Secret Foreign Affairs memo is an indictment of Harper’s failures

TORONTO – A secret Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development memo obtained by the media shows that Harper is failing to protect our diplomats and is overseeing the decline of Canada’s place in the world.

 “When Stephen Harper faces his rivals in a key foreign policy debate Monday night, he’ll confront new revelations about the safety of Canadian embassies abroad. CTV News has learned many of Canada’s diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa are not safe – putting the lives of diplomats and staff at risk.” (CTV News, September 27, 2015)

 “Canadian clout on wane, analysis warns; Leaked internal briefing by Foreign Affairs officials echoes criticism of Harper government…The examples include: 6 ‘Loss of our traditional place at some multilateral tables.’ ‘Canada may not be a partner of first choice’ for foreign countries. ‘Declining market share in emerging markets,’ meaning Canada is failing to sufficiently build commercial ties with fast developing countries. ‘New donor countries are emerging and Canada’s relative [official development assistance] is declining,’ meaning as Ottawa has restrained foreign aid, other international players such as China have hiked assistance to expand their global influence.” (Globe and Mail, September 28, 2015)

 “This is a damning indictment of Stephen Harper. It is absolutely stunning how far Canada’s international reputation and influence in the world has fallen because of the Conservatives,” said Liberal candidate for University—Rosedale, Chrystia Freeland. “What is even more shocking, but not surprising, is that Harper hid what his own senior officials and diplomats have been saying. He cannot be trusted.”

 “The government isn’t properly protecting our diplomats abroad, men and women stationed around the world. It’s totally unacceptable,” said Ms. Freeland.

 “This proves Stephen Harper’s claim that Canada is completely at the mercy of global events beyond our control is totally false. He has harmed – not helped – Canada’s ability to protect and promote our interests in the world. It’s time for real change,” said Ms. Freeland.