If Trump triggers a withdrawal from NAFTA we walk Mexico

WASHINGTON — If Donald Trump attempts the proverbial gun-to-the-temple negotiating strategy on NAFTA, how should America’s neighbours respond: Keep sitting there, or walk away from the bargaining table?It’s a question the other North American countries are grappling with.That’s because the U.S. president is increasingly explicit in suggesting he might pull the trigger on the formal NAFTA withdrawal process to frighten the other countries into making concessions during negotiations.Trump made some of his clearest remarks yet Wednesday on the idea.He suggested he might start the withdrawal process not necessarily to end NAFTA, but to strengthen his negotiating leverage.“We’re working right now on NAFTA, the horrible, terrible NAFTA,” Trump told an audience in Missouri.“We’ve got to change this deal. And hopefully we can renegotiate it, but if we can’t, we’ll terminate it and we’ll start all over again with a real deal.”That remark about terminating and starting over was an apparent reference to Article 2205. That’s the clause in NAFTA where one country can serve notice of its intent to withdraw, after a minimum six-month waiting period.Such a move wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of NAFTA. At the end of the six-month period, the president could still choose to remain in the agreement. Furthermore, even if he did choose to withdraw, what would likely follow are complex legal battles where lawmakers and industry would argue that the agreement remains largely intact, unless the U.S. Congress passes a law rescinding it.Still, a withdrawal notice would present the other countries with a mammoth dilemma — about whether to stay or go.Mexico has indicated it would leave. Canada hasn’t been that explicit.The southernmost partner drew its line in the sand Wednesday. A high-level Mexican cabinet delegation left for meetings in Washington, and made its position clear when asked whether it would keep negotiating under the threat of withdrawal under Article 2205.“No,” said Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, as quoted in several Spanish-language media reports.“We do not believe it would be the correct path or a viable path, describing the agreement as terminated right as we’re in the process of renegotiation.”He made those remarks after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.The Canadians aren’t going that far.The Canadian government says it’s focused on the negotiations and looks forward to the next round, which starts Friday in Mexico City.Its response Wednesday, in a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s spokesman Adam Austen was: “As we stated at the conclusion of the first round of talks, we are committed to upgrading NAFTA and establishing 21st century standards supporting middle class jobs to the benefit of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.” read more

High school mentorship program draws more students than ever

Phil Boseglav, left, and Morgan Zabzinski check out the H8 hypnosquare Zabzinski made as part of the student mentorship program.Twenty-five of Niagara’s brightest high school students got a taste of Brock this year through the annual Brock Mentorship Program.Gifted students from eight Niagara high schools spent a semester working with Brock researchers in Mathematics and Science, Applied Health Sciences and Social Sciences. It was the 17th year of the program and the largest group of participants to date.Morgan Zabzinski, 17, from Stamford Collegiate in Niagara Falls was one of the participants. He worked with Phil Boseglav, a lab demonstrator who teaches electronics and physics, during a semester that culminated with him making an H8 hypnosquare.Zabzinski joined the program because he wanted the university experience and the chance to work with an expert.“I aspire to go into physics, and I liked the hands-on learning aspect of it,” he said. “I also experienced the university learning environment while I was still in high school.”It was Bogeslav’s first year as a mentor, but he’d like to do it again. Zabzinski proved to be an able student, and every day they worked together, they’d reach a new benchmark, he said.“It was nice to see someone pick something up as quickly as Morgan did and expand their horizons.”The program was founded by Joe Engemann, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education. This year, he co-ordinated the program with Heather Bellisario, academic advisor and liaison officer in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.Staff and faculty from 10 departments participated. They were, in addition to Bogeslav:Martin LemaireBozidar MitrovicKaren ArnellLiette VasseurDeena ErampalliKim GammagePaul ZeliskoTom McDonaldFrank FeutenDeb O’LearyHeather GordonDawn GoodSid SegalowitzPing LiangCheryl McCormickBareket FalkJoffre MercierDoug BruceTravis DuddingThis year’s program ended with a symposium on Feb. 23. Students presented their findings on subjects ranging from blood pressure in adolescents to the production of synthetic embryos through cloning in geraniums.Since its first year, more than 250 students from 20 high schools have participated, being mentored by more than 70 Brock faculty and staff. read more

Outside the Lindo Wing Babies bring people together Royal babies have the

At a time of great political division, cleaved by Russian belligerence, Brexit negotiations and the ongoing Windrush scandal, it was just what was… The sun shone bright as a promise, the clouds parted to reveal enough blue for a tiny sailor suit, and when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged onto the steps of the Lindo Wing cradling their third child – she dressed in red and white, he in blue – all seemed right with the world. At news of his arrival, champagne corks popped, cheers rang out and the crowd of wellwishers went wild outside St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He was born on St George’s Day. A dear little brother, a bona fide prince of the realm and a source of national celebration. read more