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Over the course of five weeks of campaigning, politicians from 6 major political parties have put forward their platforms and tried to explain to Canadians why they deserve to be sent to Ottawa as opposed to their partisan rivals.
As is typically the case, foreign policy got short shrift during the election. The Munk debate on foreign policy, named after its founder, the notorious far-right global mining magnate Peter Munk, was cancelled due to Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision not to participate.
Much of the discourse during the campaign saw substantive policy discussions displaced by questions about ‘moral leadership.’ One example: embarrassing 18 year old photographs of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in ‘black/brown face’ during his time as a school teacher evoked questions about his hypocrisy and sensitivity on issues of racial injustice.
Where there was discussion of actual policy, the topics mostly centred around climate change mitigation strategies, job creation, deficits, and what to do about a controversial Bill in the francophone province of Quebec restricting public employees from adorning themselves with symbols of their religious faith while on the job.
Complicating any public discussion on foreign policy, however, was mainstream media long-standing reporting and commentary, ignoring Canada’s exploitive and imperialistic roles abroad. They, the major media, participate in the demonization of the governments of Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, while failing to challenge political leaders on Canadian support for the more anti-democratic behaviour of governments in Haiti and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Democracy in the broadest sense of the term, is supposed to mean power of, by and for the people. A necessary prerequisite of democratic choices is reliable information on which responsible decisions can be made.
With less than 48 hours to go before Canadians go to the polls to elect their next government (as of this writing) the Global Research News Hour endeavours to do a little fact-checking and explore some of the important foreign policy issues not being discussed in the lead-up to election day.
In the first half hour, we are joined by activists Yves Engler and Ken Stone. Over the course of a 20 minute conversation, they discuss Canada’s policy in Syria and the Middle East. They also talk about the unquestioned devotion by all the major political parties to increased military spending. As well, they also elaborate on their involvement, during the campaign, in something called the ‘disruption network’ which confronts politicians in all political parties on their platforms and their records.
In the second half hour, writer, lecturer and author Arnold August, who is currently on a multi-city tour, speaks specifically about Canada’s hostile approach to Venezuela under the Trudeau Liberals, as well as its changing engagements with Cuba.
Finally, writer / researcher Joyce Nelson provides her assessment of the little discussed Canada Infrastructure Bank, and its role in securing the privatization of public infrastructure, particularly water an wastewater services in municipalities and First Nations communities across the country.
Yves Engler is a Montreal based political activist and writer specializing in dissident perspectives on Canadian foreign policy. He has authored close to a dozen books over the last decade. His most recent book is Left, Right — Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada. More of Engler’s articles can be found at the site yvesengler.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Ken Stone is a veteran antiwar activist, a former Steering Committee Member of the Canadian Peace Alliance, an executive member of the SyriaSolidarityMovement.org, and treasurer of the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War [hcsw.ca]. Ken is author of “Defiant Syria”, an e-booklet available at Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Arnold August is a Canadian journalist and lecturer, the author of Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections, Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion and Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond. He collaborates with many web sites, television and radio broadcasts based in Latin America, Europe, North America and the Middle East. His trilingual website: www.arnoldaugust.com.
Joyce Nelson is an award-winning freelance writer and researcher. She writes regularly for The Watershed Sentinel, Counterpunch, and Global Research among other publications. She has authored 7 books including Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism, from 2016 and its 2018 sequel, Bypassing Dystopia: Hope-filled Challenges to Corporate Rule. Her most recent article for Global Research is Privatizing Canada’s Water Infrastructure Should be an Election Issue.
(Global Research News Hour Episode 273)
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