Canada to increase potash exports to Bangladesh to boost food production, says country’s trade ministry
Canada is set to increase its potash exports to Bangladesh this year – aiming to strengthen food production and security in Bangladesh and support the country’s agricultural sector. The agreement to increase the supply of potash was signed between the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Saskatchewan-based Canpotex (one of the world’s largest suppliers), and the government of Bangladesh, the Canadian Trade Ministry said in a statement released on March 17. “The sale of Canadian potash to Bangladesh, made possible through the hard work of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, shows our commitment to being a reliable partner and quality supplier of agricultural products in the Indo-Pacific region. Canada is a global leader in helping to address challenges in global supply chains, all while promoting Canadian values and protecting good, middle-class Canadian jobs,” Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, said while announcing the agreement. Read More: Canada wants agro collaboration with Bangladesh, says visiting minister The agreement – under the country’s new Indo-Pacific strategy – will help Bangladesh address the increased food insecurity caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the Canadian trade ministry statement. The Canadian Commercial Corporation has been supplying potash to Bangladesh since 2014. In 2022, Canada exported more than $500 million worth of potash to Bangladesh. According to Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA), Bangladesh imported 80% of its potash requirements from Russia and Belarus and about 20% from Canada in recent years. However, due to sanctions and payment-related complications since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, Bangladesh is not able to import potash from Russia and Belarus. Read More: BGMEA for Bangladesh mission's support for explore more trade opportunities in Canada
Death of 3 Bangladeshi students in Canada: Body of one victim to arrive in Dhaka on Feb 24
The body of one of the three Bangladesh students, who died in a tragic car crash in Toronto on Monday night, is scheduled to reach Dhaka from Canada on February 24. The families have also been informed and assured that the High Commission and the Consulate in Toronto can be contacted even after the office hours and during the weekend, if necessary. The Consulate is also in touch with two Funeral Homes in Toronto that are making arrangements with the hospital authorities over issuing death certificates as well as other necessary documentation for transportation of the bodies of the three deceased students, said the Bangladesh High Commission on Saturday. The families of the deceased have been reassured that the Bangladesh Consulate in Toronto would issue necessary documents as soon as death certificates and other necessary papers are received from the hospital and the funeral homes. Three Bangladeshi international students died and another was injured in a tragic car crash in Toronto on Monday night. The High Commission and the Bangladesh Consulate in Toronto offer their deep condolences to the families of the deceased students and pray for the salvation of their departed souls and also for the rapid and full recovery of the injured student. The High Commissioner was informed by the family that the condition of the injured student is stable and improving. Meanwhile, the families of the three deceased students were assured that the High Commission and the Consulate in Toronto would provide all the possible necessary support to transport the bodies of the deceased students. The High Commissioner also advised the Country and the Station Managers of the Bangladesh Biman Airlines in Toronto to facilitate the process as well as to arrange for tickets on a priority basis for the family members who would like to come to Toronto or who would accompany the bodies to Bangladesh by the Biman flight to and from Toronto, if and as required.
