Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Issue 12 - Evidence
OTTAWA, Monday, June 11, 2001
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs met this day at 3:35 p.m. to
examine the Performance Report of the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade for the period ending March 31, 2001, tabled in the Senate
on February 6, 2001.
Senator Peter A. Stollery (Chairman) in the Chair.
The Chairman: Honourable senators, I call the meeting to order.
First, let me welcome Minister Manley and thank him for his attendance here
As honourable senators know, this committee has several mandates. Our mandate
today is to examine such issues as may arise from time to time relating to
foreign relations generally; the subject is to examine the performance report of
the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for the period ending
March 31, 2000, tabled in the Senate on February 6, 2001.
Minister, on behalf of our committee members, I would like to publicly
congratulate the organizers of our fact-finding tour in Washington. They did a
tremendous job in organizing our witnesses. Everyone here was very happy with
the quality of witnesses that we met in Washington.
Minister, we are actively involved in a serious study of Canada's relations with
Russia and Ukraine, and we will be making recommendations. It is in that context
that I want to thank the department for the work it did in Washington.
I note that Deputy Minister Lavertu is also present.
I suspect, Mr. Minister, that you have a statement or opening remarks. I would
ask you to proceed, please.
Hon. John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: I
am very pleased to be here today. I will take a couple of minutes to do an
outline of priorities and express some thoughts on a number of issues, and then
I will be happy to pursue any of them, or others, if you like, in the question
and answer period.
This is my first appearance here as Minister of Foreign Affairs. I feel it is a
little overdue, but then I seem to be saying that to everyone in my life,
personal and public, these days, because the travel schedule is rather busy.
I want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to the committee for
the fine work it has done and the continuing important role that it is playing
in the development and evaluation of Canadian foreign policy and to congratulate
you on what I understand was, from our point of view also, a very successful
visit to Washington.
I understand that members of the committee may have some particular issues that
they wish to talk about today. If I do not cover those in my remarks, feel free
to raise them in the question and answer period. I shall attempt to be as brief
as possible in order to give us plenty of time.
One of the important discoveries in my travels as Minister of Foreign Affairs
has been to hear - and all of you, I am sure, have had this experience - the
depth of appreciation for Canada from so many of our partners. Wherever they are
in the world, whether large or small countries, allies or simply countries that
we are engaged with for a variety of reasons, they express their gratitude to
Canada for our continuing active role throughout the world. They express their
gratitude for the important contributions Canada makes, whether it is in terms
of the overseas development assistance that we provide in so many places, our
contribution to conflict reduction or conflict avoidance, or our role as a
member of the G8. Many of the smaller countries of the world see us as their
window on the G8 and the avenue through which their voice can be heard at the
table. We have become increasingly recognized for the advances we have made
economically and in terms of our world-leading connectivity and technological
We are pursuing a foreign policy that is both values-based and interest-based.
More simply put, our approach has been to reflect an understanding that building
a better world, a world that is more just, more democratic, safer, more
economically prosperous, is part of building a better Canada and raising the
quality of life of all Canadians.
Our priorities necessarily are ambitious, because we do and have for many years
essentially punched above our weight on the world stage. That is because we have
founded our foreign policy priorities on those areas where Canada has important
interests and where we can have the greatest possible impact.
This necessarily begins with the United States. Whatever your political stripe,
we face an undeniable reality that we are half of the largest, most
commercially, politically and strategically significant partnership in the world
today. We have to make it work.
We will continue to build our relations with Mr. Bush's administration and my
counterpart, Mr. Powell, and to further our dialogue on the issues most vital to
Canada: security and defence (from bilateral/border matters to global issues
like NATO and the missile defence debate); trade; environment; and so on.
The energy issue is now front and centre, not just bilaterally with the United
States but along with NAFTA, as a key component of an increasingly integrated
North Americaneconomy, which includes Mexico. President Fox has invited a
contingent of Canadian companies to his ranch later this month for a discussion
on how to strengthen our energy partnership with Mexico. The future of North
America as a distinct economic unit will draw increasing attention over this
We are firmly committed to strengthening Canada'shemispheric identity, as well,
as a leading member of a maturing intra-American community.
The Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City in April, produced an
unprecedented commitment by the34 democratic leaders to strengthen democracy in
thehemisphere as well as to goals related to realizing human potential and
expanding prosperity, notably through the FTAA initiative.
The undertakings on democracy, notably the democracy clause as a criterion for
future summit participation and the creation of a democracy charter through the
OAS, were key accomplishments for Canada.
There may be questions on this later, but I will add that, having just returned
from the OAS General Assembly in Costa Rica, some countries did ask for more
time to study the democracy charter. Contrary to some of the reports, we should
not see this as a setback for the charter. I think, frankly, it was a product of
the fact that the period of time between Quebec City and Costa Rica was too
tight. For those countries that are strong proponents of the charter, CARICOM
countries, for example, they felt that implicit in a commitment to democracy was
also a commitment to adequate process and consultation, both within their
governments and within their broader society, and that that needed to be done.
We agreed to hold an extraordinary general assembly in three months, which will
give us adequate time to ensure that the charter is ready to be launched.
Our role in the G-8 is also a top priority for Canada, and will take on an
increasing profile over the coming year as we work towards the Canadian-hosted
G-8 Summit in 2002.
The importance of the G-8 reflects both our commitment to key bilateral
relationships with the US, Japan and our European partners, as well as the
critical role to be played by Canada in global affairs, including a wide range
of issues related to globalization and its impacts and opportunities.
First, Europe: strengthening our engagement with Europe is as important to
Canada as it has ever been, both bilaterally and through multilateral vehicles
for cooperation - NATO, EU dialogues, et cetera.
