During the recent Munk Debate on foreign policy, both the Conservatives and the Liberals claimed the Harper government’s foreign policy had undermined Canada’s international status and influence. Status and influence are notoriously hard to measure, and this type of criticism often fails to have much of an impact because its hard to back up. This Globe and Mail article suggests there is something to the claim, or at least the Canadian foreign policy bureaucracy thinks so.
“Canada’s international clout is “under threat” as its honest-broker role is replaced with a more assertive stand that plays down traditional multilateralism, an internal Foreign Affairs briefing document is warning senior federal government insiders.
The presentation, obtained by The Globe and Mail, is stamped “Secret” and was prepared by senior Foreign Affairs officials for a deputy-minister-level meeting Sept. 9. Departmental officials do not lay blame at the feet of the Conservative government, which has run foreign policy for the past nine years, but their analysis echoes criticism of Prime Minister Stephen Harper levelled by ex-diplomats, foreign observers and his political opponents.
“Despite Canada’s reputation as an active player on the world stage, by many measures, its relative influence has declined or is under threat,” they say.”
For a replay of the Munk Debate, see:http://www.cpac.ca/en/vote2015/