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  • Author: William Richardson, Kalen Bennett, Douglas Dempster, Philippe Dumas, Caroline Leprince, Kim Richard Nossal, David Perry, Elinor Sloan, J. Craig Stone
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In the fall of 2019, the procurement theme of the Canadian Defence and Security Network (CDSN) convened a workshop on the challenges facing high technology defence acquisitions. The workshop brought together practitioners from the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces and researchers from universities and think tanks, including graduate students. The aim of this workshop was to give these researchers a chance to understand how those working in defence procurement are tackling the problem of acquiring high technological capabilities that are not obsolete before they are even delivered. The researchers, in turn, have prepared this report, in collaboration with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI), on bringing greater agility to defence procurement in Canada. As the authors note, this should be a key part of the defence procurement debate in Canada once Canada and the world emerge from COVID-19 emergency.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Armed Forces, Procurement
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Michael Nesbitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In 2015, Canada’s national security law landscape received some long-overdue attention in the form of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act. It was the culmination of a series of smaller initiatives that had brought attention to national security law in Canada, but also a direct response to two terrorist attacks that left two Canadians dead in October 2014. Bill C-51 did indeed reinvigorate discussions around national security law in Canada, but it became a lightning rod for criticism. Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters 2017 was not passed until June 2019, but it was nevertheless a direct response to Bill C-51 and the criticisms it faced. Yet for the most part, Bill C-59 amended but did not repeal the important new powers, or even the most controversial ones, found in Bill C-51. Instead, Bill C-59 can be seen, in part, as a technical-legal bill that largely entrenched the powers first conceived of in Bill C-51 by putting them on firmer constitutional footing. But Bill C-59 was also much more than a series of legal/constitutional improvements: its legislative scope went much further afield from the Bill C-51 regime, amending the authorities of agencies – such as the Communications Security Establishment – that had been untouched by Bill C-51, while also greatly expanding national security oversight and review through the creation of important new bodies. The purpose of this paper is to compare these two important pieces of national security legislation with a view to explaining what these legislation reforms did, why the reforms were undertaken, and to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of the most controversial of the reforms under each bill. The idea is to explain where Canada stands today, in the wake of this massive legislative overhaul. By identifying what has already been addressed, we can identify next steps and, in particular, where the focus of future legislative reforms in national security should be. Three recommendations flow from this conclusion. First, national security legislation must be reformed with greater consistency than in the past. Second, as an immediate priority, Canada must address its “intelligence-to-evidence” problem; that is, the system by which it converts – or fails to convert – raw intelligence into the sort of evidence usable by courts of law. Third, enforcement of Canada’s national security laws must now take priority, in particular by prosecuting returning foreign fighters and far-right extremists where their activities meet the threshold of a terrorism offence, as well as terrorist financing, to a greater degree than Canada has seen to date.
  • Topic: Intelligence, National Security, Terrorism, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Judit Fabian
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: International trade is often framed in starkly divergent terms: either countries choose multilateral trade agreements (MTAs) and advance the cause of global economic liberalization, or they choose preferred trade agreements (PTAs) and put the entire system at risk. Canada has a long track record of pursuing PTAs and with the Trump administration’s opposition to multilateralism, and longstanding opposition in elements of the Republican and Democratic parties, this trend will likely continue. The question is whether progress will come at the expense of the global trade system. Some economists believe PTAs to be trade-diverting, reducing trade with more efficient producers outside the agreement. Others insist that PTAs can create trade by shifting production to lower-cost producers in one of the participating countries. One prominent contrary argument holds that PTAs lead to discontinuities in tariff regimes between countries and regions, increasing transaction costs, disrupting supply chains, creating opportunities for corruption and harming global welfare, especially in developing nations. While debate continues about the effects of PTAs, a closer examination suggests that worries are overblown about their negative impacts on global trade flows. Evidence indicates that they support rather than harm the international trading system. Countries shut out of PTAs are more motivated to seek out agreements in new markets, increasing liberalization overall. They may also seek a reduction in most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs, which would deprive PTAs of their major tariff benefits. Studies have found complementarity between preferential and MFN tariffs, revealing that PTAs promote external trade liberalization. Even if a PTA reduces a given country’s incentive to push for multilateral liberalization, it raises the odds of that country liberalizing its trade to avoid getting left behind. PTAs are a response to the difficulties of securing sweeping multilateral agreements. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements authorize them under GATT Article XXIV, GATS Article V, and the enabling clause, and the WTO facilitates a degree of governance over PTAs through its dispute settlement process. Over the past 25 years, countries have adopted these deals at a rapid pace. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of PTAs increased from 50 to 200. By April 2018, 336 were in effect. At the same time, global trade has increased significantly. Between 1994 and 2010, the volume of world merchandise exports more than doubled. The proliferation of PTAs has resulted in a rise in international trade governance, because the countries involved shape their relationships in line with the WTO agreements. This juridification makes PTAs subordinate to the international system rather than giving them room to dissolve it. Canada should therefore have no fear of pursuing PTAs within the larger framework of the effort to achieve multilateral trade liberalization.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Multilateralism, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Frank Graves, Jeff Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada has not been left untouched by a new authoritarian, or ordered, populism that has seen the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union. Based on measurements of public opinion and other means developed to assess the phenomenon, this paper finds that populism in Canada is a significant political force, replacing the traditional left-right political spectrum. Not only has northern populism created a heightened partisan polarization in Canada, but it also proved to be a strong predictor of the outcome of the 2019 federal election. The authors’ research shows that 34 per cent of Canadians maintain a populist outlook. Older, less-educated, working-class Canadians are the most likely to sympathize with ordered populism, and it is more prevalent in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is also more closely aligned with Canadians whose political sympathies lie with conservative political parties. A number of factors have contributed to the rise of ordered populism. These include economic stagnation, the growing disparity between the wealthy and the middle and working classes, a sense that society is headed in the wrong direction and a backlash against the loss of traditional core values. Ordered populism rests on the belief in a corrupt elite, and the idea that power needs to be wrested from this elite and returned to the people. Oriented toward authoritarianism, ordered populism emphasizes obedience, hostility toward outgroups, a desire to turn back the clock to a time of greater order in society, and a search for a strongman type to lead the return to a better time. Nothing about ordered populism serves the public interest. Instead, its anti-democratic nature makes it incapable of solving the problems that spawned its rise in the first place. Ordered populism is xenophobic, mistrustful of science and journalism, and unsympathetic to equality and gender issues. Arising out of fear and anger, ordered populism is ultimately unhealthy for Western democracies and their societies and economies. Canada has yet to accord the rise of ordered populism the attention it deserves, although this paper explains why it is a critical force in this country that needs to be addressed. Currently, attitudes toward ordered populism are generally limited to sneering, derisiveness and denial, all of which do nothing to address the problem. Solving it requires understanding its roots. And if its origins lie in the collapse of the middle-class dream, then policy-makers will need to focus on creating a new economics of hope. Ordered populism is at the heart of stark divisions in Canada, and the 2019 federal election did little, if anything, to mend the rupture. Dissatisfaction with the election’s results could forecast an even worse polarization in the near future, and increase the appeal of authoritarianism, if populism is left unaddressed.
