Canadian Foreign Policy, 1945-2000: Major Documents and Speeches


263 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-919614-89-2
DDC 327.71





Edited by Arthur E. Blanchette
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 and The History of Fort St. Joseph, and the co-author of
Invisible and Inaudible in Washington: American


For anyone seeking documents on Canadian foreign policy since 1909,
there is no substitute for Documents on Canadian External Relations
(DCER). Unfortunately, DCER has its shortcomings. First, each volume,
which since 1945 has covered a single year, costs close to $100. Second,
as this review is being written, the volume for 1955 is the last
available. Third, DCER limits itself to documents of the federal

Dr. Arthur Blanchette, a diplomat with experience on four continents,
overcomes many of these hurdles. His book is affordable and it includes
the activities of Lloyd Axworthy, Canada’s foreign affairs minister at
the end of the 20th century. It also includes documents from Quebec’s
Ministry of International Affairs. Documents appear in the language of
origin, usually (but not always) English in the case of the federal
government. Editorial comments are always in English.

Most of the documents produced within the last 30 years are already in
the public domain. There are no “scoops” here. Nevertheless, it is
convenient to have such a collection between two covers. Topics include
the United Nations, NATO, and Canada–U.S. relations, relations with
Japan, the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s
Republic of China, and relations with Asia’s “Tigers.” There is
one page on Canada’s war effort in Korea, but more on South Korea as
one of Canada’s trading partners. “North–South Issues” deals
with apartheid in South Africa, the decline of interest in the
Commonwealth coincident with increased involvement in hemispheric
activities, and the narcotics trade. After sections on the environment
and immigration, the book ends with one on the provinces (mainly
Quebec’s efforts to establish an international profile of its own but
also Alberta’s interest in OPEC). Eight photographs provide additional

Blanchette has edited what is bound to be an essential compendium until
the middle of the 21st century when it is expected that Documents on
Canadian External Relations will finally have covered the Axworthy


“Canadian Foreign Policy, 1945-2000: Major Documents and Speeches,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,