National Newswatch

With little focus on foreign policy, Poilievre has ‘blank slate’ to craft platform, say experts

Sep 21 2022 — Neil Moss — With little foreign policy vision offered by the new Conservative leader during his leadership campaign, experts say Pierre Poilievre now has a “blank slate” to fill the “void.” Despite an ongoing war in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continued recalculating of Canada’s relationship with China, and worry over the reliability of the United States, […]

Limited hope for resolution to historic Canada-U.S. softwood lumber spat, say stakeholders, MPs

Sep 6 2022 — Neil Moss — As Ottawa embarks on a trade challenge of American countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports, there is a glimmer of hope that both sides can reach a negotiated settlement to resolve the longstanding dispute. Softwood lumber has long been a trade irritant along the 49th parallel, as both Democratic and Republican administrations have taken […]

Some MPs hope for more transparency on Canada’s military response to invasion of Ukraine

Aug 31 2022 — Neil Moss — With media reports of Canadian special forces troops operating on the ground in Ukraine and the announcement of successive military deployments in response to Russia’s invasion, there has been limited willingness for increased parliamentary consultations—though some MPs are hoping that will change. While the deployment of the Canadian Forces is under the executive’s jurisdiction, successive […]

‘We need to talk’: Bangladesh seeks ministerial meeting with Canada to discuss extradition of alleged assassin

Aug 10 2022 — Neil Moss — Bangladesh’s envoy in Canada is calling for Ottawa to engage in high-level ministerial meetings with Dhaka to discuss the extradition of an alleged assassin of the country’s founding president. Bangladesh High Commissioner Khalilur Rahman said Canada has been delaying discussing the case and is urging Justice Minister David Lametti and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly […]

Four years in, Canada-Saudi diplomatic impasse shows no signs of resolution, but trade continues

Jul 27 2022 — Neil Moss — After a now-infamous tweet criticizing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record in 2018 led to the fracturing of relations between Ottawa and Riyadh, a Middle East expert and Canada’s last ambassador to Saudi Arabia say the diplomatic impasse isn’t likely to end anytime soon. With the rising tide of authoritarianism around the globe, the Liberal government […]

‘Unfair’ to blame lone GAC official as ‘process failure’ led to Russian embassy visit, say analysts, former diplomats

Jun 22 2022 — Neil Moss — With Canada’s prime minister and top diplomat denouncing a Global Affairs official’s participation in a national day event at the Russian Embassy, foreign affairs analysts say the singling out of the lone diplomat was “unfair.” The Globe and Mail reported June 12 that Global Affairs’ deputy chief protocol officer Yasemin Heinbecker attended the Russian Day […]

Peacekeeping commitments continue to go unmet as Canada lags on long-promised Quick Reaction Force

Jun 15 2022 — Neil Moss — Ottawa’s once-trumpeted return to United Nations peacekeeping has gone by the wayside as the Canadian government still hasn’t fulfilled a 2017 pledge for a Quick Reaction Force and has only a scattering of personnel assisting UN peace operations around the world. With added focus on Canada’s military contributions following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, […]

‘Diplomacy is all about being there’: former diplomats call for reassessment of foreign service global presence during GAC review

Jun 8 2022 — Neil Moss — As Global Affairs embarks on a review of its foreign service work, former diplomats and experts say they want to see the concentration of envoys in Ottawa addressed in favour of more foreign service officers stationed in Canada’s missions around the world. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly (Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Que.) and Foreign Affairs deputy minister Marta […]

‘Pent-up demand’: parliamentary travel slowly returns with first international trips since pandemic began

Apr 27 2022 — Neil Moss — With an end to the travel embargo for Parliamentarians, MPs are slowly returning to the normalcy of parliamentary diplomacy and international travel, as they say nothing can make up for in-person dialogue. The ban on House Committee travel ended in March, with the House Administration allowing for international trips, but the House Liaison Committee has […]

‘No time to lose’: Indo-Pacific strategy highly anticipated after absence from budget

Apr 12 2022 — Neil Moss — Absent from the latest federal budget were commitments to Indo-Pacific priorities as Canadians await the government’s much-anticipated strategy for engagement in the region. In the budget tabled on April 7, the Liberal government pledged an additional $8-billion in defence funding and to complete a defence review. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s (University-Rosedale, […]

Russia’s war in Ukraine forces foreign policy into Conservative leadership race spotlight, says Charest

Apr 6 2022 — Neil Moss — With Russia’s continued bombardment of Ukraine and reports of widespread human rights violations, a Conservative leadership candidate says the conflict has put a spotlight on foreign policy during the race. Unlike the last Conservative leadership race, the frontrunners don’t bring an abundance of foreign policy experience, but Jean Charest leads the pack with his international […]

As Conservatives decry end of accountability at committees, NDP MPs say nothing has changed

Mar 30 2022 — Neil Moss — As NDP MPs say their work on House committees will remain uninterrupted by a supply-and-confidence agreement with the government, Conservative MPs worry committees will operate as if the Liberals control a majority Parliament. House committees have been given renewed importance since 2019 as opposition parties in a minority Parliament have the plurality of votes, which […]