  • Topic: Politics, Authoritarianism, Elections, Populism, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher W. Bishop
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The idea for this paper began after several conversations with Canadian friends and colleagues about the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. On December 10, 2018, Chinese officials detained the two Canadian citizens for “endangering state security”, 10 days after Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, on an extradition warrant from the United States, where she was wanted for bank fraud. Despite Chinese statements denying any connection between the two Michaels and Meng, some Canadians have argued the only way to gain their release is for Canada to release Meng – a classic “prisoner exchange”. Others, however, have argued just as forcefully that trading Meng for the two Canadians would only give legitimacy to China’s “hostage diplomacy”. One friend asked me if China had ever done anything like this before. How had those cases been resolved, and what would China do this time? Those were good questions. As a U.S. Foreign Service officer who has spent much of my career working on China – including at the U.S. embassy in Beijing from 2015-2018, where I analyzed the Communist Party leadership and China’s state security apparatus – I had some insight into Chinese foreign policy. I also had a personal connection to one of the cases. I knew Michael Kovrig – he had been one of my counterparts at the Canadian embassy in Beijing – and I had great respect for his work as a diplomat, and later as a senior advisor at the International Crisis Group. Moreover, because I was now on leave from the U.S. Department of State to serve as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Canada, I had time to look for some answers. And so I began trying to identify and analyze similar cases from the recent past. This paper is the result. It represents my own views, and although the Department of State has allowed me to publish it in my personal capacity, it does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department or the U.S. government.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems, Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Emily Gilfillan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for governments around the world. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. In addition to a worldwide health crisis, the pandemic has had far-reaching socioeconomic impacts that have been severest for the most vulnerable people and have exacerbated existing inequalities. This presents wealthy countries like Canada with a challenge: addressing the health crisis and economic fallout at home, while simultaneously supporting a global COVID-19 response and continuing to tackle existing development priorities. This report explores the implications of COVID-19 for Canada’s development assistance efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Given that 27 of the 28 poorest countries in the world are located in SSA and half of Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget is expected to go to countries in Africa by 2021-22, it is a priority region. To date, Canada has maintained ODA spending levels, while also providing additional funds in support of global efforts to address COVID-19. Evidence suggests that pre-pandemic priorities in the region, such as gender equality, health, and food security, have not been derailed. Rather, the impact of the pandemic has reinforced the importance of core development objectives such as achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) is fit for purpose to address the gendered impact of the pandemic. It is clear that the pandemic does not affect men and women equally. While the right policy tools are in place, building back better will require Canadian resolve and leadership to stay the course and ensure the most vulnerable are not left behind.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Finance, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Canada, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In the past, Canada has had to deal with the matter of Taiwan very delicately. China considers Taiwan to be an integral part of the nation: a rogue province that must eventually be reunified with the mainland. Since Canada relies much more on trade with China than with Taiwan, the stakes have favoured policies that avoid engaging with Taiwan in ways that would unnecessarily irritate China. As a result, there has been little appetite here for negotiating a bilateral trade deal with Taiwan. That attitude is finally changing. One main reason is because China is already angry with Canada, and vice versa. Relations between the two countries are at an all-time low, and domestic support for accommodating China is minimal. As a result, Canada is freer than before to consider negotiating a trade agreement with Taiwan. At the same time, Taiwan is interested in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to which Canada is already a party. By supporting Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP, Canada can achieve a free-trade agreement with Taiwan without having to negotiate one bilaterally. The ability to do so under the aegis of a multilateral agreement should serve to mitigate any remaining concerns that China might further retaliate against Canada directly. However, striking back at China is not a reason for Canada to support Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP. We should do so because it is in the interest of Canada and the other members of the CPTPP to add to the strength of the organization by welcoming an economy that is an important global trader and a key player in global supply chains. In addition, Taiwan is a country that is clearly willing and able to accept CPTPP disciplines. Canada should move quickly and enthusiastically to support Taiwan’s accession. The benefits of having Taiwan join Canada in a free-trade agreement are obvious. The opportunity to make it a reality is finally here. The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force on Dec.30, 2018 for six of the 11 signatories that had completed ratification at that time (Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore),1 is a beacon of hope in a dark, protectionist landscape. Along with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which was signed on Nov. 15, 2020, the CPTPP advances the trade and investment liberalization agenda at a time when protectionist measures by some major trading countries are threatening to undo decades of progress. The commitments and new disciplines of the CPTPP are particularly important because of malaise infecting the World Trade Organization, where the work of the Appellate Body has now ground to a halt because of actions by the United States, and to offset the negative impact of the U.S.-China trade war now underway.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Partnerships, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Taiwan, North America, United States of America
  • Author: David J. Bercuson
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: When U.S. President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 on a promise to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada risked losing the free-trade regime that it had enjoyed with the U.S. since the original U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1989. Those who came to Canada’s rescue, by persuading the Trump administration to eventually make a new deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, were Canada’s trading partners in the United States, whose interests were threatened: Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states now have Canada as their most important trading partner. This was indicative of a long-term trade pattern of an ever-increasing closeness in trade between the U.S. and Canada. It is a pattern that started since before Confederation and in spite of not a few attempts in Canada to diversify exports away from the U.S. However, that simply cannot happen in any meaningful way: The 170-year-old pattern of Canada-U.S. trade is now so permanent as to be utterly irreversible. Since the decision by Britain to end tariff preferences for its colonies in the mid-19th century, Canada has naturally sought to penetrate the U.S. market for its exports. The desire has not always been mutual: American protectionism has, at times, hampered the export of Canadian products to the U.S., although tariff barriers have failed to stop what is a seemingly natural and, in many ways, necessary north-south flow of goods and services. Even Canadian attempts to reorient its own trade emphasis to enhance domestic east-west trade, or to expand into countries beyond the United States have made little difference. The trading relationship between Canada and the U.S. has endured through wars and in peacetime, through Republican administrations and Democratic ones. It will only continue to grow. Fantasizing about some markedly different trading future is therefore a waste of Canada’s time and energy, which should instead be expended on further penetrating the American marketplace and solidifying ties with state and local governments, local manufacturing associations, Congress and new industries. Canada should take advantage of its new trade deal with the U.S. to integrate the Canadian economy as fully into that of the U.S. as possible. There may be others like President Trump or some like him in Canada, who try to disrupt the trade relationship. That even Trump eventually was persuaded to agree to free trade with Canada is evidence, however, that an ever-closer trading relationship is simply a reality that cannot be stopped.
