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Year in Review 2018

Year in Review 2018

By: /
December 20, 2018

From our editors With tension and intrigue between leaders of the United States, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and countless other countries playing out on the international stage, 2018 was another year of fast-paced headlines and unpredictability. From a Canadian foreign policy perspective, much of 2018 was devoted to the renegotiation of NAFTA, now called CUSMA. […]

Year in Review 2017

Year in Review 2017

By: /
December 20, 2017

From our editors Like others covering global affairs, our team at OpenCanada.org spent much of 2017 reevaluating the needs of our readers in light of the many changes in the world of foreign policy — such as the ushering in of a Donald Trump presidency, a new Canadian foreign minister, renewed negotiations on the North […]

Bordering on Division

Bordering on Division

By: /
December 4, 2017

Along the border between Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland, communities have worked hard to move on from a more
violent time in the island’s history, when customs posts and military
checkpoints were the norm. But, as Brexit looms, is a return to the past
inevitable?

Wall in the family

Wall in the family

By: /
September 26, 2017

Can home be a place
you’ve never been or are prevented from visiting? Author Marcello Di Cintio
visits Palestine to understand the dilemmas of the displaced.

Reality sets in over Brexit

Reality sets in over Brexit

By: /
March 15, 2017

The implementation
of Brexit is not simply a UK-EU problem — countries like Canada should also be
concerned, writes Armand de Mestral for our partners at CIGI.

2016: Year in Review

2016: Year in Review

By: /
December 16, 2016

From our editors 2016 marked a new start for OpenCanada.org. Invigorated from a site redesign in late 2015 and from a palpable interest in Canadian foreign policy following the election of Justin Trudeau, the year began on a high note.  As a digital publication, we value innovation and change. With that in mind, we dove […]

Pluralism Policies That Work: A call for more radical thinking

Pluralism Policies That Work: A call for more radical thinking

By: /
September 20, 2016

How can we create more welcoming and compassionate societies? One policy at a time. Here are nine initiatives to better promote inclusion, from a cross-section of speakers at this year’s 6 Degrees forum. 1. Inspire an entire generation with a single book. Late last December, the Swedish Women’s Lobby announced plans to give a free copy […]

The West, ISIS and the “everywhere war”

The West, ISIS and the “everywhere war”

By: /
August 11, 2016

As the Islamic State harnesses the power of the
Internet, jihad has become ‘do it yourself.’ To counter the threat of lone wolf attackers far from Iraq and Syria, governments need to take action to simultaneously disrupt ISIS’ online communications and get to the root of the problem at hand: ideology. 

The repositioning of the United States as an Arctic leader

The repositioning of the United States as an Arctic leader

By: /
January 21, 2016

While the U.S. took over chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Canada last year, it also created an Arctic Executive Steering Committee. Arctic Deeply speaks to AESC executive director Mark Brzezinski about U.S. priorities in the region.

Canada’s return to science

Canada’s return to science

By: /
December 9, 2015

There
is an urgent need for Canada’s new government to rebuild its science policy
regime. 
Is COP21 signalling a revitalization of the relationship between science and policy? From our partners at Arctic Deeply.

Welcome, Arctic Deeply

Welcome, Arctic Deeply

By: /
December 8, 2015

Produced by News Deeply, with the support of OpenCanada.org and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Arctic Deeply launches today. In this introductory note from managing editor Hannah Hoag, she welcomes the site’s first readers.

In the name of security

In the name of security

By: /
November 16, 2015

In this excerpt of False
Security
, authors Kent Roach and Craig Forcese assess the aftermath of the
2014 attacks in Canada, their concerns with Bill C-51 and why giving their new book
a title was particularly challenging. 

How Canada failed Afghan detainees

How Canada failed Afghan detainees

By: /
October 16, 2015

Canada knowingly transferred detainees in Afghanistan to facilities where torture was rife. Since then, the Canadian government has avoided all accountability. This is our unfinished business.

End of an oilsands love affair

End of an oilsands love affair

By: /
October 15, 2015

In less than 20 years, the oilsands have gone from nearly unknown to inspirational to intensely divisive. The journey reveals much about both the future of the energy sector and the potential of the environmental movement to make change. At its heart lays a single pipeline project — Keystone XL. 

