As reported by Embassy Magazine’s Jeff Davis, the Canadian government is coming under harsh criticism from the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in response to a massive pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) demonstration in front of the Canadian Parliament last week. The rally was allowed to continue by Canadian authorities despite the fact that the government had outlawed LTTE in the 2006 Anti-Terrorism Act. The rally was particularly offensive to the High Commissioner because of the blatant support and the hordes of people and LTTE flags that adorned the steps of Parliament.
I think that the government contradicted its laws and undermined its own authority by allowing this rally to happen on the steps of Parliament. If LTTE is a banned organization it makes no sense that they would allow such a massive demonstration to flourish on the steps of Parliament and Canadian foreign policy should change their stance on LTTE if they no longer believe them to be a terrorist organization. 2. Exports Plunge by 9% http://business. theglobeandmail. com/servlet/story/RTGAM. 20090313. wtradecanada0313/BNStory/Business/home
Virginia Galt of The Globe and Mail reported late last week that Canadian exports plunged by 9% in the month of January. Canada’s trade deficit has reached a record $993 million in the month, with all industry sectors feeling the drop of 82,600 lost jobs in the month. The exports are falling in large part due to the global economic crisis. The industries with the greatest drops occurred in automotive and imports. This is an interesting and illustrating example of how much economic crisis the world finds itself trying to navigate.
Canada in particular had never experienced a trade deficit for the past thirty three years. Furthermore, the consensus forecast by Canadian economists was for a $1-billion deficit, following December’s trade deficit of $458-million. Canadian foreign policy should change their import regulations in a way that will help to eliminate the record trade deficit and at the same time it needs to create or replace the jobs that have been lost. 3. Canada and the Americas: Defining Reengagement http://www. carleton. ca/cfpj/
According to the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal most recent publication, in the spring of 2007 Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would reengage with Latin America led by Assistant-Deputy Minister Alex Bugailiskis. He was going to lead a small team that would be responsible for developing a new strategy for negotiations in the Americas. Now, eighteen months later, no document has yet been released, but a free trade agreement has been signed with Peru, a second one is in the offering with Colombia, and negotiations are underway with the Caribbean.
In 2007 the Prime Minister was the first Canadian Prime Minister to make a trip to Colombia in a sign of trying to improve relations. The goal is to expand options beyond the traditional method of only relying on the United States. I think this is a great idea that needs to be encouraged because Canada has limited its international trade possibilities by ignoring Latin and Central America in its outdated foreign policy relations. 4. Canada-European Union Joint Report: Towards a Comprehensive Economic Agreement http://www. international. gc.
ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/eu-ue/can-eu-report-intro-can-ue-rapport-intro. aspx On March 5, 2009, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada organization released a report on the ongoing negotiations occurring between Canada and the European Union. I think this is a great idea and should be further developed because the well-being and prosperity of the EU and Canada depend on healthy international trade and investment relationships and on the ability of Europeans and Canadians to succeed in all areas of global relations.
The study estimates annual real income gains of approximately €11. 6 billion for the EU and €8. 2 billion for Canada within seven years following the implementation of an agreement. Foreign policy should aim to increase and improve these relations in order to help eliminate the record trade deficit that Canada is experiencing. 5. Canada’s foreign policy with a focus on AIDS affected children http://gateway. nlm. nih. gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma? f=102229327. html In a recent report from the International Conference on AIDS, Canada expressed concern about focusing its foreign policy on AIDS affected children.
The Canadian government supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Canada’s foreign policy, as well as the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) Strategy for Children, has taken a strong lead in supporting, promoting and observing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I think this an important step and Canadian foreign policy should become a leader in fighting AIDS afflicted children because it focuses on the needs of the children and not on simple statistics and numbers.
6. Foreign Policy in a Turbulent Age: Canada’s Capacity and the Principles of Peace, Order, and Good Government (POGG) http://www. allacademic. com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/0/6/9/9/5/p69951_index. html Professor George A. MacLean, Ph. D. , of the University of Manitoba examines Canadian foreign and security policy in an era of turbulence in this research paper. He focuses on diplomacy, defense, and development and how they relate to POGG initiatives set out in the Constitutional Act. Dr.
MacLean argues for the balancing effect of POGG in a turbulent environment characterized by Canada’s widening trade deficit and increasing job losses. I think this paper draws an important connection between Canada’s domestic policy initiatives in the context of the global economic environment that is becoming increasingly volatile. I agree that Canadian foreign policy should act in a way that will help to stabilize and improve economic conditions while at the same time strengthening the core ideals that have proved successful in past foreign policy initiatives laid out by POGG.