  • Topic: Markets, History, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: David Curtis Wright
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: This paper discusses China’s Arctic policy white paper, covers China’s appreciation of the region’s strategic value, and samples scholarly articles across the wide spectrum of opinion and policy recommendation regarding China’s participation in Arctic affairs. It describes the articles, offers translated segments from them, and refers readers who want to read more about the articles and more extensive translated passages from them to the Appendix, where they are included in fuller form. This paper’s main contention and conclusion is that the military and strategic dimensions of China’s interests in the Arctic are part and parcel of mainstream Chinese discourse on the Arctic today. One important motivation behind China’s burgeoning interest and engagement in Arctic affairs is the eventual utilisation of the region as strategic space from which to threaten the security of North America. China’s activities in the Arctic bear close, careful, and continuous scrutiny. It is imperative that Canada not succumb to the siren song of complacency and inaction regarding China’s ambitions in the Arctic region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Military Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Kyle Matthews
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The U.S.-led international coalition has dislodged the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the cities it had occupied and controlled, namely Mosul and Raqqa. But while the group is weakened, it lives on and remains dangerous. Both the U.S. Department of Defense and the UN estimate that approximately 30,000 ISIS fighters remain in those countries. At the same time, a significant number of “foreign fighters” have fled Iraq and Syria. Numerous countries are struggling to find policy solutions with regards to managing the return of their nationals who had joined the group. The Canadian government has stated publicly that it favors taking a comprehensive approach of reintegrating returnees back into society. Very few foreign fighters who have returned to Canada have been prosecuted. Canada has both a moral and legal duty to seek justice and uphold the most basic human rights of vulnerable populations. ISIS and other jihadist groups engaged in systematic mass atrocities against minorities in Iraq and Syria, including Christians and Shiites. ISIS has demonstrated a particular disdain for the Yazidi minority in Iraq, and the Canadian government has recognized the group’s crimes against the Yazidis as genocide. As a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a signatory of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Canada has a responsibility to uphold these international legal conventions when formulating carefully crafted policy responses that deal with returning foreign fighters. Canada should attempt to prosecute its nationals in domestic courts using the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Open trials can serve as means by which to lay bare ISIS’ narrative and to help counter violent extremism and future atrocities. They can also serve as a deterrent and warning to other Canadians who might try to join ISIS as it mutates and moves to other countries in the world, such as Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Pakistan, or heaven forbid, in Mali where Canadian peacekeepers have recently been deployed. If Canada truly stands for multiculturalism, pluralism, the rule of law, global justice, human rights, and the liberal international order, then we must stand firm and take a principled stand to prosecute those who have fought under the ISIS banner. That includes our own citizens.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Rights, Terrorism, Islamic State, Justice, Foreign Fighters
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Canada, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Andrea Charron, James Fergusson
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The North American defence environment is in the process of a major transformation, occasioned by dramatic changes in the geostrategic/political landscape and the development of new generations of weapon systems. As a result, the requirements to deter, detect and defend North America from a variety of new threats are transforming. In this context, Canada and the United States, through the Permanent Joint Board of Defense (PJBD) established the Evolution of North American Defense (EvoNAD) study, and tasked its execution to the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) command. EvoNAD considers a long time horizon and has been broken into subcomponents reflecting six domain priorities: air, maritime, cyber, aerospace, space and land. The overarching factor which binds the six components together is the recognition that the single-domain threat environment is evolving into a multi-domain one. In the past, the threat to North America resided largely on a single axis (north-south), within a dominant domain (air, combined with ballistic missiles), met by a bi-national structure. While this threat seemed to collapse with the end of the Cold War, NORAD continued and evolved to adapt to new threats as well as to continue to monitor the Cold War-styled air and aerospace threats. Subsequently, 9/11 created a new threat environment and forced NORAD to consider threats emanating from within North America as well as outside of it. In addition to a number of changes, including direct feeds from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NAVCANADA, NORAD expanded into the maritime domain via a maritime warning mission. Roughly at the same time, NORAD’s attention also turned to the cyber-domain and its common threat to North America. The air threat has now returned with the resumption of long-range Russian flights across the Arctic, and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. This threat, however, is of a different character because of the development of a new generation of Russian long-range air-launched cruise missiles, as well as sea-launched cruise missiles, which have direct implications for NORAD’s capacity to deter, detect and defend, as well as for its current area of operations and mission suites (air/aerospace warning and control and maritime warning). Not only will these new long-range capabilities diffuse to other potential adversaries, generating a global threat environment, but also the first generation of hypersonic weapons has set the conditions for the merger of air and missile defence, and the air and outer space domains. Finally, the consequences of an attack against North America, alongside potential catastrophic natural disasters relative to the role of military forces in support of civil authorities, raises issues for both Canada and the U.S., and thus NORAD, regarding the most efficient and effective means to respond. The multi-domain/multi-dimensional North American threat environment should drive both Canada and the U.S. towards deeper defence co-operation, and the functional demands of this new threat environment could lead to NORAD’s ultimate transformation into an integrated, multi-domain and dimensional North American Defense Command solution. Of course, this outcome is not inevitable, and numerous barriers exist. Nonetheless, the same logic which led to NORAD’s creation in 1957 (with the agreement signed in 1958), remains valid. Driven by the common recognition that the defence of North America is indivisible, a North American Defense Command would be a natural evolution in Canada – American defence relations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Maritime, Land, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jeff Kucharski
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s growing interest in trade with countries in the Indo-Pacific region corresponds with an ominous growth in geopolitical instability and insecurity in that part of the globe. With Indo-Pacific hunger for oil expected to soar – especially in China, where demand will translate to 80 per cent of imports in 10 years – Canada needs to develop policies to deal with the region’s turbulent realities. The Indo-Pacific comprises countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and includes such unstable and unpredictable players as North Korea and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons and long-simmering border tensions. India is an emerging economic and military rival to China. In the next 20 years, China and India are expected to lead the global demand for gas as coal consumption continues to decline, and Canada has a stake in this prosperous future. Along with territorial squabbles in the region, Canada will have to deal with complex issues such as terrorism, human trafficking, transnational crime, piracy and cyber-crime, as well as the struggle for global dominance between China and the U.S. One key area for potential conflict is China’s recent construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea. The Canadian government’s new military strategy, Strong, Secure, Engaged does little more than make a plea for peace and the rule of law in the South China Sea. However, more trade crosses the Pacific Ocean from Canada than crosses the Atlantic. And with Canada signing on to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the region’s troubles will need to be resolved by more than good intentions on paper. Canada must shift more diplomatic, security and military resources to the Indo- Pacific; otherwise, its efforts will be spread too thinly to be effective in the region. Trade, especially through a major route like the Strait of Malacca, could easily be disrupted by any one of a number of disputes, such as a conflict between China and Taiwan or if historic resentments boil over among competing territorial claimants in the region. Thus, Canada needs to step up and reaffirm its security commitments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a partner in the region. Participating in maritime exercises