I will be in Stockholm next week for the Canada-EU Summit, and will visit Moscow
directly afterwards. I also intend to meet my counterparts in a variety of
European capitals - Paris, Berlin, others - next fall. Tomorrow, I will also
accompany the Prime Minister to the NATO Summit in Brussels.
With respect to NATO, I will just mention briefly the report that this committee
prepared in April 2000. That report provided a very thoughtful examination of
the roles of NATO and Canada in the evolving international security environment.
We have studied the report carefully and agree with its principal finding that
NATO remains an important institution for Canada. We are working with our allies
on how to best adapt NATO to the new security environment, which includes the
development of closer links with the EU, particularly in the context of its new
security and defence policy.
Our status as a G8 country goes far beyond regional orbilateral relations,
however. It confers not only a recognition of our economic accomplishments, but
more significantly, aresponsibility. It compels Canada to provide leadership and
constructive solutions on issues of concern to the broader global community,
particularly to developing and least developed countries, whether we are talking
about poverty, AIDS, sub regional conflicts or the digital divide.
Enhancing our bilateral relations with key emerging powers of the developing
world, particularly in Asia, is also important. Deeper engagement with China and
India does not imply an uncritical relationship, but rather recognizes that
constructive dialogue is the most effective way of building mutualunderstanding
and extending universal norms and values.
I would like to wrap this up, to give us ample time for questions and answers,
but before doing so I will just mention a few key issues the Department of
Foreign Affairs will pursue and where Canada will continue to play a leadership
role or try to build a strategic role.
On human security, I have been at pains to make clear that I consider this to be
a continuing priority of Canadian foreign policy. I consider it not to be
something of recent innovation, but rather an expression of values that
Canadians have held for a long time. There are always new issues arising.
Anti-personnel mines is one in which we have made an important mark in the
world, as a result of the promotion of the Ottawa Convention. Our priority on
this one needs to continue, but our focus needs to increasingly shift to the
destruction and removal of mines as more and more countries have signed on to
the convention. We continue to promote the International Criminal Court. We
continue to work on the economic dimensions of issues, such as in the case of
conflicts in Africa, and look at diamond and sometimes the timber trades.
We have completed our two years on the Security Council of the United Nations.
We will maintain the focus that we have had on humanitarian issues and conflict
prevention. We will be working on the implementation of the Brahimi report on
improving UN peacekeeping operations, which is consistent, to a very great
degree, with the recommendations that this committee made in its report, seeking
more input from contributing states for peacekeeping operations, as those
missions are decided upon and designed. Canada is leading the study on state
sovereignty and intervention and that report should be ready for the Secretary
General late this fall. We will be participating in upcoming summits on AIDS,
racism, and children.
I have spent some time in the Middle East over the last month and have remained
in contact with my counterparts in several of the countries in the region as
well as with the Palestinian Authority. It is a painful and difficult situation,
as everyone knows, and it is important for Canada to continue to press for the
adoption of the Mitchell report, which I thought was a balanced and reasonable
report and gave an avenue for the parties to make real improvements.
We can say that the restrained response that we have seen to some of the recent
incidents, going both ways, and this short period of what is essentially a
ceasefire, are signals of encouragement. We ought to be encouraging the parties
to maintain that restraint.
I also visited the Balkans in the last month. The situation there continues to
be difficult. I can say that I was very impressed, as I left Bosnia, with our
troops there and with their motivation. I spoke to a lot of young Canadians,
most of whom are not on their first tour of duty in the Balkans, many on their
second or third, some on their fourth. They are very motivated young men and
women. Although they are away from their families for six-month intervals, many
of them said to me, "But I chose to be a soldier and this is what I want to
do." They feel that they are providing an important service to the world,
and I agree. Unfortunately, I would have to say that if they and the other S4
troops were to leave Bosnia, I expect we would see a rapid deterioration once
again into violence.
I was in Bosnia; I was in Kosovo; I was in Belgrade, where I met with Yugoslav
authorities before going to the NATO meeting in Budapest.
I am very pleased that this committee is undertaking a study on Russia and
Ukraine. It is an important area of interest for Canada. I will be visiting
Moscow after the Canada-EU Summit in a couple of weeks time. I will be looking
forward to your report, and I will undertake to respond to your report. These
are countries that are of great potential benefit to Canada but that,
unfortunate ly, still pose a number of risks, which underscore the importance of
us continuing to be very engaged in that region.
I do not want to say too much more. We are continuing to strengthen cooperation
on a regional basis. We are involved in many areas of the world. We have a
couple of envoys to Africa. Marc Lemieux is in the Great Lakes region. David
Pratt, a Member of Parliament, is playing a role as a special envoy to Sierra
Leone. Senator Wilson, with whom we spoke earlier today, is on her way back to
the Sudan, where she is helping us as a special envoy as well.
Sudan, Sierra Leone, Congo and Zimbabwe continue to be hot spots globally. The
truth is that while we can set some clear priorities - and I have outlined some
of those for you: G-8, Canada-U.S., Canada-NAFTA, Canada and the hemisphere,
Europe, and major players in Asia, China, India - at the same time, as a G-8
country, we literally have interests that are global. By setting a pattern of
priorities, that is not to say that we can cross off the list regions or
countries that may be of lesser bilateral importance. We have an important role
to play in every part of the world.
Canada has a unique role as one of the rather small club of countries that
actually makes the world work. That is a heavy responsibility for us. It is not
always easy to persuade all of our compatriots to raise their eyes to a horizon
that is outside our borders. It is an important responsibility for all of us as
political leaders to stress that the well-being of Canada and Canadians depends
upon the contributions that we and others make to making that world system work.