Leading Canadian museum reviewing submission on ’71 genocide for display
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is now reviewing a submission for recognition of the "genocide" perpetrated by the Pakistani occupation forces in Bangladesh in 1971 to it last year. CMHR is a federally-managed museum whose role includes preserving and promoting Canada’s heritage at home and abroad; contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians; and inspiring research, learning, and entertainment that belong to all Canadians. As part of the review process, Jeremy Melvin Maron, curator of the Holocaust and Genocide Contest at CMHR and in charge of reviewing and recommending the submission to the concerned authorities of CMHR for acceptance, will be in Dhaka from February 6 to 12 this year. During his stay in Dhaka, Maron would visit some of the sites where the genocide took place and meet the members of the families of the victims and the survivors. The Liberation War Museum, Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and other museums. He will also meet senior officials and policymakers of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other national experts in genocide issues. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Liberation War Museum will jointly organise and manage his visit to Bangladesh. Once the submission is accepted, CMHR would permanently display the "Evidences and Exhibits of Genocide" in the museum. At the same time, the Year of the Birth of Bangladesh and the Portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would also be placed in the "Time Stream" of the museum. Acceptance of the submission and permanent display of "Evidences and Exhibits of Genocide" in the CMHR is an important step towards raising awareness about the genocide in 1971 and its recognition in Canada, the Bangladesh High Commission in Ottawa said Monday. Earlier, the Bangladesh mission in collaboration with the Bangabandhu Centre for Bangladesh Studies in Canada, the Liberation War Museum Dhaka, the Centre for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University and the Conflict and Resilience Research Institute Canada made a submission for recognition of the genocide to CMHR. After the submission, the Bangladesh High Commission organised an international seminar at CMHR participated by international experts, intellectuals, diplomats and academicians. The seminar discussed the genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 and emphasised its global recognition. Read more: Prominent persons demand recognition of 1971 killings as genocide
BGMEA for Bangladesh mission's support for explore more trade opportunities in Canada
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has sought the support of the Bangladesh High Commission in Canada to explore more trade opportunities, including apparel exports, in the North American country. Bangladesh High Commissioner in Canada Dr Khalilur Rahman paid a visit to BGMEA President Faruque Hassan in Dhaka Wednesday. Read more: BGMEA, GarmentTechBD to collaborate in improving supply chain management skills BGMEA Vice-President Shahiduallah Azim, Director Abdullah Hil Rakib and BGMEA Standing Committee on UD-Woven and Knit Chair Md Nurul Islam were also present at the meeting. They talked about the current state of affairs in the readymade garments (RMG) industry, especially how the sector had been navigating through a rough patch in recent times amid a depressed global economy and rising inflation. Their talks also focused on trade opportunities in Canada and ways to seize them. Faruque requested the high commissioner to step up diplomatic efforts to boost the ties between the two countries and ensure trade benefits for Bangladesh in the Canadian market after it graduates from the least developed country (LDC) category. The BGMEA president also sought cooperation from Dr Khalilur Rahman in promoting Bangladesh and its RMG industry in Canada. Read more: Bangladesh's RMG bracing for next phase of growth: BGMEA
Leaders of US, Canada, Mexico show unity despite friction
President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to downplay their frustrations with one another on migration and trade as they met for the near-annual North American Leaders Summit. The leaders offered a unified front on Tuesday despite tensions that have put a strain on their relationships even as Biden has made repairing alliances a cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda. The tensions were front and center when Biden and López Obrador met on Monday, with the Mexican president complaining of “abandonment” and “disdain” for Latin America. But as they closed Tuesday’s summit in Mexico City with a joint news conference, the leaders offered an optimistic outlook. “We’re true partners the three of us,” said Biden, adding that they had “genuine like” for one another. “We share a common vision for the future, grounded on common values.” López Obrador, for his part, thanked Biden for not building “even one meter of wall,” a not so subtle dig at Biden’s Republican predecessor, Donald Trump. The warmth during their joint press conference stood in stark contrast to the more brusque exchange a day earlier. Still, López Obrador prodded Biden to “insist” Congress regularize undocumented Mexican migrants who work in industries where American employers are struggling mightily to find enough workers. The three-way gathering is held most years, although there was a hiatus while Trump was president. It’s often called the “three amigos summit,” a reference to the deep diplomatic and economic ties among the