Canada Among Nations, 2007

Canada Among Nations, 2007: What Room for Manoeuvre?

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Canada Among Nations, 2007
    Book Description:

    In Canada Among Nations, 2007 a team of specialists explores the space that Canada currently occupies in the global policy landscape and considers the bureaucratic players who manage this "occupation." Looking at trade, the environment, development, defence, intellectual property rights, and, the biggest file of all, the United States, they examine the various games involved, from the relationship of the Prime Minister's Office with the foreign policy apparatus to the constraints imposed by Alberta’s and Quebec’s particular interests and takes on foreign policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7460-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Fen Osler Hampson

    What Room for Manoeuvre? raises a question that has haunted Canadian policy-makers and citizens since Confederation: how free is the country to pursue what its various governments consider to be most proper and advantageous course in the world outside Canada? A preoccupation with an independent foreign policy has always been present but it has ebbed and flowed over time. However, such concerns have become acute since the signing of a free trade agreement with the United States in 1989 and the addition of Mexico to nafta in 1994. As was made clear by public debates and demonstrations surrounding the trilateral...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Jean Daudelin and Daniel Schwanen
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. 1 Room for Manoeuvre and the Paradox of Globalization
    (pp. 3-28)

    The Canadian government sharpened its foreign policy focus between mid-2006 and 2007 by pronouncing Canada an “energy superpower,” announcing specific geographic priority areas for Canadian engagement, and adopting an ostensibly less sceptical and more proactive international stance on the question of climate change (see Harper 2006; 2007). Cross-cutting a number of policy areas, there has been a surge of interest in the Arctic region as an international waterway by the government and many other Canadian and international political actors, scientists and commentators.¹

    During the same period, the forces of the global economy relentlessly continued to shape the landscape confronting Canadian...

    • 2 Raising Our Game: Canada among Nations
      (pp. 31-37)

      The “room for manoeuvre” theme of this volume prompts the question, “to do what?” To the economist, the answer is a straightforward one. The central economic goal in any market economy is to ensure sustained growth in living standards – a goal that many Canadians take for granted. Canada’s real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita relative to the United States has hovered around 80 per cent since the early-1990s, recovering slightly in recent years. However since 2000, the efficiency with which we use labour to produce that output has deteriorated – both in relation to US productivity performance, and more troubling,...

    • 3 PMO/PCO/DFAIT: Serving the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Agenda
      (pp. 38-65)

      This chapter deals with the relationships between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in the determination of Canadian foreign policy and the margin for manoeuvre which exists among them. After extensive research including interviews with many of the actors in those three organizations,¹ it is clear that the prime minister always has been the key player in the determination of Canadian foreign policy from the time of Sir John A. MacDonald to Stephen Harper. In fact the PMO, PCO and DFAIT largely complement each other to...

    • 4 Is the Defence Establishment Driving Canada’s Foreign Policy?
      (pp. 66-90)

      The purpose of this chapter is to assess the proposition – held in some quarters with intensifying conviction – that the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Forces (CF), taken together, are now the ascendant drivers of Canadian foreign policy. While the argument presumably applies mainly to decision-making in the politico-security issue area, it is sometimes claimed that DND/CF priorities have become central to the government’s performance in other fields as well, and most notably in the context of Canada’s overall bilateral relationship with the United States.

      The authors cannot claim that the analysis that follows is definitive, if only...

    • 5 CIDA under the Gun
      (pp. 91-107)

      The new millennium brought significant changes to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). After almost a decade of decline, Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) rapidly rose from C$2.6 billion in 2000–01 to C$4.1 billion in 2004–05 (Canada 2006b, 1).¹ This dramatic budget increase, not seen since the early 1980s, provided CIDA with the financial means to improve not only quantitatively but qualitatively. In parallel, the government began revising its aid policies and changing its priorities and delivery modalities (Canada 2002; 2005a). Successive prime ministers each brought a new direction to foreign aid, usually building on his predecessor’s achievements:...

    • 6 Of “Bad Boys” and “Spoiled Brats”: Alberta in Canadian Foreign Policy
      (pp. 108-127)

      Much was made of the turn in Canadian politics when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won the 2006 federal election and formed a minority government with a plurality of seats. A minority Conservative government with a prime minister from Calgary, backed by 27 Conservative members of parliament (MPs) from Alberta led many commentators to maintain that there was a new locus of power in Canada. Alberta had its third prime minister while the majority of Albertan MPs were on the government side of the House for the first time since the early 1990s, and the provincial government shared party labels with its...

