Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Canada’s Opposition Leader Delivers Major Foreign Policy Speech

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Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff gave a speech at the Canadian Club of Ottawa today in which he criticized the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for “giving up on Canada’s place in the world,” and allowing Canada’s international reputation to deteriorate to the point that “Canada is becoming the country that dares not speak its name.” Among other things Mr. Ignatieff claimed that Mr. Harper has ceded Canada’s responsibilities in Afghanistan, let trade with China and India falter and failed to stand up for Canadians abroad.

This week’s speech follows news on September 1 that the Liberals intend to topple the Canadian government, forcing Canada’s second national elections in less than one year. Since 2006, concerns that Canadians are weary of federal elections have allowed the Conservative party to govern without a majority of parliamentary votes. Today’s speech is part of a pre-election strategy for Mr. Ignatieff and a response to critics who claim the Liberal leader has not articulated his vision for the country.

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