OPINION: Agriculture – a new source of global power for Canada – by William A. MacDonald (Globe and Mail – October 27, 2020)


William A. Macdonald is a corporate lawyer turned consultant with a long history of public service and social engagement.

It is an ill wind that does not blow someone some good. Climate change is an ill wind for the world. However, depending on how Canada responds, it could blow some good our way.

Looking ahead to an increasingly overcrowded planet, strong agriculture could be a renewed source of substantial geopolitical power over the long term. In particular, it could give Canada a great deal more leverage with the two most powerful and problematic countries on Earth: China and the United States.

Climate change is reducing available arable land worldwide. But it is also increasing the arable land in Canada. There is a very big message in this for China.

The climate trend is accelerating as Canada is belatedly moving away from its positive overall approach to a China that, over the past few years, has been increasingly aggressive toward us and other countries.

Earlier this month, Canada’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, drew attention to human-rights abuses in today’s China. And he decried China’s jailing of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in 2018 – its retaliation for Canada’s house arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on behalf of the U.S. – as arbitrary and inhumane.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-agriculture-a-new-source-of-global-power-for-canada/