Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Government House Leader John Baird speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Oct. 18, 2010.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Canada's inability to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council represents a "major diplomatic failure" on the part of the Conservative government, the Official Opposition charged Monday.

Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae levelled the accusation during the first Question Period since Canada abandoned its UN bid last week.

Government House Leader John Baird shot back, saying the Conservatives have nothing to apologize for. Mr. Baird said Canada's foreign policy is based on principles that will not be compromised.

Story continues below advertisement

The bitter exchanges flew across the floor of the House of Commons as MPs returned after a one-week break. Portugal beat Canada last week for the second of two available seats on the powerful UN body.

It was the first time Canada lost a bid for a temporary, two-year term on the Security Council since the UN was created after the Second World War.

Mr. Rae asked: "When will the government take responsibility for a major diplomatic failure?"

Mr. Baird repeated what has essentially become mantra for the Conservatives since the defeat: "Our government is very, very proud of the principled foreign policy positions that we've taken over the past five years. Our government makes foreign policy decisions based on what's right and not what's popular, and we have nothing to be apologetic about."

But Mr. Rae cited what he said were series of failures by the Harper government on the world stage. The Liberal MP said Canada lost because it snubbed China, cut aid to some African countries, froze its entire aid budget for years to come and has shown "a complete abnegation" on climate-change policy.

Mr. Baird said Canadians should be proud of the "great leadership" that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has exhibited this past year, which included hosting the G8 and G20 summits.

"Since when was incompetence a matter of principle?" Rae retorted. "We're faced with sheer incompetence."

Story continues below advertisement

The Liberals and NDP also raised Canada's dispute with the United Arab Emirates over the use of a military base in the Persian Gulf state as another example of how the government has hurt Canada's foreign interests.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said Canada has "squandered" its relationship with a key Middle East ally.

Peter Kent, the junior foreign affairs minister, said the UAE deal was "not in the best interest in Canada."

The UAE wanted landing rights for its commercial airlines in Canada in exchange for Canada's continued use of the base, which has been the key staging ground for Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.

The UAE dispute has complicated the Canadian Forces' planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, which begins next year.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies