Virtual Panel Discussion: A Multi-Partisan Consensus on Canada’s National Interests?

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

OTTAWA, April 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  The Institute for Peace and Diplomacy will host an expert roundtable on April 12 (4:00-5:00 PM ET) to discuss the state of play in Canada’s partisan foreign policy discourse, elaborate upon the necessity for Canada’s political parties to forge a consensus understanding of the national interest, and explore what some of the contours of such a national consensus might look like. This event will be conducted primarily in English but will feature some commentary in French. Registration is free and open to the public.

There is no objective consensus in Ottawa on what Canada’s national interests actually are. At least since the premiership of Stephen Harper, foreign policy debates between Canada’s political parties have centred on rival visions of the country’s national identity. In other words, the Liberal and Conservative parties have not only advocated for different policies, but have also advanced clashing interpretations of Canada’s role in the world. The failure of Canada’s political class to develop a consensus vision of the national interest comes with several risks, particularly at a time when the international order is shifting. The absence of a substantive, consistent and multi-partisan foreign policy has already begun to damage Canada’s influence in global affairs, having lost two consecutive bids for a UN Security Council seat under governments of differing stripes.

There is clearly a need for continuous and constructive analysis, debate and dialogue on the nature of Canada’s long-term national interests and values. In hosting this panel discussion, the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy hopes to identify Canadian foreign policy priorities in an increasingly uncertain world.


Dr. Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Political Science Department

Dr. Chris Kilford, Director of the Canadian International Council

Dr. Jean-Christophe Boucher, Assistant Professor at University of Calgary

Jocelyn Coulon, Advisor at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy and Research Fellow at the Montreal Centre for International Studies (CERIUM)

Moderator: Dr. Zachary Paikin, Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy

The Institute for Peace & Diplomacy (IPD) is a Canadian non-profit and non-partisan foreign policy think tank dedicated to promoting sustainable peace through diplomacy, dialogue, and constructive engagement. Visit our website to learn more (


Bailey Cordrey