Global efforts to reduce climate change may mean new opportunities for Nova Scotia businesses. The Department of Energy has signed letters of co-operation with government representatives from Bolivia and Cuba, and institutional representatives from Columbia and Belize. The agreements were reached this week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal. “Climate change is a global issue, that will require global solutions,” said Energy Minister Cecil Clarke. “Nova Scotia businesses and organizations involved in climate change have the expertise in this field that will strengthen this shared global effort.” The letters demonstrate Nova Scotia’s commitment to international co-operation on sharing strategies and best practices to help slow the effects of climate change. Under the agreements, Nova Scotia and the signing government or agency agree to share best practices and strategies on emissions reduction, and proven approaches to communicate public awareness on climate change. These letters are also expected to lead to new opportunities for Nova Scotia businesses and organizations specializing in climate change, including 15 companies that travelled to Montreal as part of a consortium called Climate Canada Atlantic. Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash said the letters of co-operation reflect the growth of Nova Scotia’s environmental industries sector. “Our leadership in environmental stewardship has helped develop considerable expertise in our private sector,” he said. “Increasingly, that expertise is being sought around the world and is now worth about $28 million a year in foreign business.” The international climate change conference brought together 10,000 delegates from government, industry, business, the scientific community and other groups interested in action on climate change.
By Younes MasskineRabat – In the Green March speech, King Mohammed VI reaffirmed that Morocco is reaching out to Algeria. Since then, many media outlets and political elites have expressed their hope to see the aspirations of nearly 100 million Maghrebis come true. Others reacted with accusation driven by stereotypes, bad faith, or worst-case scenarios.In reality, emotive language, litmus tests, and trying to push the other side to a tight corner are just the tip of the iceberg. The Morocco-Algeria rift runs much deeper. The dream of unity, which has existed since the feigned withdrawal of the European occupation from the Maghreb, will never see the light unless Maghrebis realize the geopolitics of the problem.It is neither chauvinistic nor narcissistic to say that Moroccans are the biggest losers in the state of delayed union of the Maghreb.The younger generations, born after the Green March in 1975, must know the reason of Morocco’s isolation, and why Morocco wasted so many opportunities for growth and reconstruction.They also should know why they became the victims of a great geopolitical game to isolate Morocco from the Maghreb, beginning, at least two centuries ago, with the colonial plan to divide North Africa.While European colonization brought the downfall of the Ottoman Caliphate in the rest of the Maghreb, Morocco survived the colonial machine that cuts countries off from their historical and religious roots.For France and other colonial powers, Morocco has always been the last bastion that they needed to conquer in order to link the colonized territories of Algeria with West Africa.The signing of the Treaty of Fez, by virtue of which Morocco became a French protectorate, brought about the fall of the 10-century-old Cherifien empire, said veteran Moroccan Independence Party leader, Mohamed El Khalifa, speaking at the anniversary of the launching of the e-newspaper al3omk.com.Read Also: Dujarric: UN Very Supportive of Dialogue Between Algeria and Morocco“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” George Orwell said in his 1984 novel. So the political elites who understand the roots of the past battles must break the taboo of fear and start the conversation and ask the tough questions about the factors of division in the Maghreb.There is no Moroccan–Algerian dispute outside a certain geopolitical structure, nor is there a question of Western Sahara outside the configuration left by colonial powers.If Morocco’s neighbors in the Maghreb sincerely want to break free from the constraints that have prevented Maghrebis, all these decades, from finding common ground and moving forward, they must recognize that they have inherited—consciously or unconsciously—agendas that are neither their own, nor to their interest.Every battle Maghrebis fought against each other was a lost one; the time has come for all Maghrebis to realize that their nation-states can only thrive in a united Maghreb.Read Also: Holocaust Curriculum: Exploring Morocco’s Relationship with the HolocaustThe subversion of Morocco is not an Algerian Bismarckian project but a neo-colonial one. The strong state with a long history that is Morocco is what prevents linking the former