Canada Among Nations, 2009-2010

Canada Among Nations, 2009-2010: As Others See Us

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 388
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  • Book Info
    Canada Among Nations, 2009-2010
    Book Description:

    Canada will need to formulate sound policies on key issues such as energy and environmental sustainability, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, and trade and investment in key areas such as Afghanistan and the Middle East. Astute bilateral diplomacy and constructive engagement in multilateral forums such as the United Nations and the G20 will be crucial to Canada's success. Contributors to this volume critique Canada's performance on the world stage, offering advice on initiatives Canada can take in its own and in the common interest.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7589-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-2)
    Fen Osler Hampson and Paul Heinbecker

    This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary ofCanada Among Nations.It is remarkable that after a quarter of a century the series continues to flourish and attract such a large following of readers in both the college and trade market. The series has become a staple for courses in Canadian foreign policy and international affairs in colleges and universities across the country. It also counts the international affairs public policy community, members of the media, the business community, and the interested public among its avid readership.

    It is entirely appropriate that we dedicate this year’s volume to the two...

  4. Introduction Using Our Wits, Opening Our Wallets: Canadian Diplomacy in the Obama Age
    (pp. 3-19)

    When prompted to reflect on their role in the world, Canadians are likely to reply in one of four ways:

    We are a peace-loving people.

    We are respected, listened to, and admired a broad.

    We favour the use of international institutions to solve global conflicts.

    We are able to “fight above our weight” in international affairs.

    These widely held notions of self-identification stem from historical experience and past achievement. In reality, what we see in the mirror is not always a fair or accurate representation of what others see. This is the 25th anniversary edition ofCanada Among Nations. We...

    • Bilateral Trilateralism
      (pp. 39-45)

      The enthusiasm of Canadians for the new administration of Barack Obama, reinforced as it was by the new president’s Ottawa declaration that he loved Canada, remains strong. A recent poll indicates that only 4 per cent of Canadians believe the United States (U.S.) president is doing a poor job. But as Bill Clinton famously observed, “We campaign in poetry and govern in prose.” It will soon be time for the next chapter of serious prose to be written on the future of Canada–U.S. relations in the context of a North American community.

      The presidency of George W. Bush was...

    • Canada in Obama’s World
      (pp. 46-53)

      In January 2009, Carleton University presented its report,From correct to inspired: a blueprint for Canada–US engagement(Canada– U.S. Project 2008) to the prime minister of Canada, the leader of the opposition, and all members of Parliament.The report urged the government to revitalize a relationship that is the foundation of Canada’s prosperity and security. Why the need for a plan? The short answer lies in the wisdom of the great American philosopher, Yogi Berra, who once observed, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else.”

      The election of Barack Obama as president...

    • Canada–United States Relations
      (pp. 54-60)

      At approximately 10:07 am on 11 September 2001, Prime Minister Chrétien telephoned the Canadian ambassador in Washington. After enquiring about the safety of embassy staff, the prime minister observed to the ambassador, “The world will never be the same again.”

      Although somewhat grandiloquent, the prescience was accurate, concerned as it was with the global context; it was especially acute, however, when applied to the Canada–United States (U.S.) relationship. On that dark day, dozens of commercial aircraft destined for the U.S. had touched down in remote Canadian airports; truck and passenger traffic was backed up 20 km at the Canada–...

    • The United States and Canada
      (pp. 61-73)

      At the beginning of the Obama administration, United States (U.S.) foreign policy faces a daunting array of difficult choices. Which are picked up and how they are addressed will affect both U.S. and Canadian interests in North America and well beyond. This chapter addresses the changed backdrop to U.S. – and Canadian – foreign and security policy and the critical and priority issues that need to be discussed. It also includes some thoughts on how Canada might, in its own interests, play a role in affecting U.S. policy choices and implementation.

      It is a drastic understatement to note that no administration in...

    • A Mexican Perspective
      (pp. 74-81)

      Since 2004, when the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales and the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas began a series of biennial public opinion surveys to gauge Mexican views on international issues, Canada has consistently been at the very top of the list of favourable countries as seen by both a representative sample of Mexicans and by those who make up an informed elite on foreign policy issues (Anonymous 2004, Gonzalez and Minushkin 2006, Gonzalez et al. 2008). This is quite surprising, given that before the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), knowledge about Canada in Mexico...

