.” Although strengthening economic growth while reducing inequality will be one of the principal topics of conversation, the leaders of the hemisphere are also expected to discuss a variety of other issues, including education, health, energy, the environment, migration, security, citizen participation, and democratic governance.

Resettling Refugees: Canada’s Humanitarian Commitments

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Resettling Refugees: Canada’s Humanitarian Commitments
Source: Library of Parliament

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that almost 960,000 refugees are currently in need of resettlement in a third country. These are refugees who, according to the UNHCR, can neither return to their country of origin nor integrate into their country of first asylum.

Together, the international community has committed to resettle around 80,000 refugees each year. Historically, Canada has resettled approximately 10% of this total; the government’s current goal is to resettle between 8% and 12%. In 2010, the government committed to increase the number of refugees resettled each year from abroad by 20% (2,500 people). For 2015, the government has agreed to accept up to 14,500 resettled refugees, out of a total of 285,000 new immigrants.

Canada admits refugees for resettlement on a humanitarian basis. Resettlement also provides a way for Canada to alleviate the burden for host countries and share the responsibility for displaced persons. In addition to commitments to resettle refugees, Canada has international obligations to those who come to Canada on their own and are found to be in need of protection (refugee claimants or asylum seekers).

This publication provides an overview of Canada’s refugee resettlement programs, explaining who is eligible for resettlement and the different programs in place. Finally, it concludes with some of the operational issues involved in refugee resettlement.

CA — Alternative Federal Budget 2015

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Alternative Federal Budget 2015
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Alternative Federal Budget 2015: Delivering the Good demonstrates that the federal government’s continued obsession with austerity and balancing the budget comes at the cost of higher household debt, fewer services, and weakened job growth.

The AFB, now in its 20th year, delivers a plan that would lift 893,000 Canadians out of poverty, reduce income inequality, boost economic growth, reduce carbon emissions, and create or sustain 300,000 jobs a year, bringing Canada’s employment rate back to its pre-recession level.

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