Canadian air traffic controllers sent hundreds of pizzas to air traffic controllers in the United States. They have been working without pay since December 22. That is when the US government “shutdown” began. (A government shutdown is when a government […]
What You Need To Know About NAFTA and USMCA
A big agreement was just made between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
It’s complicated–too complicated to explain fully here–but it’s good to have an idea about what it is and why it is important.
Back in 1994, the US, Canada and Mexico made a deal to all become “trading partners.” That means, each country would partner with the others to make it easy to buy and sell things and services back and forth. That deal was called NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
When countries don’t have a deal like that, it’s sometimes hard for one country to sell things to another country.
Lots Of Political Drama At G7
A lot happened at the G7 summit this year.
The G7 (the G stands for “group”) is made up of seven of the world’s wealthiest countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The leaders of these countries, plus representatives for the European Union, get together every year. That meeting is called a summit. Every summit is held at a different G7 country; this year, it was held in Quebec, Canada.
At the summit, the leaders talk about issues that affect them all. This year, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said he wanted to discuss: strengthening the middle class, supporting women’s equality and ensuring that more girls can access education, dealing with global warming and promoting respect for diversity.
Some very good things happened at the G7 summit this year. For instance, the leaders agreed to give nearly $3 billion to help women and girls access education. That pledge received praise from many people, including activist Malala Yousafzai, who said, the money will “give more girls hope.”
Ontario Premier Says She Can’t Win Election
The current premier of Ontario says there will be a new premier after the election on June 7 and it most certainly won’t be her.
That was a very surprising announcement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne leads the Ontario Liberal Party. She is one of three main candidates vying for the spot of premier in the upcoming election. The other two main candidates are Doug Ford Jr., who leads the Progressive Conservative (PC) party of Ontario and Andrea Horwath, who leads the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP).
Canada to Lead Trade Missions for Women, LGBTQI, Indigenous Businesses
The Canadian government is going to help businesses owned by women, Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQI people (LGBTQI means lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and intersex people).
The government will create “trade missions” to support their businesses.
A trade mission is when one country — in this case Canada — travels to another country in order to talk about increasing the amount of business between the two countries.
Typically, business owners and government officials go to another country, and meet with business owners and government officials there. They discuss ways the countries can work together.
Winter Olympics More Than Just Sports
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are on now, in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The location is very significant. South Korea and North Korea are not on friendly terms. But the Olympics may be bringing them closer together, politically.
North Korea is a “dictatorship.” That means, one person rules it. That person is Kim Jong-un, known as the “Supreme Leader.” He is known for being extremely strict and harsh with his country’s people. He keeps his country separated from the rest of the world. It is usually hard to know what is going on in North Korea, because free communication is not allowed in or out of the country.
But the Winter Olympics may help to thaw relations between North and South Korea.
“In All Of Us Command”
Some of the words to Canada’s national anthem have been changed. In O Canada, the line, “in all thy sons command” has been changed to “in all of us command.” Last week, Canada passed Bill C-210. That bill changes “the National Anthem Act to substitute the words “of us” for the words “thy sons” in the English version of the national anthem, thus making it gender neutral.” Once the bill is approved by the Governor General, it will be come a law.
Zimbabwe Leadership Uncertain
Robert Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1987.
Anyone younger than 37 years old in the African country has never had another leader.
Now, many people in Zimbabwe, as well as the military, want him to step down–to leave the job so they can choose a new president.
There have been demonstrations in the country, as tens of thousands gathered in Zimbabwe’s cities to make it clear that they wanted Mugabe to leave his job. The military placed Mugabe under house arrest.
However, he may try to hold onto power.
Quebec’s Bill 62 Bans Face Coverings For Public Workers
People in Quebec are worried that Muslim women could be denied certain public services, after the government passed a “religious neutrality” bill.
The province’s Bill 62 was passed by the Quebec provincial government on Oct. 18. It says that people who work for the government in certain jobs must have their face uncovered. It also requires people who are using government services — for instance, riding a bus or using a library — must do so with their face uncovered.
It also bans public workers, like doctors and teachers, from covering their face while they are working.
Former Astronaut To Be Canada’s Next Governor General
Julie Payette will be Canada’s next Governor-General, replacing David Johnston. She will start her new job on October 2.
Payette, 53, is a former astronaut, who spent more than 25 days in space.
She speaks six languages.