Canada Among Nations 2006: Minorities and Priorities


367 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-3170-X
DDC 327.71




Edited by Andrew F. Cooper and Dane Rowlands
Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, Chile and the Nazis, and The Diplomacy of War: The Case of


The essays in this latest edition of Canada Among Nations discuss
Canadian foreign relations since Stephen Harper became prime minister.
The editors note that Paul Martin’s government had a “surfeit of
information,” whereas Harper and his colleagues suffer from a “huge
knowledge deficit.” Given the possibility of another federal election
while the “profoundly unpopular” Bush administration remains in
office, the Conservatives must keep their distance from official
Washington, they say.

All but two of the contributors to the book are Canadians. Conservative
strategist and senator Hugh Segal notes that the Harper government
believes that Canada’s global influence depends on “the apparent
success of our relationship with the United States,” but warns that
Canada must protect its interests and not slavishly fall into line with
the White House. John Kirton thinks that Harper has made an
“impressive start,” but Adam Chapnick advises, “[a] policy of
arrogantly disregarding an official commitment to the Kyoto Protocol
made under United Nations auspices will bring the Tories nothing but
criticism at home and abroad.” David M. Malone, a diplomat, detects
decreasing support for the United Nations. Marie Bernard-Meunier points
to the Harper government’s “obsession” with the United States and
argues that Europe matters too. Elinor Sloan thinks that Harper’s
security policies differ little from Liberal ones. Ann Denholm Crosby
believes Canada can be more effective in NATO, a multinational forum,
than in NORAD, where the Americans give the orders. Christina Gabriel
discusses immigration, and Yasmine Shamsie looks at Canadian–Haitian
relations. Nelson Michaud says that while Harper was willing to let
Quebec have a seat at UNESCO, UNESCO would not accept a mere province.
Wenran Jiang believes that the Harper government has been unduly
provocative toward China. Daniel Schwanen suggests that Canada cannot
meet its Kyoto targets. David R. Black assesses Canadian aid to Africa.
Roy Culpeper finds the Harper government indifferent toward the Third
World. Isidro Morales, a Mexican, discusses energy.

According to Christopher Sands, the lone American contributor, Jean
Chrétien provoked George W. Bush, and Paul Martin “ran against
Washington” in the election campaigns of 2004 and 2006! Canada depends
on American goodwill, snarls Sands, and it is unwise to disagree with
Uncle Sam.


“Canada Among Nations 2006: Minorities and Priorities,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,