When Stephen Harper first came to power in 2006, he immediately set the tone for his government’s international policies. The man whose primary focus was the economy stood in front of the United Nations and delivered a combative speech, in stark contrast with the peacemaking role that had long been associated with Canada… Some eight years later, little remains of the country that Pearson, Diefenbaker and Mulroney had once dreamed of. From the unyielding support of Israel’s policies to the withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol, the Harper government has changed our image on the international scene forever – leading, in 2010, to Canada’s inability to obtain a seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Le pays qui dit NON seeks to re-examine these failures through the eyes of Hélène Pichette, a veteran journalist and director whose forty years in the heart of Radio-Canada and TVA’s newsrooms have given a unique perspective. Hélène Pichette looks back on her own memories and meets with an impressive array of politicians, diplomats and journalists in order to understand the events that led us to this juncture. How have Harper’s politics been perceived overseas? What were the backroom dealings that led to the 2010 vote? And in the wake of this fiasco, how are we now seen on the international stage?
As much an assessment of our failings as a search for solutions, Le pays qui dit NON draws a striking portrait of Canadian diplomacy under the Harper government in an effort to find which measures could, one day, allow Canada to regain the once coveted role it held on the international stage.