    • A North American’s View of the Old NAFTA and the New North American Agendas
      (pp. 82-92)

      The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) generated a sunny set of hopes and a raincloud of fears. Mexicans hoped that their country would rise to the first world; Canadians hoped that the agreement would compel the United States (U.S.) to stop imposing duties on softwood lumber and comply with the dispute-settlement mechanism; and Americans hoped that NAFTA would put an end to undocumented migration from Mexico. Alas, none of the hopes became a reality.

      Mexico and Canada feared that U.S. investors would purchase their country’s assets, but despite substantial additional foreign investment in both countries, the percentage of assets...

    • Canada and the Hemisphere: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
      (pp. 95-102)

      The famous phrase, “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States” has, for obvious reasons, never been applied to Canada. Given the cultural and developmental similarities between the United States (U.S.) and Canada, being next to the world’s largest economy – which produces one fourth of the world’s products – and, by now its sole superpower, seemed, if anything, an outright blessing for Canada. A ready market for Canadian goods and services, plus the ensuing “security umbrella” – meaning no need for large defence budgets – was, in many ways, an unbeatable combination. It translated into the widespread view...

    • Canadian Policy in the Americas: Between Rhetoric and Reality – a Needless Distance
      (pp. 103-112)

      On 17 July 2007, a year and a half into his first term as prime minister, Stephen Harper announced, “Canada is committed to playing a bigger role in the Americas and to doing so for the long term” (Canada 2009, 3). This was not a total surprise, as tentative indications foreshadowing the policy had seeped out of government in the preceding months. However, questions remain about its content, its effectiveness, and whether it deserves a place near the top of Canada’s foreign policy priorities.

      Skeptics also question the meaning of “long term.” At a time when bipartisan foreign policy has...

    • Asian Power Shift: Ready or Not?
      (pp. 115-121)

      Big things happen quickly, although they may be long in the making. The current economic crisis highlights the full extent of the global power shift that is underway. Although its outcome is impossible to foretell, the best bet is that Asia will be last in and first out of the crisis, that the competitive position and comparative economic weight of most key Asian economies will be strengthened, and that economic integration within Asia will deepen.

      The 2001 Goldman Sachs report that launched the BRICS concept predicted that, within 50 years, the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the BRICS would...

    • Canada—China Relations: Growing Connectivity and Friction
      (pp. 122-131)

      During the almost 40 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and China, it has not been a common thing for Canadian policy toward China to be the focus of sharp political debate, but this has become the case since the Conservative government was elected in 2006. Even following the Tiananmen violence in 1989, there was broad consensus on the Canadian policy response. But this consensus began to break down in the 1990s, and has not been fully restored.

      Over the past 40 years, the development of substantive connections between Canada and China has been impressive, but the increasing number of...

    • Return to Realism and Restart the Relationship
      (pp. 132-143)
      MEI PING

      China attaches great importance to its relations with Canada. Over the years, the two countries have managed to develop an amicable and mutually beneficial relationship, which in the eyes of many serves as a model for countries with different social systems in their dealings with each other.

      But this relationship is not all plain sailing. Like any other bilateral relationship, there are ups and downs. During my visit to Canada last September, I tried to analyze the major reasons behind the twists and turns our relationship has taken in the past few years and what we should do together to...

    • Will Canada Be the Next Argentina?
      (pp. 144-150)

      Canada is a good country. Indeed, it is a very good country. It contributes significantly to the production of many global goods, such as the International Criminal Court, the Ottawa landmines convention, the responsibility to protect concept, and United Nations (UN) peacekeeping forces. Equally important, it does no harm. Most recently, it has also demonstrated that it can be a brave country. Unlike other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan who have asked to be posted in safe areas, Canadian troops have been in the thick of action, and many brave Canadian soldiers have lost their lives.


    • Canada and India
      (pp. 151-158)

      Canada and India share a Commonwealth heritage of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, commitment to secularism, and the challenge of unity in diversity through pluralistic power-sharing structures of accommodation. Both countries also have an internationalist outlook with a multilateralist bent that includes a strong belief in the role of the United Nations (UN). Considering this, they have had a surprisingly aloof bilateral relationship. Both are engaged in world affairs, yet seem largely disconnected from each other. Canada is among the wealthiest, healthiest, and best educated countries of the world. India fares poorly on economic and human development indices,...

    • India and Canada: Moving Ahead
      (pp. 159-166)

      In 1946, Canada sent a high commissioner to India – one of the first Canadian diplomatic missions to be established in Asia. This might have inaugurated an enduring, cooperative relationship between two rather substantial liberal powers, but, instead, India and Canada, like India and the United States (U.S.), for the most part have been “estranged democracies” (Kux 1993).