countries. However, the leaders have found themselves at odds, especially as they struggle to handle an influx of migrants and to crack down on smugglers who profit from persuading people to make the dangerous trip to the United States. In addition, Canada and the U.S. accuse López Obrador of violating a free trade pact by favoring Mexico’s state-owned utility over power plants built by foreign and private investors. Meanwhile, Trudeau and López Obrador are concerned about Biden’s efforts to boost domestic manufacturing, creating concerns that U.S. neighbors could be left behind. Trudeau emphasized in a one-on-one meeting with Biden the benefits of free trade and warned against Buy America policies that the U.S. administration has promoted, according to the prime minister’s office. Nearly 80% of Canada’s exports go to the U.S., so avoiding protectionism remains a priority for Canada. The key takeaways from the summit revolve around better connections among the three nations and a shared goal of a stronger North America on energy and in particular semiconductors, climate and a pledge to cut methane emissions, an agreement to manage large waves of migrants coming to the region and a more cohesive regional strategy on dealing with future pandemic-related health threats. In their talks on Monday, López Obrador challenged Biden to improve life across the region, telling him that “you hold the key in your hand.” “This is the moment for us to determine to do away with this abandonment, this disdain, and this forgetfulness for Latin America and the Caribbean,” Lopez Obrador said. Biden responded by pointing to the billions of dollars that the United States spends in foreign aid around the world. At the start of Tuesday’s Biden-Trudeau meeting, the leaders spoke familiarly and with optimism. Trudeau called the U.S. president “Joe” and Biden joked with Trudeau — after the Canadian leader had delivered a statement to reporters in English and French — that he should have paid more attention in his college French classes. Biden and Trudeau also discussed their countries’ efforts to support Ukraine nearly 11 months after Russia’s invasion. Canada announced Tuesday that it would buy an American-made National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, or NASAMS, to be donated to Ukraine. The medium-range ground-based air defense system, which protects against drone, missile and aircraft attacks, costs about $406 million and brings Canada’s contribution to Ukraine to more than $1 billion since the start of the war. The White House said in a statement that the leaders also discussed “the generational opportunity to strengthen supply chains for critical minerals, electric vehicles, and semiconductors.” The U.S. administration also announced that Biden will make his first visit to Canada as president in March. “There’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic, especially for those of us in our countries,” Trudeau said. “But it’s going to take a lot of work, something neither you or I or most our citizens have ever been afraid of.” Biden and López Obrador haven’t been on particularly good terms for the past two years. The Mexican leader made no secret of his admiration for Trump, and last year he skipped a Los Angeles summit of the Americas because Biden didn’t invite the authoritarian leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. But despite the tension, there’s been cooperation. The U.S. and Mexico have also reached an agreement on a major shift in migration policy, which Biden announced last week. Under the plan, the U.S. will send 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela back across the border from among those who entered the U.S. illegally. Migrants who arrive from those four countries are not easily returned to their home countries for a variety of reasons. In addition, 30,000 people per month from those four nations who get sponsors, background checks and an airline flight to the U.S. will be able to work legally in the country for two years. The number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million. López Obrador spoke at length about Mexico’s efforts to control the flow into the United States of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that has become a scourge for many American communities. He noted that his government gave the military control of sea ports to help with the interdiction of precursor chemicals coming from Asia. “We are battling fentanyl, these chemicals, and we are doing it because we care. No human is foreign to us,” he said. “It really matters to us to be able to help with what is happening in the United States, the deaths from fentanyl. But also as we discussed today, it is not only an issue for the United States, because if we don’t confront this problem, this scourge, we are going to suffer it, too. So we have to act in a coordinated way.” Canada is being nudged by the U.S. and other allies to lead an international mission to Haiti to help solve the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the country’s Council of Ministers sent an urgent appeal Oct. 7 calling for “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity” to stop the crisis caused partly by the “criminal actions of armed gangs.” But more than three months later, no countries have stepped forward. Trudeau on Tuesday called the situation “heartbreaking.” Both he and Biden said they will work with the United Nations Security Council to assist the Caribbean nation but also expressed caution about direct intervention. “We need to make sure that the solutions are driven by the people of Haiti themselves,” Trudeau said.
