Once considered a trusted partner in peace-building and regional cooperation, Canada's reputation has soured as it has increasingly and openly put the interests of its corporations at the forefront of foreign policy decision making. Interference in Haitian politics, support for the 2009 military coup in Honduras, and revelations of the Canadian government's complicity in acts of industrial espionage against the Brazilian state are but some of the most outstanding examples of Canada’s changing presence in the Americas.
What is more, the once-respected development work that emanated from Ottawa has been systematically re-configured to the advantage of Canadian big business, sometimes with devastating social consequences for communities in Latin America and around the world. These changing aspects of Canada's actions away from home reflect a shift in Canada’s identity at home. In this regard, the rise of Stephen Harper's conservatives must be approached as a symptom rather the source of what is increasingly seen as a new, uncaring Canada.
This one day event will explore the significance of the shifting Canadian presence in the Americas and the world. We will bring together scholars, policy-experts, journalists, and activists from across the Americas to reflect on the changing Canadian position in the region, its consequences for democracy and development in the hemisphere, and the related shifts in Canadian political culture and identity.
This event is co-sponsored by the University of Toronto's Latin American Studies Program, Centre for Critical Development Studies, the International Relations Program at Trinity College, Department of Political Science, and the Department of Political Science at York University.
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