      Contrary to the general view that the India–Canada relationship started with a golden era, the record shows that there was plenty of misunderstanding and acrimony even in the early years – over strategic orientations during the Cold War, the monitoring of the international...

    • Canada and Japan: Unfulfilled Promise
      (pp. 167-171)

      The changing geoeconomic and geopolitical landscape has left both Japan and Canada uncomfortable in their skins and yearning for a world that was but is no more. For each country, the recent world recession has compounded the concerns of drift and the relevance of their place and status in the world, but the seeds were planted long ago.

      Japan, firmly implanted in the family of Western democracies, has seen itself as modern but not occidental. Because its economic power has not been accompanied by commensurate political power, it is largely faceless on the international scene. The accelerating shift of power...

    • In Search of Bilateral, Regional, and Global Synergies
      (pp. 172-178)

      In 1974, I interpreted for Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka when he met Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at 24 Sussex Drive. Canada was then beginning to look to Asia as part of the third option in its foreign policy. Japan looked up to Canada for its moderating influence on the world scene, especially in peacekeeping and other United Nations (UN) activities. Canadians saw Japan as an increasingly powerful economic presence, and trade was the main focus of our relationship.

      Today, Canada has become a truly multicultural society, and its strength is derived from its natural, cultural, and social diversity. Its international...

    • Canada and Africa: Where Has Canada Gone?
      (pp. 181-187)

      “Where has Canada gone?” demanded a respected Ghanaian politician not long ago. “Where is Canada?” other Africans echo. Is Canada, seen so long by so many as a reliable and trusted friend, abandoning its investment in Africa? There may be persuasive – and disconcerting – grounds for thinking so.

      Not only Africans are concerned. Many Canadians, too, miss the easy warmth that long characterized our relations with our African counterparts. Many have invested substantially in Africa over the past 50 years, both themselves and their resources. They despair now that the prime minister has publicly appeared to downgrade the very ties they...

    • The Canada–Africa Relationship and Where It Should Be Headed: An African Perspective
      (pp. 188-192)

      In African circles, there is a widely shared perception that Canada’s relations with Africa have been somewhat on the wane in recent years. This perception is rooted as much in sentiment as in fact. The continent’s development issues do not seem to enjoy quite the same enthusiastic and passionate support of Canadian political leadership in the global arena as they once did. Even more important, Canada’s current development assistance budget is not particularly generous compared with other members of the Development Assistance Committee and certainly not in relation to Africa’s overall aid requirements. Notably, in an unmistakable retreat from the...

    • Canada and the Middle East
      (pp. 195-201)

      What people heard coming from Ottawa on 4 June this year was the sound of silence, of one hand clapping in response to the groundbreaking speech to the Muslim World delivered by United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama in Cairo that day.

      In a few short minutes, Mr Obama redirected U.S. foreign policy, issued a challenge to current and potential partners, and announced that the U.S. was back in business as a helpful fixer in the Middle East.

      Would Canada be back? That was the question on the minds of many as they considered Canadian Middle East policy in the...

    • Canada and Afghanistan: Regaining the Muscle-Memory of Leadership
      (pp. 202-210)

      On 7 October 2001, Canada went to war for the first time in 50 years. Few noticed. On that day, United States (U.S.) and British air forces launched the campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, with the logistical support of German, French, Australian, and Canadian assets.

      Almost 10 years later, few Canadians will forget the sacrifice and contribution that Canada has made. The Afghanistan mission is the most comprehensive investment of Canadian resources since the Korean War. Canada has lost more soldiers as a proportion of its deployed forces than any of the 40 or so other countries involved: 125...

    • Europe’s Perception of Canada, or Lack Thereof
      (pp. 213-218)

      Common history and shared values are not enough to put and keep Canada on the European radar screen. To the question, “How do Europeans see Canada?” the short answer is, “They don’t see it.” They know that the country is big, that the winters are cold, and that Canadians are good at ice hockey and, thanks to the likes of Leonard Cohen and Céline Dion, quite good at singing, but they do not get passionate over anything Canadian, except the seal hunt.

      When we say Europe, we mean, in most instances, the European Union (EU) as it was when Canada...