Senator Bolduc: Mr. Manley, congratulations on your appoint ment as
minister. I see also that you are behaving differently from your predecessor. I
must say that I prefer your way of doing things.
Mr. Manley: You will not ask me to comment on that.
Senator Bolduc: No, I know that you will not.
There are other ministers in your department - for example, the Minister for
International Trade - and they are responsible for certain regions, if my
understanding is correct. One is responsible for Africa and Latin America,
another for Asia, and perhaps another for CIDA.
Mr. Manley: The portfolio consists of three ministers - myself, the
Minister for International Trade, and the Minister for International
Cooperation, who is responsible for CIDA. In addition, we have a Secretary of
State responsible for Latin America and Africa; a second one for Asia-Pacific,
and a third one for the francophonie. I am almost at a par with Industry, where
I had five Secretaries of State to keep track of.
Senator Bolduc: My problem is not your job, but the deputy minister's
directly under you. He has a certain number of people under him. That must be
fairly heavy, too, I suppose.
Mr. Manley: Mr. Pettigrew and Ms Minna each have their own deputies, as
well. In the case of the Secretaries of State, you are right; Mr. Lavertu is
also their deputy.
Senator Bolduc: I am interested in CIDA. What is your role with respect
to CIDA? Do you look at it a little or not at all or just for orientation? My
perspective is that Mr. Good is a very competent civil servant; I do not have
any doubt about that. However, I am not sure that CIDA is entirely focussed.
They do a lot of things all over the world. Sometimes they say they will help
first the poorest people, but then suddenly we are in Russia or in Eastern
Europe. They are not the poorest people. Many people in Asia and Africa are much
poorer than those in the eastern European countries.
To come back to my main question: aside from the fact that you have a minister
under you for CIDA, what is your role there exactly?
Mr. Manley: I have the overall responsibility of coordinating the
portfolio. In some ways, that was easier when I was Minister of Industry. In
that portfolio, I only had secretaries of state. Sooner or later, they had to
contend with me because they could not sign Treasury Board submissions or
memoranda to cabinet. Eventually they ended up in front of my desk. From that
point of view, it was easier to encourage a cooperative approach.
In this case, I have two full ministers that have clear responsibilities
assigned to them by the Prime Minister. They are therefore essentially
independent of me, but I do try to coordinate our activities. I have introduced
a weekly meeting, which is attended by the three ministers and the three
secretaries of state. On this portfolio, people travel a lot, so it is sometimes
difficult. The deputies also attend. Consequently, we are able to review issues
and talk about what we need to do to be fully coordinated.
These issues overlap considerably, as you can imagine. For example, a few weeks
back we concluded that the situation in Zimbabwe had reached a point where
certain actions should be taken to make a strong statement. That was coordinated
with CIDA. Their role in Zimbabwe was altered simultaneously, so there was
cooperation and coordination; however, it is clearly Minister Minna's
responsibility, not mine. That is how we will see it go forward.
She has been assigned by the Prime Minister the responsibility for CIDA. Mr.
Good reports to her; he does not report to me. Essentially, although I have an
active interest in it because it is one of the main tools of our foreign policy,
it is something that needs coordination rather than direction on my part.
Senator Grafstein: Congratulations to you, Mr. Minister. I cannot take
the same position as my colleague Senator Bolduc. I introduced Mr. Axworthy to
public life and to Ottawa, so I take some responsibility. I thought Mr. Axworthy
had an extraordinary career. Although from time to time all of us would disagree
with him, he made a unique and lasting contribution to foreign policy.
Having said that, I would like to talk about three issues.
How do you make up your mind about how to allocate the scarce resources in a
department for new areas of representation? Is it based on trade? Is it based on
economic interest? Is it based on hot spots? How do you make up your mind to do
that? I know from quickly reviewing your budget that you have exceeded your
budget, or your predecessor exceeded his budget, all for a good cause. I do not
quarrel with that. I am particularly curious because I spent some time in the
Caucasus. The Caucasus is a hot bed of problems and opportunities for us. I
believe we are vastly underrepresented there. That is question number one. In
other words, policy is a specific example.
Again, as a question of priority, the EU is the largest market in the world. We
are well-represented in a bilateral sense. Your deputy was a very distinguished
representative to Germany and other places, as a high example of how we use the
best. However, when we look at the progress that we have made with respect to
breaking the EU iron curtain, it is virtually nil. Have we deployed the proper
resources there to instigate a freer and more open market for Canadian goods and
Thirdly, Canada-U.S. The United States is now our largest trading partner by
far. We all know the statistics. Nevertheless, it seems to me that in crucial
parts in the United States, in terms of particular states that are trading
partners larger than some countries in Europe, we are totally unrepresented in
those states vis-à-vis counsels general and so on. This is a generic question.
In the 1960s, we called this a cost-benefit, budget analysis.
The Chairman: Shall we now give the minister a chance to respond?
Mr. Manley: It is entirely a hypothetical question because I am not faced
with the prospect unless I get a budget increment of new representational
offices. I have certainly raised the question of need, and that is one of the
things that is a pressure for the ministry to deal with. You have mentioned
some. I could elaborate on some of those. I do not dispute any of them.
The United States is an interesting case. If you overlay on the U.S. map the
size and locations of our offices and those of Mexico, you will see that in
comparative terms we are underrepresented mainly in the north, as opposed to
being in the areas where the fastest growth is occurring in the U.S. economy,
which has been the region that has produced all of the elected U.S. presidents
since 1964. One would think that we probably should be more strongly represented
in that region of the United States.
