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Live Updates from Toronto

Page history last edited by Rucha Deshpande 10 years, 12 months ago

Hi Everyone,

 

I will the notetaker for the Toronto Satellite Event. Stay tuned for live updates from TO!

 

Best of Luck!

 

Rucha

 

great Rucha - thanks for getting this set up! Looking forward to seeing what you say tomorrow!

- Kat

 

Hi Everyone,

We are all set up in Toronto and ready to begin. So far 25-30 participants are here as well as 4 of the panelists - Kevin Sylvester, Parker Mitchell, Jennifer Donville and Michael Adams. Phillip Haid is getting set up and we are awaiting Mercedes Stephenson.

 

Participants and panelists are mingling and we will begin shortly.

 

Began at 12:35 - Phillip Haid into followed by Kevin Sylvester Intro

 

Michael Adams:

 

Feels like a dinner table conversation with the set-up. Canada's World - funding came outside the government - women involved - congratulates Shauna and those who support it - talk about 2 million dollars that were raised.

 

What were the Canada they spoke about? Poll - not about what they thought should be done in Ottawa, but their engagement. 75% have been to different countries; 20% are foreign born - talks about immigrants in earlier times with no contact back home -

 

young people are not getting involved in politics anymore - they are starting NGOs - they are using the power of their intelligence, their connectivity to other people and making a difference.

 

real challenges - how do we bring the wisdom of past to _____

our future rests on issues of 21st century - environment, global warming, poverty, human rights

 

Mercedes Stevenson:

 

Areas with role in future - global warming, growing populations in China and India - would need energy - where would it come from? Canada has energy - how do we develop that without destroying the environment?

Trading with US - let's diversify our markets - China and India - growin economies

Afghanistan - representative of new kind of conflict - non state, insurgent, it is not going to end in 2011. difficulty is international law is outdated. Everyone recognizes but not up-to-date.

Global warming - Africa - lack of access to resources, conflicts resulting from that

Canada's voice internationally - we have established that in Afghanistan

We have to engage

Women - areas where women do not have rights, Afghanistan has more women in parliament than canada does, strong role in women's rights and leading that role

 

Parker Mitchell:

 

 

It will be difficult going forward.

Government has a difficult position how they try to articulate foreign policy - we misinterpret our history as giving a lot of aid - but reality has not been that. When people's expectations are too high for a issue, they avoid it.

 

Middle of a massive power shift - from developed world to developing world. We focus on Africa - but China is the biggest player in Africa. Lot of very good loan conditions. Remember the controversy in Dem. Rep. of Congo a few years ago. Power shifts inevitably lead to conflict. Canada as a small nation is disproportionately affected. Try resolve some of the conflicts - it's going to be difficult to balance those.

 

What's Next?  Focus on what our assets are - we have one of the largest diaspora communities - how can we use that diaspora?  Don't have suggetions but one thing we should look into. African depends on natural resources but their discovery causes conflict. If we look forward, we need to figure out how to leverage the assets we have, how do we bring the broader community of people interested in foreign policy together

 

Jennifer Donville:

 

More about principle

 

Harper's refusal to go to the Copenhagen environmental summit until US  and China decided to go

 

Making Optics useful for us

 

Lead by example - where children are concerend

 

1 in 9 canadian children are _____

 

Cutting our Cida funding  (?)

 

We need to look at why we're there, how we want to be accountable

 

Women - low representation in our government but gender is a huge focus of our foriegn policy

 

QUESTIONS FROM KEVIN SYLVESTER

 

1) Is Canada's influence on values waning?  Is it waning when we don't have a government involved in these issues? (to Mercedes)

 

Canada's interests are not separate from our values - they are defined by our values

 

M. Adams - Mike Pearson example - we should debate our values - sense of justice, then we figure what power do we get to leverage that. Not sure if pulling ourselves in a military way is something......

 

2/3 people say we should honour remembrance day. what does that mean?  

 

Canadians feel morally superior - we have a government of interest.

 

we are a bit nostalgic now - where canada was not offering some kind of leadership

 

J. Donville - we need to start dressing for the job we have - we are not the United States

 

P. Mitchell - one of the challenges is - compares to a play - we talk about these value based ideas that make canada - if we look at actions. how many radical changes have we made to follow through on Kyoto?