    • Canada and France: Past, Present, and Future
      (pp. 219-224)

      If Canadians wish to see their country as an influential player on the world stage and want it to have a unique role, which might be much more important than the one its relatively small population would justify, Canada definitely needs the understanding and support of a number of powerful friends and allies. A few undisputable names come to mind: the United States (U.S.), our super-powerful neighbour and very close friend; France and the United Kingdom, our historical relatives and allies; and countries that share our vision and values and with whom we have developed close ties through history and...

    • Challenges and Opportunities in the European Union–Canada Relationship: A View from Berlin
      (pp. 225-229)

      Canada and Europe have been closely linked in many ways ever since Canada was established, first as a colony and then as an independent state on the North American continent. By nature, they not only share a common history, but also common values and a similar view of the world. Some observers argue that this may be nice, but not sufficient to make them relevant to each other in today’s world. They point out that Europeans have a vaguely positive view of Canada, but do not know much about the country, and Canadians see Europe as a distant relative, who...

    • Between Friends: Can Canada and Russia Open a New Chapter in Their Relations?
      (pp. 230-242)

      When we worked together in Moscow 15 years ago, you were at President Yeltsin’s side in a vast historic endeavour: wrenching Russia from totalitarianism toward democracy. In ending the Cold War and becoming a partner in the international quest for peace and security, your leaders chose a course that changed our lives as well as yours.

      I realize that Canada is not among Russia’s principal preoccupations. Among other things, you have 16 countries on your borders including several with which you have troubling issues.

      So, I don’t expect you to have the history of the Canada–Russia relationship at your...

  11. ARCTIC
    • Rethinking the Arctic: A New Agenda for Canada and the United States
      (pp. 245-254)

      Canada’s aspiration to have the land and the waters of the north affirmed as an integral part of Canada has a long and, in some respects, checkered history. Generally expressed in terms of Canadian “Arctic sovereignty,” it has manifested itself in a claim to land, ice, and waters of Canada’s Arctic archipelago and at times in a claim to waters of the Arctic Ocean extending up to the North Pole.

      An early expression of the claim was in terms of the “sector” theory. Attributed to a statement of Senator Pascal Poirier in 1911, it provided a basis for claiming as...

    • Canada among [the United] Nations: A Personal Reflection
      (pp. 257-264)

      Until I started working for the United Nations (UN), in 1993, Canada was, for me, first and foremost two names, two statesmen: Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, prime ministers who personified Canada and projected a particularly positive image of the country and its people, an image that most Canadians and most people in the rest of the world approved of. To me, Canada was a very large, very thinly populated, and very rich country, with a long, white winter and a short but lovely summer, a mature democratic system of government, and a capitalist economy slightly softened by a few...

    • Canada at the United Nations: A Shadow of Its Former Self
      (pp. 265-274)

      “What’s happening to Canada?” That is the question that greets Canadians visiting the United Nations (UN) nowadays. It used to be said that the UN was inscribed in Canada’s genetic code, so evident was our country’s commitment to the institution. Nowadays, our presence is only dimly felt. At the time this article was written, we were busy lobbying to get elected to the Security Council. Although victory was seen as the most likely outcome, it was clear that Canada had a much tougher row to hoe than the last time it was a candidate and the possibility of defeat could...

    • “The Old Order Changeth”: Canada and Economic Summitry
      (pp. 275-283)

      Lord Tennyson observed, “The old order changeth, yielding place to new.” The question for 2010 is what the “new order” will look like. Decisions of the Canadian government may have much to do with determining the outcome.

      The G7 summit was created in 1975 in response to a severe economic crisis, comparable to today’s credit crunch and recession. Canada was not a founding member, but was added in 1976 to improve the balance. The United States (U.S.) and Japan wanted Canada there, to correct the European dominance, but its presence also helped the Europeans to justify their four country seats....

    • Canada and Global Financial Governance
      (pp. 284-291)

      The current global financial crisis is the worst that the world has experienced since the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Not surprisingly, it is generating widespread calls for reforms in global financial governance. Canada is well positioned to contribute to debates and reform initiatives in this area. The country has a longstanding and well deserved reputation as an intellectual leader and important bridge-builder in international financial debates, and it holds an important role in key international financial institutions. Its credibility has also been enhanced by the fact that its banking system has proved to be among the most stable...

    • “Trade Policy Is [Still] Foreign Policy,” But It’s Not Sexy
      (pp. 292-301)

      In one of the first major attempts to articulate the intellectual basis for an autonomous Canadian role in the world, a distinguished Queen’s professor told the Canadian Club of Ottawa in 1922, “I think you would find that matters of trade, of commerce – economic questions – bulk very large in foreign policy.” O.D. Skelton later served as undersecretary of state for external affairs for 16 years. What was true in the immediate aftermath of the Great War is still true in the era of globalization, but the world does not hold its breath waiting for Canadian pronouncements on the trading system....

