1. Home
  2. Politics
  3. Federal Politics

Diplomatic Dispatch

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Photo: RCI

RCI

Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a podcast series by Radio Canada International.

Our goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.

We’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs.

What is Canada’s foreign policy? How should Canada conduct its foreign policy? Who should conduct that policy? Should that policy change? And if yes, how? Who are Canada’s allies and who are its foes? And what do we do with them?

These are all questions that we are hoping to ask and try to answer in this podcast series.

Episode 1: Rethinking Canada's foreign policy

photo de Nicolas Moyer

Nicolas Moyer, président et chef de la direction du Conseil canadien pour la coopération internationale de 2018 à 2021 (photo : Nicolas Moyer)

Photo: Nicolas Moyer

My search for the answers began in Ottawa, at the Summit on Canada's Global Leadership (new window) in late November of 2019. The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (new window) (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (new window) (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (new window) (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (new window) (CGAI). There I met with one of the principal organizers of the summit, Nicolas Moyer, president and CEO of the CCIC.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch - Episode 1: Rethinking Canada's foreign policy

Photo: RCI

Episode 2: The national security view

photo de Richard Fadden

Richard Fadden, conseiller à la sécurité nationale du premier ministre, comparaît devant le comité sénatorial de la sécurité nationale et de la défense à Ottawa le 27 avril 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/LA PRESSE CANADIENNE)

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Sean Kilpatrick

Does Canada need its own foreign intelligence service?

The world is undergoing fundamental change and Canada cannot rest on its laurels at a time of rising global threats, including the increasingly isolationist United States, dysfunctional Western allies and the emergence of China and Russia, cyber threats and terrorism, says Richard Fadden, former national security adviser to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his predecessor, Stephen Harper.

I spoke with him at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in Ottawa at the end of November in 2019.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch – Episode 2: The national security view

Photo: RCI

Episode 3: The feminist perspective

photographie de Kate Grantham

Kate Grantham est consultante en développement international et vice-présidente de l'Association canadienne pour l'étude du développement international. (Photo gracieuseté de Kate Grantham)

Photo: Kate Grantham

In June of 2017, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled its feminist foreign and development policy. But what is at the core of that policy? And has Canada put its money where its mouth is when it comes to upholding the principles unveiled in that policy? Does that policy need to change and if yes, how? What should be Canada's international development priorities?

These are all questions that I’m hoping to ask and try to answer in this podcast series. And my search for the answers began in Ottawa, at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in late November of 2019.

There I met with Kate Grantham. She's an international development consultant and vice president of the CASID.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch - Episode 3: The feminist perspective

Photo: RCI

Episode 4: The Trump challenge

photographie d'Allan Rock avec le logo de l'Université d'Ottawa en arrière-plan

Allan Rock, ancien ministre libéral et ambassadeur du Canada aux Nations Unies, donne une conférence à l'Université d'Ottawa où il est président émérite (Sean Kilpatrick/LA PRESSE CANADIENNE)

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Sean Kilpatrick

I met with Allan Rock at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in late November of 2019. He is a former Liberal cabinet minister and also served as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations after leaving federal politics, as well as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

He says the possible re-election of President Donald Trump for another term in 2020 would present the greatest challenge for Canadian foreign policy.

The decision that is going to have the biggest impact on Canada's foreign policy is not going to be made by Canadians, it's going to be made by Americans, Rock says. If he [Trump] continues in power, after the election of November 2020, we're going to have to think very carefully how we're going to survive that.

And if he doesn't, we're going to have to think very carefully how we're going to rebuild and restore, and recover from these awful years.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch – Episode 4: The Trump challenge

Photo: RCI

Episode 5: A Marshall Plan for the 21st century

photographie de Robert Greenhill

Robert Greenhill est président exécutif de Global Canada (Photo gracieuseté de Global Canada)

Photo: Global Canada

I met with Robert Greenhill, executive chair of Global Canada (new window) and former president of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Greenhill says the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to take a page from its recent defence policy and commit to serious increases in its international development budget.

