Friday, August 20, 2010

When A Break In Policy Is A Return to Tradition: Canada and the Arctic

The Harper govt has decided to focus more on building rules to govern the arctic than confrontation with the menacing Danes, Americans and Russians.  The article here pitches this as a break in policy.  It might be a break with the past few years, but Canada has always realized that it does not have the leverage, the power to get bigger, more powerful countries to bend to its will.  Instead, it has always sought to develop multilateral institutions (UN, NATO, NAFTA) to tie down the giant to the south and realize Canadian interests through bargaining, rules and shared values.  So, this move is hardly as revolutionary for Canada as it appears to be, although it may be a change in the Harper approach.  But it was inevitable.  And not unwise.

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