Modifying Canadian Foreign Policy to Confront an America-First World Order

Room 118




Canadian Foreign Policy, as seen from a broad perspective, combining the impact  of a rapidly changing and challenging international environment on our standing in the world and Canada’s ability to adapt, protect and advance our primary  global interests. A panel moderated by RHOMA’s President, Gilles Rivard, will feature: Len Edwards, a three time Deputy Minister(Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Agro-Food, International Trade);  Margaret Biggs, former President of (then) CIDA and Chairperson of IDRC Board of Governors; and Randolph Mank, global business executive and former Ambassador in multiple countries will discuss the impact of an America-first policy  against the backdrop of an unravelling Britain (Brexit), a chaotic Middle East, a stressed global financial system, climate change, an assertive China, a hegemonic Russia, the unpredictability of an unstable North Korea and a fragile Africa and Latin America. The fundamental importance of diplomacy, trade, development and security will be assessed to counter the possibility that Canada could find itself in a position of vulnerability and isolation; the latter not of its own making. The merits of the newly elected Government initiating a wide- ranging foreign policy review will also be discussed including the matter of foreign policy capacity (having the human and financial resources to do the job) and the necessity of reengaging with totalitarian regimes. Further consideration will be given to the idea of a more comprehensive examination to include industrial and technology policy as well as water, energy, agriculture, quantum computing, A.I. and cyber security. Enhanced self-reliance will be looked at through the lens of interprovincial free trade and transnational infrastructure projects and the sacrifices that should be made to strengthen Canada’s military establishment and its NATO obligations.