and Freedom of Navigation (FON) operations would also help to reinforce to countries in the region the importance of abiding by international law. Meanwhile, Canada should set aside for now any intentions to negotiate a free trade agreement with China. China does not share some of Canada’s key trade and security goals and its aggressive behaviour in the South and East China Seas clearly signal that now is not the time to talk about a trade pact. China must demonstrate that it is willing to take a more cooperative approach to resolving trade and security issues in the Indo-Pacific and to support and respect the rule of law in the region. Canada has the potential to become a reliable, stable source of energy for Indo-Pacific countries. There is also an opportunity for provinces such as Alberta to strike their own strategic deals to provide energy resources to countries in that region, in return for trade and investment benefits. However, while investing at home in the necessary infrastructure and export capability to expand its role, Canada must also strive to bring its own unique approach to enhancing regional and energy security in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Robert Vineberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: When citizens lose faith in their government’s refugee policies, there arises the potential for an anti-immigration backlash, as several European countries have recently discovered. Canada has yet to see that happen, but it has for too long been muddling along with a refugee-processing system that is seriously flawed. Refugees go unprocessed for years, and in the meantime end up living, working and laying down roots. Often that only increases the chances they will end up staying even if they might have otherwise been rejected. It may even lead to increases in questionable refugee claims, as people realize they can work and make money in Canada for years before their case is even heard. The Canadian government has committed to increasing refugee numbers. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has designated Canada as the primary destination for hard-to-settle refugees. The diversity of source countries is increasing, resulting in more refugees who are illiterate in both English and French. More refugees will struggle to adapt to life in Canada. Taken together, it is possible that without fixing the problems in the system, public dissatisfaction could rise as Canadians lose faith that their refugee system is under control, and that could undermine their faith in the entire immigration system. The biggest flaw in the refugee system traces back to the government’s overreaction to the Singh decision. The Supreme Court ordered that all rejected refugees had a right to an in-person appeal, but the federal government went much further and gave every refugee an in-person hearing. That system has left Canada with a backlog, as of last year, of 34,000 cases. In most every other country, initial refugee screenings are conducted by public servants working for the immigration agency, which here would be Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as opposed to the staff of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Canada could do a much better job at clearing its backlog and better processing refugee claims, particularly in weeding out the bogus claims, by reassigning responsibility for interviewing refugees to the officials at IRCC. The agency also has the advantage of having offices in almost every major city in Canada, while the IRB only hears cases in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, with the 2,500 refugee claimants residing in places outside B.C., Quebec and Ontario having to travel long distances for a hearing or having to settle for an inferior two-way video hearing. Also, this would avoid the conflict of interest at the IRB, which is in charge of reviewing appeals of its own decisions. The IRB is better suited to handle appeals of decisions made by IRCC agents who are at arm’s-length from the IRB. In addition, Canada should also ensure it maintains a balance in accepting not strictly refugees who are most at risk, but also an equal number of refugees who will more easily establish themselves in Canada and adapt within one year of landing in Canada. Having a system that not only ensures more efficient, effective processing of refugees, with proper control over who settles here, will not only help Canadians maintain confidence in their refugee and immigration system. It will also ensure that Canada has a system that can respond, when necessary, to global crises when they erupt, and better help those refugees who need protection.
  • Topic: Government, United Nations, Immigration, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The “non-market” clause in the just-concluded update of NAFTA, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would appear to limit Canada’s options in terms of negotiating a free trade agreement with China at the present time (given the de facto U.S. veto over a Canada-China agreement that it provides), yet Prime Minister Trudeau has already reaffirmed Canada’s intention to pursue closer economic ties with China despite this apparent limitation. If negotiations proceed, negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with China will be very different from negotiating one with a country that shares Canada’s Western values. However, a trade agreement with China makes good economic sense, and while there are some unique obstacles to reaching such an agreement owing to differing views of progressive trade, these are not insurmountable. In fact, Canada can use the same models in negotiating with China that it has used with Western countries. Such an approach combines trade goals with respecting Chinese cultural and political differences, particularly those that fall into the category of progressivism. This category includes labour rights, Indigenous and gender issues, and governance. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been focused on progressive elements in trade deals, while China has made it clear it is not interested in including them in any such pact. Concluding an agreement would mean that China and Canada must both recognize the political requirements and dynamics on the opposite side of the negotiating table, while seeking common ground diplomatically. Side agreements such as those that exist in the original NAFTA and in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are one way to work with the two countries’ differences. Many of the provisions in a side agreement are not binding and thus not subject to the agreement’s dispute settlement mechanism or trade sanctions. Instead, they are more aspirational and sometimes lay out a process for civil society groups to raise issues and help the thinking on those issues evolve, rather than simply holding the parties accountable for breaches. Canada is rightly concerned about Chinese stances on human rights, labour, environmental and gender issues. However, instead of including these issues in the main document on trade, they can be dealt with as shared interests between the two countries. Establishing separate but parallel mechanisms to deal with these issues would be a practical way to make progress. Focusing on micro, small and medium-sized businesses as one Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) did, could be another successful approach. Women own many of these businesses in developing countries, so such a focus would make a substantial contribution to their welfare. None of this means Canada should kowtow to China or look the other way on important values and issues. Side agreements and special focuses have formed parts of agreements with other countries that already share Canada’s Western values. This type of give-and-take is present even when Canada negotiates with countries that are not polar opposites. No country’s interests are exactly the same as those of any other and it’s unrealistic to expect unanimity on every issue. Language and firm commitments on progressive issues are still evolving in many of Canada’s free trade agreements, including the USMCA. It would be unreasonable to hope that everything can be achieved in an agreement with China on the first go-around. Rather, viewing a trade agreement with China as a work-in-progress means controversial elements can be brought into the negotiations and language used that reflects the understanding that these issues are evolving. It will require creative thinking, flexibility and joint commitment to find a solution, but—assuming that the USMCA does not rule out Canada-China negotiations toward a trade agreement— it should be possible to find sufficient common ground without having to resort to obfuscation and “creative ambiguity”.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, NAFTA, Free Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Sarah Goldfeder
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Jan. 23, the first Monday after being sworn in as president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that laid the groundwork for exiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was the elegant solution to a host of hold-over irritants from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as a way to address wholly new issues of trade and commerce. In the wake of this decision, Trump also promised a wholesale reworking of NAFTA, in which everything would be on the table. In the days since, the Trump trade team has been off to a rocky start. Finally, after months of discussion, the notification incumbent for use of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) was provided to Congressional leaders on May 18, 2017. Mexico has taken it all in stride, as it took almost immediate advantage of the blusterous U.S. rhetoric to outline its demands for any NAFTA discussion. Canada meanwhile plays the sphinx, open about its willingness to negotiate, but not much else. The U.S. may find that it’s less ready for this round of negotiations than it wanted to be, but its partners are well placed to unite and drive a hard bargain.
