The McLeod Group is part of a new voice for a rejuvenated Canadian role in the world. Where Canada once led, today we follow. We are timid where daring and courage once prevailed; calculating where generosity was once our watchword. These are not recent problems, and they are not irreversible.
The McLeod Group is made up of professionals with many years of experience in government, civil society and academia, working across the fields of international development, diplomacy and foreign policy. We meet on a regular basis to formulate positions on some of the most pressing challenges facing this generation of Canadians and those to come – urgent challenges that are global in nature.
Many people have asked us why we are called “The McLeod Group.” We are working up some notes on the historical tenacity and endurance of Clan McLeod, but for now the explanation is that our first meeting was held at a house on McLeod Street in Ottawa.
Canadians expect their government to do the right thing, and to do things right when it comes to international affairs. After all, we occupy a very large portion of the world’s land mass and claim jurisdiction over a vast expanse of ocean and seabed. We invented peacekeeping, wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and we are one of the most trade-dependent countries in the G8. Canadians are entitled to feel that their leaders are serving them well internationally and preserving the respect for our country that was once a given.
It was a ‘given’ because Canada earned its place in the world, adding real value at the United Nations, promoting human rights and peacekeeping, fighting against apartheid and landmines, taking a principled stand on international issues, and by championing gender equality and the plight of Africa in our development assistance programs.
That has changed dramatically. A partisan domestic agenda is now implemented internationally. It includes suppression of discussion about human rights, an opportunistic Middle East policy, turning our backs on much of Africa, cutting our aid budget, backsliding on gender equality, and becoming an embarrassment on environmental issues.
- CIDA Swallowed by Foreign Affairs: At Least Now you will See the Puppeteers
- LGBT Rights: A Call for Canadian Leadership
- Submission to the Department of Finance 2012
- Exporting Democracy: Is it a Good Idea?
- High Anxiety: What Future for Canadian Volunteer-Sending Agencies?
- Of Mines and Minefields: Canada, the Extractive Sector and Development