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08 June 2017, 01:40 | Maryann Sutton
Freeland says Canada needs hard power to support global order
Freeland spoke to CBC News just a few hours after delivering a major foreign policy speech to the House of Commons, in which she said it was time for Canada to step up and play a global leadership role - even as the US turns inward to focus on its own national interests.
Freeland reiterated that Canada was deeply disappointed by the decision to withdraw from the Paris pact but made no other criticisms of US policy and did not mention Trump by name.
The government is expected to reveal more on that front Wednesday when it releases its defence policy review, a document that will detail military policy and funding for the coming years. Quotes like this one stand out as dramatic: "The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course".
First, Freeland said, Canada should "robustly support the rules-based global order".
As a effect, Canada will have to develop its own "hard power" military capabilities to support diplomatic and development efforts overseas. Then, pausing, she said, "I would like to profoundly thank our American friends".
Freeland did not name Trump during the speech, yet she alluded to his repeated criticism of worldwide security and trade agreements.
"Indeed numerous voters in last year's presidential election cast their ballots, animated in part by a desire shrug off the burden of world leadership".
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In her speech, Freeland stressed that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the alliance's collective defense principle (Article 5) would remain "at the heart of Canada's national security policy". To say this is not controversial: "it is simply a fact".
"Freeland said that global relations seemed unchanging for 70 years, but some long-standing agreements 'that have shaped our security and prosperity for generations in Europe, Asia and North America" are now put into question.
Although Freeland was careful to say that Canada was "grateful" for the "outsized role" that the United States has played in the world, there was an undertone of disappointment throughout the speech, something seldom heard recently in Canada-U.S. relations.
Canada, she said, would "strive for leadership" in multilateral forums such as the G7, the G20, NATO, and the United Nations.She said NATO and Article 5, the alliance's mutual defense doctrine, lay at the heart of national security policy.
The minister repeated her response to the recent decision by the president to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying she and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were "deeply disappointed" but that the federal government would continue to "seek constructive involvement with the U.S." on a variety of environmental issues. "This would not be in Canada's interest".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the same criticism, saying last week that Europe could no longer rely on the United States for world leadership and that the continent must take on a larger diplomatic role on the world stage.
Freeland's third goal is to add new trading partners to counterbalance its biggest client, the US-as the two countries and Mexico prepare to revamp NAFTA.
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