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Perrin Beatty's Commentary

Kirkhill

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Perrin Beatty is president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Bessma Momani is professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. Kim Richard Nossal is professor emeritus of political studies at Queen’s University. They are members of the Advisory Board of the Canadian International Council.
Perrin Beatty is also the author of the best and most relevant white paper on defence in my lifetime. If only....




Canada is alone in the world​

PERRIN BEATTY, BESSMA MOMANI AND KIM RICHARD NOSSAL
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED YESTERDAY

...in Canada, where we have become complacent about geopolitics because we snuggled comfortably for so long in the embrace of the United States, we are not taking these shifts seriously. It has been a long time since we’ve engaged in an honest assessment of how our country performs on the international stage, and why we are increasingly seen by others as unserious. Given our lack of national self-awareness, our politicians are happy to play politics with Canada’s place in global politics and economics while we lose what relevance we once had.

We got here because Canada’s foreign policy has too often become purely performative, embracing ear-candy sound bites designed to make Canadians feel good about themselves rather than putting in the hard work of crafting policy for an unpleasant and increasingly dangerous world.

Worse yet, successive Canadian governments have spent as little as they can get away with on international affairs and defence, leaving Canada underequipped to deal with the evolving global order. The world is taking note.

And all too often, foreign and defence policy is simply framed as a hunt for votes. This is a long-standing issue in defence procurement. Likewise, the deeply entrenched practice in Canadian politics of playing diaspora diplomacy festers, even though diaspora games in Canada can have damaging consequences beyond our borders.
 
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