Election 2015

Throughout the 2015 campaign, Fellows of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute provided commentary and analysis. All commentary is archived below. 

Commentary From Our Experts

Why defence matters in this election by George Petrolekas

The need for a real leader's debate on defence by Hugh Segal

Will Canada be the country that dumbed itself to death? by Daryl Copeland

How Canada could be doing more to stop the migrant crisis by Colin Robertson

Video: Grading leaders on ISIS mission plans featuring George Petrolekas

Canada's political leaders need a prosperity agenda by Neil Desai

Why a debate on the economy must include defence by George Petrolekas

We need to be careful about where, and how, we go to war by David Bercuson

Video: Impact of scrapping F-35 plan featuring David Perry

Video: Naval procurement woes featuring George Petrolekas and Steve Saideman

Video: Military sore points featuring David Perry

Our military procurement system is broken - but not beyond repair by David Perry

Canada falls flat on the world stage by Daryl Copeland

Audio: Maclean's on the Hill: F-35 debate, recession featuring David Perry (clip begins at 35:30)

It's time for Canada to stop sleepwalking across the global stage by Colin Robertson

A roadmap to a stronger military by Paul H. Chapin, J.L. Granatstein, Don Macnamara & Hugh Segal 

Note to Canada's next government: Diplomacy is not a sign of weakness by Colin Robertson

NDP defence promises could make party top military spender: analyst featuring David Perry

Debating trade during elections is Canadian tradition by Colin Robertson


Further Reading

Looking for context on policy announcements by the major political parties? The Canadian Global Affairs Institute archives offer a wealth of analysis, insight and research on many of the foreign affairs and defence-related policies proposed by party leaders throughout the 2015 federal election campaign.


Policy Proposal: Strengthening and Expanding the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves (CPC)

On August 17, 2015, the Conservative Party of Canada announced they would, if re-elected, expand the Canadian Armed Forces reserve to 30,000 members. A 2011 Discussion Paper written by the Hon. David Pratt, P.C. and produced in conjunction with the Canadian International Council explores many of the issues facing the Canadian Armed Forces reserves, including budget, recruitment and training, as well as a look forward at potential future roles for the Reserves.

Read more: Canada’s Citizen Soldiers: A Discussion Paper, by Hon. David Pratt


Policy Proposal: Repairing the Canada-US Relationship (LPC)

On June 22, 2015, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promised that, if elected, a Liberal government would work to repair the bilateral relationship between Canada and the United States of America. The Liberal Party also pledged to restore cooperation with Canada's North American allies through the rescheduling and hosting of a new Trilateral Summit between Canada, the United States and Mexico. In 2011, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute released two publications on the issue of a North American partnership, produced by Colin Robertson and Brian Bow. 

Read more: 'Now For The Hard Part': A User's Guide to Renewing the Canadian-American Partnership, by Colin Robertson; Getting Past the Bilateral-Trilateral Debate: A Pragmatic Functionalist Approach to North America, by Brian Bow


Policy Proposal: Ending Canadian Forces Involvement in Iraq and Syria (NDP)

On September 9, 2015, in an interview with CBC's Peter Mansbridge, New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair indicated that, if elected, a NDP government would immediately halt Canada's participation in air strikes in Iraq and Syria and withdraw all Canadian Forces personnel. Mr. Mulcair indicated the withdrawal would include those Canadian Forces members participating in training missions. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute released two Policy Updates in 2015 on the topic of Canada's role in confronting the Islamic State, produced by Thomas Juneau and Ann Giffiths.

Read more: Canada's Policy to Confront the Islamic State, by Thomas Juneau; Another Take on "Canada's Policy to Confront the Islamic State" by Thomas Juneau, by Ann Griffiths


Policy Proposal: Refrain from purchasing F-35 aircraft and focus further investment in the Royal Canadian Navy (LPC)

On September 20, 2015, at a campaign rally in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau announced that if elected, a Liberal government would not purchase the F-35 aircraft as planned, and would expand capital renewal for the Royal Canadian Navy. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute has published several Policy Papers on the topics of the F-35 program, naval procurement and capital expenditures for the Canadian Armed Forces.    

Read more: A New Way to Fly: Major challenges facing Air Force planners over the next 20 years, by George Macdonald; Putting the Cart before the Horse: Why Canada should not purchase the Mistral-class ships, for now, by Keshav Kelkar and Grégoire-François Legault; Prioritizing Defence Industry Capabilities: Lessons for Canada from Australia, by Craig Stone; The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy: An Update by Eric Lerhe (joint CIC-Canadian Global Affairs Institute paper); F-35 and the Future of Canadian Security by Richard Shimooka (joint CIC-Canadian Global Affairs Institute paper)


Policy Proposal: Increase Canada's Development Assistance budget (NDP)

On September 28, 2015, New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair announced a NDP government would reverse changes made to the Development Assistance budget and in time increase the Assistance budget to 0.7% of Canada's Gross National Income. In 2013, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute released a paper reflecting on Canada's foreign aid policy written by David Carment, Rachael Calleja and Yiagadeesen Samy.

Read more: Canada in Focus: How Good is our Foreign Aid Policy? by David Carment, Rachael Calleja and Yiagadeesen Samy


Policy Proposal: Concluding negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade initiative (all parties)

The Government of Canada concluded negotations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on October 5, 2015. The TPP is a comprehensive trade agreement between twelve Pacific-oriented nations. The Conservative Party of Canada are in support of the trade deal, and the Liberal Party of Canada also supports the initiative, although with some caveats. The New Democratic Party has indicated its opposition to the deal. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute released a Policy Update in 2015 on the topic of trade deals in Asia written by Charles McMillan, as well as a Policy Paper by Marius Grinius on the intersection of trade and security in the region.

Read more: Canada and Asia: Prosperity and Security by Marius Grinius; Reaching the Home Stretch on Trade Deals by Charles McMillan; and Why the ASEAN Summit Matters to Canada..(and just where is Brunei anyway?) by Hugh Stephens


Policy Proposal: Make Canada the top western contributor to UN peacekeeping missions; pursue a seat on the UN Security Council (NDP)

The New Democrats have promised in their election platform, that if elected, an NDP government would work to increase Canada's contributions to United Nation's peacekeeping missions with the goal of having Canada be the top western contributor. The NDP also indicates it will pursue a a seat on the UN Security Council. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute has produced two Policy Papers on the topic of UN Security Council engagement and peacekeeping, written by Jocelyn Coulon and Michel Liégeois, and Denis Stairs, respectively.

Read more: Being Rejected in the United Nations: The Causes and Implications of Canada's Failure to Win a Seat in the UN Security Council by Denis Stairs; Whatever Happened to Peacekeeping? The Future of a Tradition by Jocelyn Coulon and Michel Liégeois

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