MacLean, George A.
September 2010
Canadian Foreign Policy (CFP);2010, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p99
Academic Journal
In recent years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has re-engaged with the Americas. Long-time observers of Canada's hemispheric policy may have a sense of déjà vu, as Ottawa has on numerous occasions declared its interest in the region, or marginally increased its presence. Ultimately, however, the result has been of little substance. Historically, Canada's role in the hemisphere has been marked by its close alliance with the United States, offset by its desire to have an independent voice in the region. International regimes give Canada a venue to register a relatively independent viewpoint, and the Organization of American States (OAS) presents a way to define its hemispheric policy outside of its bilateral relations with the United States. Canada's membership in the OAS continues to be a product of its functional-and primarily economic-interests in the region. A more expansive role in the hemisphere, then, is not simply a counterweight to the Canada-United States relationship, but rather a logical offshoot of it: as the United States intensifies its position in the Americas, Canada must do so as well. To do otherwise would be to lose influence in the region, and also (perhaps more importantly) with the United States. This article argues that Canada's relationship with the OAS largely reflects its self-interest in multilateral memberships, and trade and commercial concerns: multilateralism when necessary, and protection of its markets, particularly in the United States. There are, of course, a variety of secondary issues that Canada seeks through the OAS, such as security, democratization, and incidental trade links, but aside from some intermittent overtures, Canada's real level of engagement in the hemisphere remains minimal, vague and uncertain. Taking into account Canada's multilateral tradition and interests, and assessing its current approach, the article concludes that Canada's role in the OAS has been either absent (the "empty chair") or only partially fulfilled.


Related Articles

  • Canadian Artists Look for Answers.  // International Musician;May2006, Vol. 104 Issue 5, p3 

    Reports on the disappointment expressed by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists over the lack of attention being given by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the country's cultural industries. Threat facing Canada's cultural sovereignty, according to Stephen...

  • Advancing the Canada-US Alliance: The Use of History in Decision-Support. Gladman, Brad W.; Archambault, Peter M. // Journal of Military & Strategic Studies;2012, Vol. 14 Issue 3/4, p1 

    The article focuses on the strategic defense relationship between U.S. and Canada, along with the use of history to understand the complexities of their alliance during the events of terrorism on September 11, 2001. It highlights the changes of the form and the structure of security and defense...

  • Canada's Anti-War Movement: Next steps. O'KEEFE, DERRICK // Our Schools / Our Selves;Spring2012, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p127 

    The article presents the author's insights on how the anti-war movement in Canada can be revitalized and reconstructed. The author says that the construction of alliances across the full spectrum of those resisting the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the corporate agenda is the...

  • Reflecting on an Alliance. Mesmer, Theodore; Baskind, Irwin // Americas;Sep/Oct98, Vol. 50 Issue 5, p52 

    Presents information on the Alliance for Progress organization. Objective of the alliance; Role of the Organization of American States in the Alliance for Progress; Information on programs under the Alliance.

  • An Either-Or Affair.  // Bar-Code Border;7/5/2011, Vol. 10 Issue 212, p1 

    The article focuses on the aspect of the situation of the Canada-U.S. transportation trade. It entails the issue on the ceaseless bridge saga on the crossings for the trade at Windsor-Detroit which is being held back. The two countries are working together under the direction of U.S. President...

  • EDITOR'S NOTE. Macfarlane, John // Walrus;Jan/Feb2014, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p17 

    The author discusses the free trade relationship of Canada with the U.S. which he believed has not contributed to the transformation of the former's economy. He mentions the treaty announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the European Union after years of intense bargaining with other...

  • THE AGE OF OBAMA: Canada and the U.S.  // American Diplomacy;5/12/2009, p1 

    The article focuses on the relationship between Canada and the U.S., and presents an assessment of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Canada by David T. Jones, former minister-counselor of the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, Ontario. It states that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the...

  • STRENGTHENING STRONG TIES.  // City & State;10/13/2014, p66 

    No abstract available.

  • Obama in Canada. Fenton, Anthony // Foreign Policy in Focus;2/24/2009, p2 

    The author comments on key foreign policy issues discussed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during their post-meeting press conference in February 2009. He notes that both leaders have an interest in distancing themselves from the legacy of the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics