We now know what the career staffers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thought of Stephen Harper and John Baird. Alexander Panetta writes in the Globe and Mail:
A U.S. official expressed amazement at how deeply detested Canada’s Conservative government was by some employees of the Foreign Affairs Department.That impression was described in a note sent three years ago to Hillary Clinton, who was then the secretary of state and whose e-mails are now being publicly released.It was contained in a message where a U.S. official described how his colleagues across the border pleaded for his help lobbying the Canadian government not to cut a program for Haiti.“I was a little astonished at how openly the career folks at the foreign and assistance ministries disliked their new political masters and wanted us to convince them not to cut Haiti,” said Tom Adams, in a May 2012 e-mail forwarded to Clinton and released Monday.
“In my many years here I have never seen such open disloyalty with a change of administrations. Although the political appointees told me there was no need to have the Secretary talk to Baird about Haiti, the senior career folks, on the margins, implored me to have this done.”
Harper knew that the people who had devoted their lives to international relations were not on his side. And Washington also knew that Harper's spokesmen did not represent Canadian opinion. That became obvious in the the case of Omar Khadr. A recently released batch of Hilary Clinton's emails shows how delighted the Americans were when Khadr returned to Canada from Guantanamo Bay:
There was delight in Clinton’s office over news that Omar Khadr was being released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and repatriated to a prison in his home country.The newly released e-mails show the then-secretary of state’s response to news that the young man was being transferred to Canada: “Thank you for all you did to get this resolved.”She was writing to the State Department’s legal adviser – who was ecstatic at the 2012 development.“So glad we got this done,” said the adviser, Harold Koh. “After spending the last 10 years on GTMO, at least this young man finally has another chance.”
Stephen Harper always claimed that he was speaking for the majority of Canadians. Nothing could be further from the truth.