Several important announcements regarding Government of Canada international policies rolled out in quick succession earlier this month. On June 6 Foreign Minister Freeland set out Canada’s foreign policy priorities in a speech in Parliament. Coming soon after U.S. President Trump withdrew support for the Paris Climate Change treaty, Freeland’s address included strong language on Canada’s commitment to a rules based international order. The next day, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s announced the long overdue results of Canada’s Defence Policy Review. Later that week International Cooperation Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau brought forward Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Bibeau’s announcement included a new commitment of $150 million over five years to respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries that are working to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality – a funding commitment that has been advocated for a number of years by the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada.
A WFM – Canada press release responding to Freeland’s speech and the Defence Policy Review noted Canada’s continued rhetoric indicating support for UN peacekeeping – but still without any new Canadian personnel contributions to current UN operations. Later in June, CBC reported on the disappointment among UN officials and European allies over the fact that Canada has declined several requests for military, police and leadership contributions to UN operations.