Trudeau’s high-profile bid fails
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada failed to garner Canada a non-permanent residency in the UN Security Council for the next 10 years. The seat, which allows Canada to be on the front lines for maintaining world security through the UN body, is given on a two-year term basis. It has been occupied by Canada six different times; one for every full decade that the UN had existed. It was viewed as an indoctrination of Canada’s failure on the international affairs under Prime Minister Harper by the opposition Liberals. 10 years after that defeat, it is now the Liberals who are feeling the same sting of failure, as Canada will once again be shut out of a seat on the Security Council for the next 10 years.
When the Liberals were elected in 2015 under Justin Trudeau, they vowed to fix the damage the Stephen Harper’s Conservative party had done to Canada on the international stage. However, the Liberals were starting behind in the race for a seat, as they started campaigning for a seat in 2016, six years behind Ireland and Norway’s bids were announced. This combined with the fact that last minute politicking in person was out the window due to COVID-19 and the Wet’suwent’en protests earlier in the year. Ireland and Norway both won seats on the council. Canada not only failed to get a seat, they also got fewer votes this time than back in 2010; they did n0t even get out of the first voting round. It was determined that this was going to be a tighter race than the one in 2010, but that will likely not quell critics of Trudeau’s government in regards to the Liberal’s international policies.
The criticisms of Canada’s international policy have centered around foreign aid and peacekeeping. Canada’s foreign aid has been half of what Norway’s is, which is notable because Canada’s population is nearly 38 million, to Norway’s 5 million. As for peacekeeping, Canada currently has fewer dedicated peacekeeping soldiers out in the world now than it has had in 60 years, and this statistic matters to the UN.
For Trudeau this is especially damaging. This no doubt looks bad on him, and with Trudeau still trying to get over the backlash he had in regards to his disastrous India trip in 2018, this will likely add another failure to his international record.
What may be the most damaging for Trudeau is the fact that in order to curry favour from nations Trudeau had to sacrifice Canada core beliefs to get the vote of some nations. Such as the African nation of Senegal. Trudeau was able to get Senegal’s vote, but many criticized Trudeau for not calling out Senegal’s ban on homosexuality.
Canada will now have to plan when it will next campaign to win a seat at the table; regardless of when Canada wins a seat again, it will have remained absent from one of the biggest organizations on the world stage for more than two decades. Until then, Canada is on the outside looking in.