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  • Author: Adam Frost, David J. Bercuson, Andrea Charron, James Fergusson, Robert Hage, Robert Huebert, Petra Dolata, Hugh Segal, Heidi Tworek, Vanja Petricevic, Kyle Matthews, Brian Kingston
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The fundamental rules of conventional sovereignty are that states will refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of other states, are afforded the right to determine their own domestic authority structures and are freely able to decide what international agreements they choose to enter or not. In principle these concepts have been widely accepted, but are often violated in practice. While conventional sovereignty would appear favourable in theory, realistically, the domestic affairs and foreign policy decisions of states can and do have consequences for others. Poor governance in one state can produce regional instability, from uncontrolled migration across borders, uncontrolled arms trade and other illicit trafficking or the rise of militant nonstate actors. Economic, environmental and health policies of one state can affect the food, water, health and economic security of another. These transnational issues are increasingly complex because the world is more globalized than ever before. No state exists in a vacuum. Therefore, it is often within a state’s interest to influence the policy decisions of its neighbours. Pragmatism often trumps abstract theoretical ideals. The lead package of this issue examines the challenges of securing Canada’s sovereignty from modern threats. When discussing Canadian sovereignty the Arctic will invariably be mentioned, and indeed is the focus of fully half of this edition. David Bercuson, Andrea Charron and James Fergusson argue that the perceived threats to Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic are overblown, resulting in alarmist rhetoric. Robert Hage, Rob Huebert and Petra Dolata, however, content that Canada must be vigilant if it does not wish to erode sovereign control of its Arctic territory. Going beyond the arctic circle, Hugh Segal and Heidi Tworek discuss the challenges of defending against hybrid threats and outline possible steps in response to such perils. From coordinating with our closest allies to no longer tolerate attacks against the integrity of our most valued institutions, to increasing transparency of activities and strengthen public trust in Canadian democracy via domestic measures. Finally, this package concludes on the issue of border control. Vanja Petricevic discusses the shortcomings of Canada’s current management of asylum seekers and how the concept of sovereignty is being adapted to address modern migration challenges. While Kyle Matthews asserts the importance of holding Canadian citizens responsible for their actions abroad because to do otherwise is not only dangerous, but an affront to Canadian ideals. Contemporary transnational challenges are complex and dynamic. The climate is changing, technology is enabling previously unimaginable feats, and global demographics and migration are creating new points of contention. If Canada is to navigate these issues, and defend its sovereignty, it must work closely with its international partners and ensure that it is capable and willing to stand on guard for thee.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Sovereignty, Immigration, Governance, Elections, Islamic State, Diversification, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, North America, Arctic, 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: David J. Bercuson, Frédérick Gagnon, Randolph Mank, Colin Robertson, Robert Huebert, Hugh Stephens, Gary Soroka, Hugh Segal, Daryl Copeland, David Perry, Robert Muggah
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Dispatch (later called The Global Exchange) is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Winter 2016 issue includes articles on the election of Donald Trump, energy policy, Canadian defense capability, and more.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Energy Policy, Elections, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, Europe, Canada, North America, Arctic, United States of America