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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird leaves a news conference in Ottawa on May 28.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird leaves a news conference in Ottawa on May 28.
(FRED CHARTRAND/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Colin Robertson

John Baird’s ‘dignity agenda’ – an idealistic notion that just might work

Despite other Ottawa distractions, Foreign Minister John Baird’s ‘dignity agenda’ is slowly taking shape. It might just become one of the Harper government’s lasting contributions to Canadian foreign policy.

Framed last fall in speeches delivered in Montreal, in the United Nations General Assembly in New York and in Quebec City, the message is clear and tweetable: people deserve the “dignity to live in freedom, in peace and to provide for one’s family.” It specifically defends women, children and gay people. Its simplicity recalls, not without coincidence, Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.