Marc Kealey discusses opportunities for Canadian and Indian infrastructure sectors.
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A Canadian company has obtained a license to build a multi-million-dollar international-standard hospital in northern Vietnam.
The company wanted to invest $200 million in the project in 2012 and start work on it in the first quarter of 2013, but it failed to do so because of procedural issues.
Vietnam lacks high-standard hospitals so each year Vietnamese spend billions of dollars to cure their illnesses overseas, Marc Kealey, general director of Triple Eye Infrastructure, told Dau Tu in an interview.
Kealey said that it would be a success for any hospital in Vietnam if it could get one or two percent of that amount.
Expected to begin operations in 2016, the planned hospital will be located at Dai An Industrial Park and will offer healthcare services to over 20,000 workers at the park as well as people from Hai Duong and neighboring provinces, Mai Duc Chon, head of the Hai Duong Industrial Park Management Authority told Vietnam Investment Review.
The project is Triple Eye’s first investment in Vietnam and the hospital will also be the first international infirmary in Hai Duong.
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CIF Media Event to announce Mr. Narayana Murthy as CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award
recipient, and the Canada India Infrastructure Forum, scheduled for April 2014
Presented by Harneha Gulati, PTC Punjabi on February 19, 2014
By Roderick Benns
When former Prime Minister John Turner reflects on the years he spent as a progressive minister under both Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, he is satisfied he made important social changes for all Canadians.
Asked to consider a time in politics when he knew he was making a difference in Canadians’ lives, Mr. Turner says he “had a lot to do with a number of situations that affected people directly.”
Mr. Turner pointed out he was involved with legislation and departments that had many direct connections to Canadians under both Prime Ministers Pearson and Trudeau.
“For instance, I always believed in balancing individual rights against those of corporations,” says Mr. Turner.
That’s why the former leader says he was proud to introduce the bill in the House of Commons in 1967 that created the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs – and then he led it.
“I headed up the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs which gave a balance in the legal rights between consumers and corporations,” Mr. Turner says.
As John Turner biographer, Paul Litt writes, this “fit with his concern for the rights of the average Canadian in the face of impersonal bureaucracy…”
Litt notes that for Mr. Turner it was “also a matter of social justice; the poor…commonly paid more because they lacked access to consumer choice and got stuck with the highest interest rates.”
Under former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Mr. Turner was appointed minister of justice in 1968 – a post he held for four years. It was during this time that Mr. Turner sponsored Criminal Code reform.
“At the justice department, I established the federal court of Canada,” where trials and hearings were heard across Canada, he says. The court also strengthened the rights of individual defendants on trial. Mr. Turner also got rid of the tradition of party patronage in the appointment of judges. He also set up the Law Reform Commission.
During a key time in Canada’s history, Mr. Turner would also direct the Justice Department under the War Measures Act. He was also minister of finance from 1972-1975.
After years as a successful lawyer, Mr. Turner was convinced to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1984. Mr. Turner won and became prime minister when Mr. Trudeau left office. Losing to Brian Mulroney in 1984, he nonetheless doubled the Liberal seat count in the next election, in 1988. He remained Liberal leader and leader of the opposition until 1990. He then retired from politics once again to resume his legal career.
Did You Know?
John Turner is known as Canada’s ‘fastest prime minister,’ for his distinguished athletic record while in university. In the late 1940s, Turner was one of Canada’s top sprinters. In fact, he set the Canadian record in the 100-yard dash, running it in 9.8 seconds in 1947.
The University of British Columbia sprinter also dominated the 100-and-200-yard events. He even qualified for the 1948 London Olympics, but a car accident closed this window of opportunity.
Mr. Turner, a Rhodes Scholar, studied law at Oxford and in 1954 was called to the Quebec Bar.
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By Roderick Benns
Just one decade ago, former Prime Minister John Turner recalls the unforgettable demonstration of democratic power in Ukraine.
After a late November, 2004 election in which most election observers reported massive fraud on the part of the governing party, a re-run of the presidential election occurred about a month later after great Ukrainian and international pressure.
