The damage Stephen Harper has done within our borders is apparent everywhere we turn. But Canadians may not be aware of how much damage he has done to their country's international reputation. Harper's tenure on the international stage has been just as destructive as it has been at home. Daryl Copland writes:
The inventor of peacekeeping, long-standing proponent of North-South relations, and determined promoter of sustainable development — once universally welcomed as an honest broker, helpful fixer and provider of good offices and innovative ideas — is today regarded as an obstruction to progress, a country with little to bring to the table.
Canada’s vaunted foreign service has languished, marginalized and under-employed by a government uninterested in professional diplomatic advice or enlightened international initiative.
Unrecognizable to its former partners and friends, Canada has become something of an international pariah — a serial unachiever, the fossil of the year, the country that others don’t want in the room. The one-time boy scout has become a distant outlier in the international system, sometimes ostracized but more often simply ignored.
Harper claimed we wouldn't recognize Canada by the time he was finished. Our international partners don't recognize us either. When they look at us, what do they see?
All fight, no talk. Dialogue, negotiation, compromise and knowledge-based problem-solving have given way to hectoring rhetoric and debilitating retrogression. Diplomacy and multilateralism have been written off.
Over the past decade the warrior nation wannabes in Ottawa preferred to preside over disastrous years of war in Afghanistan, to help open a Pandora’s Box of multiple misfortunes by participating in an illegal regime change exercise in Libya, and unthinkingly to join in the anti-ISIL bombing of Iraq and Syria, thus worsening the refugee crisis and exposing Canadians to a heightened risk of retaliation at home and abroad.
It's really quite a record. At home and abroad, Mr. Harper has been a one man weapon of mass destruction.