From promise to practice, UN marks 10 years of R2P

From promise to practice, UN marks 10 years of R2P

By: /
September 16, 2015

The photo of Alan Kurdi, the three-year old Syrian boy whose body appeared on the shores of Turkey recently, has underlined the seminal humanitarian challenge of our time. Our global paralysis on Syria has contributed to the death of over 200,000 civilians and displacement of millions. There is nothing new in the current refugee crisis we are witnessing. […]

Canada’s About Face

Canada’s About Face

By: /
July 10, 2014

Since 2003 Canada has departed from its historical policy-making prerogatives and hurts its soft power reputation, says Hanna Samir Kassab.

Le temps est venu d’introduire un plan pour la diplomatie numérique canadienne

Le temps est venu d’introduire un plan pour la diplomatie numérique canadienne

By: /
April 17, 2014

* Pour la version Anglaise, cliquez ici. En date de mi-avril, la page répertoriant les comptes de média sociaux du Ministère des Affaires étrangères, commerce et développement (MAECD) comptait 33 pages Facebook et 39 pages Twitter pour les missions canadiennes à l’étranger. Ceci est clairement une liste incomplète puisque nous sommes au fait de l’existence […]

The Ukranian Trilemma

The Ukranian Trilemma

By: /
April 16, 2014

Ukraine can be said to be facing three challenges, says James W Dean: democracy, nationalism, and globalization.

Staying Afloat

Staying Afloat

By: /
March 21, 2014

On the occasion of World Water Day, Gary White and Matt Damon, Co-founders of Water.org, offer their thoughts on sustainable access to water.

A Revolutionary Pope?

A Revolutionary Pope?

By: /
January 17, 2014

Francis is being hailed as a radical Pope who will transform the Vatican. The reality is that the role of the Holy See has always changed with history, argues A. Alexander Stummvoll.

St. Lewis: What impact has Nelson Mandela had on your life?

By: /
December 9, 2013

Mandela is the most significant public intellectual of my lifetime. His spiritual politics influenced the world. I was fortunate and humbled in his presence. I can recall each moment of my conversation with him in South Africa shortly after his release when he was supporting Winnie through her appeal. Mandela embodied our dignity as Black […]

Why Aid?

By: /
September 16, 2013

Dominic H. Silvio explores the extent to which Canadian attitudes toward foreign aid influence government policy.

A Summit Worth Watching

A Summit Worth Watching

By: /
September 5, 2013

Ensuring this year’s G20 Summit isn’t held hostage to U.S.-Russia tensions will challenge world leaders. But the bigger challenge, argue John Kirton and Julia Kulik, is to make globalization work for the benefit of all.

Upcoming NCB Events

By: /
August 6, 2013

Stay tuned for information about upcoming events for the 2013-2014 season!

For All Mankind

For All Mankind

By: /
February 22, 2013

Michael Van Pelt on why Canada’s new Office of Religious Freedom is an opportunity to build on our vibrant pluralist heritage.

Nossal: Should Canada’s military support the intervention in Mali?

By: /
January 15, 2013

After five years of combat engagement in Kandahar, with 149 Canadian soldiers having lost their lives in that phase of our Afghanistan mission, the prime minister is, not surprisingly, cautious about calls for another combat mission in another country where it is difficult to make the argument that Canada’s national interests are so directly involved […]

Yuen Pau Woo: What should Canada’s top foreign policy priority be in 2013?

By: /
January 7, 2013

“An Asia Strategy for Canada”, announced by the Prime Minister. Most of the elements for an Asia strategy are already in place, including an excellent statement on Canadian aspirations in a speech by Foreign Minister John Baird in September 2012. The next step is for the PM to “own” this file and to signal the […]

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

By: /
November 16, 2012

Damon van der Linde on whether the election will be a tipping point into established democracy or renewed violence.

Trolling the Caspian

Trolling the Caspian

By: /
November 15, 2012

Sarah Logan and Madeline Carr on Internet freedom, the Internet Governance Forum, and Azerbaijan.

The Weekly Dispatch (20 April)

The Weekly Dispatch (20 April)

By: /
April 20, 2012

We are delighted that OpenCanada.org is expanding rapidly. Our community is growing internationally, our content moving into new in-depth series and live events, and we have embarked on a series of partnerships, beginning with The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. Last week, we launched our Weekly Dispatch, which will replace our monthly newsletter, and include notes […]

Nossal: Should Canadian corporations be permitted to do business with corrupt and repressive regimes?

By: /
March 12, 2012

Canada already has a number of legislative tools for limiting and regulating commercial intercourse between Canadians and other countries, including, for example, the orders and regulations made under the United Nations Act, 1985, that are intended to give effect to UN sanctions. A more generalized blanket ban (“Thou shalt not do business with corrupt and […]

Nossal: How should Canada respond to the rising violence in Syria?

