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Trudeau removes failed Freeland. Can Champagne mend relations with China, Russia, India & USA? (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 395.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Justin Trudeau’s decision to appoint François-Philippe Champagne as Canada’s new foreign minister, doing away with the failed, hawkish neoliberal policy enacted by former minister Chrystia Freeland.

Champagne as foreign minister provides Canada with a chance to mend relations with China, India, Russia and the United States, which Freeland so damaged with her Ukraine first, globalist ideology.


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Via Open Canada…

When Justin Trudeau appointed Stéphane Dion as foreign minister after his election in 2015, Dion was supposed to implement a foreign policy distinct from the Conservatives. But, with a dramatic change of leadership in the White House in 2016, Trudeau discarded this approach and fired him. Instead, Chrystia Freeland was tasked with saving the North American Free Trade Agreement and the international order based on clear rules of conduct.

Wednesday, one month after Canadians re-elected Trudeau, Freeland was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs. She is now asked to save Canada.

More than ever, Canada needs a full-time foreign minister. And thus the new one, François-Philippe Champagne — also confirmed Wednesday when the new Cabinet was revealed — has a lot to do. It is not going to be easy.

The good news: Champagne has strong qualifications for the job. A graduate in international law, he worked for major companies in Europe before being elected as a member of the House of Commons in 2015, representing the Quebec riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain. He was appointed minister of international trade two years later, with the important responsibility of steering free trade agreements with Europe, Asia-Pacific and many other countries. More recently, he was moved to minister of infrastructure and communities.

Champagne is not an intellectual, but an operator, someone who delivers. He stood out in Ottawa for his good grasp of his files, his interpersonal skills with Cabinet colleagues and his diligence in the House.

At Global Affairs Canada, he will have to be very tactful if he wants to succeed and leave his mark. Overcoming the challenges of the role will require reflection and action. In fact, never since the end of the Second World War has Canada grappled more with a constantly changing global context. And never has Canada had such difficult — not to mention poor — relations with world’s great powers, particularly with the United States.

With his “America first” approach to foreign policy, Donald Trump’s unilateralism consists of promoting American interests to the detriment of the country’s allies. It remains to be seen if this approach will be pursued after the Trump years or if Americans will eventually return to multilateralism. But Champagne must prepare Canada for a tumultuous relationship with its main economic, political and military partner.

“The question now is whether Trudeau and his new deputy prime minister are willing to let Champagne approach the file with fresh eyes.”

Just a few years ago, we were expecting a lot from China, but the arrest of one of the top executives at Huawei — and the diplomatic fall-out that included the arrests of two prominent Canadians in China — is there to remind us that great powers have no friends, they only have interests. Canada is not as blameless in this affair as it may appear: things could have been handled with more finesse and in a way that was less prejudicial to Canada itself. Instead of being essential to resolving trade and political conflicts between Washington and Beijing, Canada finds itself stuck between two superpowers that, to an extent, dictate Canada’s prosperity. Champagne needs to manage this issue with great skill. He can count on the talent of Canada’s new ambassador to China, Dominic Barton.

The Liberal government has also succeeded in muddying the waters with Russia and India. Canada had every reason to impose sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine, but there was no reason to freeze all relations with Russia. It is too often forgotten that Canada has just two neighbours — the United States and Russia — both of whom are great powers. We need a smart and productive relationship with Moscow. Instead, Freeland had resorted to robust Cold War rhetoric at a time when most Western countries are trying to re-engage with Russia. Champagne is not an ideologue. He will have to convince the prime minister that the time has come to change a misguided policy toward Russia.

Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India in February 2018 set relations back with that country, but a more serious problem is the murky relationship the Liberals maintain with the radical fringes of the Sikh independence movement resident in Canada. For this reason, New Delhi is not putting much stock in its relations with Canada. That must change. Champagne knows from his previous portfolio that we cannot ignore India if we are to succeed in diversifying our international trade.

The promotion of human rights takes a significant place in the priorities of the current government. There is no doubt that Canadians attach great importance to this issue. At the same time, it is only one aspect of foreign policy. Unfortunately, in recent years, Canada’s policy on human rights had the appearance of moral crusade, and ended up irritating many governments — Saudi Arabia, for instance — without contributing anything to Canadian diplomacy. It is not a question of opposing morality and interests, but of recognizing that a policy fixated on values narrows the field of action and masks the specificities of each situation. Champagne will have to balance both.

Canadian foreign policy needs a good deal of realism. The question now is whether Trudeau and his new deputy prime minister are willing to let Champagne approach the file with fresh eyes. If so, let’s hope that the new minister’s pragmatic side will dynamize Canadian foreign policy and open a new and positive chapter in our relations with the rest of the world.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Je Me Souviens
Je Me Souviens
December 6, 2019

Quote: “Canada had every reason to impose sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine”

Dear Alex: For those of us that have followed this entire sordid affair since day one, I suggest the corollary to your proposition would be more in order..

