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The #cdnfp Twitterati: Who We Wish Would Tweet More

By: /
11 January, 2013

Louise Arbour

President and CEO, International Crisis Group | @louise_arbour

A former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Arbour now heads the International Crisis Group, one of the premier organizations working on conflict prevention and resolution. She is an authoritative voice in this area.

Lloyd Axworthy

President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg | @lloydaxworthy

As minister of foreign affairs during the Chrétien years, Axworthy was instrumental in bringing about the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. The Twitterverse could use a little more of his soft power.

Maude Barlow

Chairperson, Council of Canadians | @maudebarlow

Despite having zero tweets to her name, environmentalist and activist Barlow has managed to collect over a thousand followers on Twitter. Obviously, Canadians want to hear what she has to say. As a former advisor on water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, we think she would bring a welcome angle to the #cdnfp Twitterverse.

Michael Ignatieff

Academic, author and former politician | @m_ignatieff

As perhaps Canada’s best-known public intellectual, Ignatieff has never been one to shy away from voicing his opinions in print. We’d love it if he would do the same on Twitter more often.

Canadian Ministers with Foreign Policy Portfolios

We included Minister Baird in our Twitterati list, but we’d like to see more from him and his cabinet colleagues. Ministers Julian Fantino (International Cooperation), Ed Fast (International Trade and Asia-Pacific Gateway), Peter Penashue (Intergovernmental Affairs), Diane Ablonczy (Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)) and Bernard Valcourt (La Francophonie) could all boost their Twitter presence, with a bigger focus on their ministerial portfolios. We recommend they chat with Twitter-master @TonyclementCPC. And all of the above applies to Foreign Affairs critics Dominic Leblanc (Liberal) and Jean-François Fortin (Bloc Québécois).

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.

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