2 min

Canada’s shrinking foreign policy

Remember what I was saying about us retreating from the international scene? Former Canadian UN ambassador Paul Heinbecker is blasting the Harper government for its foreign policy, particularly its disinterest in the UN, aside from a last-minute campaign for the Security Council seat (only because they’re afraid of being the only government not to), their decision to pull out of Afghanistan after saying they wouldn’t “cut and run,” their taking positions opposite those of the Liberals before them for the sake of looking different, and petty things like refusing to use terms like “gender equality” and “international humanitarian law.” And seeing as this guy was a chief foreign policy advisor to Brian Mulroney, it’s not like Conservatives can dismiss him as a Liberal appointee either.

The Canadian Press has turned up stories about the government’s micromanaging the communications around “Economic Action Plan” signage and the way that they’re not reimbursing communities for the carrying costs of the money they have to borrow to either get projects underway or to make things like these ridiculous signs. Meanwhile, Jim Flaherty and John Baird get up in the House every day and say that they don’t download costs the way that Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien did.

Postmedia has a look at the upcoming changes in the Senate’s composition, as there will be two – possibly three – vacancies for Harper to fill shortly.

Also on the topic of the Senate, the government is expected to respond to the Upper Chamber’s unanimous report on poverty in Canada this week. Who wants to bet that they’ll say thank you very much, and then put it on the same dusty shelf where all other Senate reports go to die?

It seems that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in Canada means DND’s lack of reporting on our wounded soldiers.

And with this being the last week of Her Excellency’s time as the vice-regal, we’re now seeing some retrospectives and highlights of her time in office. Some of the accounts are more amazing than we may have noticed at the time, and apparently some of her advocacy efforts were not appreciated by the PMO (not that this should be a surprise), but she will certainly be missed.

This week – it looks like it’s going to be back to the long-form census, and Gerard Kennedy’s Bill C-440 on Iraq war resisters (which was seconded by Bill Siksay) is also on the agenda.
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