 

QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE

 

Q - Is Canada's influence waning? all the answers talked about govt. what other areas and is it waning there too?

 

P. Mitchell -

 

M. Adams - what are we doing? we are the power. our kids going to school, interested in the world. canadians kids grown up in multicultural society - the world has come to canada - the world seems a natural extension of the multicultural society we have here. French and English doing well together.  interests are basic food, clothing and shelter. we canadians are rich - fulfillment. we don't think we are living to our power - we can do better than complain about what our govt is doing.

 

Q - Immigration connected to foreign policy. We should change Toronto to RON - we have a lot of foreign immigrants - listen to them, avenue for foreign policy - drive for surviving - why not listen to them, they came to canada for peace - which leads to a policy we send back to the countries they came from.

 

Mercedes Stephenson - double edged sword. no dominant group here. we have not taken sides in major conflicts but if we start making decisions, populations here will start becoming more vocal. Tamil Tigers, Hezbollah

our laws enable free speech - have to be careful about talking to domestic groups - example of US talking to dominant Iraqi groups - but those groups had other motivations to guide the US. at some point , we will have to take a position on conflicts.

 

Q - folks that staff canada's embassy in china do'nt speak chinese - refers to a recent Globe(?) some newspaper article. active attempt to prevent us from promoting the best that this country has. canada's independence is good for Great Britain and US - unlike them Canada has not invaded Iran, Iraq, Ottoman Empire, China - do we want to be in line with imperial traditionalists?

 

P. Mitchell - we need to accelerate the change - CIDA in Waterloo, Foreign Affairs in Toronto - that would bring lot more vibrancy.

 

M. Adams - go to university, study, start NGOs, but also get involved in politics. cannot complain about ottawa if you do not want to go there and do something about it.

 

Kevin Sylvester asked people to raise hands - who sees themselves in public office in future?  and who sees themselves in NGOs?  Result- More people see themselves in NGOs

 

Audience Questions Continue......

 

Q: Vast number of canadians are not going to go abroad and see things - they are going to complain about gas costs - they will drive businesses to invest abroad. talks about a Zimbabwe example. unless consumer interests shift, there will not be a shift in foreign policy.

 

J. Donville - if we can justify business interests, why can't we justify government voice (??) on environment?

 

Audience member #1 - a lot of private sector puts money into

 

Audience member #2 - dichotomy of values and interests. metaphor of Much Ado About Nothing. We should not look badly at interests. Keeping Canadians employed in jobs and safe. those interests are compatible with our values. Afghanistan - women's rights and human rights - sometimes you need to use military force to defend your values - we should not shy away from that.

 

Question - "Canada needs to lead by example" been hearing that a lot. But Why?

 

Mercedes - very unfair to tell people we support your human rights, but when someone comes in your home at night with a machete, we are sorry. Rights - women's, gay's, if we are to stand up and protect that - if we are going to be a moral voice - why?  - because we can - we only can if we use our resources for it. We cannot go back to early 2000 where we were lecturing everyone else but never seemed to do anything. Why should be lead?  Why bother?  

 

Audience Member - "it's about being a moral exemplar......"

 

Mercedes - in terms of what we express on international stage, sometimes we have to make difficult choices. these might require sacrfices. Are canadians willing to make those choices? that is the question.

 

P. Mitchell - "moral exemplar" is a wrong word because that puts us up on a pedestal.  Canada has a role to dissolve some of the challenges. We resolved some of those at home - because we want to have a diverse community - not to be a moral exemplar. if we define the issues, combining business practice of execution. we are nowhere near the potential. how do we excecute some of these international issues?

 

Kevin Sylvester - end of this phase of the discussion.

Phillip Haid - take a break and then start more interaction.

 

Reconvened after break at 2:33 p.m.

 

Participants introduce themselves and their interests

Various interests expressed - interaction of civil society & foreign policy, china-tibet conflict & canada, evolution of Canada's World as an organization - commendable work, European angle of canadian foreign policy (no UK -canada case study), mobility of human capital - harnessing & developing connections we have throughout the world to tackle challenges, business interest, integration of immigrants - more fairness for their education

 

Discussion about Canada's World:

citizen dialogue, who gives funds? -> foundations, businesses, identity exercise, 

 

Questions from Phillip - 

1.      In September 2009 Canada received what global ranking as a UN contributor to peacekeeping?

a.       6th

b.      17th

c.       34th

d.      52nd

 

2.      Think back on what was going on in the world in 2005-2006.  Which country received the most overseas development assistance from Canada in 2005 – 2006?

a.       Tsunami affected countries

b.      Haiti

c.       Iraq

d.      Afghanistan

 

Audience Engagement:

 

Audience member #1 - we can't expect everyone to live like us...maybe we should downgrade our consumption.