Millions in US hunker down from frigid, deadly monster storm
Millions of people hunkered down in a deep freeze overnight and early morning to ride out the frigid storm that has killed at least 18 people across the United States, trapping some residents inside homes with heaping snow drifts and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. The scope of the storm has been nearly unprecedented, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. About 60% of the U.S. population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures plummeted drastically below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the National Weather Service said. More than 2,360 domestic and international flights were canceled Saturday, according to the tracking site FlightAware. Forecasters said a bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm — had developed near the Great Lakes, stirring up blizzard conditions, including heavy winds and snow. The storm unleashed its full fury on Buffalo, with hurricane-force winds and snow causing whiteout conditions, paralyzing emergency response efforts — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said almost every fire truck in the city was stranded — and shutting down the airport through Monday, according to officials. Freezing conditions and day-old power outages had Buffalonians scrambling Saturday to get out of their homes to anywhere that had heat. But with city streets under a thick blanket of white, that wasn’t an option for people like Jeremy Manahan, who charged his phone in his parked car after almost 29 hours without electricity. “There’s one warming shelter, but that would be too far for me to get to. I can’t drive, obviously, because I’m stuck,” Manahan said. “And you can’t be outside for more than 10 minutes without getting frostbit.” Mark Poloncarz, executive of Erie County, home to Buffalo, said ambulances were taking more than three hours to make a single hospital trip and the blizzard may be “the worst storm in our community’s history.” Read more: 18 die as monster storm brings rain, snow, cold across US Two people died in their suburban Cheektowaga, New York, homes Friday when emergency crews could not reach them in time to treat their medical conditions, he said, and another died in Buffalo. “We can’t just pick up everybody and take you to a warming center. We don’t have the capability of doing that,” Poloncarz said. “Many, many neighborhoods, especially in the city of Buffalo, are still impassable.” Ditjak Ilunga of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was on his way to visit relatives in Hamilton, Ontario, for Christmas with his daughters Friday when their SUV was trapped in Buffalo. Unable to get help, they spent hours with the engine running in the vehicle buffeted by wind and nearly buried in snow. By 4 a.m. Saturday, with their fuel nearly gone, Ilunga made a desperate choice to risk the howling storm to reach a nearby shelter. He carried 6-year-old Destiny on his back while 16-year-old Cindy clutched their Pomeranian puppy, stepping into his footprints as they trudged through drifts “If I stay in this car I’m going to die here with my kids,” he recalled thinking, but believing they had to try. He cried when the family walked through the shelter doors. “It’s something I will never forget in my life.” The storm knocked out power in communities from Maine to Seattle, and a major electricity grid operator warned 65 million people across the eastern U.S. of possible rolling blackouts. Across the six New England states, more than 273,000 customers remained without power on Saturday, with Maine the hardest hit. Some utilities said electricity may not be restored for days. In North Carolina, 169,000 customers were without power Saturday afternoon, down from more than 485,000. Utility officials said rolling blackouts would continue for the next few days. Storm-related deaths were reported in recent days all over the country: Four dead in an Ohio Turnpike pileup involving some 50 vehicles; four motorists killed in separate crashes in Missouri and Kansas; an Ohio utility worker electrocuted; a Vermont woman struck by a falling branch; an apparently homeless man found amid Colorado’s subzero temperatures; a woman who fell through Wisconsin river ice. In Mexico, migrants camped near the U.S. border were facing unusually cold temperatures as they awaited a U.S. Supreme Court decision on pandemic-era restrictions preventing many from seeking asylum. Along Interstate 71 in Kentucky, Terry Henderson and her husband, Rick, weathered a 34-hour traffic jam in a rig outfitted with a diesel heater, a toilet and a refrigerator after getting stuck trying to drive from Alabama to their Ohio home for Christmas. “We should have stayed,” Terry Henderson said after they got moving again Saturday. Poloncarz of Erie County tweeted late Saturday that 34.6 inches (about 88 centimeters) of snow had accumulated at the Buffalo Airport and drifts were well over 6 feet (1.8 meters) in some areas. Blizzard conditions were expected to ease early Sunday, he continued, but continuing lake effect snow was forecast. Vivian Robinson of Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry in Buffalo said she and her husband have been sheltering and cooking for 60 to 70 people, including stranded travelers and locals without power or heat, who were spending Saturday night at the church. Many arrived with ice and snow plastered to their clothes, crying, their skin reddened by the single-digit temperatures. On Saturday night, they prepared to spend Christmas together. “It’s emotional just to see the hurt that they thought they were not going to make it, and to see that we had opened up the church, and it gave them a sense of relief,” Robinson said. “Those who are here are really enjoying themselves. It’s going to be a different Christmas for everyone.”