    • Canada’s Contribution to Global Economic and Financial Governance
      (pp. 302-308)

      Canada has made remarkable, consistent, and widely respected contributions to the resolution of key global financial and economic issues. While at the forefront among nations in its input into international policy formulation and action to eradicate global poverty, it has left a unique legacy in its contribution to several other key global governance challenges.

      This chapter explores some of the factors driving this contribution, some specifically Canadian, others a conjuncture of circumstance and political determination. Yet Canada’s participation in breaking global deadlocks has yet to run its full course. It is an unfinished agenda, continuously challenged by the repetitiveness, increasing...

    • Nuclear Disarmament: Building a Conducive Environment
      (pp. 311-320)

      Seven decades into the nuclear age, the international community is coming around to an unprecedented level of consensus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The change really happened in the 1990s. At two notable conferences to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in 1995 and 2000, participants agreed not only to the indefinite extension of the treaty, but also to an accompanying and lengthy action agenda.

      When that agenda was stalled for the first eight years of the new millennium, it was not the first time that deeds failed to follow solemn words of promise, but there was then the added...

    • Canada’s Role in Arms Control and Disarmament
      (pp. 321-330)

      Addressing the Press Club in Washington, DC, on 25 March 1969, Pierre Trudeau – perhaps the brightest of the prime ministers of Canada – said, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

      Despite the obvious geopolitical disadvantages of being a small country on the northern border of the world’s sole surviving superpower, Canada has succeeded in adopting an independent foreign policy, especially after the Second World War. In the field of arms control...

    • Human Rights and Canada’s Foreign Policy
      (pp. 333-340)

      Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made the promotion of human rights a key element of his foreign policy, but these days Canadian leadership in this domain seems to have waned. Canada has long “punched above its weight” because its foreign policy has been bolstered by a strong moral element. The demise of a strong human rights policy has led to a diminution in Canada’s global influence. With a new president in Washington seemingly more interested in making human rights an important element of United States (U.S.) foreign policy, Canada’s retreat is particularly unfortunate. Now is a good time to reverse...

    • Canadian Aid – More, Not Less, Is Needed
      (pp. 343-350)

      Much has been written lately on the evolution of Canadian aid, some quite critical, but no one should doubt its need or its place in the world. Healthy ongoing criticism and critique is essential to keep aid on course. This chapter argues that aid is a learning process, that much has been learned and applied that Canada can be proud of, and that this learning must continue in an open and cooperative environment. Claims that aid has not “worked,” because the ills of the world are still with us, fail to understand the complexity and the magnitude of the job....

    • Innovating in Development
      (pp. 351-359)

      There is great ferment in the world of development assistance. Academics and practitioners have gained pop-star status by making cogent arguments commonly interpreted as being against (William Easterly, Dambisa Moyo) and for (Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Collier) foreign aid. There are important differences between the camps, for example, on whether aid increases or decreases incentives to invest or govern well in recipient countries.

      But frankly, once the interpretations nourished by accounts in the popular media and the rhetorical flourishes encouraged by the beguiling spotlight of intellectual stardom are set aside, differences narrow. The “pro” camp is not unquestioningly for increasing foreign...

    • Responding to the Food Crisis: The Untying of Canadian Food Aid
      (pp. 360-368)

      In spring 2008, in the midst of rapidly rising food prices, Canada announced full untying of its food aid. By choosing this particular moment to remove all restrictions requiring the procurement of food aid from Canadian producers, the government was able to maximize its international reputation as a country that puts a priority on humanitarian concerns over domestic interests.

      Canada won international kudos for this policy move. Typically the third largest donor of international food aid after the United States and the European Union, Canada’s policies have significant international impact. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations’ World Food...

    • Canada and Climate Change Politics
      (pp. 371-382)

      Canadians like to be liked, and polls indicate that they like their country to be a world leader in caring for the environment. By all indications, the world also likes to like Canada – especially in contrast to its giant neighbour – and the world has good reason to expect much from Canada in terms of its caring for the global environment, including climate change. But in recent years, the world has learned to curb its enthusiasm about just how much Canada is actually able to deliver in this area.

      Maybe it is time for Canada to surprise the world.

      Today, no...

  17. Contributors
    (pp. 383-388)