Ottawa Journal by David Tilson MP — Liberal government’s flawed foreign policy agenda

June 20, 2017   ·   0 Comments

The Liberal Party of Canada made many foreign policy commitments to Canadians during the last election, which was reflected in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to current Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.
These commitments ranged from strengthening trilateral North American cooperation with the United States and Mexico to expanding Canadian diplomacy and leadership on global issues and in international institutions. Unfortunately, the reality Canadians have experienced under this current Liberal government is something entirely different. It has not lived up to the commitments it made to Canadians and has instead continued to pursue a flawed and misguided foreign policy agenda, based on partisan political goals, which has often led to embarrassments for Canada.
The current Liberal government June 6 moved the following motion: That the House (a) recognize that the government is committed to a foreign policy that supports multilateralism and rules-based international systems, human rights, gender equality, the fight against climate change, and economic benefits being shared by all; (b) recognize that further leadership on the part of Canada is both desirable and required; and, (c) support the government’s decision to use the foregoing principles to guide Canadian foreign policy.
Despite its claims, the current Liberal government has demonstrated a lack of leadership on the world stage. Canada is not “back” on the world stage under Prime Minister Trudeau. Canada has done the exact opposite. We have abandoned our allies when they need us the most. We are, in fact, withdrawing from the world stage. Regrettably, the current government with its “go along to get along approach,” has clearly put its political goal of winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council ahead of promoting Canadian values abroad.
The Conservative Official Opposition opposes this motion and calls on the current Liberal government to prioritize Canada’s national interests and that of our traditional allies, rather than the partisan political goal of appeasing the United Nations.
The Liberal “responsible conviction” approach to foreign policy by former foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion has resulted in numerous embarrassments for Canada, including the refusal to call the killing of Yazidi, Assyrian, Christian and other religious and sexual minorities by ISIS genocide; loosening sanctions against Iran despite the regime being a state sponsor of terror committed to the destruction of Israel; restoring funding to the anti-Semitic United Nations Relief and Works Agency; granting numerous concessions to China — including the sale of advanced weapons technology — with little or nothing to show for it; the normalization of relations with Russia, despite Vladimir Putin’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory; as well as withdrawing Canada’s CF-18s and an Aurora surveillance plane from the fight against ISIS terrorists.
The Conservative Official Opposition believes in a principled foreign policy, which puts the quintessentially Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law ahead of other concerns, such as partisan political goals. These values should always be the priority for any government when developing Canadian foreign policy. Canadians deserve nothing less from their government.



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