Mr. Turner, now 84, was a key witness to that historic second chance. That’s because then-Prime Minister Paul Martin handpicked Mr. Turner to lead the largest election delegation in Canada’s history, calling him a “tremendous defender of parliamentary democracy.”
Mr. Turner led a 500-person monitoring team under the first-ever mission of the Canada Corps.
“I led the team to Kiev and across Ukraine to patrol Election Day. It was the Orange revolution and it was one of the greatest demonstrations of democracy I have ever witnessed,” Mr. Turner says.
Turner, who still works five days a week in Toronto doing promotional work in energy and the environment, is dismayed at the state Ukraine finds itself in today.
“The last 10 years have been a political tragedy. You have to listen to the people,” Mr. Turner tells Leaders and Legacies.
“Those in charge of political affairs of the country need to open their ears and their eyes and be available to the people – that’s the secret to success.”
Canada was among the first to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union more than two decades ago. Canada’s connection with Ukraine has been strong, anchored by massive waves of immigration from the country since the turn of the twentieth century under former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier.
Democracy not an accident
The example of Ukraine’s lost decade in democratic renewal allows Canada’s 17th prime minister to reflect on Canada. Mr. Turner points out that he spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Montreal in 1963 and advocated for free votes in parliament except for budgets and the throne speech.
“I’m also in favour of strong standing committees, in favour of private members bills, and opening up question period,” said Mr. Turner.
Mr. Turner says Canada must stay “an open country” in practice and spirit.
“Democracy does not happen by accident. Citizens need to be active and parliament needs to be open to the people. There has to be political independence in parliament and in the legislature. That means the role of the individual MP has to be established,” said Mr. Turner.
As for more Canadians choosing to get involved in public life and choosing a political career, Mr. Turner says he has been on several committees over 25 years, exploring why young people don’t want to get involved in politics.
“They point to the financial sacrifice, marriage pressure, media pressure on one’s private life, and that the job itself isn’t worth it anymore – that the role of the individual Member of Parliament has diminished.”
Because of all these reasons, says Mr. Turner, “we have to be active in our own democracy” and consider how to bring in new people to renew our institutions.
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In just a few days, MP Adler will join Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian delegation on an historic visit to Israel. This will be the Prime Minister’s first trip to the region, and a diverse group of Jewish community leaders will be on hand. As the first son of Holocaust survivors ever to elected to Parliament, MP Adler feels truly honoured to take part in a trip that promises meetings with senior Israeli officials, religious and civic leaders, and tours of sacred religious monuments.
Our local York Centre community will be represented well, as rabbis from Clanton Park, Beth David, Beth Emeth, Adath Israel and Darchei Noam are part of the delegation.
Staff in MP Adler’s office will be working around-the-clock to provide you with news and updates from each and every part of the trip. Please go to www.facebook.com/YorkCentre or follow MP Adler on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MarkAdlerMP to get real-time pictures and information.
Canada India Foundation co-sponsors talk by Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. T.S. Krishnamurthy, at the Economic Club of Canada
TORONTO, CANADA, September 5, 2013: The former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. T.S. Krishnamurthy, who presided over elections in the largest democracy in the world, India, shared his experiences during a talk at the Economic Club of Canada, co-sponsored by Canada India Foundation (CIF). The event was attended by prominent dignitaries including former Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable John Turner and the new Consul General of India in Canada, Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, as well as executives from CIF, Economic Club of Canada, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Canada India Business Council and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
When he first joined the Election Commission in year 2000, Mr. Krishnamurthy broke the tradition of Election Commissioners in India being appointed only from India’s elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS), by becoming the first officer to be appointed from the equally important but less high-profiled Indian Revenue Service (IRS), a testament to his personal reputation and integrity. Speaking of the unique features of India’s electoral process, he said “No court can interfere in the election process in India from the date of announcement of elections to the announcement of the results of the election”, adding “Such a provision exists in no other country in the world”. Another feature unique to India, according to him, was the existence in the national constitution of a special chapter devoted to the Election Commission. While not being autocratic, India’s Election Commission had both the responsibility and the authority to take any course of action to address an election issue as determined by it, Mr. Krishnamurthy said.