I am sure Mr. Lavertu would agree that the last thing we want right now is a
mandate to expand representation, unless the cheque is attached. The only new
office that we have undertaken to open has been Iceland, which is a very small
operation and which responded to a number of factors primarily of a political
nature, namely Iceland's involvement with the Arctic Council.
I cannot say at this point that I have worked out a grid on which I could do the
cost-benefit analysis. Undoubtedly, we would want to look at a whole series of
issues. What are our interests? What economic opportunities are there? What
political responsibilities do we have? What is the demand for Canadian consular
services? What is the demand for Canadian immigration services and visa
requirements? All of those things would be factored together.
I know we have a list of possible places where we do not have representation but
would be interested in having it, but I have not personally engaged in
priorizing that list. Until I have a sense that I am going to be able to
increase my available resources, there are others things to look at.
Senator Grafstein: Would you welcome a strong recommen dation from this
committee that your budget be increased to give us more representation in places
where we should be represented abroad?
Mr. Manley: Let me put it this way: the budgetary pressures we face force
the representatives that we do have abroad to do extra service beyond what you
would expect them to do if we were fully resourcing our international
Senator Andreychuk: Mr. Minister, I also want tocongratulate you in your
new portfolio. You may think you have taken some time to get here, but I am
rather pleased that you have responded so quickly. That has been a good sign for
this committee and its relationship with you. I thank you for being quick to
respond and accommodating rather than what you seem to think is the opposite. We
are suffering from previous examples and difficulties. We have a long memory
I wanted to touch on some of the resources Senator Grafstein has touched on. I
will return to two areas of concern that I have. In 1986, there was an all-party
consensus that the matter of human rights was going to be an integral part of
the foreign policy. In 1994, your government reaffirmed that human rights would
be a crucial element but that it would be also defined as an element of
democracy. Since then, of course, I have had some difficulty following this
thread because up came this idea of human security, which was a nice idealistic
term, but it has not withstood the test of time in the way human rights has in
our international machinery and understanding. I found it rather
counterproductive in furthering the elements of human rights that we had already
Previously, I looked to hear words that sounded good, but then the actions were
different. I am referring to the gap between trade and human rights. All of
those things have been bubbling in the last couple of years.
I want to give you an opportunity to put on the record whether you still support
the 1994 reaffirmation of human rights and that position, or whether you have
put a new thought process to how human rights can be furthered and how they
interplay with trade, as you have had such a close association with the trade.
I am pleased that you have taken a pragmatic approach, particularly to our
neighbours, the United States and Latin America. It is long overdue.
I am looking at just one aspect. I could take any example, but my example is
that I believe we mishandled Russia. We could have done more to alert, as in the
past, our southern neighbours to the role that Russia will play in Central
Europe and Eastern Europe, and the role it will play in all of Europe. I see
that we did not bring Russia properly into the Balkan crisis, and I am concerned
that we do not ignore that issue in NATO enlargement.
We can play a role in the relationship that needs to be constructively looked at
between Russia and the United States. As well, we need to look constructively at
our own role with Russia, therefore, our role with the United States, as we look
to try to calm some of that area and do the necessary work.
I use the NATO enlargement as the next big hurdle in that relationship. You have
been constructive in the way you have approached the United States. What are
your thoughts on this NATO enlargement and how or if it can be approached?
Mr. Manley: First, on human rights, you need to see the human security
agenda as it evolved. As I say, it was not necessarily that it was new or novel
but that it pulled together a number of threads that had been part of Canadian
values and Canadian foreign policy in the past, and which could be conveniently
expressed as policies that looked to the security of individuals and not only to
the security of states. Some of the initiatives fit very clearly into that
The land mines convention, of course, is so striking when you visit a place like
Bosnia. Beautiful fields have no one in them, no cattle, no sheep, and that is
because they are not safe. It very much goes to the security of individuals.
Likewise, theinternational criminal court and the effort to ensure that there is
responsibility for things that are done, that there are efforts made on behalf
of war-affected children. All of this is consistent with Canadian foreign
policy. You are quite correct, however, that the words themselves are relatively
new in terms of the context of foreign policy. They are gaining international
There is a group of countries known as the Human Security Network, of which
Canada is part, having founded the group with Norway, that is working on these
and similar issues. If that is successful, it will build understanding of the
language and it will have its own context. Human rights is not excluded. It is
clearly a fundamental part that should not be overlooked. The clear statements
on human rights that have been part of Canadian longstanding policy are likewise
continued in the human security agenda, and our activities on behalf of human
rights need to continue to bare witness to our belief in respect for human
rights as a fundamental aspect of democracy. That can be seen in the work on
democracy elements, for example, in the summit and in the upcoming OAS charter.
Where does that fit with trade? I feel that gains on human rights can be
frequently made through engagement on trade issues. I will give an example of
things that I was involved with in the past. We worked with governments, through
Industry Canada, onestablishing the regulatory framework for telecommunications
- and despite what we sometimes think, we are actually quite good in this area.
We are particularly advanced in telecom, not only because of a domestic need but
because we have a rather enlightened policy going back a long time. I take
credit for the last seven years, but not before that. The policy has been good
and we are very helpful, but when you work with a government on setting up a
regulatory framework that is transparent and predictable, which has independent
dispute resolution processes, you are inculcating governance principles that are
also applicable in the broader area of government.
The mentality that would revoke a licence without reasons, or refuse one without
justification despite what the published rules may be, that expropriates
property without compensation, will stifle trade and investment. Some companies
are willing to gamble; however, broadly speaking, in much of the world, the key
to trade and investment is to get respect for the rule of law, as well as
predictability, clarity, judges who are not corrupt and laws that are enforced
in a predictable manner. Those are the same things that need to be promoted in
order to have a criminal justice system that respects human rights.
