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International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Prime Minister Stephen Harper leave Ottawa for Europe on Oct. 17, 2013.
International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Prime Minister Stephen Harper leave Ottawa for Europe on Oct. 17, 2013.
(ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Why the Conservative approach to diplomacy misses the target

Don’t pack away those tweed jackets just yet, John Baird.

The Conservative government has decided to make economic diplomacy its chief mission in international relations, issuing a Global Markets Action Plan last November that made trade Job One. One official told The Globe and Mail at the time that the message to diplomats was this: “Take off your tweed jacket, buy a business suit and land us a deal.”