As the Chief Election Commissioner who oversaw the first use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in India, Mr. Krishnamurthy defended the EVM’s against charges of potential for tampering. He pointed out that the devices, which were invented and built in India, had 10 security safeguards built-in, had been certified by India’s leading institute of technology and although often challenged, tampering of EVM’s had never been successfully demonstrated in court. The key benefits of EVM’s in India, according to him, were ease of use by populace with a high level of illiteracy, savings of paper and fast tabulation and announcement of results.
Speaking of some of the challenges faced by Indian democracy, Mr. Krishnamurthy said that the political party system and party dynamics presented the weakest link in the democratic process in India and emphasized the need for electoral reform in this area. To address this, he said, the Election Commission established a model code of conduct for the parties, thereby creating a level playing field for both the ruling party and the others, and strictly implemented it, imposing fines and penalties for violation even against the ruling party when warranted, and transferring public election officials who had a conflict of interest. Among potential reforms he suggested was the inclusion of the negative voting option, which would enable voters to vote against a specific candidate, and a different option than the “first-past-the-post” method of choosing the winner of an election contest. He cited the statement by former Prime Minister John Turner, who was in the audience, that “elections do not guarantee democracy, people do”.
Earlier, Dr. V.I. Lakshmanan, Chair of CIF, welcomed the audience and introduced Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, the new Consul General of India in Toronto. Speaking at his first public meeting since taking on his new role, Mr. Akhilesh Mishra complimented Canada India Foundation for its leadership in advancing Canada India relations and said that he looked forward to working closely with CIF. He also thanked members of the local Indo-Canadian community and the people of Toronto for their warmth in welcoming him in his new role. Ms. Rhiannon Trail, CEO of Economic Club of Canada, thanked Mr. Krishnamurthy, Canada India Foundation and all the attendees for making the event a success.
Canada India Foundation (CIF) is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization formed to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on the changing face of India; and to increase the participation of Indo-Canadians in the public policy process in Canada.
For information about Canada India Foundation, visit www.canadaindia.org.
For more details, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 779-5237
Canada and Vietnam have much to celebrate internationally – Canada’s natural resource management, for example, has prompted world recognized innovation in mining and processing for mined material, Canada is a leader in banking innovation and it is also recognized worldwide for its expertise in healthcare. Canada, however, is more widely known for being understated when promoting achievements. Vietnam, in direct contrast, has emerged in recent years as the engine in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and has fast become a go to investment market from other Asian and western markets. Canada has been tacitly interested in Vietnam – until recently. Much has been noted in Canada about the emerging opportunity in Vietnam and the hyper-growth that is being realized there as a result of investments in certain sectors – now including healthcare.
The government of Vietnam recognized early that outreach and collaboration with western economies is the life-blood for growth and economic stability. One initiative in recent years that capitalized on the special relationship shared between Canada and Vietnam is the establishment of the Canada Vietnam Business Council, an initiative of the government of Vietnam. Vietnam’s government and business community realized, too, that Canada is a country that should have stronger and longer term economic relations with Vietnam. This was demonstrated when Canada’s Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston visited Vietnam in 2012 and recently Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. John Baird visited the nation to promote more trade between the two countries. This past February, Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, celebrated “Tet” among Canada’s largest Vietnamese-Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area, officially signalling the importance of the relationship between Canada and Vietnam.
From a more tangible perspective, healthcare in Vietnam is one of the more important public policy issues facing the country. At a 2010 meeting in Toronto, Canada between His Excellency Le Sy Vuong Ha, Ambassador to Vietnam and members of the Canada Vietnam Business Council the topic of healthcare was the focal point.