Those roots of respect for the rule of law and traditions are not
well-established in many countries of the world. If we only start on trying to
inculcate human rights and ignore the trade and investment side, we will not be
successful. If we only do trade and investment, without talking about
governance, I do not think too many of our companies will want to go to those
places. I see those issues as being closely linked.
Frequently, the issue of China comes up. We could preach to China, but it seems
to me that the success we have had in being engaged economically, which has led
to things like the Canada- China Dialogue on Human Rights, has given us the
opportunity to teach judges. These are actual practical and useful things to be
doing that will contribute over a period of time to increase respect for human
rights in China. We have our disagreements with the Chinese on practices, and in
my first meeting with the Chinese foreign minister I endured a fairly vigorous
discussion about the Falun Gong. We do not agree with their views on this matter
and they know we do not agree with them. To be disengaged is not to have that
avenue of influence. They are linked, and it is important to keep them both.
On Russia, I agree with your analysis. This is one of the reasons I welcome the
committee's work. Mr. Lavertu has just returned from Russia, and, as I said, I
will be there in the next couple of weeks. President Putin's visit to Ottawa in
December was widely seen as successful and one that reinforced our interest in
helping them on economic reform leading to eventual accession to the WTO and
continued cooperation on Arctic issues.Those are all good things.
In the context of NATO, though, we have not taken a position on which countries
should be admitted. We have been advocates of enlargement, and we continue to be
advocates of enlargement, which I predict will probably happen at the Prague
summit next year. Certainly, Russia's views need to be taken into account. At
the same time, I believe it is vitally important for NATO that the selection of
countries be done on a process that all applicants can see is fair-minded and
objective. If we fail, then dealing with the unsuccessful applicants will create
a rather difficult situation for NATO moving forward.
While Russian sensitivities need to be taken into account, they cannot have a
veto over who is admitted to NATO. NATO enlargement needs to be done as result
of a process that everybody feels has some integrity. It is not capricious and
it is not unduly political.
Senator Andreychuk: You mentioned that the government has not taken a
position as to which countries should come in. My understanding was that the
government did voice some support for some countries but that the time frame had
not been put on it. Are you now saying that all countries still are being
Mr. Manley: We voiced support prior to the last enlargement. We have not
indicated which countries we would support this time. The conditions are not all
identical to what they were prior to the last admission, when not all of the
countries that we advocated were admitted. We are saying to each of the
interlocutors, and I met with several of them when I was in Budapest, that they
should continue to be actively engaged with the membership-application process
and that their time for making progress is now. I think all of us are going to
reserve our decision vis-à-vis who we are advocating until the time is closer
to the Prague summit. At that time, the Prime Minister will take the decision on
whether we announce in advance whom it is that we support.
Senator Andreychuk: I would appeal to the government to look at NATO and
NATO enlargement, taking into account all the countries that may want admission,
that may border those that want to come in and that may border Russia, with some
new innovative thinking. Had we not done that, we may not have come up with
Partnership for Peace. I am hopeful that our ingenuity does not end there.
Senator Austin: I am pleased to see you here, minister. I feel that I
have five cents to buy, among 3000 topics, a little of your time. There are two
areas that I am interested in. One area is the NATO discussions that will be
held this week and the issues to be included at the NATO summit. What is the
problem in military and policy congruence between NATO and the idea of a
European security force? What is seen in the NATO discussions as a principal
problem with that?
Mr. Manley: The discussion has progressed almost entirely with
satisfaction in the notion of a European defence force, provided that there not
be duplication of basic core planning and strategic responsibilities. NATO and
the ESDI should coordinate those activities so that there is not the creation of
a separate structure in Europe that differs from NATO. The concern that many
countries have, not just North American countries, is that if that were to occur
it would fundamentally weaken NATO and divert resources away from it. There is
concurrence on it.
The real issue has proven to be how to satisfy Turkey's concerns, in particular,
about the European defence force and how NATO members who are not members of EU
will interact with it. Canada has had that issue as well. We have indicated that
there may be European operations that are not NATO operations in which we might
wish to be involved. That has been expressly provided for. Frankly, the Turks
are still somewhat concerned.
Senator Austin: I am struggling with the conceptual grasp of the issue. I
know what the French are saying - or least I know what I read about the French
and the German views. I am certain that you recall, in the initial instance,
that President Clinton reacted rather negatively to European suggestions that
there were different military imperatives for Europe as compared to the United
States, in his presence in Europe. Canada is somewhere in between these issues.
Is there a difference between the current American view of the construction of
the European force and the Canadian view?
Mr. Manley: No, in fact I think the only difference of opinion at NATO at
the moment is with the Turks. I am optimistic that, at the summit this week,
that in itself will be put to rest, that we will have an acceptance of how it is
One of messages delivered by the Americans at the last NATO foreign ministers
meeting was that, while they are supportive of the approach, the Europeans have
yet to prove that they are willing to put up the bucks to actually do it. Not
too many European governments have increased their defence spending in recent
years. However, there is no resistance on the part of U.S, for example, to
having a European force that is able to be more proactive in matters that are
occurring in Europe. The U.S. willingness to seek a greater involvement by
Europeans in Bosnia and Kosovo, for example, is evidence of that. The fact that
Mr. Solana has been the one who has had to spend much of time over the last two
months in Macedonia is evidence of the fact that the Europeans are taking on
I do not believe that there is a difference of view, but we need to find a way
to coordinate the efforts.
Senator Austin: You do not think that Canada will be forced to make a
choice, in terms of its role in Europe, between two different views of European
Mr. Manley: We have not been confronted with that dilemma.