  • Topic: NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Joël Plouffe
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Ten months into Donald Trump’s presidency and there is little indication as to how this administration is planning to actively pursue American Arctic interests in its foreign policy. Former president Barack Obama’s strategy had an ambitious agenda on climate change and regional governance leadership. What we have seen over the past several months in terms of foreign policy outlook has been a mixture of continuity and change. In terms of continuity, the State Department has, thus far, maintained multilateral co-operation in the areas of environmental protection, sustainable development, international scientific research and joint military exercises. It has upheld its commitment to the workings of the Arctic Council – including finishing the U.S. term until May 2017 as the chair – and is more likely than not to continue with the status quo. As for change, by reconsidering the role of U.S. leadership, the Trump administration has signalled its intention to approach the Arctic differently from the previous administration. It has distanced the federal government from the global fight on climate change and its impacts on the Arctic, and worked to reverse the Obama-era ban on oil and gas licensing in U.S. Arctic federal waters. This was part of Trump’s campaign promise to loosen regulations that negatively impact the energy industry. The U.S.-Canada bilateral relationship that had been so close under Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now focused on other areas – especially the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This policy paper looks at the legacies that the Obama administration left in terms of Arctic foreign policy, how the Trump administration has approached the region, and finally, what this could potentially mean for the U.S.-Canada relationship in the North American Arctic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Borders, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Brian Bow
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The security perimeter agenda is buried, but it’s not dead. U.S. President Donald Trump’s attitudes toward trade, immigration and international institutions make it difficult to work with his administration and may get Canadians thinking about looking for new international partners. At least in the short run, however, Canada has no choice but to try to maintain its bilateral relationship with the U.S., and a crucial part of that relationship is the ongoing effort to make the border more secure and efficient. Significant progress has been made on some of the key policy co-ordination challenges – travel, shipping, border infrastructure and law enforcement co-operation – but there is still a lot of work to be done. Given the priorities and problems of the Trump administration, Canada’s best bet is probably to try to work around the White House on these issues, engaging with other players in the U.S., like bureaucratic agencies, members of Congress, and state and local governments. The focus should be on finding and supporting transgovernmental (state) and transnational (society) allies in the U.S., and Ottawa’s approach should be low key, patient, problem-solving and opportunistic. The most urgent concern is to anticipate and prevent policy changes in the U.S. that might disrupt existing arrangements, but Canadian officials should also continue to look for ways to improve bilateral co-operation on border/perimeter security issues.
  • Topic: Security, Immigration, Trade, Donald Trump, International Institutions
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Alan Stephenson
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: It is time for the Canadian government to conduct a holistic review of Canada’s national security complex. The Defence Policy Review is floundering as a consequence of an uncooperative world, Canada’s domestic security institutions require legislative empowerment, and the election of Donald Trump has placed increased pressure on Canadian security and defence. Securing the U.S.’s northern border is a no-fail mission for Canada as peace and prosperity depend upon it. However, this must be done within Canadian security norms and values. Only a ground-up examination of the Canadian national security system will elicit a comprehensive understanding of the current deficiencies that will allow focused alignment of government objectives, policies and public funds. Crisis management requires a strategic plan with clear objectives from which to conduct concurrent and coordinated activities. The Trudeau government has the team in place; now, it needs a new National Security Policy statement to assist in “lead turning” an unconventional U.S. administration steadfast in its stance over national security.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lindsay Rodman
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: This article provides an American analysis of Canada’s recently released defence policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE). On the whole, the document reaffirmed Canada as a dependable “closest friend”, partner and ally. From an American perspective, SSE is well received, providing additional capacity in high-demand areas and additional capability, particularly in areas that complement U.S. capabilities. In North America and overseas, the United States looks to Canada to be a highly capable, highly interoperable, complementary and sophisticated partner. SSE invests in many aspects of Canadian defence that will bolster the country’s effectiveness as a U.S. partner and ally. Although the document does contain a force utilization construct that provides a helpful guide to American policy-makers, the organizational structure of the document, and the complete lack of a threat assessment or other prioritization, leave some unanswered questions about who Canada intends to be, and how Canada plans to engage with the world.