By: /
February 27, 2012

By continuing to do precisely what it has been doing: moving with other western allies in a measured and considered way. While images of the violence being visited on Syrian citizens by government forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have understandably led to calls for more decisive Canadian action, the Harper government has been right to […]

Nossal: Is North America dead?

By: /
January 30, 2012

The question assumes that “North America” as anything more than a geographer’s name for Mexico, the United States and Canada was once alive and kicking. Ronald Reagan had a fleeting vision of a “North American Accord” in the late 1970s that resulted a decade later in the North American Free Trade Agreement – after a […]

Nossal: Which Republican candidate would be best for Canada?

By: /
January 16, 2012

In American elections, the old saw has it, Canadians always vote Democrat, so it is likely that Canadians will be plumping for Barack Obama regardless of who wins the Republican nomination. While it is not clear which of the candidates in the rapidly shrinking Republican fieldwill be left standing by the time the GOP gathers […]

2011 Roundup

2011 Roundup

By: /
January 4, 2012

While the Arab Spring rocked the world and the euro collapsed, OpenCanada too saw lots of action. 2011 in review.

2011 OpenCanada Content Glossary

By: /
January 4, 2012

We have only been live for 6 months, but we have been busy.  Below is a chronicle of the content we have produced since our launch in August.  Here’s to the next year of debate, innovation and progress in the international affairs conversation. Think Tanks: For each Think Tank, we ask a group of experts […]

Wanted: The Ideal Canadian Entrepreneur

By: /
November 28, 2011

Public lecture by the author of the CIC’s intellectual property report. About Speaker: Karen Mazurkewich co-directed a report on intellectual property and innovation for the Canadian International Council (CIC), and programmed the first international IP conference in Canada earlier this year. Prior to joining the CIC in December, she worked for the Financial Post covering […]

Holiday Potluck Social

By: /
November 25, 2011

Branch members’ social gathering. Meet current executive. Share ideas for 2012 activities. Contact:Katie Fisherfisherf@uwindsor.ca

Nossal: Why commemorate the War of 1812?

By: /
October 24, 2011

It is always hazardous to dig up a faintly-remembered past, particularly when the digging is being driven by a government keen to “read” North American history in a way that seems primarily intended to serve political/electoral purposes.  But in the case of the commemoration of the bicentenary of the War of 1812, the pros outweigh […]

Nossal: Are diplomats needed in the digital age?

By: /
October 17, 2011

In January 1969 Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously declared that “the whole concept of diplomacy today is a little bit outmoded.”  All that all one needed to know what was happening abroad, he said, was to read “a good newspaper.”  Although Trudeau changed his mind about the usefulness of Canada’s foreign service, some Canadians persist in […]

Hampson: Is Conservative foreign policy different from Liberal foreign policy?”

By: /
September 5, 2011

The short answer is that the Liberals under Chretien-Axworthy promoted the Soft Power foreign policy brand with their human security agenda. Under Harper, the Conservatives have been champions of Hard Power with our mission in Afghanistan and our more recent role in Libya. It is time now to have a Smart Power foreign policy, which […]

Nossal: Is Conservative foreign policy different from Liberal foreign policy?”

By: /
September 5, 2011

Although the Harper Conservatives came to power in 2006 with little interest and even less experience in foreign affairs (the 171 words in the 2005-2006 election platform devoted to international affairs remain an embarrassing reminder of just how little thought was given to international policy), once in power the government quickly found its foreign policy […]

Nossal: Is Conservative foreign policy different from Liberal foreign policy?”

By: /
September 5, 2011

Although the Harper Conservatives came to power in 2006 with little interest and even less experience in foreign affairs (the 171 words in the 2005-2006 election platform devoted to international affairs remain an embarrassing reminder of just how little thought was given to international policy), once in power the government quickly found its foreign policy […]

Hampson: What would be the regional fallout from the end of Assad’s regime?

By: /
August 29, 2011

The Libyan domino probably won’t knock over the Syrian domino. Why? Gaddafi only fell with the assistance of six months of NATO air strikes, which were critical to the rebel victory. There is no such appetite for similar action by NATO, the UN Security Council, or the Arab League in the case of Syria. Assad […]

Hampson: Does the ‘royal’ rebranding of the Canadian Forces have a wider meaning?

By: /
August 22, 2011

Harper has put the Royal jelly back into the Canadian Armed Forces in response to pressures from veterans and other groups. Her Majesty’s portrait also adorns the front lobby of the Lester B. Pearson building on what is now dubbed “the sovereign wall.” History and Canada’s traditions clearly matter a lot to this government. Will […]

Nossal: Does the ‘royal’ rebranding of the Canadian Forces have a wider meaning?