Senator Austin: My next question is about human resources in your
department. Are you and your deputy minister comfortable with the quality of the
personnel in the department, and do you believe that the current personnel is
comparable to the personnel over the last two or three decades in its ability to
provide Canada with the kind of foreign policy-thinking support
Mr. Manley: It is difficult for me to compare the last few decades.
Senator Austin: I guess I am older than you are.
Mr. Manley: Say it is not so!
My concern is that we have had difficulty, in my opinion, paying people what
they are worth. If you have travelled, you have heard from some of them I am
sure, because I have heard from many of them. For example, let us consider an
FS-2, who probably has two degrees, speaks two languages and has experience in a
number of foreign postings. If you look at the remuneration an FS-2 receives for
all of that, one has to wonder how we could hold onto any of them. It is a kind
of dedicated public service, in many cases.
In some ways, all of them would say that it is an interesting and fulfilling
career. It does, however, impose tough pressures on families, especially on
spouses, who often have no career prospects at all on a foreign posting.
Hence, this is not the easiest environment in which to maintain really good
people, especially when some of the top global companies like to hire them, and
you cannot blame them. I am concerned from that point of view.
Foreign Affairs is undergoing a Treasury Board-led assessment process, which I
hope will help us to some extent. The employee surveys indicate that, at the EX
level, job satisfaction is quite high. However, what concerns me is the bright
young people who survive the testing and get hired, undergo training by us for
six or seven years, and then we lose them. That worries me. The government must
take action on that. That is especially acute in that category.
When you compare them to someone that I would have had doing a similar job as a
CO in Industry Canada, you see the discrepancy. If you look at lawyers, the
lawyer working for Foreign Affairs with the same number of years is being paid
less than the lawyer working for the Department of Justice, you wonder how we
hold any of them.
That being said, we have the same problem in other government departments
retaining the people with the experience that we need and giving them the
promotion opportunities that they are looking for in a fast enough time frame.
The Chairman: You say that we are a country of world interests, and that
is true. Canada has 31 million people. If I live a little longer, its population
will be the same as that of Spain. Canada is no longer a small country; we do
have world interests.
Minister, this committee has become quite expert on European affairs and the
European Union. Twenty per cent of Canada's foreign investment is in the
European Union. Our investment in Mexico is much smaller, by comparison. I
believe that 49 per cent of our foreign investment is in the U.S. and about 20
per cent in the European Union.
We have had a couple of former trade ministers as members of the committee. They
have told us over the years that whenever a new country was taken into the
European Union they would be called to Brussels and told what it was that we
would be limited to in our exports into the European Union.
We have been told that the bureaucracy in Brussels has not been very helpful to
Canada's attempts at enlarging our trade and investment in the European Union,
though it is large, not the trade but the investment. Some people say that our
investment is large because companies have trouble selling the goods so they
open up factories in the European Union.
That leads me to NATO. Last year, our committee made16 recommendations in our
NATO report, one of thoserecommendations being that the Minister of Foreign
Affairs respond to the report within six months of it being tabled in the
Senate. That was recommendation 16. There have been changes in Foreign Affairs -
and you are the new minister - so it is not meant as a criticism. However, there
were 15 others recommenda tions that we think they are quite important, and we
have not had a response to them.
In your discussion with Senator Austin about the money that the European
countries spend on defence, it is essentially heavy lift and intelligence. We
are quite aware of that. Their weakness is not in soldiers. They have more
soldiers than anybody. What they do not have is heavy lift and intelligence
because they have never been able to develop a common procurement policy. That
is the problem with the European strategic defence initiative, or one of the
Canada puts money into European defence as a member of NATO. In the Kosovo
operation, we were the third most effective air force. Effectively, the European
Union cannot deal with enlargement - for many reasons; the Irish just threw out
the Nice accord on Friday - yet we are subsidising European defence. On the one
hand, our commercial arrangements are not helped. On the other hand, our
contribution to NATO effectively subsidizes European Union defence. What is your
response to that?
Mr. Manley: One of the reasons that both we and the United States see the
SDI as a positive development is that it does begin to impose more of the burden
of European defence on Europe itself.
The case in point for the need for that was the Balkans. That situation could
not have been addressed without NATO's participation. A number of non-EU
European governments also participated. The Norwegians have been important
there, for example. This is a positive development. We see it as that. That is
one of the reasons that we support the initiative.
Canada benefits from NATO in a number of ways, including the fact that important
security decisions that are being taken at that table that affect North American
and North Atlantic security are ones that we want to be part of.
One of things that I have learned over the last few visits I have made to
Brussels is that even where we are underrepresented in terms of the number of
soldiers we might send we still tend to carry more than our weight because of
the expertise of our people and the skills they bring that others lack.
On the one hand we are getting benefit out of NATO, and we are managing to do
it, when you consider our defence budget, at a rather low cost relative to most
other countries. I do not see it as a subsidy of European defence, but I do see
the initiative as being a positive development from the point of view of the
Europeans seeking greater responsibility.
We have been our own worst enemies in developing trade and investment with
Europe. We have not been as focussed as we should be. Certainly, that was my
experience as Minister of Industry. When we went there and when we took
initiatives, we were well received. It is not so much that it is a closed market
as it is a tough market.
When the low-hanging fruit, quite frankly, is in the United States, they put
their efforts there. For many years, one of the greatest challenges of Canadian
trade promotion has been to encourage our companies to look either to Europe or
Asia where it is somewhat more difficult to establish a foothold in the markets.
I do not necessarily blame the Europeans for that. We have pursued cases in
which they have been a little protectionist. However, on balance, we need our
companies to put more muscle into their trade promotion activities in Europe,
and thegovernment needs to help them.