French colony of Algeria and the territories south of Tarfaya: Timbuktu, Dakar, and other parts of West Africa.This colonial project is not a thing of the past. A case in point is Libya, the scene of yet another Franco-Italian battle for a new sphere of influence. France has been working tirelessly to regain political, economic, and military influence in North and West Africa, just like it used to do in the late 1980s and early 1990s.Meanwhile, the US, a relatively new player, is pressing for less French influence in the region, pushing the countries of the Maghreb to get together. King Mohammed VI’s initiative for dialogue and the subsequent calls by Algeria and Mauritania for Maghreb foreign ministers to meet could give momentum for Maghreb countries to start taking action.History and diplomatic archives will tell us that Morocco has been unfair to Algeria, which, in reality has been unfair to itself by claiming or giving the impression that it is driven by its own agenda to gain a stranglehold on iron, phosphate reserves, or to have access to the Atlantic Ocean.According to independent historian Jilali El Adnani, in the late 19th century, French military leaders drew borders with Morocco on behalf of Algeria. The French called that border “the TTT line” for Tarfaya, Tindouf, and Touat.Their plan was to limit Moroccan sovereignty to territory above this line, making it easier for them to connect Algeria and West Africa, two regions then under their control.For a long time, the TTT line has been one edge of the Bermuda triangle of hindered progress in the Maghreb. Today, Maghrebis can turn the triangle into a river delta where Algeria and Mauritania meet Morocco and where old dreams are born anew.Translated from Arabic by Zakaria Wadghiri
FOUR INDEPENDENT TDs have criticised two reports into the cancellation of penalty points which found no evidence of widespread corruption or deception in the writing-off of fixed charge notices.Mick Wallace, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Clare Daly and Joan Collins said at a press conference today that the structure and approach of the investigations carried out by assistant garda commissioner John O’Mahoney and the Garda Professsional Standards Unit (GPSU) ”seriously damages” the credibility of the reports and their conclusions.The TDs said it was clear that the whole policy and practice of gardaí in relation to fixed charge notice cancellations “is by their own admission and according to their own internal review and the GPSU report non-complaint, dysfunctional and flawed at every possible level.”The internal garda report published earlier this month examined the practice of some gardaí quashing penalty points but found that anonymous allegations made about inappropriate writing-off of Fixed Charge notices “cannot be substantiated to any degree”.It identified three possible departures from administrative procedural guidelines in respect of terminations conducted by three officers. They were among 113 terminating offices who were included in the investigation but there was “no evidence to suggest any act of criminality, corruption, deception or falsification”. Read: the four TDs’ analysis of the Garda inquiry (PDF) > At a press conference today the independent TDs pointed out that no criminality had ever been alleged and said there was discrepancies in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter’s account of when he learned of the allegations about cancellation of penalty point made by two garda whistleblowers.“This investigation failed to adhere to the two basic standards of natural and constitutional justice,” the TDs said in a statement.They said the two reports had shown that there was no formal system for the exercise of garda discretion in cancelling fixed charge notices.They also said that the Garda Commissioner and the Minister had failed to protect the two whistleblowing gardaí who first highlighted the issue. Wallace pointed out that the whistleblowers were not interviewed during the investigation.“The report leaves a lot to be desired. There is things in the report which point out a lot of what has been going on and their [the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice] summaries appear to ignore a lot of it,” Wallace said.Flanagan said the whistleblowers should be treated like “national heroes” but had instead been ignored. Collins said that the whole controversy had highlighted inequality in the cancellation of penalty points.The TDs said they would be making a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee – though Wallace said the government majority meant there is an “element of bias” in that committee – and planned legislation to address the structure of policing in Ireland and the “unhealthy and incestuous” relationship between gardaí and the government.In full: the four TDs’ analysis of the Garda inquiry (PDF) >Watch: Mick Wallace says he was the victim of an unlawful arrestRead: Gardaí should be able to quash penalty points for ‘humanitarian reasons’