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Newman: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

By: /
20 June, 2011
By: Don Newman
Chairman of Canada 2020, Senior Columnist with

John Baird should concentrate on three things:

Getting up to speed on Libya and what the NATO end game is there . It is a military operation now, but what comes next is going to be an issue for Foreign Affairs.

What role to play in convincing the U.S. State Department to approve the Oil Sand Pipeline through the middle of the United Stateswhich will bring Oil Sands crude into the refining hub in Texas.

Approval would provide a guaranteed market, by tie us even more to the slow growing U.S. Economy.

If State says no, then the pressure will be on in Canada to approve the Gateway pipeline to the west coast. It will take longer, but tie our Oil Sands exports to the fast growing economies of China and the rest of Asia.

What role is Canada going to play at the United Nations? Having been rebuffed for a seat on the Security Council last fall.

And how will we finesse the resolution on Palestinian statehood at the General Assembly this fall?

Clearly, John Baird has some studying to do.

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