  • Topic: NATO, Intelligence, Regional Cooperation, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Eric Miller
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: As Canada, the United States and Mexico head back to the negotiating table to re-make the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), they will use the existing deal as their baseline. NAFTA is a complex arrangement with a multitude of provisions covering most parts of the economy. Understanding why the original agreement was negotiated and what it included is a necessary precursor to understanding the options for a re-negotiated deal. This paper will open by assessing the history and content of NAFTA. It will then offer an assessment of the likely content and approach to the new agreement, as well as the probable points of friction. It will close by assessing how the new NAFTA should strengthen North America as a unit.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, NAFTA, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Julian Lindley-French
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Will Britain’s departure from the EU lead to the creation of an Anglosphere and a Eurosphere within NATO? Unfortunately, there are a range of challenges to such a formulation. First, if the EU continues to drive a hard post-Brexit relationship with the British, it may be increasingly difficult for any government in London to convince the British people that other Europeans are worth defending. Second, would the United States, Canada and others entertain such an idea? Third, France is not going to abandon its strategic relationship with Britain – Brexit or no Brexit. Fourth, there will be a Brexit deal and Britain will remain a key factor in European defence. Fifth, “events, dear boy, events!” However, Brexit or no Brexit, NATO’s pillars are shifting. The United States will demand more of its allies if Washington is to maintain a credible security and defence guarantee for Europe. The changing nature of conflict will tend to emphasize intelligence and power projection, both of which play to Britain’s residual strengths. Canada? It is hard for an outsider to discern Canadian defence policy, other than bumbling along in strategic suburbia with the desire to be seen as the good neighbour. This is a mistake. NATO’s shifting pillars will have profound implications for Canadian security and defence policy. A formal Anglosphere and Eurosphere within NATO? Most likely not. A U.S.-sphere and German-sphere? Quite possibly, but don’t mention it in polite company. Canada? Who knows?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Brexit, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Canada, North America
  • Author: Andrea Charron, James Fergusson
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: While most attention on NORAD and North American defence cooperation is focused on the modernization of the North Warning System (NWS), significant developments have occurred that suggest modernization will be accompanied by significant evolutionary changes to the Command. The new threat environment, centered upon Russian behaviour in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, a new Russian strategic doctrine, and a new generation of advanced Russian long-range cruise missiles dictate not only layered, multi-sensor early warning system, but also changes in NORAD command arrangements. In addition, the maritime component of the cruise missile threat, alongside continuing concerns of terrorists employing freighters as cruise missile platforms, raise the question whether NORAD should evolve into a binational air-maritime defence command. These considerations are central to the ongoing Evolution of North American Defence (EVONAD) study, emanating from the Canada-US Permanent Joint Board on Defence, under the lead of NORAD, in collaboration with the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) and US Northern Command (the tri-command structure). The final result is difficult to predict. However, it is clear that both modernization and evolution will be driven by the militaries engaged, with civilian authorities guiding the process, and the public and Canadian government not paying attention.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Modernization, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, North America
  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: For Donald Trump ‘America First’ means ‘America First.’ Canada and like-minded nations will have to get used to it. Canada will have to actively engage with Congress, the states and the private and public interests that drive the American agenda. We will also have to put more effort and contribute more to the rules-based order of which we have been a beneficiary. Traditional statecraft is based on predictability and stability, both hallmarks of U.S. post-war foreign policy practised by both Democrats and Republicans. Predictable, Mr. Trump is not. The deliberation and careful planning that characterized the Obama administration have been replaced by Mr. Trump’s reliance on gut and instinct. Such unpredictability will continue to create heartburn inside foreign chancelleries, whether friend or foe. Where once the USA was prepared to cover the spread on trade and security, under Donald Trump there will be more take than give. Now, Canada and the allies will have to make their own investments in hard power to preserve collective security. But less dependence and reliance on US leadership and more collective responsibility would be a good thing. Middle powers, like Canada, will have to step up their diplomacy, both collective and individual. Focusing on their own niche capacities they will have to shore up the space left by Trump Administration decisions on climate, migration and at the international institutions that sustain the rules-based order. Ironically, one effect of the Trump presidency may be to make the western alliance stronger.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ferry de Kerckhove
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: While China's climb towards global, superpower status has now been underway for decades and is accelerating rapidly, that ascent is being helped enormously by the crisis of American leadership exemplified by Trump. This should be a major concern for the Unites States and the rest of the world. Through his “concession speech” at the United Nations on September 19, Trump has allowed a rekindling of the concept of spheres of influence. In Asia, China represents a model many hope to emulate to bring their people out of poverty. With it, for governments, comes the attraction of power unfettered by the shenanigans of democracy. In Europe, the U.S. foreign policy dearth has had allies looking for a new paradigm, order, stability and a minimum of predictability. China has taken over the number one rank as a donor or investing country in Africa and expects to invest half a trillion dollars in Latin America. The U.S. continues to exercise considerable influence over events, lead the fight against terrorism, brokers negotiations between foes, dominates a large chunk of the world economy, leads on innovations, and is the world’s preeminent military power. But under Trump, beneath all these evidences, confidence in the U.S. has been broken and uncertainty prevails.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Geopolitics, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Andrea Charron, Paul Aseltine
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s use of sanctions is little studied which means the full scope and effect of this tool are not appreciated. Until 2006, Canada applied sanctions in support of the United Nations almost exclusively. Since then, Canada has also applied discretionary sanctions in support of allies such as the European Union and United States’ measures in addition to those required by the UN Security Council. Lacking extraterritorial reach and with this new tendency to layer sanctions (applying UN and additional measures) requires the navigation of multiple pieces of Canadian legislation. Banks and private companies, which are largely responsible for giving effect to Canada’s sanctions, must navigate this legislation. This has ensnared a few Canadians in the process with little evidence that Canada’s application of sanctions is compelling its targets (people, companies, and states) to change their behaviour. Canada’s application of sanctions is a signal of its desire to support multilateral, collective security efforts – nothing more or less.
  • Topic: United Nations, Sanctions, European Union, Banks
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Paul Durand
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: There was a time, in the not too distant past, when relations between Canada and the countries then known as the Commonwealth Caribbean (now the Caribbean Community or CARICOM), were close and mutually beneficial. Canadian capabilities complemented Caribbean economic development requirements, and their support as a group in international institutions was highly valued. Meetings at the level of Prime Minister were organized on a regular basis; personal relations among them were informal and friendly. However, since the late nineties to the present day, those positive relations have drifted to the margins of Canadian foreign policy. Why did this happen? This paper will attempt to answer this question, outline a path to rebuild the relationship, and explain how that would serve the interests of both parties.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Canada, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Robert Huebert
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Recently the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has received significant media attention, much of it negative. This has been caused by a series of mishaps that have highlighted some of the very serious challenges that the Navy is facing. The fire aboard HMCS Protecteur, which ultimately resulted in the retirement of both of the Canadian replenishment vessels, along with two of the three remaining Destroyers, have brought a significant amount of negative attention to the RCN. There are serious questions being asked about the future direction that the Navy will move in as difficult decisions are made (or not made) about its future. But not all is as bleak as the media reports indicate. The mid-life refit of the Halifax-class frigates is proceeding on schedule and in some instances ahead of schedule. Construction has finally begun on the Canadian Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships. The purpose of this paper is to consider and assess some of the major challenges that are now facing the Royal Canadian Navy. Is the Navy really sinking or is it only facing rough seas? While space limits make it impossible to consider all of the institutional, strategic, operational and tactical issues and challenges now facing the RCN, it is possible to examine how the Royal Canadian Navy has been able to respond to the need to rebuild. What can be learnt by the actions of the Canadian government and the Canadian Forces as they respond to the current need to rebuild most of the existing fleet?
