Stéphane Dion’s “responsible conviction” sloganeering can’t disguise the cold realpolitik behind this sale. As Michael Petrou writes, there are practical, and not ethical, reasons Canada aligns itself with Saudi Arabia instead of Iran. 
OpenCanada

WEEKLY DISPATCH

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Principles have nothing to do with the Saudi arms deal. Canada is choosing one dictatorship over another

Dion in Ottawa
Stéphane Dion’s “responsible conviction” sloganeering can’t disguise the cold realpolitik behind this sale. As Michael Petrou writes in his first foreign policy column for OpenCanada, there are practical, and not ethical, reasons Canada aligns itself with Saudi Arabia instead of Iran. 
yazidis

Canada’s war on ISIS: Why declaring genocide without ramifications is dangerous

The U.S. has declared ISIS’ actions to be genocide but, as history has shown, using the term without action only weakens its legal effectiveness, argue Robert Murray and Aidan Hehir.
2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing: Highlights from this year's finalists

In advance of next week's event, we are running excerpts from all five finalists: John IbbitsonAndrew Nikiforuk; Greg Donaghy; Sheila Watt-Cloutier; and Norman Hillmer. Read them all here.
lebanon refugees

Camp or no camp, here’s why Syrians coming to Canada are indeed refugees

To help dispel the belief that Syrians waiting in camps are the only ones in need of resettlement, Rouba Al-Fattal shares the stories of two families now in Canada.
Trump

Trump, Ahmadinejad and the danger of phony public figures

Both are populists, outrageous, and worse — ignorant of governance and of foreign policy issues. But the popularity of Donald Trump and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the clearest and most worrying sign of social degradation at a global level, argues Saeed Rahnema.
canadaisrael

The Canadian government’s double take on Israel

While Trudeau distinguishes his approach from that of his predecessor — once a close ally to Netanyahu — his government’s stance on Israel is still unclear. By Krista Hessey
canembassymoscow

Planning next steps for Canada-Russia relations

In this extract from his recent policy paper, former ambassador Christopher Westdal says it may be premature to imagine Stéphane Dion visiting Moscow but Canada’s re-engagement with Russia can readily begin.

BEST OF THE WEB

The New Yorker

The Assad brief

For The New Yorker, Ben Taub reports on the effort, led by Canadian war-crimes investigator Bill Wiley, to document the atrocities of Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government, recently culminating in “a record of state-sponsored torture that is almost unimaginable in its scope and its cruelty.” Despite the war, Wiley is confident that his commission’s work “will see the light of day, in court, in relatively short order.”

The devil you don’t know

“When you think of the worst abuses in poor countries,” writes Michael Hobbes in Foreign Policy, “you probably think they’re committed by companies based in rich ones: Nike in Indonesia, Shell in Nigeria, Dow in Bhopal, India.” But, as Hobbes reports – using Zimbabwe as a disheartening case study – it’s the companies we’ve never heard of, accountable to no one, that we should worry about.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Earth Week 2016: Climate, Energy and Ecology in Waterloo Region’s Front Yard

April 21, 2016, Waterloo
Dr. Stephanie Sobek-Swant will give a special Earth Week lecture.
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The Middle East Today: Myths and Realities

April 26, 2016, Montreal
An intimate evening with one of the world's foremost experts on the Middle East, Nadim Shehadi.
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CIGI Cinema Series: "Watchers of the Sky"

April 25, 2016, Waterloo
Screening of Watchers of the Sky, a film about the life of the man who created the word "genocide."

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OpenCanada.org is a publication of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.