As some of you know, in June, Canada was denied a temporary seat on the United Nations security council. A temporary position would have had Canada for two years seated beside the permanent members, consisting of the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France. It’s a highly sought-after position, especially by the Canadian government. Since the formation of the United Nations at the end of the Second World War Canada has held a seat on the security council six times (1948-49, 1958-59, 1967-68, 1977-78, 1989-90, and 1999-2000).
Think about that, every decade since the forties, Canada held a seat at least once. However, since 2000 or the last two decades, Canada has failed time and time again to get that seat, which, as stated, is highly sought after by our government. Prime Minister Harper tried and failed, and now Trudeau has been unable to follow in his father’s footsteps. So, what has Canada done or not done in the last twenty years to not get that prized seat at the table?
In 2002, Canada joined a coalition of mostly imperialistic nations in attacking Afghanistan. It doesn’t matter what your view is on September 11th, 2001, that event, as unfortunate as it was, didn’t require Canada’s attention from a military perspective. By joining this borderline illegal conflict, which eventually spread to Iraq, Canada began a process of becoming combatants instead of peacekeepers. This conflict, as many have learned since, wasn’t about freedom, liberty, or the security of democracy. It was about spreading imperialism and opening up countries whose markets and resources were off-limits to the west.
Canadian soldiers, no longer peacekeepers, were accused of torture by detainees in Afghanistan. Since it’s been long-established, this was a war for resources and not liberty; even though the world was powerless to stop it, it took note. A major strike against Canada and its foreign policy. Fast forward to 2009, Canada, always playing second to its big brother to the south, decided to get its hands dirty on their own. Canada took part behind closed doors in a coup d’etat of the democratically elected Honduras government.
Canada helped overthrow a government that was transitioning to becoming more socialist than capitalist. The reason why: money. Canadian elites and transnational companies had invested a considerable amount of capital in Honduras, for nothing more than pure profit. Once those profits became threatened, the action was taken by the Canadian government to make changes.
In the process of all of this, democracy was undermined; human rights and environmental violations occurred and most likely continue to happen today. Justin Trudeau also ran for office on an agenda of helping Canada’s Indigenous population, which has been overlooked for so long by so many past governments.
Pipelines are built through their land without their permission; mining occurs on their lands without their consent and it also destroys the environment. Many live-in poverty: some areas have little access to education or clean drinking water and food. Trudeau promised change. I’m not sure whether he simply lied or can’t make good on his promises, but the point is he has failed them. Is he that ignorant to believe the world can’t see what’s happening within our borders?
Trudeau and his government spent millions trying to obtain the council seat. The problem for Trudeau is that the world has become a much smaller place, and it doesn’t forget. It is no coincidence that Canada has been unable to get a seat in the last 20 years, the time when Canada became imperialistic. Large portions of the world need a voice; it requires actual peacekeepers, not governments who overthrow democracies or torture people for profits.
Canada’s peacekeeping commitment to the world is at a 60-year low. Still, it deploys troops to nations it has vital investments in, to help train the police and soldiers in these other countries, so that they can protect critical assets needed for the capitalistic machine to churn. Justin just learned you couldn’t just throw money at a problem or a goal and expect results. This country, before it becomes a nation full of hypocrites, needs to look in the mirror and decide what the reasonable Canadian values moving forward are. If it’s goodwill, then it’s goodwill. If it is profiteering, so be it, but don’t try to fool the world anymore. These nations are clearly on to us. 192 countries vote for the temporary member seat on the council. 128 votes are needed, Canada in a stunning defeat only received 108. It is quite evident as to why. Mass movements have begun to take center stage, but our population seems to only care about the people here, not the millions who sovereignty Canada has overrun, so they can keep having everything for as cheap as possible. It is time to wake up Canada.