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November 14, 2019

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With four years of experience under their belts – some of it bitter – the Liberals confront a world more hostile to Canadian interests than at any time since most people were born

“We are living through a period of historic transformation in international affairs," said Roland Paris, who teaches international relations at the University of Ottawa and served as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first foreign policy adviser.

“Canada’s interests are exposed to actual and potential harm probably more than at any time since the Second World War," he said.

Foreign policy in the immediate future must focus primarily on containing threats from friends, as well as foes.

First and foremost, that means surviving Donald Trump’s disruptive presidency, which has undermined the foundations of the postwar world order. With the Republican Party now at least as protectionis...

November 9, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that NATO faces “brain death” because the United States can no longer be counted on to co-operate with the other members of the military and political alliance....

Roland Paris, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and former foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trudeau, said Mr. Macron is right about the need for Europeans to work together more effectively, but said calling NATO’s Article Five into question is a “dangerous and irresponsible way to do so.”

October 4, 2018

Excerpt from

...University of Ottawa international affairs professor Roland Paris, who served briefly as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign-policy adviser, expressed astonishment Canada would give the United States the ability to vet a bilateral free-trade deal with China.

“It is unusual to give another country a formal role in vetting a trade negotiation that they are not directly involved in,” he said in an interview. “There may be good reasons for us not to want to pursue a free-trade agreement with China, but that should be our decision entirely. It shouldn’t be based on a formal vetting of trade negotiations by a third country.”

However, Mr. Paris said in practice he would expect any Canadian government to be consulting with Washington on the outlines of a trade agreement that could affect U.S. interests, but it is the “formalization of the role that I find u...

September 24, 2018

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...Roland Paris, Mr. Trudeau’s former foreign-policy adviser, said Canada’s priorities will appeal to two pools of UN member states that make up a large number of votes for the Security Council seat: small-island states threatened by climate change and African countries.

“The initiative on girls’ education in conflict-affected areas would be a disproportionately African-focused initiative and I think if you’re going to be talking about ways to mobilize private sources of development money, then clearly Africa is the continent that is the principle destination for development funds,” said Mr. Paris, now a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa.

“I would assume that these meetings will permit him to make Canada’s case for a Security Council seat.”

March 2, 2018

Allies left furious by mixed messages and a missed meeting in Vietnam. A trip to China that accomplished nothing. And the debacle of the visit to India. Even Roland Paris is growing frustrated.

The Ottawa academic who served as Justin Trudeau's first foreign policy adviser is sounding a warning: This government must stop dropping the ball in Asia and the Pacific.

"I hope that these experiences serve as a wake-up call," he said Thursday in an interview. "We can't afford to continue these unforced errors, because there are real costs to relationships and to Canada's credibility."

The stakes are too high for this country's geopolitical and economic future to be messing up as badly as this government has messed up. Mr. Trudeau and the people surrounding him need to take "a serious, hard, honest look at what happened in the past few weeks in order to understand...

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

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