Trudeau’s foreign policy fiasco
by Candice Malcolm
June 24, 2015
When it comes to foreign policy, apparently the apple has fallen very far from the tree.
Pierre Trudeau opposed free trade with the United Sates and went out of his way to disagree with his American counterparts, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Now, his son Justin is slamming Prime Minister Stephen Harper for an uneasy relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama.
But Harper can hardly be blamed for Obama’s ambivalence towards America’s allies, and Canada is just one on a long list of friends who feel shunned by the Obama administration’s cold shoulder.
Trudeau asserted that Harper’s approach to the Keystone XL pipeline was counterproductive.
He forgot to mention, however, that many in the U.S. agreed with Harper that U.S. approval of the project should have been a “no-brainer”.
Former World Bank president Robert Zoellick recently said Obama’s failure to approve the pipeline was a national embarrassment.
Many attribute the delay to a powerful green lobby and a distorted anti-fossil fuel ideology.
Trudeau suggests instead that Canada should enter into a multinational environmental agreement with the United States, and cede our sovereignty in the process.
Canada’s prime minister needs to be the champion of Canadian exports.
We don’t need an apologist who will go to Washington, hat in hand, and bend to lies about Canada’s energy sector.
Trudeau’s North American plan doesn’t stop with handing over regulatory control of our energy sector to the United States.
He also called for Canada to eliminate a visa requirement for Mexico.
Trudeau may be unaware that prior to the 2009 visa, between 2005 and 2008, the number of Mexicans claiming refugee status in Canada tripled.
Mexico went from being an insignificant source of refugees to Canada, to being Canada’s number one source.
In 2008, nearly 10,000 Mexicans entered Canada requesting refugee status.
Nearly 90% of those were found to be bogus claimants.
Tired of spending millions of dollars to deport failed refugee claimants back to Mexico, the Harper government brought in a visa requirement in 2009.
The next year, the number of refugee claimants from Mexico fell from around 10,000 to about 1,000.
Mexico is an important ally and North American partner.
As it introduces historic changes to its energy sector, Canada can play a key support role.
But let’s not be naive. Mexico is still a developing country, grappling with a significant criminal insurgency.
Drug cartels wreak havoc and undermine Mexico’s laws and institutions.
Someone is murdered every half hour; it is one of the most dangerous places in the world.
There are many ways Canada and Mexico can work together, but scrapping the visa is not the first step.
By eliminating the visa on Mexican travelers, we would also eliminate an important line of defence in preventing dangerous criminals from entering our country, and many more from taking advantage of our lenient refugee system.
Legitimate Mexican travelers can come to Canada fairly easily, thanks to a five-year, multiple entry visa for Mexican citizens.
Once business travelers or tourists obtain a visa, they can use it over and over again, without the need to re-apply.
This facilitates exchanges between our two countries, while keeping Canada safe.
There are better ways to improve our North American partnerships than to undermine Canada’s sovereignty and endanger our public safety.
Foreign affairs is a complex area of policy.
Unfortunately, it seems Trudeau does not handle complexity well.