8:46 PM: Robert Fowler says he won’t be mincing words and tells the non-Liberals in the room it won’t be him. He also says he is very grateful to the Harper government and owes it his life for getting him out of his kidnapping, but he’ll still call it as he sees it on their foreign policy.
He believes the Liberal Party has lost it’s way in policy terms, particularly in policy terms, and is in danger of losing its soul. It is willing to embrace anything in favour of getting power. It’s not the party that governed
The Canada at 150 conference though he says does give him hope that things may be changing, it’s been a great conference, great discussions, he’s enjoyed being here, and presents hope we may be finding our soul once more.
8:52 PM: Fowler says Liberals and Progressive Conservatives did well in
We’ll be seeking election to the UN Security Council soon; Fowler says our winning is far from a given. Indeed, he seems pessimistic. If we do win, it won’t be on our recent activities, but on our past reputation and on hope for what we may do in the future.
The world does not need more of the kind of
8:58 AM: When was the last time a Canadian idea made a difference on the world stage? Fowler says probably Lloyd Axworthy’s responsibility to protect initiative, with an assist, he notes, from Michael Ignatieff.
How about actions? He mentions Axworthy again in
How about leadership? Where are our Louise Arbours today?
9:02 AM: He’s on to the Middle East now, and speaking strongly against Israeli settlement construction, saying the government has sold out
He says there will need to be a two-state solution, each with a piece of
It didn’t begin with our present government, though, although they did ramp-up the volume. And it goes into the wider courting of ethnic constituencies, mentioning Liberals courting Tamils in
It’s a myth Canadians don’t care about foreign policy, he says. When its grounded in Canadian values, they will be behind it strongly. But when only given small-minded, mean-spirited, whatever the
9:08 AM: Fowler notes after four budgets the Conservatives have clearly failed to live up to their commitments on raising foreign aid to a certain level and, to be fair, the Liberals did no better. Meanwhile, the billionth African will be born shortly, and in 2050 the continent will be 20% of the global population. The population is also increasingly urban.
9:17 AM: References work of Paul Martin done on African development helping African countries realize part of the way forward is encouraging investment and removing regulatory barriers to investment. We have failed though to live up to our development investment commitments.
A billion Africans depend on counties like ours to help them improve their break lives. They know we can’t do it for them, but they do expect our help. We need to renew our commitment to
9:20 AM: Up now is Tim Gartell, former national secretary of the Australian Labour Party. He applaud Michael Ignatieff for having this event, noting there aren`t too many parties in the world that would invite people to come and speak to them, give them a pasting, and sit there and listen to it. And certainly not any right-wing parties.
9:24 AM: Felt the need to hydrate after Fowler’s interesting and hard-hitting speech, much of which I agree with, some of which I don’t. I thought he was a little off-base on
Back to our Australian friend, though, now that I’ve gotten some water. Gartell is talking about differences and similarities between
9:37 AM: Ah, here’s the mandatory speech plagiarism joke, as Gartell says he’ll now be quoting some excerpts form speeches by Australian prime ministers, which he understands is en vogue in Canada, although he’ll be only quoting labour PMs.
9:44 AM: Derek Burney is up now, wearing a suit and tie made in
He thinks Canada/US relations should rise above partisan politics which explains if you’re wondering, he says, why he’s here today (as a Conservative partisan speaking to Liberals.)
He says a single coherent voice for
Also, we’re not served by a frosty relationship with the
9:52 AM: Suggests the establishment of a new multi-national border commission that would streamline customs and border practices and remove barriers that are purely protectionist, not security. Give business stakeholders direct access to commission to air grievances.
He also wants harmonizing of manufacturing regulations, immigration policies, trade tariffs, and more policy cooperation on cross-border issues.
Says must be bi-national, not tri-national, because Canada/US issues are way different than US/Mexico issues, and we need to make sure US/Mexican issues don’t drive US/Canada border policy.
He wants NORAD expanded to land and sea, saying more security can make border entry easier.
9:57 AM: Climate and security is linked, and energy security is important. We need to act, even though cost is now and political benefit later, which politicians tend to prefer be reversed.
Back on his recommendations for harmonization in a variety of areas, I need to take issue. Our views and values on many of those issues, particularly immigration, tend to diverge widely from the
10:03 AM: Says we need a more robust approach to the
Ends saying we need to bring the “own the podium” spirit to our foreign policy.10:19 AM: Apologies for the long delay in updates, the Web has been acting-up again but it’s a break now, so I’m getting some bandwidth again. Lots of chatter in the halls about the Fowler speech.
10:34 AM: And the break is over, which means my bandwidth is also evaporating. So could be a bit before I get these updates online.
We have a panel now though on
Pierre Martin, a political science professor at Universite de Montreal, says as we reach out to emerging Asian powers we can’t forget the dominant reality of our relationship with the
10:40 AM: Up now is Jeremy Kinsman, a former Canadian ambassador to the EU and high commissioner to the
10: 45 AM: Janice Stein from the U of Toronto’s Munk Centre says it’s time to end some myths: we’re not a middle power, whatever that is, and we’re not peacekeepers. We need to leave the 20th century behind and look to the 21st. We need to use a serious of institutions, trade, development, NGOs, to connect to developing world. Also, must consider what does the digital world mean to our place in the world, and how can we use digital tools to help? Gives example of paying Afghan police digitally to their cell phones to reduce corruptions.
10:50 AM: Stein says
10:58 AM: Kinsman says culture, and promoting our culture abroad, is fundamental. You have to tell people who you are. Creativity and culture is synonymous with innovation, and cutting promoting our culture abroad is just plain dumb.
11:06 AM: Kinsman says if we stand for human rights somewhere, we have to stand for human rights everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we don’t engage with countries like
11:15 AM: Kids interested in foreign affairs today shouldn’t be diplomats, they should go into NGOs. NGOs are largely delivering our foreign aid today, that’s where it’s at, says Kinsman.
Stien disagrees with Fowler that
11:21 AM: Stein says the biggest security challenge in the world today is unemployed adolescent young men with no prospects and no hope, and it’s a huge security issue we’re not addressing through our development policies.
Kinsman agrees on unemployed young men, but adds under-employment of women is another major global issue. Stein responds emphasis on women is overlooking a major and growing challenge around young men,