“Moscow has every reason to impose sanctions on Canada for its actions in Ukraine”

Now go ahead, tell me that I’m wrong.

John Ellis
John Ellis
Reply to  Je Me Souviens
December 6, 2019

No one should suffer sanctions for the fascist coup in Ukraine except Obama, Biden and the others who funded and orchestrated the coup.

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  John Ellis
December 6, 2019

Canada, along with the EU, are accessories after the fact. They are just as guilty.

John Ellis
John Ellis
Reply to  Smoking Eagle
December 6, 2019

Very true, for the only honorable thing the Canadian government ever did was fight along side the native Americans during the American Revolution.

Joe
Joe
Reply to  Je Me Souviens
December 7, 2019

Yes, stopped reading at that. Who writes this anti Russian Bs and why is the Duran publishing it?

wickey
wickey
Reply to  Je Me Souviens
December 7, 2019

TRUE

Guy
Guy
Reply to  Je Me Souviens
December 7, 2019

I was taken back by the statement also .As we all know , at least those of us that have been paying attention,the Ukrainian coup was all about Washington wanting to cause problems for Russia. But under Harper and or Trudeau ,Canada is a US puppet .The rest is history .

John Ellis
John Ellis
December 6, 2019

Democrats will spend the next two months pretending that they can impeach Trump for helping Russia destroy Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.
But surely, taking Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizbeth Warren off the campaign trail for two or three months, it makes no sense unless the DNC has Hillary scheduled to win the Democrat primary.

John Ellis
John Ellis
December 6, 2019

Canadians who origionated from Europe, they do not have to give the land back to the indiginious natives, they don’t even have to give reperations to go forward in peace with first nation people. For all they need do is knock off their fascist arrogence and treat with equality those with less education, less wealth or less whiteness of skin.
O well, so much for peace.

Marcus
Marcus
December 6, 2019

A case of “Thank God for the path not taken”. If Hillary had won and Freeland running amok, God knows where we would be. I may have “issues” with Trump but I agree that the alternative was a potential nightmare.
At least the direct road to hell has been replaced by careening from ditch to ditch.

Dan Kuhn
Reply to  Marcus
December 6, 2019

“At least the direct road to hell has been replaced by careening from ditch to ditch.”

Love it. Best description of Canadian politics ever.

stan
December 6, 2019

” Canada had every reason to impose sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine,”….seriously???

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  stan
December 6, 2019

The only “reason” Canada had was obeying US dictates. The saying goes: When the US tells Canada to jump, Canada asks “How high?”

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
December 6, 2019

Freeland, Nuland, Clinton, Haley, and Albright all look and behave as though they came from the same pea pod. I live in Ottawa and people were pretty horrified when Freeland replaced Stephane Dion as foreign minister. Canada was once well known for its peacekeeping, peacemaking, diplomacy, and foreign relations, all of which suffered when Harper was elected. Freeland, Canada’s rabid regime change queen, tipped the scales even further in the wrong direction. Her appointment as foreign minister was a major mistake. Trudeau could not have chosen a more un-Canadian person to represent Canada. She has done a lot of damage,… Read more »

John Ellis
John Ellis
December 6, 2019

GODS OF SOCIETY — FAST THINKING MIDDLE-CLASS — For all politicians, police, military officers, small business owners and supervisors, they are all of the fastest thinking 25% of society, namely the middle-class. And that is the height of stupidity. — For the 25% most wealthy are creative slow thinkers, and the 50% laboring-class do all the dangerous manual labor and must be very slow and carful thinkers. But not so the middle-class, for they are all the star athletes, all of the military Special Forces who kill so deceitful and quick. Surely, so long as we allow fast thinkers to… Read more »

ToivoS
ToivoS
December 7, 2019

This is a very nostalgic for me. In the late fifties and sixties I was raised and schooled in the Pacific NW of the US. I had relatives that were involved in the wheat trade (yes, people may not know but the state of Washington was a major producer of wheat and its ports on the Columbia River and Puget Sound exported that wheat. We were very unhappy when Canada began to ship wheat to China and the Soviet Union in the late fifties and we couldn’t. They defied US embargoes on trading with those countries while our farmers and… Read more »

bluedog
bluedog
December 10, 2019

What business is it of Canada as to the affairs of the Ukraine or India,the problem with Canada is that its caught the terminal disease that the U.S. has, and that is that it can punch waay above its weight, and of course Freeland was the worst choice he could have made,she couldn’t run a dog pound, and now that its ass kissing time he will pawn that onto some one else to do.!!!!

Platon
Platon
January 24, 2020

Watching Freeland is like playing Whack-a-Mole.
She always pops up again, each time uglier and more frenetic than the last.

Not sure it is a demotion to become the second in command while Trudea is in absentia, probably getting cosy with his redeemed buddy, the aptly named Jerry Butts.

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