Senator Di Nino: Welcome, Mr. Minister. I have a question supplementary
to Senator Andreychuk's comments on human rights and your response to them. In
the last month or two, two Canadian NGOs, Rights & Democracy, headed by Mr.
Broadbent, and the Canadian branch of Amnesty International, wrote to you and/or
your predecessor to suggest that our bilateral dialogue with China on human
rights is not working. In fact, there is overwhelming proof that the situation
in China is deteriorating.
Why do we have a double standard with China on human rights?
Mr. Manley: Why would you say it is a double standard?
Senator Di Nino: China is the only country we deal with in a quiet and
not overly critical manner. Your government created a bilateral dialogue
mechanism to discuss these issues instead of using the normal channels through
the UN and other international bodies.
Mr. Manley: We have supported the resolutions in the UN Commission on
Human Rights with respect to China. We voted for them.
Senator Di Nino: We have not in the last couple of years.
Mr. Manley: We have not co-sponsored them but we have voted for them. You
ask why we would be engaged with China. My question to you is how could we not
be engaged with China? China has one quarter of the world's population. We may
not like what they are doing, but they matter in the world.
I know that some of the NGOs think that what we are doing is not enough or is
not good enough. As I have said, our differences with the Chinese on Falun Gong
are real. We have raised those differences with the Chinese and will continue to
do so. However, I do not see an alternative to engagement in order to have the
credibility and standing to raise those. I do not know whether we will be
effective in changing their policies, but I know that they do not really need
us, although that will be surprising to some Canadians. They like us, and that
gives us a certain ability to communicate with them, but that is about it.
We have important interests in China and we will continue to have them. We need
to approach China with a certain amount of oriental philosophy. This is a
long-term project. Change is coming in China. In fact, if you look back over the
last 15 years, you will see that there has been stunning change in China.
However, turning China into a liberal democracy will not happen in my mandate as
Senator Di Nino: I respectfully submit that I agree with you on some
points but not on all the points that you made.
The issue of NATO is more than expansion or SDI. During our study, some of us
questioned the value of NATO or a new NATO and where NATO is going in the next
20 years or so, particularly in its relationship with the UN.
Could you give us some wisdom on where Canada sees NATO going, on what its role
would be and how it interacts with the United Nations?
Mr. Manley: Both Mr. Eggleton and I both believe that NATO is the
cornerstone of our collective defence and security arrangement. NATO plays a
central role in Canadian planning and capability. We see it as a continuing
important element in how we plan our own military requirements. We see it as
contributing to our security as well as us contributing to European or other
security. It continues to be fundamental to us. In the absence of the collective
security arrangement, we would face a very different burden in trying to provide
our own national security.
With regard to the United Nations, we, with others, have watched the evolution
of UN-led operations with some concern. We strongly advocate the reforms that
were proposed by Mr. Brahimi in his report. As I mentioned in my remarks, we see
the need for countries that are supplying peacekeepers in peacekeeping
operations to be more thoroughly consulted and involved than they have been to
date when decisions are taken by the Security Council, particularly where the
permanent members are of a common mind on something. The need for greater
engagement by those who supply the forces is important. Where that overlap
becomes important between the UN and NATO would depend on what theatre of
operations we are talking about and what the action entailed.
In Kosovo, the action was seen as very clearly dealing with security within
NATO's region. It was a NATO operation. To this day, our largest contingent of
peacekeepers, the 1,700 troops we have in S Corps, is a NATO rather than a UN
operation. I suspect that that reflects a certain amount of frustration with the
management of UN operations.
Senator Roche: Mr. Minister, I would like to add my congratulations to
you on your appointment to this portfolio. I hope, sir, that you can make an
outstanding contribution to Canadian foreign policy, as I believe Mr. Axworthy
Have you considered or would you consider putting the missile defence system on
the agenda of the G-8 meeting in Canada next year, which meeting Canada will
Mr. Manley: We are little far from that at this point. We have a G-8
meeting to held in Italy before that. Missile defence has been a key discussion
at meetings of both foreign ministers and defence ministers of NATO. It is
premature to try to anticipate what will happen there. Clearly, the United
States, in its attempt to be consultative on missile defence, has included all
of the G-8 countries, including those that are not members of NATO. They have
sent teams to talk to the Japanese and the Russians.
Senator Roche: Such a team came to Ottawa about three weeks ago.
President Bush said that he wanted to consult with the allies and other
countries on the missile defence system. Yet, last week, Mr. Rumsfeld said that
the United States was going to rush deployment by 2004, whether the system works
What kind of consultation is that? Since this is a defining moment in the whole
construct of arms control and disarmament, is it not time for Canada to speak
out with deep concern about the missile defence system that virtually every
expert in the world says will play havoc with the whole nuclear disarmament
agenda and will impact adversely on the non-proliferation treaty that is a
cornerstone of Canadian foreign policy? Can we use the NATO meeting this week to
make Canada's views on this matter clear, finding quite a lot of company with
like-minded countries within NATO?
Mr. Manley: We have been clear to this point, and I will quickly
summarize to you the points that I made at the last NATO foreign ministers
meeting. I thought the points were clear. Secretary of State Powell came to tell
me he wrote them all down. Although I said there were four, he got five, which I
guess is a good sign.
I said, first, that the consultation that has been promised is very welcome but
it must be real and meaningful. This is where he turned that point into two. I
said that I believe that NATO could provide a good forum for that consultation
to be more broadly based and transparent.
Second, I said that Canadian policy favoured very strongly, and had for many
years, a rules-based system for non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
In response to the suggestion that the ABM treaty was no longer relevant, it is
my argument that that is its relevance. It may be out of date. The arms
reduction targets that the administration is suggesting are lower than those
that the ABM would require. It may well be out of date, but my argument is that
it is a fundamental element of a rules-based system. If the United States
unilaterally chooses to abrogate an element of that system, it invites disregard
by everybody else in the world.
