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10 reasons to love ‘Global Affairs Canada’

When Trudeau announced the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development would now be known as Global Affairs Canada, many of you loved the change. Here’s why.

By: /
10 November, 2015

Last week, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Liberal cabinet ministers were sworn in, the new government quietly changed the name of several departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) to Global Affairs Canada. As those on social media got wind of the change late last week, reaction was quick, and mostly positive. 

Here are the top 10 reasons the new name seems to be already loved — from the practical to the ideological — and one good reason others remain a bit skeptical:  

1. ‘Global Affairs Canada’ just sounds good.

2. The old name did not.

3. It reflects an ideological shift.

4. Change gets people talking — and interested.

5. It makes Global Affairs students very happy.

6. Short is sweet, and… European?

7. Anyone with a band or tattoo inspired by DFATD needs to be admonished.

8. It doesn’t sound like a traditional government department. Isn’t that the point?

9. ESPECIALLY if these are the new uniforms:

10. OpenCanada happily passes along the torch for misplaced phone calls.

With the changes, our fellow office mates at Canadian International Council no longer share the acronym with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which also changed this week — to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  (We won’t miss the numerous, daily queries, but wish everyone looking to renew their work permits much strength and a bit of luck.)

And, one reason not to love it? The acronym needs work. Or, just some getting used to.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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