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Why Canada Doesn’t Deserve a UN Security Council Seat

Posted by Rose Black on

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Although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presents himself as progressive, the Canadian government continues to act as a force of militarism and economic exploitation on the international stage. In this talk, Yves Engler (activist and author of 12 books including House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau's Foreign Policy) discusses with Tamara Lorincz (academic and peace activist), moderated by Andrea Levy (Black Rose Books and Canadian Dimension). This talk occurs in the wake of a major open letter in the Toronto Star and a video by Roger Waters (from Pink Floyd), both opposing Canada’s bid for a UNSC seat, merely a few weeks before the vote.

In this talk, we discuss why the international community should not reward bad behaviour, and should oppose Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. Canada is one of the world’s twelve largest arms exporters, and continues to back the nuclear-armed NATO alliance, reactionary forces across the Americas, and Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights. Already among the world’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emitters, Canada continues to expand the tar sands, often in violation of indigenous rights. Meanwhile, its mining companies are responsible for countless ecological and human rights abuses around the globe. Ottawa has even sabotaged or opposed UN initiatives on nuclear weapons, torture, glorification of Nazism, and the export of waste from rich to poor countries, while failing to ratify 50 International Labor Organization conventions.

YVES ENGLER is a Montréal-based political activist and author. He has written twelve books, including House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau's Foreign Policy, Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada, and the forthcoming Stand on Guard for Whom? A People’s History of the Canadian Military (the three of which are published by Black Rose Books). In addition, Engler's writings have appeared in the alternative press and in mainstream publications such as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, and Ecologist, and he is a regular contributor to Canadian Dimension. https://yvesengler.com/

TAMARA LORINCZ is a PhD candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School for International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has a Masters in International Politics & Security Studies from the University of Bradford and a Law degree and MBA specializing in environmental law and management from Dalhousie University. Her research is on the climate and environmental impacts of the military. She’s a member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Tamara is also on the advisory committee of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and the No to NATO Network. https://www.balsillieschool.ca/tamara-lorincz/

ANDREA LEVY is a Montreal-based historian, translator, journalist, and activist. She is on the editorial board of Black Rose Books and is a coordinating editor of Canadian Dimension.