Specifically, the Ambassador recognized that Vietnam and Canada have a special relationship. He pointed out that Vietnam’s understanding of Canadian healthcare and, particularly, its knowledge of the structure of Canada’s healthcare system – publicly funded and privately delivered – place Vietnam uniquely in a position to exploit opportunities to promote private sector investment in healthcare in their country. Canada’s healthcare system, by virtue of its funding mechanism(s) make it one of the most unique systems in the world. That noted, however, Canada – specifically trade organizations and government, must do a better job to promote its healthcare system to and in emerging markets like Vietnam and by extension ASEAN, but that is a topic for another day.
Today, the Vietnamese economy continues to strengthen and Vietnamese citizens in urban areas reap the economic benefits of this growth – specifically Hanoi and HCM City. Social and lifestyle issues continue to improve as the Doi Moi (the renovation policies) unfold. However, for some Vietnamese there remains a disparity in health equity and, as such, health quality and access to health services available in Vietnam have not kept pace. “There is tremendous stress on the public system in Vietnam and alternative, private sector based opportunities have to be unlocked. There is, however, one immutable benefit of the Doi Moi – a segment of the population of Vietnam are becoming wealthier. As such, the opportunity to access quality healthcare for those with means in the country is terribly limited so most Vietnamese with economic means, seek personal healthcare outside Vietnam”, said Marc Kealey, a principal at Triple Eye Corporation of Canada – a health infrastructure company.
Ambassador Ha cited numbers as high as six billion dollars ($6 billion) a year that is spent outside of Vietnam by its citizens seeking healthcare services in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and China. Those countries reap the benefit of Vietnam’s developing healthcare system, while Vietnam struggles through its renovation policies. Ambassador Ha, through myriad meetings with the Canada Vietnam Business Council and Triple Eye Corporation, expressed the desire and rationale of his government to repatriate that capital, encourage direct foreign investment in healthcare in Vietnam and encourage more private sector investment in healthcare services.
One such company that has risen to the challenge to invest in healthcare opportunities in Vietnam is Canada’s International Infrastructure Inc (better know as Triple Eye), one of the founding members of the Canada Vietnam Business Council (CVBC). Senior partners in the company took up Ambassador Ha’s challenge and travelled to Vietnam in 2010 to answer the call on health care investment opportunities. On the first visit, with other members of the CVBC, Triple Eye participated in an historic signing of a cooperation agreement on developing healthcare opportunities there.
With considerable experience in developing and designing emergency medical services, Triple Eye executives have worked in Latin America, Eastern Europe and other Asian countries. On the visit in 2010, members of Triple Eye – Marc Kealey and Danny Leung met with the Chair of the Dai An Joint Stock Company (JSC), Madame Phuong Truong Tu ,whose organization operates one of Vietnam’s largest economic free trade zones – one is located in Hai Duong province, east of Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. At meetings in Hai Duong, Madame Phuong made it apparent that her vision matched the vision of Ambassador Ha’s with respect to the necessity of repatriating Vietnamese healthcare dollars in Vietnam. She also offered ideas to improve and provide quality care services for Vietnamese citizens who might otherwise seek their care in foreign jurisdictions – her idea was to look to countries like Canada, Japan, Taiwan and other such places. After an initial qualification process in Vietnam, Triple Eye presented its bona fides and outlined how working together for a protracted period of time (25 years) rather than, say, a five year payback would encourage public policy decision makers in Vietnam to endorse the model of greater participation with Canada in healthcare investment. Triple Eye and Dai An immediately began to negotiate.
Months later and several trips back and forth to Vietnam and Canada (for both parties), agreement was reached on a site for a hospital to be built at the Dai An Industrial Zone along Hwy 5 in Hai Duong province – east of Hanoi. The intention to build the hospital, a first between Canada and Vietnam was announced in media after a visit by a large delegation to Canada from Vietnam in June of 2012 and shortly after that Triple Eye spent considerable time in the summer and fall of 2012 in Hai Duong to prepare pre-feasibility on the proposed hospital site.