If you don't want a climate crisis become a catastrophe, we have to help developing countries leapfrog how they're doing energy, Greenhill says. If we don't want to have the Zikas, the SARS, the Ebolas, as just being early examples of terrible pandemics in the future, we need to improve healthcare systems around the world.If we don't want to have Western Europe that is massively destabilized because of millions of irregular immigrants and refugees, we all have a vested interest to help places like the Sahel and others be able to take control of their own destiny in a more successful way.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch – Episode 5: A Marshall Plan for the 21st century

Photo: RCI

Episode 6: 'Greening' Canada's foreign policy

photographie de Stephen Cornish

Stephen Cornish est le PDG de la Fondation David Suzuki (photo: Jennifer Roessler)

Photo: Jennifer Roessler

Canada needs to think very seriously about 'greening' its foreign and development policy, says Stephen Cornish, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation (new window), a leading Canadian environmental group.

He spoke to Diplomatic Dispatch about the challenges facing Canada's foreign policy in the age of climate crisis at the Summit on Canada's Global Leadership in Ottawa on Nov. 28, 2019.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch – Episode 6: 'Greening' Canada's foreign policy

Photo: RCI

Episode 7: Rebuilding Canada's global leadership

photographie de Peggy Mason, Alex Neve et Cesar Jaramillo

Peggy Mason de l'Institut Rideau parle alors qu'Alex Neve d'Amnistie internationale Canada, à droite, et Cesar Jaramillo de Project Ploughshares, à gauche, regardent lors d'une conférence de presse sur la Colline du Parlement le mercredi 27 avril 2019, concernant leur lettre ouverte au premier Le ministre Justin Trudeau demandant la fin de l'accord sur les armes avec l'Arabie saoudite. (Sean Kilpatrick/LA PRESSE CANADIENNE)

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Sean Kilpatrick

Canada has plenty of opportunities to show leadership on the international stage, says Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute (new window), an independent foreign policy and defence think tank.

These include taking on a greater role — and not necessarily a military one — in UN peacekeeping operations, working on defending and strengthening international law, leading an international campaign to ban weapons in space and killer robots.

But first, Ottawa needs to conduct a root-and-branch foreign policy review and reinvest massively in its diplomatic cadres, says Mason.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch - Episode 7: Rebuilding Canada's global leadership

Photo: RCI

Episode 8: A revolution in foreign policy thinking

photographie de Leonard Edwards

Le sous-ministre des Affaires étrangères du Canada, Leonard Edwards, reçoit un exposé de son personnel avant le début de la conférence postministérielle lors de la 40e réunion ministérielle de l'ASEAN et du 14e forum régional de l'ASEAN le mercredi 1er août 2007 à Manille. (Pat Roque/AP Photo)

Photo: Associated Press / Pat Roque

Canada needs a ‘revolution’ in its foreign policy thinking to deal with the tectonic geopolitical changes going on in the world, says Leonard Edwards, a former Canadian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The issue is how do we manage within an international frame where there is tension between the United States and China and where we will be caught in the middle on some issues? Edwards told Diplomatic Dispatch during an interview in Ottawa at the sidelines of the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership at the end of November.

And I think that the only way we are going to deal with that is if we stand aside, be more independent, speak more loudly, ensure that we have the security wherewithal to look after ourselves, develop alliances with other major countries – we are a major country in this world, there are number of countries that are feeling exactly the same pressures we are – and to work with them to mitigate the impact of this bilateral split that seems to be evolving.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch – Episode 8: A revolution in foreign policy thinking

Photo: RCI

Episode 9: The youth perspective

photographie de Dominique Souris

Dominique Souris est co-fondatrice et directrice exécutive du Youth Climate Lab (Youth Climate Lab)

Photo: Youth Climate Lab

Climate action has to become the cornerstone of not only Canada's domestic policy but also of Ottawa's foreign policy, says Dominique Souris, co-founder and executive director of Youth Climate Lab (new window).

As far as I'm concerned, foreign policy is climate policy, Souris says. We're talking about a global climate problem, a global climate emergency.

She also calls on the federal government to incorporate traditional Indigenous knowledge in its policy and recognize the role Indigenous people play in safeguarding the planet's biodiversity.

Diplomatic Dispatch.

Diplomatic Dispatch - Episode 9: The youth perspective

Photo: RCI

Headlines