EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MATTERED – AND WHEN
IT SHOULDN’T HAVE
“Relations with the United States are at the centre of Canada’s foreign and domestic policy interests at every level,” wrote Michael Hart in his new book, From Pride to Influence: Towards a New Canadian Foreign Policy. “The principal foreign policy challenge for Canada is to manage the pervasiveness of this U.S. reality.”1 There can be no question that Hart is right, and his judgment stands as correct at least since the end of the Second World War and arguably from 1938 when American President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King exchanged defence pledges at Kingston and Woodbridge, Ontario. But our foreign policy-makers have not always recognized reality, sometimes putting other concerns, global or domestic, ahead of the reality of Canadian national interests.
And what are those national interests? Here is my list with which, I suspect, few would quarrel seriously: