It was a secret, surprise visit.
Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has been dragging his feet about deploying Canadian peacekeepers to Mali. Canada should never again contribute troops to the endless UN-led peace missions that pop up around the world. In 70 years of peacekeeping, I'm at a loss to think of a single mission that succeeded.
We cannot allow ourselves to become content to remain what the Canadian minister of defence has called "an island of stability in an ocean of turmoil." The Canadian government must make the decision to go or not to go in Mali, or elsewhere in Africa, to provide assistance to peace-support operations.
Last Thursday, Lieutenant General Paul Wynnyk became the commander of the Canadian Army and quickly stated the Canadian Army could possibly deploy troops in Africa. As a matter of fact, according to Wynnyk, a deployment to Africa was imminent. Although many regions in Africa would benefit from having Canadian soldiers on the ground, Mali has been mentioned on many occasions.
Whether our numerous interventions are justified or not, we cannot continue to let our self-imagined grand delusions make us blind to the fact that our actions abroad can come back to haunt us here at home. The problem with this admission, however is that it forces us to look in the mirror to confront our very own imperfections. Yet until we're able to do so, peace in our times will continue to remain an elusive fantasy and the carnage is destined to continue.
Agroecology is a vast body of science and knowledge that for farmers like Fanta Traoré in Mali, holds answers to the major problems facing the world's food system, among them persistent and growing rates of hunger and malnutrition, a huge ecological footprint, alarming climate change, and the increasing disenfranchisement of farmers. They use their ingenuity and time-tested knowledge to work with ecosystems, soils, seeds, water, and biodiversity, while producing food for communities and sustaining farm families on the land.
In Bamako, Mali the Point G, a University Hospital Centre, is for many Malians the ultimate stop for their survival. However, in this very poor country, patients in public hospitals are required to pay for all the medical services, entry fees, lab tests and medications.
We are awash in refugees, today, especially with the disaster taking place in Syria. We have limited resources -- human and
How do you have an election in a country with a literacy rate of 37%? And why would someone who lives in a mud hut without running water or electricity take the time and effort to vote for someone who in all likelihood will have little to no effect on his or her life? But when the time finally came, election day in Mali was fantastic.
I made the decision to undertake a journey that has thus far brought me from Bamako to Douentza. My purpose was to observe first-hand the impact of the past two years of disturbance on the ordinary people. This seemed like a great idea while I was sitting in Canada with a café au lait and reading the daily paper.
We've seen an increasing amount in the news about Mali lately. A West African country in the grips of a conflict so brutal almost 400,000 people, mainly women and children, have had to flee their homes. With these concerns in mind, Plan has been stepping up our regular programs in Mali to help people through this period in their lives.
Do I really want to live in a world in which France is a moral and military leader? I began to ask this question last July
Bob Rae questioned John Baird's courage Tuesday night during a debate in the House of Commons on Canada's role in the conflict
If you like your tales of Canadian do-gooding to be humble and cutesy, I imagine you'll be charmed to learn that the primary reason why our air force intervened in Mali this week was because we were already in the neighbourhood. Once you begin to watch the headlines, it becomes harder to ignore the decidedly inelegant possibly that Canadian foreign policy is actually governed by much of the same lazy logic as the rest of Canadian life -- namely, we'll do whatever's cheap, fast, popular, and easy, and -- if time and cost permits -- right.
As a city-dwelling lifestyle journalist, I tend to write about high-end spa treatments and the like. So when my editor at Chatelaine asked if I knew anyone who would travel to Mali in West Africa to write about the food crisis there, I was as surprised as she was to hear the words "I'll go." My time there changed the way I think about charitable giving. Mali is plagued with misfortune and desperately needs our help.
As Harper dilates on the virtues of Calgary, and the United States slogs into one of its dullest and nastiest presidential campaigns between two of its least impressive candidates ever, the West may take some comfort from the relative tranquility around their major office-holders. As dismal as things can seem over here, we should be aware of how bad things can get, and in some countries, generally are.