National Newswatch

Roland Paris says Joe Biden will be a better friend to Canada – but at a price

Oct 24 2020 — Roland Paris — After four years of President Donald Trump’s insults, threats and sanctions against Canada and other close allies of the United States, the prospect that American voters might replace him with Joe Biden, who has promised to repair relations with America’s traditional partners, seems tantalizingly close. But Canada will be tested no matter which candidate wins […]

Canadian Views on China: From Ambivalence to Distrust

Jul 22 2020 — Roland Paris — Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the current prime minister, was one of the first Western leaders to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1970, nine years before the US did the same. Canada’s policy towards China has more or less tracked that of the US since then. […]

Navigating the New World Disorder

Jul 17 2020 — Roland Paris — The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated developing geopolitical shifts that are unlikely to dissipate even after the pandemic’s economic shock wanes. As a country long used to a more benign international environment, the future prosperity, security and well-being of Canadians will depend in no small measure on how well we navigate this unfamiliar world.

Disunited Democracies Cannot Face the Challenge of China

Jun 4 2020 — Roland Paris — After China violated Hong Kong’s legislative autonomy by imposing a new security law on the territory, the United States and its traditional allies did something remarkable — they agreed. But this display of solidarity was fleeting. The US, UK, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all issued critical statements. However, President Donald Trump then […]

With tectonic international shifts, our foreign affairs strategy shouldn’t be an afterthought

Oct 6 2019 — Roland Paris — Foreign policy has rarely figured prominently in Canadian elections. With few direct threats to our security, privileged access to the world’s largest and richest market confirming and international rules and institutions that sustained a relatively open and stable world order, Canadian voters have understandably tended to treat foreign affairs as an afterthought. Today these conditions […]

Canada Is on the Front Lines of Challenges to Rule of Law

Jan 25 2019 — Roland Paris — China’s apparent use of Canadian detainees as diplomatic bargaining chips is not just a problem for Canada. It is a challenge to all countries that seek to uphold the rule of law in their domestic and international affairs. The dispute began in December when Canadian police arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on an […]

Khashoggi murder case a test for despots everywhere

Oct 17 2018 — Roland Paris — The disappearance and possible murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is an important test case for despots everywhere. Can they get away with interrogating, kidnapping and even assassinating their critics in other countries? Khashoggi, a resident of the United States and contributor to the Washington Post, walked into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, […]

Dear Donald: Canada’s Tariffs are Lower than America’s

Jul 5 2018 — Roland Paris — President Donald Trump insists that other advanced industrialized countries – including Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – take advantage of America’s trade openness by charging substantially higher import duties than the United States on goods entering their countries. As he said last month: “all of these countries, including the European Union, they charge […]

Mobilizing Canada’s Allies in the United States

Jan 4 2017 — Roland Paris — Here’s part of a speech I gave at the University of Toronto shortly before the US election: In recent months, the tenor of Canada-US relations has much improved. But the Obama Administration’s days are numbered and the current presidential campaign has exposed – and inflamed – powerful anti-trade sentiments in the American public. Historically those […]

Trump’s mixed signals threaten stability

Nov 18 2016 — Roland Paris — The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has ushered in a period of unsettling uncertainty in international affairs. He has called the foundations of American foreign policy into question, but his precise intentions remain mysterious. If Mr. Trump allows this uncertainty to continue – or worse, if he turns his back […]

Trudeau and Terrorism

Aug 14 2016 — Roland Paris — One of the tests of political leaders today is how they respond to the threat of terrorism. There are dangers in both under-reacting and over-reacting. Failure to treat terrorism as a genuine threat would raise doubts about any leader’s commitment to public safety. But over-reacting by creating permanent states of emergency, eroding fundamental freedoms, or […]