Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.
Today's Big Story

Canada Rises to the Middle

PM says Afghanistan and climate change make us matter.

Rob Annandale 25 Sep 2007TheTyee.ca

Rob Annandale is on staff at the Tyee.

image atom

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared Canada a middle power once more, using what may be his government’s two most controversial policies as evidence that the country matters: its military presence in Afghanistan and its position on the issue of climate change.

There has been no shortage of criticism of the government’s “made in Canada” plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions instead of honouring the country’s international obligations. But Harper prefers the Asia-Pacific Partnership to the Kyoto Protocol whose goals he calls unrealistic.

Four years after The Economist dubbed Canada cool in an issue featuring a moose in sunglasses on the cover, the government may be trying to rebrand the country’s image in a way that lines up better with old-time Tory values. Just as Harper faces increasing calls for a withdrawal date from Afghanistan, John Diefenbaker – a big fan of the “middle power” line – warned against removing Canadian troops prematurely from Europe in the aftermath of World War II.

Maybe if Canada had joined the "coalition of the willing" as Harper – then the leader of the opposition - had wanted in 2003, the country he leads today would be even closer to big-power status. Like Albania. Or Palau.  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.

Do:

  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Will the BC Conservatives’ Surge Last?

Take this week's poll