Carleton University’s Canadian Foreign Policy Journal(CFPJ), the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) and iAffairs Canada have released their evaluation of the Trudeau government’s foreign policy agenda. Remaining consistent with last year’s rating, the report card gives the Trudeau government a B- overall.
This third edition of the CFPJ Report Card covers everything from defence and diplomacy to foreign aid, refugees and immigration. Its purpose is to evaluate the government’s performance in crucial areas of foreign policy and to identify any gaps between the rhetoric of electoral showmanship and the harsh realities of policy implementation.
“The government’s actions and rhetoric have been inconsistent, at time contradictory and mostly focused on messaging and advancing the Liberal brand than fixing real problems,” notes David Carment who led the Report. “Overall, what is missing is a cohesive and coherent foreign policy, one that matches the government’s progressive rhetoric with its actions,” suggest the Report’s contributors. The authors also highlight some of the present administration’s key successes, such as its commitment “to what is perhaps the largest reorganization of the Canadian security and intelligence community since 1984,” and, in regard to its response to NAFTA renegotiation, its ability to assemble “a strong team of negotiators with bipartisan support.”
Despite these successes, the authors conclude that “At the midpoint between the Liberals’ ascent to power and the next federal election, substance must meet style if the Liberals hope to remain true to their promise of distinguishing themselves from the previous government.”
The report card is a follow up to an earlier report on Prime Minister Trudeau’s First Year in Office