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Navy, Seapower
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Marius Grinius
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Arguably, the South China Sea drama is an important piece in the new “Great Game” that is being played out between the world’s current superpower (US), perceived by some to be in decline, and the new challenger (China) that wants to take its rightful place as an equal and perhaps even more. The US is faced with the strategic challenge of how to manage China’s global ascendancy peacefully. China’s unilateral actions in the South China Sea, which include claims of sovereignty of the islands reaching back to ancient times, the construction of artificial islands in the Spratlys and Paracels, airfield extensions, and deployments of surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles, do not bode well for any future peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes in which Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines are also claimants. While the US has not taken sides in these territorial disputes, its strenuous insistence on its right of freedom of navigation through disputed waters has brought the US into confrontation with China, at a time when the latter is modernizing and restructuring its military forces. Ironically, all sides claim that their actions are aimed at maintaining peace and stability in the region. Some observers fear, however, that the situation will ultimately lead to a military clash between China and the US. It is in Canada’s highest interest to ensure that the South China Sea indeed remains a zone of peace, stability, prosperity and open international passage. Canada can contribute to these goals by showing the flag through participation in various multinational maritime exercises in the region in support of UNCLOS, by demonstrating through diplomatic means that it is closely following the situation and actually has a national position on the issue, and by contributing to its resolution through renewed involvement in Track Two dialogue by Canadian Law of the Sea experts. In the bigger context of the new Great Game, however, the question remains whether China, for all its growing economic and military clout, can act as a responsible global leader that supports and defends the rule of international law.
  • Topic: Territorial Disputes, Maritime, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America, United States of America, South China Sea
  • Author: Eric Lerhe
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Over the past five years, there have been repeated academic and media calls for greater Canadian engagement in the Asia-Pacific, with the Royal Canadian Navy taking the lead. Such engagement, it was claimed, was needed to reflect Canada’s increasing economic links, rapidly-growing personal ties to the area, and the deteriorating security climate, especially in the South China Sea. Despite government claims that Canada “gets it” as to the importance of the region, little of consequence has occurred and our Navy’s Atlantic dominance remains. For this and other reasons, Canada is now widely considered “absent” from the region. This paper argues that this cannot safely continue as both our security and our access to the rapidly growing Pacific economies will be at risk. The paper then examines our history in the area, the 2011 U.S. “Pacific pivot,” our own weak “mini pivot,” and the current security situation before providing detailed recommendations for greater Canadian naval engagement.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs, Navy
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Asia-Pacific, United States of America, South China Sea
  • Author: Daryl Copeland
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In the twenty-first century, Canada’s security and prosperity - and the shared prospects for peace and development globally - depend increasingly on diplomacy rather than defence. In that regard, not least because there are no military solutions for the most pressing problems facing the planet, science diplomacy, and international science and technology more generally, have never mattered more. Yet rather than building a capability to join in collaborative efforts to find and deliver effective responses to complex global issues, under the Conservative Government key Canadian policy instruments were run down. Preoccupied with foreign wars, Islamist terrorism and related fear-inducing threats, Canada’s political decision-makers shunned science, disdained diplomacy and dismissed multilateralism. That record has diminished this country’s international reputation and influence while leaving the population vulnerable and exposed to a wide range of S&T-based threats. If Canada is to face the future with confidence, the new government must reallocate priorities and resources in support of science and diplomacy, and move immediately to address performance issues. Specific policy recommendations conclude this analysis.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Science and Technology, International Affairs, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Bernd Horn
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The current complexity, ambiguity and chaos in the contemporary operating environment creates, for most national governments and their militaries, difficulty in adequately understanding, coping and responding to the myriad of security concerns. The challenge is normally one of scope and viable options. Canada is no different. Both the Government and the Canadian public are war-weary from over a decade of savage insurgency in Afghanistan. Further, the dire international economic situation has necessitated fiscal austerity measures that have had a significant impact on the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). As a result, the Government is reluctant, if not downright opposed, to any form of military intervention that may lead to becoming embroiled in another long drawn-out conflict with ground forces that will create a drain on national blood and treasure. Therefore, there is a tendency to say “No” to military intervention. Yet, for the government to maintain its status and influence with Allies, friends and global partners, it cannot be so naïve. It must do its share of “heavy lifting” with regard to ensuring world stability and security. As such, this article examines the necessity for the CAF, which will find itself squeezed by the fiscal necessity of the times, to simultaneously deliver relevant, strategic expeditionary capabilities that can quickly deploy and that will allow the Canadian government to maintain its credibility as a reliable ally and global partner.
  • Topic: Insurgency, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Canada, North America
  • Author: Stuart Beare
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s security interests and the mission of our Armed Forces – to defend Canada, defend North America and promote peace and security abroad – largely remains unchanged and timeless. The nature of the security environment, however, has not – nor will it be in the years to come. An effective and relevant Canadian Armed Forces will continue to require capable, well-equipped and operationally ready maritime, air and land forces, which are largely raised and trained within our Army, Navy and Air Force. But in order for defence to remain relevant and effective in an era of increased instability, volatility and unpredictability, our Armed Forces need an increased understanding of what is going on and preparedness for what is to come. This is the business of our military’s Joint Force – those that include and that go beyond the tactical units that the services provide. Joint organizations and networks generate intelligence, provide understanding and lead the partnering, planning, force-posturing and practicing that is essential to anticipating, preparing for and conducting operations, particularly in a world of unrelenting complexity. A decade after former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Rick Hillier’s extraordinary initiatives to transform our Armed Forces from a service-centric, machine-age force to one focused on the business of operations, which thinks and acts as Canadian Forces (joint) first, we see evidence of real progress in the approach to joint operations. There is also an improved appreciation of our military’s joint functions and capabilities. Unlike the political and public calls for strong services and the modernization of their major platforms, however, this progress has been realized largely through efforts internal to the Armed Forces themselves. The initiative has been without political leadership and external policy top-cover, rendering it vulnerable and reversible. This paper describes the functions of the Joint Force, advocates for the capabilities required to enable partnerships, enhance understanding and advance mission preparedness, and calls for unified leadership of the joint domain and over our military’s joint culture. Our traditional international partners have travelled this road. They too see that clarity on joint functions, joint capability, joint domain leadership and stewardship over joint culture are vital to the military’s relevance and operational effectiveness. This is also critical to its agility and flexibility in the years to come. Their progress is the result of internal professional transformation, as well as the requirement by political leaders and modern defence policy to make this so. Here in Canada, the forming of a new government this autumn calls for a new look at defence policy, providing an opportunity to invite that same political leadership and influence. Joint functions, joint capabilities and clear joint leadership are vital to our military’s relevance to, and effectiveness in, our national defence and operations. A Joint Force and the joint domain, like a strong and capable Army, Navy and Air Force, need to be led, resourced and fully engaged before planes fly, ships sail and troops deploy. Joint-ness requires external understanding and proponents, and, within the Forces, a clearly identifiable champion. In Canada, however, these range from ambiguous to absent.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Marius Grinius