By: /
August 22, 2011

The restoration of the historic names of the three services of Canada’s armed forces is symbolic, but historical symbols are important.  We live in a constitutional monarchy—a form of government found in over thirty other countries around the world—and monarchical symbols, some of them quite atavistic, are deeply embedded not only in our structures of […]

Hampson: What societal problems have the London riots exposed?

By: /
August 15, 2011

You might call them the Blackberry hooligans given their dependence on the super safe encryption services of the Canadian-made mobile phone. From Georgian times–portrayed in Hogarth’s prints of that era–to the 20th century–George Orwell wrote about them–to the present, hooliganism has been part of British culture. Todays riots are fueled by unprecedently high unemployment rates […]

Woo: What’s the ultimate objective of Harper’s softer stance on China?

By: /
July 27, 2011

The idea of an “ultimate” objective is alien to most foreign policy discussions, and particularly so in the case of China, which is changing so fast. At this stage, the most that can be said about Harper’s “softer” stance on China is that it strikes a more even balance between trade and human rights, and […]

Nossal: What’s the ultimate objective of Harper’s softer stance on China?

By: /
July 25, 2011

John Baird’s “new era” in Canada-China relations is really just a belated discovery of the wisdom of an “older era.”  The Harper government has finally recognized that its unidimensional China policy – consisting of always taking a “principled” approach – came at a significant cost.  Internationally, Canada found itself increasingly sidelined in the Asia Pacific.  […]

Hampson: What’s the ultimate objective of Harper’s softer stance on China?

By: /
July 25, 2011

Baird’s visit to China, the first official visit of a cabinet minister overseas in Harper’s new majority government, symbolizes that China is now front and square in our national interest. The Prime Minister has said that “properity” is his number one priority and that is driving the new strategic partnership with the world’s second biggest […]

Hampson: Does last week’s creation of a Southern Sudanese state point to secession as the solution to other African conflicts?

By: /
July 19, 2011

The short answer is a categorical NO.  The Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its successor organization, the African Union (AU), have both exalted the principle of territorial sovereignty in the African subcontinent through the principles of non-interference anduti possidetis juris thus ensuring that colonial boundaries would remain permanent.  These principles have prevented the outbreak of wars of […]

Hampson: Should Canada strengthen its military presence in the Arctic?

By: /
July 11, 2011

Canada’s sovereignty over its Arctic territories is not in question and never has been. We have disputing claims with Russia over the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain chain that runs from Ellemere Island to Siberia; with Denmark over Hans Island in the Nares Straits; and with the US over maritime boundaries in the Beaufort Sea […]

Woo: Can Lagarde and the IMF save the Euro?

By: /
July 6, 2011

Only the Eurozone can save the Euro, and doing so will mean expulsion of the weakest members and/or a deeper political union. The IMF can prolong the Greek tragedy and other sovereign debt dramas in the EU, but only EU members can decide if they are willing to pay the political and fiscal price of […]

Hampson: Can Lagarde and the IMF save the Euro?

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July 4, 2011

It is not up to Mme. Lagarde and the IMF to save Europe. Europe has to save itself by addressing two critical issues: (1)sovereign debt in the Mediterranean countries (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal), which is the result of a bloated welfare state, excessive regulation, tax evasion, and chronic government deficits; and (2) the European […]

Woo: How has Canada’s experience in Afghanistan changed Canadian foreign policy?

By: /
June 27, 2011

Afghanistan has both dominated and distracted Canadian foreign policy in the last decade.  Despite the enormous sacrifice of Canadian soldiers and civilians, our military engagement in Afghanistan has come to an ambiguous conclusion. Canada’s involvement in the war has been good for many people in Afghanistan, but it has not improved Ottawa’s standing in the […]

Woo: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

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June 21, 2011

Never mind what I think.  Here’s what the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s panel of nearly 700 Canadians with professional interests in Asia have to say: The top priority for Mr Baird is to develop an Asia Strategy for Canada.  It should have a regional as well as bilateral focus, and should i) strengthen educational linkages, ii) encourage […]

Hampson: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

By: /
June 13, 2011

Economic power is shifting away from the United States, Canada’s traditional market for goods, services, and investment, to the fast-rising economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Trade diversification will be critical in this decade to securing Canada’s future. We we can no longer count on the US to sustain our economic growth. Canada must also move […]