No consular service for those circulating anti-Bangladesh propaganda from Canada: High Commission
Bangladesh High Commission in Canada has urged all “peace-loving and patriotic Bangladeshi-Canadians to be cautious of those spreading anti-Bangladesh propaganda from Canada”. In a notice released on November 28, 2022, the high commission in Ottawa, Canada said that individuals and media involved in anti-Bangladesh propaganda and activities and their promoters, supporters as well as money launderers, loan defaulters, and people engaged in “hundi trade” will not be provided any consular service. Also read: Momen, Canadian High Commissioner welcome formation of CBAA The high commission noted that some media and individuals have been engaged in anti-Bangladesh propaganda for long. It particularly mentioned an online TV and its owner in Montreal. A number of money launderers, loan defaulters, convicts and accused “hundi traders” have been found involved in spreading rumours and propaganda against Bangladesh, the notice said. Such anti-Bangladesh activities are being monitored and concerned authorities will be notified for proper action in this regard if needed, the high commission in Canada further said. Also read: Bangladesh envoy to Canada gets promotion.
Indo-Pacific strategy just launched by Canada to usher in new era: Lilly Nicholls
Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Lilly Nicholls has said Bangladesh is the key part of Canada's just launched Indo-Pacific strategy. “It will usher in a new era of making Canada attractive and a long-term significant partner in the region and Bangladesh is a key part of that strategy,” she said on Sunday night just moments ahead of the formal launching of the long-awaited strategy in Vancouver. The high commissioner said the new Indo-Pacific strategy recognises Bangladesh in the Indo-Pacific at large and is absolutely critical for Canada and for Canadians. Read: Momen courts Canadian investors at 50th anniversary event The Canadian envoy was speaking at an event hosted by the Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham Bangladesh) celebrating 50 years of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Canada. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen spoke as the chief at the event. Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin, CanCham President Masud Rahman and Principal of Canadian International School of Bangladesh Janice Smales also spoke at the event. The Indo-Pacific region is key to Canada’s economic growth, prosperity and security. As a Pacific nation, Canada recognises that the Indo-Pacific region is critically important for the long-term prosperity, health and security of Canadians. High commissioner Nicholls said they need to bring more trade missions in both directions and laid emphasis on making people aware of the opportunities that Bangladesh offers. “We need to bring more Bangladeshis to Canada as well,” she said. Read: Russia wants to support countries in energy, food security: Ambassador The high commissioner said they never forget that both Canada and Bangladesh are promoters of democracy, diversity of languages and both countries are free traders, multilateralists and peacekeepers. “We have a lot in common.” Nicholls highly appreciated Bangladesh’s efforts in reducing poverty significantly over the past 50 years which she finds unprecedented. “Canada is honoured to be part of that journey with Bangladesh.” “So, as we move forward, we need to work together as we had done in the past. I know we have much more to achieve,” she added.