The Hospital project
Recommended and located on several hectares of serviced land in Hai Duong, the proposed site for what has become known as “Madame Phuong’s hospital project” is strategic for the provision of private sector health services for ex-patriates living in that area of Vietnam and for those in Vietnam with means and for employees and their families who are employed at plants located at the Dai An Industrial zone.
The prefeasibility study, conducted by a team of health specialists led by Marc Kealey of Triple Eye in 2012 determined if the land for siting the hospital was suitable for building a hospital and other practical issues – like sizing – environment and ease of access for patients and their families to the proposed site. Preliminary economic issues were discussed too, including costing and planning. It was determined after considerable study the project is viable and that the overall cost for a 200 bed hospital in Hai Duong would be $265 million dollars.
The meeting with the Minister of Health in Vietnam bore particular fruit for the proposed hospital project and credibility for the relationship between Dai An JSC and Triple Eye. Of note was the discussion between the country’s Minister of Health and Marc Kealey of Triple Eye where Minister Tien gave endorsement and support for private sector investment in healthcare in her country. The Minister endorsed the agreement between Triple Eye and Dai An JSC and gave an impassioned plea that private healthcare investment was needed for the country because health care policies have not kept pace with the expansive growth in the economy.
The Minister made it clear in her remarks that the government encourages private sector investment in healthcare and her aspirations for such an investment meshed perfectly with that of Ambassador Ha’s about repatriating capital from Vietnamese seeking healthcare in foreign jurisdictions.
Kick-starting health care policy aspirations for any developing nation accrues to the government , she noted, and in the case of Canadian investment in healthcare, like the proposed project to be built by the Dai An Vietnam Canada International Hospital Corporation, there is, seemingly active interest and immediate results for Vietnam. The Minister offered her unqualified support.
The business case for a private hospital
A private hospital corporation developed by agreement between a Vietnamese Corporation like Dai An JSC and Canadian company Triple Eye Corporation could be of significant benefit to Vietnam says Marc Kealey, principal of Triple Eye Corporation. “It behooves us as Canadians to try and find alternatives within our own system to help Vietnam realize her potential in a global world where health dollars should stay close to home” he says. He noted that options for healthcare are being considered in Vietnam by other countries like Malaysia, China, France and the United States and they are being closely examined to see how they can work. The benefit of a Canadian proposal is that the policy framework for private sector hospital projects or PPPs has worked in Canada and may be adopted in Vietnam.
“Private sector investment in healthcare is the way to go in country’s like Vietnam as the country matures – state run systems without adequate capitalization are never good. And as economies grow, so too, does choice for those with means who live there”, says Kealey. “There is a lot of talk from foreign companies who claim to have all the answers, we aim to have all the pieces in place, make a full contribution and realize the potential we set out to provide with our partner in Vietnam.”
The agreement between Triple Eye Corporation and Dai An JSC has prompted the establishment of a corporation in Vietnam called the “Dai An Vietnam Canada International Hospital Corporation”, which, is now in the throes of achieving its investment certificate. It is anticipated that the certificate will be granted when all the paperwork has been signed off. There have been hurdles and some bureaucracy from both Canada and Vietnam that have slowed things a bit, but the path is clear that a certificate will be granted and the project will begin.
For its part, Triple Eye Corporation of Canada is actively interviewing Canadian companies with who it will partner for the engineering, design, construction and staffing of the 200 bed hospital slated for completion in late 2015.
In the meantime, Triple Eye continues to lecture and promote the project widely across Canada. In recent months it has sought and garnered Canadian medical staff and a recognized Canadian university to work alongside in education and staffing for Vietnamese workers. There continue to be many emails and letters from interested Vietnamese health workers to Triple Eye about employment opportunities and Triple Eye is actively promoting the project to funding partners for financing the project – interest is high.
