Shauna Sylvester, founding director of Canada’s World
Shauna Sylvester, founding director of Canada’s World and a fellow at SFU’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue, says many Canadians share the outdated notion that Canada is a global peacekeeper and influential middle power.

Citizens’ group maps new global vision for Canada

March 19, 2009

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A new report by the SFU-based Canada’s World project sets out a bold global vision for Canada, based on the most comprehensive citizen consultation on foreign policy in the country’s history.

“For years, Canadian governments have neglected our foreign policy and focused energies and attention on domestic issues,” says Shauna Sylvester, founding director of Canada’s World and a fellow at SFU’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue. As a result, she says, “Canada’s reputation has withered to the point where it is barely visible on the global stage.”

Canada’s World is a collaboration of dozens of universities, foundations, and private and non-profit organizations. It uses dialogue, “open source” and Web 2.0 tools such as forums, blogs and social media to broaden the discussion of Canadian foreign policy.

The group’s report was compiled after a year-long dialogue involving opinion research, deliberative dialogues and social media tools to reach 4,000 Canadians in person and more than 100,000 individuals online.

The report proposes a new international vision for the country, laying out a blueprint for how Canada can serve as a role model in the world. “Canadians want their government to play a global leadership role,” says Sylvester.

“They tell us they want Canada’s international aspirations to match its actions at home. They believe that in order to regain a foothold in the world, Canada must rebuild its credibility by focusing on those areas where it can be an international role model.”

View the report:


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