Global Issues & Proposals for Election 2015

15 October 2015

How do the Federal parties stack up on Israel-Palestine, the Syria-Iraq war and other key Middle East issues?

For an extremely comprehensive evaluation of the positions of the five main federal parties on key issues relating to the Middle East, click here. This will lead to an overall summary report card. For the full details, click on the logo below:






24 September 2015

The results of the online survey of Global Issues that are most important to YOU are now in.

Over 1300 responses were received. The top five most important global issues for Canada that respondents identified, in their order of importance, are:

1) Improving the lives of women;
2) Ratifying UN treaties on the arms trade and cluster bombs;
3) Addressing the impacts on jobs and environment of international trade agreements;
4) Abolishing nuclear weapons; and
5) Restricting Canadian arms exports.

Respondents were also asked what other global issues were important to them. The top five responses are:

• Canada’s action with global leaders on protecting the environment, combatting climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
• Returning Canada to the role of a peacekeeper and engaging in diplomacy, negotiation, mediation, and humanitarian aid in response to global conflicts;
• Canada’s refugee policy;
• Canada’s contribution to eradicating global poverty and providing foreign humanitarian aid and development; and
• Canada being a world leader in human rights issues (e.g. Indigenous rights, global education, eradicating torture, human trafficking).

For the full survey results, go to our blog Survey Results on Key Global Issues by clicking here.


17 September 2015

Key Foreign Policy Issues to address in the Munk Debate

September 16th we launched our Canada Elections Issues 2015 coverage with a full-page article by Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason in the influential Embassy magazine. See “Party leaders need to articulate a role for Canada in the world” (Embassy News, 16 September 2015).

The article outlines key issues that should be addressed in the upcoming Munk debate on Foreign Policy and Global Issues, scheduled for September 28th at 7:00pm EDT. Here are those issues:

  • Overarching Vision and Principles for Canada’s role in the world
  • Confronting International anti-terrorism
  • Ending the war in Syria and Iraq
  • Israel and Palestine
  • Canadian policy towards Iran
  • Canadian military exports and the Arms Trade Treaty
  • Cluster munitions treaty ratification
  • Canadian leadership on nuclear disarmament
  • Women and foreign policy
  • Trade and the Environment

Have your say on

The Mason article was also posted as a blog with many links to source material on the issues discussed. We urge you to go to this blog and add your comments on these foreign policy issues and any others that you think are important for the Party leaders to address in the Munk debate and in their party platforms.

Sustainable Common Security

On September 16th we also featured on our social media (Facebook and Twitter) an important article  on the need to re-organize Canada’s foreign and defence policies around the umbrella concept of sustainable common security. See “17 Ways to address Canadian security Issues” (Peter Langille,, 16 Sept. 2015)”.

Below is a list of just some of the exciting and innovative proposals being put forward by one of Rideau Institute’s Senior Advisors, Peter Langille.

  • Initiate a much-needed consultation on security, foreign and defence policy with an inclusive cross-Canada commission that ensures gender mainstreaming in security, foreign and defence policy discussions, planning and operations.
  • Prioritize multilateral diplomatic and global security engagement through the United Nations (a cornerstone of Canadian policy from 1945 to 1997).
  • Revise Canadian immigration and refugee policy to help the most vulnerable, wherever possible. Canada has the space and resources to provide sanctuary and citizenship to five-fold the number of families currently being accepted. Fast-tracking this process is critical.
  • Restore the long-standing Canadian emphasis on prevention of war and armed conflict (a 50-year priority of successive Canadian governments until Harper).
  • Revitalize a commitment to arms control and disarmament. In 2010, our Parliament urged the Canadian government to commit to a leadership role in nuclear disarmament. The elimination of nuclear weapons is overdue. This should be accompanied by unequivocal support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the UN Arms Trade Treaty (rejected by the Harper government).
  • Promote peace education and conflict resolution, here and abroad. This would include pushing for another UN decade (from 2016-2026) devoted to advancing a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world (ignored by the Conservative government).
  • Develop a new federal department or institute for Peace and Sustainable Common Security (expanding on the former CIIPS, cancelled by Mulroney).
  • To counter violent extremism, Canada could actively support peacemaking (dialogue), peacekeeping (restoring stability and stopping violence), peacebuilding (addressing human needs) and sustained development assistance. There is an urgent need for a more comprehensive approach that reflects the ‘strategic re-think’ recently called for by senior American officials.
  • Encourage international dialogue on a UN Parliamentary assembly (a world Parliament) to democratize efforts at better global governance.
  • Shift the priorities and approach of Canadian security institutions such as DND, the Canadian Forces, CSIS, CIDA, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Treasury Board to support sustainable common security.
  • Renew Canada’s commitment to a non-offensive defence posture advanced by previous governments to calm tensions and restore confidence, facilitate wider arms control and disarmament, and work in concert with other UN member states to promote a global peace system at the lowest level of threat. Canada’s capacity for force projection should be limited to legitimate defence of territory and citizens, as well as UN-authorized peace operations.
  • Re-purpose Canada’s defence effort to specialize in demanding UN peace operations.

And now we want to hear from you! Please let us know what you think of the priorities we have identified and what you would also like to see included.