How Global Affairs Canada hid behind the Access to Information Act for eight years to avoid disclosing embarrassing information
Michael Petrou / @michaelpetrou
Editor-in-Chief, Open Canada
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Open Canada contributor Arash Azizi, a PhD candidate in history at New York University, is the author of The Shadow Commander: Soleimani, the U.S., and Iran’s Global Ambitions (Oneworld, 2020).
Democracy thrives when we have somewhere to meet and discover each other, to argue and find shared purpose: a coffeehouse, a pub, a newspaper.
John Stackhouse, a senior vice-president at Royal Bank of Canada and former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail, is the author of Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future. Penguin Random House Canada, 2020.
As Michael Petrou writes, the Trudeau government claims to have a human rights-driven foreign policy. But what Canada values are all products of liberal democracy — a system in need of support, this year more than ever.
International issues were briefly mentioned during Monday's leaders' debate, and federal parties have outlined their foreign policy priorities, but at a time when much is at stake globally, a more meaningful approach is needed, writes Michael Petrou.
There are two possible outcomes of the current Hong Kong protests: success for pro-democracy demonstrators or an authoritarian triumph for China. As Michael Petrou writes, either result will have dire consequences for democracy everywhere.
While attempts to transition from dictatorship to democracy have largely failed elsewhere over the last decade, the Venezuelan story is unlike any other, writes Michael Petrou.
With the firing of former ambassador John McCallum and the US raising the stakes in the battle against Huawei, Canada must counter China with a coalition, argues Michael Petrou.
China’s basic dictatorship has always been about oppression and disdain for the rule of law, argues Michael Petrou. It’s about time Canada acted accordingly.
Can a war end without resolution? If so, what happens to Syria’s remaining residents, warring factions and the world’s attitude toward humanitarian intervention? Michael Petrou imagines future possibilities not far off.
The proposal of a new defence mechanism is
understandable, given Europe’s relationship with the US, but it puts Canada in
a tricky position, writes Michael Petrou.
Michael Petrou argues, Canada’s decision to uphold its arms deal with the kingdom,
despite the war in Yemen and now the death of Jamal Khashoggi, is not
completely unexpected. But it is far from the foreign policy approach Trudeau
If leaders like Trump
and Trudeau are serious about the wellbeing of Iranians, their policies should
aim to change
the Iranian government’s behaviour on human rights, not just end its nuclear
program, argues Michael Petrou.
In Turkey, journalist Michael Petrou meets Abdolsalam
Daif, a doctor who risks travel to Syria and whose anecdotes serve as a painful
reminder of what families continue to experience there.
The Trudeau government announced new security legislation last month, including the creation of a “super” watchdog that will oversee existing agencies. But do we still lack an understanding of what these agencies do? Michael Petrou runs through the evolution — and surveillance capabilities — of the RCMP, CSIS and CSE.
A referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurds is
set for September. Given Canada’s support of Kurdish forces in the country —
and by extension their nation-building efforts — it can’t avoid involvement in
the future of Iraq, writes Michael Petrou.
As the anniversaries of the Armenian genocide and the bombing of
Guernica are marked, Michael Petrou asks why we continue to accept ambiguous accounts of
events when the truth is not always that hard to find.
With Western help, Iraq has rebuilt its armed
forces and ISIS is on the verge of defeat in the country. Michael Petrou on why this
week’s progress shows there’s still a role for Western military intervention in
the Middle East.
Michael Petrou reports from the Brussels neighbourhood, where he finds evidence of radicalization alongside the smallest
sprouts of hope.
Donald Trump’s declaration of support for NATO on Monday, further tensions
between the U.S. and alliance members are likely, writes Michael Petrou.
Ottawa moves toward restoring diplomatic ties with Iran but whether this re-engagement
can advance human rights—and not just business deals—will be one of the first
real trials of the Trudeau government’s approach to foreign policy. By Michael Petrou.
Who are the Kurds? This short video explains what you need to know about the history of this Middle Eastern ethnic group, its state-building efforts and the conflicts surrounding it. Written and narrated by journalist Michael Petrou.
Kurdish Iraqis have long
dreamt of a state to call their own. With the support of Canadian troops, they
are now gaining ground as the fight against ISIS continues. But what would their
independence mean for the region?
The UK referendum is a security concern for Canada, as Michael Petrou
writes, for a weaker Europe means an emboldened Russia.
As the recent profile of Obama advisor Ben Rhodes reveals, the U.S. president is choosing to make peace with Iran instead of challenging Assad’s
murderous regime. But, as Michael Petrou writes, none of the results have made
America any safer.
Brutally destroyed by ISIS, Palmyra is now
back in the hands of the Assad regime. But, as Michael Petrou writes, make no mistake, despite the
illusion of liberation, this is nothing to celebrate.
Principles have nothing to do with the Saudi arms deal. Canada is choosing one dictatorship over another
Stéphane Dion’s “responsible conviction” sloganeering can’t disguise the cold realpolitik behind this sale. As Michael Petrou writes, there are practical, and not ethical, reasons Canada aligns itself with Saudi Arabia instead of Iran.