    • 7 From Afghanistan to “Quebecistan”: Quebec as the Pharmakon of Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy
      (pp. 128-156)

      In a liberal democracy, public opinion is certainly one of the principal internal constraints on policy-makers, especially when the government does not possess a legislative majority that would enable it to manoeuvre without constantly being at the mercy of the opposition parties. This problem appears to be exacerbated when public opinion is divided along marked socio-political cleavages.

      This is precisely the case of Stephen Harper’s present Conservative government. The prime minister, probably quite pleased (and maybe surprised) with the election of ten conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) in Quebec during the 2007 federal election, appears to anticipate future substantial gains...

    • 8 Developing Canada’s Intellectual Property Agenda
      (pp. 159-180)

      Knowledge is now the most precious resource in the global economy. This valuable intangible profoundly affects commerce, culture, education, health, nutrition and other core economic, social and humanitarian issues. Access to and exchanges of all sorts of knowledge are, therefore, integral to all countries at any stage of development, including Canada.

      Knowledge pertaining to revolutionary digital and biological technologies is currently governed by a global regime of institutions and agreements on trade, intellectual property and related topics. The last decades of the twentieth century were marked by an unprecedented convergence between intellectual property lawmaking and global trade policy. Bilateral and...

    • 9 Canada’s Adventures in Clubland: Trade Clubs and Political Influence
      (pp. 181-197)

      Unlike Groucho Marx, Canadians want to belong to any club that will have us as a member, and that turns out to be quite a few international clubs. It is axiomatic that a central objective of Canadian foreign policy is toparticipatein making decisions that affect the country directly, while havinginfluenceon decisions that affect the evolving structure of global governance. The political practice of multilateralism, however, is not an open-ended Athenian forum where every state can speak freely, expecting its views to be given serious consideration by all others. In the messy reality of global governance, Canada...

    • 10 Canada and the Nuclear Club
      (pp. 198-222)

      The ultimate question to be addressed by this chapter is the extent to which Canada retains its presumed longstanding influence in nuclear non-proliferation issues as an original member of the nuclear nonproliferation “club” and the reasons for any changes that may have occurred in its standing and status. The traditional assumption has been that Canada’s pioneering stances towards nuclear non-proliferation have afforded it tremendous moral, political and practical influence in the non-proliferation club that began to form in the 1950s and 1960s. After examining Canada’s credentials for club membership the chapter will explore whether the country’s presumed influence was always...

    • 11 The US Competitive Liberalization Strategy: Canada’s Policy Options
      (pp. 225-247)

      By 2008, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will have accomplished its main objectives. A level of some 99 per cent of goods and services (in sectors covered by NAFTA) will flow duty-free between Canada, Mexico and the United States, and the explicit goals of increasing trade and foreign investment in North America will have been met within the next year. Yet, at least from the standpoint of Canada and Mexico, NAFTA has fallen short of its original expectations on the regional integration front. At least three shortcomings come to mind.

      First, despite the stipulation of Article 24 of...

    • 12 Manoeuvring within the Continental Constitution: Autonomy and Capacity within the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
      (pp. 248-267)

      When inviting colleagues to contribute to this volume, its editors asked us to address several interrrelated issues concerning Canada’s international room for manoeuvre, given its high levels of “North Americanization” in a context in which “the multilateral trade system remains functional but is unable to progress, the UN is stuck … and the OAS never took off.” In this chapter, I would like to explore a provisional answer to these questions by considering a possible new institution of continental governance, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). “Provisional” because the spp was only born in 2005. “Possible” because...

    • 13 CDA_USA 2.0: Intermesticity, Hidden Wiring and Public Diplomacy
      (pp. 268-285)

      In January 2009, there will be a new administration in the White House and a new opportunity for Canada’s leadership to be ready with an agenda that reflects a well-considered Canadian strategy towards the United States. The 2008 presidential election is about change rather than continuity, and the current focus on national security means that foreign policy is getting significant attention. Candidates for both parties are voicing their support for the importance of friends and allies and this presents an opportunity. January 2009 also marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Although the...

    • 14 Canadian Environmental Policy in a North American Context: Manoeuvring Toward Mediocrity
      (pp. 286-310)

      If there is a particular policy area in which one might have expected to see clear evidence of convergence in North America in the post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) era, it would be environmental policy. As levels of economic integration in North America have increased, the rational desire (and political pressure) on the part of business to see the same kinds of regulations applied across borders has deepened. Moreover, attempts to develop and consolidate a coordinated “North American” environmental regime have intensified, with these efforts building on a long history of well established relationships on both the Canada-US and...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 311-323)