In contrast to former prime minister Stephen Harper’s very independent stance, the Liberal “old guard” clings to an intense faith in discredited international institutions such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. This is also the legacy of former Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson and the model (or myth, according to critics) of Canada as a “third power” and “honest broker” on issues of war and peace. Such misplaced faith is reinforced by European policies, although their initiatives, particularly regarding Israel, have never proven wise or successful.
The disastrous 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, remains a case in point. The Liberal government at the time was a major sponsor of this ostensibly moral initiative, but the reality was an anti-Israel hate-fest that led the United States and Israeli diplomatic delegations to walk out in protest…
And under the Liberals of the 1990s, millions of dollars in Canadian aid funds were given to radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promoted the Durban warfare strategy without due diligence or adult supervision. Harper put an immediate end to this.
A significant portion of the misspent money was channelled through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which then funded NGOs, with little or no supervision…Recipients included Montreal-based Alternatives, BADIL (which exploits the refugee issue for political warfare), Kairos, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Médecins du Monde, the Mennonite Central Committee, and World Vision. The activities of these groups fuelled the conflict, and in 2006, CIDA’s budget and activities came under closer supervision, with changes in leadership and funding. (In 2013, CIDA became part of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.)
Officials who ran these anti-democratic organizations and benefited from the government’s generosity have waited for 10 years to regain the money and influence they had under the previous Liberal government. The question is whether the lessons have been learned, or whether these mistakes and the resulting damage will be repeated.