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Arguably the mid-1990s were Canada’s “Golden Age of Asia”, highlighted by the Team Canada trade visits by Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the provincial Premiers to China, India, Pakistan and Japan, as well as to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. At the same time Canada played a prominent role in Asian security matters. This included Canadian expert participation in multilateral discussions on the South China Sea and in the North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue, a Canadian initiative. That particular Golden Age culminated with the Government proclaiming 1997 as “Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific”. Trade statistics indicate that Canada has once again rediscovered Asia, at least in terms of commercial prospects. What is less clear, however, is Canada’s commitment to the security and stability challenges that Asia continues to face. Notwithstanding all of the positive indicators of economic success in the Asia-Pacific region and all of the incentives for even greater prosperity within a predictable and peaceful environment, there are still many instances of potential military conflict that could jeopardize Asia’s economic successes. While Canada has considerable economic interests in Asia Pacific, its security record there is modest. Now, when China is our number two trading partner and Japan is number three, when we have our first Asian Free Trade Agreement, when we are looking to closer economic ties with the Asia-Pacific region, it would make sense for Canada to contribute more substantially to Asia Pacific’s long-term stability and security architecture. It has in the past. Canada has expressed its desire to join the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus Forum. It appears, however, that ASEAN is still not quite convinced of Canada’s commitment to Southeast Asia, or to Asia, and continues politely to stall until such time as Canada can show a serious, long-term track record of participation in ASEAN strategic and security priorities. The Asian way requires frequent and consistent face-time. Relationships matter. The regular message from polite ASEAN interlocutors remains the same: where is Canada? From the late 1980s and to about 2006, Canadian academic experts were closely involved in all relevant Asian fora, including the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific and the North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue. The Canadian Consortium on Asia Pacific Security, a group of some one hundred researchers across Canada, was highly active in Track II diplomacy (informal, non-governmental and unofficial) on Asian security issues. This included Canadian Law of the Sea experts who addressed South China Sea issues, a ten-year effort co-hosted and funded by Indonesia and CIDA. Government of Canada funding for this type of work, however, has dried up. All current Canadian Track II efforts are funded by private institutions. Just when China is taking an aggressive stance in the South China Sea, Canada is absent. Canada must demonstrate a stronger and more consistent commitment to Asia that goes well beyond the economic-commercial dimension. It must include a robust defence and security dimension. Canada has, for now, chosen to emphasize a mercantile foreign policy. Such an approach, however, must not ignore the need for a strong defence policy anchored within a vigorous foreign policy that is able to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. This applies to Canada’s approach to the Asia-Pacific region as much as to the rest of the world. Neither a “Global Markets Action Plan” nor a separate “Canada First Defence Strategy”, both formulated in a policy vacuum, is sufficient. There is a serious need for a Foreign Policy and complementary Defence Policy review, one where the Asia-Pacific region will be prominent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Military Affairs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Michal C. Moore
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada is struggling to fully develop, sell and move its energy resources. This is a dramatic change from the recent past where the U.S. has provided stable growth in demand for energy supplied by the provinces, from hydrocarbons to electricity. Current circumstances now challenge this relationship, adding environmental, policy and economic hurdles that exacerbate the impact of fluctuations in world demand and pricing. In addition, competitive interaction between provinces, aboriginal land owners and special interest groups complicate and compound the issues of royalty returns, regulatory authority and direction, land-use management and long-term market opportunities for Canadian companies. There is no strategic document guiding the country’s energy future. As the steward of one of the largest, most diverse and valuable energy "banks" in the world, Canada has a unique opportunity to exploit a critical and valuable economic niche in the world economy. Given the lack of federal leadership and the tendency for each province to undercut each other in the same marketplace, there is also the distinct possibility the nation will squander the opportunity. This document offers the rationale for a comprehensive energy strategy, literally a vision where Canada can lead and not follow opportunities in energy markets. This strategic approach to energy systems by definition will include transportation, housing, employment and financial markets. It is not a plan, not a foil for tax or policy guidance in one or more sectors. This strategy is a fundamental rail on which plans, tactics and policies can be built. This vision identifies how the provinces can work together using all the tools available to them, maximizing long-term resource development while minimizing environmental damage. This document assumes there can be a broad commitment and effort by the federal government to help build those tools, providing guidance and assistance where needed without obstructing or denying the fundaments of the Canadian Constitution, First Nations people, and the role of provinces in managing the resources within their borders. This recommended energy strategy highlights changes occurring in world markets that threaten successful, coherent energy policy development in the absence of a unifying strategy. This strategy highlights the need to look ahead, understand these changes, and create adaptive, unifying processes that will provide long-term economic and geopolitical stability using energy as the common denominator for Canada's future.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Conflict, Risk
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Ian Brodie
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The last decade has seen serious setbacks to the global role of the United States. Iraq, Afghanistan and the 2008 economic crisis provoked deep partisan debates about American policy but little in the way of consensus on how to respond. Meanwhile, America’s rivals have gained strength and a new south-south economy of investment and trade has emerged. There is little disagreement that the U.S. has lost its relative power to influence developments around the world. Is this Canada’s moment to extend our global influence? Canada’s privileged geography gives us freedom to choose where and how to engage beyond North America. We have opportunities across the Atlantic and across the Pacific, as evidenced by our simultaneous negotiations at the CETA and TPP tables. But freedom of choice means we have trouble committing to relationships beyond North America. Unlike, say, Australia, which must engage in the Pacific, we face no natural imperative to be “all in” in Asia. Moreover, even though Canada does not have a history as a colonial power, we are often ambivalent about engaging with the new global south. We prefer to deal with emerging economic powers through clubs we already belong to - the G-20, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie. But as south-south institutions displace the influence of the “world America made”, the room for Canada to exercise global influence has declined. We were once welcome as a dependable joiner of international clubs, but we are having trouble joining newer, more dynamic clubs like the Pacific Alliance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert Huebert
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada and the Arctic Council finds itself facing one of its greatest challenges – supporting economic development for people of the north while protecting the fragile environment of the Arctic. 2014 will bring the possibility of exploratory drilling for oil off the northern coasts of Russia, the United States, Canada and Greenland. Development of suspected oil wealth in the region could redraw the very face of the entire region. Opposition to oil development is strongest in non-northern locations, and is increasingly represented by environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace. This issue, to develop or not to develop, is poised to become the most divisive issue facing the Arctic states in the coming years. Canada will need to negotiate a very delicate balance as it proceeds as chair of the Arctic Council. It will need to promote the efforts of the Arctic Council to protect the environment, while responding to increasingly vocal opposition against the large scale development of any oil resources in the region. Canada must be prepared to act against the inevitable protests that will occur against any exploratory drilling in Canadian waters. In order to protect development in the region, Canada must have the capability to ensure order in the region once permission has been granted to companies to proceed with exploration.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Oil, International Affairs, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Arctic