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Anti-American think tank pushing Canada back to prominence on world stage

by Judi McLeod

January 25, 2005

Anti-American think tank, The Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA), made news on the front page of the National Post today with results of a "major study" concluding that Canada has become an irrelevant force on the international stage. Canada Free Press rates CIIA as anti-American because it links to left.org on its website. After protesting the inauguration of President George W. Bush last week, left.org now plans on marking Not My President's Day on February 21.

For the major study, CIIA dispatched Robert Greenhill, the former President of Bombardier Inc. and author of Canada's role in the wold, on a six-month, fact-finding mission.

While the CIIA study concludes that Canada has lost status in the international arena over the past 15 years, Greenhill says his findings are "exciting". Exciting because given the big challenges facing the world today, Canada was seen among 40 global Pooh-Bahs as being almost "unique" in its ability to address some of those challenges.

On paper CIIA and its ongoing mission look pretty tame. A non-profit, non-government organization, "for 75 years the CIIA has been providing Canadians with a non-partisan, nationwide forum for the discussion, analysis and debate of international affairs".

The CIIA counts itself as "the only private voluntary organization in Canada concerned with the whole range of global issues and has established close relations with business, government, the media, universities, opinion leaders and like-minded institutions throughout the world."

The CIIA includes on its board of directors, former Liberal cabinet minister, the Honourable Roy MacLaren as its chairman and Senior Parliament Editor of CBC/TV NewsWorld, Dan Newman.

"We will offer left-leaning audiences our services as a way of broadening the audience of subscribers to left.org and helping us earn a living," the CIIA states on its website.

"If you can help us find groups that need speakers we can come up with the Left to Us video, including the opening welcome message from Not the President of the U.S."

According to the CIIA website, it has been "generously sponsored" by Bombardier, SNC-Lavalin and curiously enough, the National Post.

The CIIA 2004 lecture series included the topic, A Troubled World, With One Superpower and on Sept. 14, 2004 Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist spoke about The World After Iraq: How Will We Fail Next?

The CIIA Greenhill study is being touted as "one of the most high-level surveys of foreign figures ever conducted on Canada's role in the world".

Viewed as something of a "bit player" in international affairs, Greenhill says consensus proves that the international community does not want Canada to stay that way.

"Everybody from the Africans, to the Americans to the Europeans said Canada having an autonomous mobile brigade that could actually get into tough regions quickly and be there for a couple of months at a time would make a huge difference," Greenhill said.

"First, is that few people can do it today. Secondly, those who can, like the Americans and British, are often seen as compromised politically. Whereas Canada coming in with the Maple Leaf, with civility, is seen as very useful."

Meanwhile, compromised politically only seems to apply to terrorist-fighting countries like the U.S. and Britain, while Canada's allegiance to the United Nations falls outside of politically compromised status.


Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: judi@canadafreepress.com


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