At least since the premiership of Stephen Harper, foreign policy debates between Canada's political parties have centred on rival visions of the country's national identity. In other words, the Liberal and Conservative parties have not only advocated for different policies, but have also advanced clashing interpretations of Canada's role in the world. Liberals consider contributing to multilateralism and peacekeeping to be important national aims, while Conservatives are more likely to deride the United Nations as a dysfunctional club of dictators. Justin Trudeau has tried to toe a careful line when it comes to China, while Erin O'Toole has argued for a much more muscular approach.
There is clearly a need for continuous and constructive analysis, debate and dialogue on the nature of Canada’s long-term national interests. This panel will discuss the state of play in Canada’s partisan foreign policy discourse, elaborate upon the necessity for Canada’s political parties to forge a consensus understanding of the national interest, and explore what some of the contours of such a national consensus might look like.
This event will be conducted primarily in English but will feature some commentary in French.
Dr. Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Political Science Department
Dr. Chris Kilford, Director of the Canadian International Council
Dr. Jean-Christophe Boucher, Assistant Professor at University of Calgary
Jocelyn Coulon, Advisor at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy and Research Fellow at the Montreal Centre for International Studies (CERIUM)
Dr. Zachary Paikin, Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy