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Nossal: Does Canada need an independent organization to promote rights and democracy abroad?

By: /
10 April, 2012

No: if the government of Canada is intent on embracing a 21st century version of a mission civilisatrice, and wants to go charging off to give other peoples moralistic lessons in how to behave politically, it would be better that it be done by an agency of the Canadian state created specifically for that purpose. This will not only guarantee that the government in Ottawa can directly control theseoperations, but it will also ensure that the government can take the appropriate blame when its often half-baked social engineering experiments in other countries go off the rails, or produce nasty unintended or unanticipated consequences.

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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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