 

Audience member #2 - Why should we be the leader? Countries like Finland have been way ahead of us. We are late to the game. Why should we lead? Maybe we should follow. We can be the mullifying middle brother to the US. Everyone loves those countries (Finland, Sweden)

 

Audience member #3 - one element missing here is about learning from best practices.

 

Audience member #4 - when it comes to leading by example, we are not a good example ourselves. We have to rectify ourselves first before we become an example.

 

Phillip Haid: -> There is an aspiration that says we want to be leaders. Do we still think leadership is still the aspiration? Or is it about living our values internationally as we live in our backyard? 

 

Audience Responses:

  • we have to correct our behvaiour first
  • some premises in the video are not correct
    • peacekeeping was useful in world war - is it important today? why should we be promoting this idea? why don't we have 21st century idea?
      • post Cold War area - very little peace to keep - what we are trying to do in Afghanistan
    • foreign aid - is 0.7% of GDP (put together in 1970) why haven't these old ideas been cleaned?
    • everyone wants peace. but what are different ways?
    • sounds nice that we want to be world leaders. but there are questions we have not looked at.
    • Video is very comforting - but we have to ask uncomfortable questions. the world is not a nice place
    • Best practices - telecommunications - now it's used around the world. Canada came up with time zones - now used everywhere in the world.
    • Canada's expertise in the act of conducting elections has gone around the world.

 

Micahel Adams: phase one has been to discuss our values. there wasn't a disciplined conversation about our interests. A more disciplined discussion of our resources, capacity - against it - instead provide tools and resources to canadians - unleash the capacity - do want to join the govt? an ngo? be a social entrepreneur? we should have a way in which we are helping people, education, help high school kids, do you want to save the world?  get on this site, answer this questionnaire, and it will suggest maybe you want to do this.

 

 

Jennifer Donville - we need to have tough conversations

 

 

Audience Responses:

  • canadian govt is one thing that represents canada. but canada is all these peope in tihs room. we can easily identify that there are all sorts of nodes around the world that we are connected to. when we have conversations with parents, cousins, grandparents.....isn't that what is getting towards the path?  it's not just what canada does.
  • we have to look at instances of innovation - these are not to be found in larger institutions - problems with harper govt - similar problems with liberal govt. Phillip agrees with the point but disagrees about large institutions not having innovation - he points towards the Sick Kids Foundation and their work
  • who the organization is talking to is very important - video said something like you are foreign policy or everybody is foreign policy - foreign policy is what government does - using that term is confusing for Canada's World's work. once it figures who it is talking to, it should reconsider that word
  • foreign policy for canada has to be more independent, sovereign, (not a follower ...in order to get respect)

                    Phillip - how do we do that?

 

  • Geographical aspect - most of us focus on positive sides of canada. Internationally canada is not a problem area - this keeps canada out of international politics - that's why we are peace making country. somehow middleman in certain conflicts. but in recent years, we are losing middleman power because there are other powers coming. couple of ways to correct this: take certain subjects (environment, poverty etc) we can bring them to toronto, calgary or montreal and we can make canada the center of discussion. We analyze the elements of the problem outside of us.
  • We don't talk about European Union here. Through EU we can go through the middle east, understand it, what are the causes of the problems of the world?

 

 

Phillip's Qs - What do we have to offer?  What do we do best?  

 

J. Donville - we protect rights well

 

Audiences:

 

  • we have the resources, that will become important - we might have to scale back our resources - we might not be able to be as angelic as we hope to be.
  • tolerance is what we can export
  • youth need to be more involved - given more tools and resources so they can help themselves with reality of life and they will be able to contribute to larger foreign policy goals
  • multiculturalism initially was resisted but now is accepted in a positive way - we can export that to other countries
  • ok we have diversity but how do we utilize it?

 

 

 

 

 

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