Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Global reputation needs restoration

Global reputation needs restoration?

or is it more Canada's education system needs to do some work?

I can only say thanks to Matt Gurney for setting the record straight on the article that Mssrs Craig and Marc Kielburger wrote in the Toronto Star.

From the Kielburgers:

Maybe that’s a little harsh. Nonetheless, Canada’s prominence on the international stage started back in 1956 when Lester B. Pearson launched the world’s first peacekeeping mission during the Suez Crisis.

Today, Canada’s failure to gain a seat on the Security Council is just the latest in a series of gaffes that make Suez seem like ancient history. The government and the opposition need to look beyond finger-pointing for solutions to restore our reputation.  The last 12 months of foreign policy haven’t exactly reflected our past. When it comes to dealing with other nations, there is a well-known list of blunders.

I, of course, disagree with the Kielburgers in that Canada's failure to receive a seat on the UN Security Council has more to do with the ideology of the current US President and less to do with our contributions on the world stage.  That having been said, it's arguable that our reputation on the world stage hasn't been taking a hit for some time as Canada has "progressively" drawn back from participating in most of the exercises which might have gained us some prominence.  It has scaled back its military to the point where we can't even sustain a 3000 person force in a war zone indefinitely.  It now comes to a war zone wholly under equipped to do the job at hand.  Canada has turned into, arguably, the little brother that tags along and impedes the grown ups from getting the job done by siphoning off their supplies and directing their attention where it isn't needed.

Now, that isn't to say that Canada doesn't do heavy lifting, and I'm proud of our men and women in uniform for doing the job that they do despite the impediments to their effort.  What I AM saying is that Canada won't "gain prominence" on the world stage by promising to unilaterally destroy our economy to save a few fractions of a percentage of global emissions.  It won't gain prominence by throwing the population of a Toronto High School into a war zone, regardless of if we lead a larger international force.  Canada doesn't gain prominence for these things.

Canada gains prominence by standing up for what it believes in.  Canada gains prominence by providing the world with a safe, secure and ethical source of energy resources.  Canada gains prominence by fielding a military that can sustain a military engagement over decades at a size of greater than a division.  Canada gains prominence, in short, by being a help, not a hindrance on the world stage.  It's not the environmentalists and the peaceniks that need to view Canada in a positive light, it's the rest of the world.

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