One of the greatest challenges facing Triple Eye in Canada comes from funding sources who inquire as to how to mitigate risk in Vietnam. This fear, Triple Eye believes comes largely from of lack of practical knowledge of the current Vietnam. “I personally believe that Canadians have to visit Vietnam if they are interested in that market and see for themselves the potential that exists there” says Kealey, “once Canadian business people and those available to deploy finance for large projects like our hospital corporation, well see how the economy is shifting and they will see the enormous opportunity that also exists there. Once that’s realized, the appetite for investment will increase and the fears for risks will be minimized. We have the right partner in Dai An JSC, the right economic environment, the right policy directives set from the highest levels of government in Vietnam and the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi is extremely helpful. Our job is to demonstrate the viability of the project to deploy funding from the finance sector and risk management organizations in Canada to see what we see in Vietnam”, said Kealey.
Time is of the essence for projects of this magnitude and Triple Eye and its partner Dai An JSC is striving to have all its papers in order by the end of summer 2013 to begin construction as soon as possible and have this, the first such hospital, ready for patients in 2015.
A key focus of discussions and deliberations during this year’s fifth staging of the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, from June 16 to 19, in Montego Bay, St. James, will be the country’s long-term National Development Plan — Vision 2030 Jamaica.
The plan seeks to position Jamaica to attain developed country status by 2030 and in the process, make it ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’.
This will complement the Conference theme: ‘The Diaspora: Partnership for Development’, with trade, development, investment, and the Diaspora’s role through partnership being the overarching focus.
Against this background, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) will be seeking to further deepen dialogue with Diaspora representatives at the conference through the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat; Population and Health Unit; Migration Policy Project Unit; and Community Renewal Programme.
Chief of these activities is the integrated booth which each Unit will combine to mount in the Marketplace. This will centre on Vision 2030 Jamaica and two of the key elements for realising the national vision: community renewal; and development of a National Policy and Plan of Action on International Migration and Development as well as a Diaspora Policy.
PIOJ representatives will also participate in several panel discussions and make a number of presentations over the three days.
Vision 2030 Jamaica Programme Director, Richard Lumsden, notes that “the Conference is structured around the priorities for development”.
He said there will be discussions around the areas of strategic investment in logistics; information and communication technology; tourism; the creative industries; developments in the social sector, health and education among others.
He added that the discussions are expected to explore how to effectively deepen the partnership between Jamaica and the Diaspora, “drawing on the lessons from other countries such as Israel and Ireland”.
One special area of focus this year will be engagements at the community level. Lumsden explained that members of the Diaspora are inclined to have “enduring connections” with their hometowns, communities, and districts. “They have often expressed, certainly with us, an interest in engaging in projects in specific areas of the country,” he said.
To this end, a number of field trips are being scheduled for Diaspora members following the conference’s conclusion on June 19, during which they will visit projects in several communities.
“That (community interest) was part of the rationale for the Community Renewal Programme being such a prominent component of this year’s engagements. That (community engagement) is one of the (new) areas that we see an interest in,” he advises.
The Community Renewal Programme seeks to promote interventions aimed at building capacity for self empowerment at the individual and community levels in the targeted areas, deemed marginalised.
Regarding efforts to heighten the Diaspora’s overall awareness about Vision 2030 Jamaica outside of the biennial conferences, Lumsden said the secretariat has endeavoured to provide information through collaborations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to representatives through Consular offices globally.
“We have (also) engaged in ‘one-on-one’ discussions with members….(and) actually travelled (on one occasion), at the invitation of (members of) the Canadian Diaspora, to Toronto and made a presentation at one of their events there,” he added.
Noting the extent of the PIOJ’s input in assisting to plan and organise the Conference, Lumsden says the Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat and the Population Unit have been engaged, “over the past several months”, in the preparatory work, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Additionally, he said the Migration Policy Project Unit has engaged in developing the new Migration and Development Policy, which is also scheduled to be discussed, while also having an input in commencing work to draft a Diaspora and Development Policy.
Lumsden also said the conference was aiming to generate an action plan for implementation, during the two-year period preceding the next meeting, to further strengthen the partnership between Jamaica and its Diaspora.