Momen courts Canadian investors at 50th anniversary event
Terming Bangladesh-Canada relations very strong, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday night urged Canada to invest more in Bangladesh taking advantage of the facilities it offers. "It is time to invest in Bangladesh. It's a good time," Momen said, inviting Canadian investors to invest in Bangladesh.The foreign minister was speaking as the chief guest at an event marking 50 years of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Canada. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also attaches high importance to Bangladesh's relations with Canada. Momen urged Canada to put pressure on Myanmar so that the country takes back its nationals as early as possible. Read more: Momen ‘not worried’ about Japanese Ambassador’s remarks, calls him a ‘simple, good person’ He also urged Canada to come forward for the resettlement of some of the Rohingyas as "Canada has plenty of space." At the event, Canada Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CanCham) President Masud Rahman emphasised the signing of a bilateral foreign investment protection agreement (FIPA) to facilitate the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Canada to Bangladesh. He also highlighted the importance of signing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) for the promotion and expansion of trade. Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Lilly Nicholls, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries President Md Jashim Uddin and Bangladesh High Commissioner to Canada Khalilur Rahman also spoke at the event. In 2019, FDI to Bangladesh reached $3.61 billion. FDI inflows to Bangladesh raised by 37 percent year-on-year to $3.43 billion in 2021-2022, a positive development for the economy. The CanCham president said Bangladesh is situated at a geographically advantageous position in close proximity to India and China, both key commercial partners of Canada. "All these have made Bangladesh a very prospective destination of FDI, especially for Canada which has been looking for a profitable, secure investment hub for possible relocation, particularly in Bangladesh," he said. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has also established a country desk for Canada. Read more: Several countries, including Afghanistan, suffered due to foreigners’ role: Momen The main objectives of the Canada Desk are to extend end-to-end support throughout the investment life cycle to address issues relating to FDI from Canada. High Commissioner Lilly Nicholls said this is a very special time for both Canada and Bangladesh.Canada was the first country among the G7 nations which recognised Bangladesh and also supplied food aid after its independence. Nicholls lauded Bangladesh's poverty reduction from 90 percent to nine percent. "We have a lot in common," the high commissioner also said. Canada is a great friend of Bangladesh which supplied a lot of wheat in the early time of independence in 1971, Momen said. Bangladesh needs the Canadian general trade preference facility for Bangladesh even after the graduation to a developing country from the least developed country in 2026, he said. Jashim Uddin said FBCCI is playing a critical role under a joint working group for improving the bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. There is an immense opportunity for business between the two countries in leather, agro foods, and blue economy apart from garment items, he also said.
After 36 years, Canada has to wait longer for World Cup win
O Canada, the wait remains. Alphonso Davies had the chance to score his nation’s first-ever World Cup goal, to grab a quick lead on Belgium. As Davies readied for the spot kick in the 11th minute after a hand ball, red-clad Canadian fans at the other end of Ahmed bin Ali Stadium buzzed in anticipation for a moment decades in the making. “You’re carrying the weight of a nation: 36 years of waiting — longer than 36 for our first goal,” coach John Herdman said. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois guessed correctly to dive right and batted Davis’ attempt with his forearm. The ball bounced away, and the Canadians never got any closer to scoring. Despite dominating the world’s second-ranked team in Canada’s first World Cup match since 1986, the Canadians fell to Belgium 1-0 Wednesday night as Michy Batshuayi scored on a quick counter in the 44th minute. Davies did not speak with media after the game. “He’s our star player. He’s one of the best players in the world. He’ll move on and he’ll have another chance and he’ll bury it,” midfielder Jonathan Osorio said. “There was also the best goalkeeper in the world in net he had to put it past.” Courtois had studied video of Davies. Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Mystery behind Saudi Arabia’s Win Against Argentina “He shot twice that side, so that’s why I decided to go that way,” Courtois said. A large part of the crowd of 40,432 in the Arabian desert stadium supported Canada. Many waved the Maple Leaf and they proudly sang “O Canada” before the match. “Goosebumps,” Osorio said. “Times are changing in this country for this sport. I was little bit surprised. It’s not a close trip from Canada to get here. It shows you how much support we have, how much the fans love football, how much people love football in Canada. This is a change in the history of this sport in this country. It felt like a home game. And I think Belgium felt like an away game.” Players brought along the sword they carried around Central America and the Caribbean during qualifying, which is inscribed “Nihil timendum est (Fear nothing).” Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield spoke with the team before the match. Atiba Hutchinson, at 39, became the oldest non-goalkeeper to start a World Cup match. Even though Canada dropped to 0-4 in the World Cup, players felt proud and felt they had momentum going into Sunday’s game against Croatia, the losing finalist in the 2018 World Cup. Croatia opened with a 0-0 draw against Morocco. “They walk away proud, I’m sure, proud of the feeling that we’re a football nation,” Herdman said. “We came into that game with a couple of goals. The first goal was to play fearless, and the second goal was to entertain. We had some other goals, which were to create some firsts, but we weren’t quite up to those moments." He gathered players on the field after the final whistle. Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi seeks history with Argentina “I was really passionate in the circle,” Herdman said, recounting what he told them. “I thought that was a big step for this country. We deserve to be here. You’ve shown that. You’ve shown that you can live here.”