Just as an aside, before we put all of our eggs in the ABM basket, it is not to
be discounted that the Russians themselves may be prepared to alter that treaty.
If that is the only thing that concerns us, they may take care of that concern
for us. That is why I put it on the more general principle that it is a
rules-based system that we seek to preserve.
The third thing he wrote down was my comments on China. It is not enough to
simply deal with missile defence in the European context, because the Chinese
concerns are different from the Russian concerns, and they may be more difficult
to accommo date and they may be more dangerous if they lead to proliferation in
The fourth point that I made was that Canadian policy would not support
weaponization of space. Although the Secretary of State himself said that that
was certainly not part of plan, I pointed out to him that some of his colleagues
have made statements that give us reason to think that that might be part of
their plan and that that is not something Canada would support.
I think that is clear. The media is not in the room when you make these
statements, so it did not get clearly reported. When I called back to debrief
the Canadian reporters about the discussion on missile defence and other things
at NATO, they were primarily interested in a consular case in Saudi Arabia so
they only asked one question on it. The message has been very clearly delivered
to the U.S. administration.
Senator Roche: I support your four points. I would wish that they could
be promulgated more widely to the Canadian public.
Is Canada prepared to work more closely with the new agenda countries in finding
practical points within the 13 steps of the non-proliferation treaty review
conference of 2000? Can Canada work more closely with the new agenda countries
to start to implement that program of action to which we are committed in
The Chairman: May I point out, Senator Roche, that the minister has to
leave in five minutes, and we have Senator Graham and Senator Prud'homme on the
Mr. Manley: I will be late for my next meeting, which is not a vote.
I will confess, senator, I am not sure what the 13 points are. Of course, I
would want to answer your question better informed about it than I am, but I
will take your question under advisement and give it some consideration.
Senator Graham: I must say that I am very pleased that you are in the
position that you are at the present time. Lord knows, I know how tough you can
be. When you were Minister of Industry, I was doing other things as a regional
minister in Nova Scotia. I appreciate one time when you came to speak to the
Cape Breton Industrial Board of Trade.
The Chairman: Can we have the question, senator?
Senator Graham: After looking at Cape Breton you said, "Cape Breton,
two minutes to the beach, two seconds to Tokyo," which I thought was quite
imaginative and related in a sense to connectivity.
We have been dealing for the past several months with Russia. A lot of
departments are involved with Russia. To name but a few, there are NRC, DFAIT,
CIDA, EDC, DND, Solicitor General, and the list goes on. I feel at times that
they could be more coordinated. I am delighted to hear that you are having
weekly meetings with all those departments. To look at Russia can be very
frustrating, yet the most interesting witness we had was one of our colleagues,
Jim Tunney, a very successful dairy farmer from Ontario. He told us about going
to Russia once a year and bringing, with the approval of the authorities in both
countries, drugs that he needed to treat animals in that country. The best
example of what could be done for Russia was that a cow in Russia produces four,
five, six pounds of milk on average a day, while the cows on Jim Tunney's farm
produce an average of 75 to 80 pounds per day and more.
I suggest that perhaps the Department of Agriculture could be added to that long
list of departments dealing with Russia. Russia is very important to the world
and we should do whatever we possibly can to assist the people of that country.
It may be that you might want to consider the testimony of Senator Tunney and
look at the possibility of doing more in the field of agriculture, perhaps
through a demonstration farm or a series of demonstra tion farms. It may be in
that field that we would get the best bang for our buck in that part of world.
Mr. Manley: The suggestion is a valuable one. It rings familiar with the
experiences that your former colleague, Senator Whelan, had with Mr. Gorbachev
when he visited here. What provoked his interest was our ability to produce a
lot of inexpensive food. I will follow it up with my visit in a couple of weeks
with Mr. Vanclief.
Senator Prud'homme: Congratulations, Mr. Minister. As you know, I am in
agreement with you on most issues. I fully support your balanced policy approach
and your logical approach to human rights issues.
I realize that you face tremendous pressures from all sides in a multicultural
country like Canada. Indeed, Canada is becoming increasingly multicultural and
everyone is advocating a particular cause. It is not easy to maintain a balance.
You told us that you like to engage, in reply to Senator Di Nino. You know that
is what I have been trying for 38 years. I did it in regard to North Korea when
nobody else would. I did it in relation to the creation of the Canada-China
group 25 years ago. Senator Molgat was our first chairman. I regret that Senator
Austin left. I did it in regard to Russia as well. If you go to Russia, you will
see that we have well prepared the parliamentary level. Last week, the
Canada-Russia parliamentary group received great success. I hate the words
"Canada-Russia Friendship Group." Anything I have touched, it is not
friendship. It is Canada, whatever, parliamentary group. You will see that, and
that will be my comment.
Never hesitate, sir, to use parliamentarians. As a matter of fact, before you
leave I will give you a copy of the report we tabled today of our very
successful visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar chaired by Senator Molgat. I think we
could be very useful. You choose, as you have done with Senator Wilson. You
could do it with others who are independent of party, if you see fit.
I think that older parliamentarians could be useful - and we are at your
disposal - to keep what you have said, and please go on like this, to have
consistency in human rights. I deplore people who are champions. My father told
me that if one believes in human rights one believes in consistency; one does
not pick and choose. Sometimes it is difficult. We are there and we could be
useful to Canada. I am very happy that you are here.
The Chairman: Minister, on behalf of the committee, I want to thank you.
It has been a very useful meeting. We hope to continue the process. Thank you
very much for attending here.
The committee adjourned.