Stein: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

By: /
13 June, 2011
By: Janice Stein
Professor, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

The new Foreign  Minister will have to signal Canada’s priorities in the first few weeks. He will have to pay attention to the war in Libya and make clear whether Canada has embraced regime change as a goal.  The Foreign Minister should also emphasize Canada’s commitments to open trading systems, and to new agreements in Asia and Latin America. In both regions, the government will have to put meat on the bones to deepen Canada’s trading and investment relationships. Finally, the Minister will have to move forward with the United States in removing the obstacles to trade and mobility and to smartening our shared border.

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.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter