Canada on the World Stage: Past & Present

IMG_1363In Canada and the Contemporary World, we have been discussing at great length Canada’s economic system and the concept of sustainable development. We have looked at the circular flow model, the materials economy via the Story of Stuff, and we looked at the Bruntland Report to begin thinking about the term sustainable development.

Today, Mr. Kope came to our class and led us through the Global Trade Game (Thanks, Mr. Kope!). I was blown away by how you guys were so captivated by the experience and how you immediately started to figure out how the global economy doesn’t necessarily create an even playing field. Many of you realized quickly that the World Bank (Mr. Kope) would make deals ith developing countries that seemed really unethical. Many of you realized that Canada was in a really great spot to not only profit from its own resources, but also from the resources of other countries.

Here are a couple of resources looking at Canada’s role in the world historically:

The Shaping of Canada’s Foreign Policy

Time Line

Here are a couple of articles discussing Canada’s current role in the world:

Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail

The National

Given our discussions on economics, on globalization (the Global Trade Game), on sustainable development, and on current hot spots around the world, what do you think Canada’s role should be? Has it changed based on the articles you have read? Why is this? What is your vision for Canada in the 21st century?

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12 thoughts on “Canada on the World Stage: Past & Present

  1. We’ve learned that Canada is a really prosperous and well-off country. Being born in Canada is like “winning the lottery” because we are much richer than the majority of other countries on Earth. Given this fact, Canadians also use and waste much more resources than other countries. The way Canada is going about using resources is definitely not contributing to sustainable development at all. We are releasing toxins into the air, burning a lot of fossil fuels and wasting a lot of energy due to increasing demands. I think that Canada’s role should not only be to cut down on domestic energy consumption (by introducing a carbon tax, etc.) and protect the environment, but also to help other countries in need of help. We have an abundance of resources, and we should use this to help other countries in need. This would be a good first step, as it would show that Canada takes a firm stance against climate change and thinks that sustainable development is an ideal to strive for (even if at the end of the day it really is impossible). My opinion has definitely changed after reading articles. I thought the article we read about climate change in class was a great article and showed the humongous impact that climate change has and will continue to have on planet Earth. The article helped me realize that Canada has been doing very little to try and combat the issue of climate change. My vision for Canada in the 21st century is to concede that climate change is a big issue, and to take action to try and reduce the effects of it.

  2. After participating in the Canada on the World Stage activity and being apart of a country with very little resources, it almost puts you in the shoes of countries that are less fortunate and causes you to think outside of the box and use the small amount of resources you do have to expand and grow. It also shows you how much other countries consume. For example, Russia was going through paper very quickly and needed more within minutes of starting. However, our country hadn’t gone through a single sheet because we didn’t have any scissors to cut with. Despite this, it became evident Russia didn’t have any paper left, so we were able to sell a bunch to them and make some money, which we used to buy scissors. This shows that countries can help each other by trading resources, which also happens in real life. All in all I think the activity was a great simplified version of how countries interact in real life.

  3. It seems to me that Canada is a large country physical and a small country economically. We need to be cautious of alicating resourses outside are country. When there is so many problems inside our country with poverty and homelessness. I think Canada’s role should stay the same with helping peacekeeping and the global trade game, Canada is being a very active country and is helping other countries promote peace and democracy witch is a good thing.

  4. The role of Canada should be to learn how to create better citizens for future generations. What I mean by creating better citizens is by changing Canada for the better by helping out other countries in the world in need (Eg: Kenya) so by doing this, not only does this make Canada a more empathetic and giving place but also helps benefit the rest of the world. I would also like to see Canada’s role as trying to help stabilize the social economic statuses of citizens. Even though Canada is already one of the leading wealthiest and prosperous countries, there will still be individuals with lower incomes. By changing and tweaking parts of the economy system, this might change lives of individuals, especially for people with lower incomes as this could lessen the gap/difference between the wealthy and poor. As I looked into the articles, it talked about peacekeeping and how Canada should keep the peace. This hasn’t changed my view on Canada because Canada is already one of the most stable places on Earth, although Canada can help bring and maintain peace in other countries such as Nigeria or Syria, which is another way how citizens in Canada can be viewed as role models for future generations. My hope for today’s world is that Canada should take on the challenge of not just helping other countries but to help their own citizens too which could benefit the world greatly.

  5. After participating in the Global Trade Game, I learned that Canada is a very “lucky” country. By this I mean, if you are a Canadian, you have been very lucky because Canada is much wealthier than the majority of the world. But as citizens we do pay a price. Our consumption and waste rate is ridiculous. It’s like many citizens think that the waste just disappears, that would be good but it ends up in the ocean, dump etc. and this is not only hurting us, but hurting other countries. All the toxins and pollution we are creating is affecting other countries. I hope in the future that Canada will learn to become a not so “selfish” country and do what’s best not only for them, but for the Earth and other countries. Also to help countries that are in aid, and not just think about ourselves. If Canada can become more helpful and do what’s best for others and do what’s best for us, I think that other countries could follow along and with this change the way we live and help us have a much brighter future.

  6. After the game we played with Mr. Kope, I learned how fortunate we are to live in Canada, as this was shown in the game. There were way more resources in Canada than many less developed countries such as mine, Ghana. They started out with scissors, and more paper than us. This led them to have a great advantage to the game and would lead them to be successful. Canada is a country with a great amount of resources, and we need to be aware of how we are effecting the environment. In Canada, we have lots of wildlife, and ecosystems that can be effected by global climate change. I think that the government must be more aware of this, and this should be a top priority. I think that Canada’s vision for the 21st century should be to be aware of the pollution and environmental impacts we are having on our climate, and to make an effort to stop/get rid of this climate change not only in our country, but others as well.

  7. Canada’s key role in the world should be peacekeeping. This is important because we are a very wealthy country and we have the ability to help, so we have the moral obligation to do so. We used to be leaders in peacekeeping in the early 1900’s, so that proves we are able to do that. Canada focuses a lot on multiculturalism, so it makes sense that we would want to help other countries. We are not exclusive, so it makes sense that we should help other. We are already letting people move here to provide them with a better life, so we should also give people an opportunity to stay where they are and have a safe life there as well.

  8. This game showed me that money and resources is what drove countries (and my team). The competitiveness of the countries creates a hostile environment. All the countries were struggling for resources (some more than others) making it easy for developed countries like Russia and Canada to take advantage of the poorer countries such as India. This competitiveness, the hostile environment, as well as the human desire to continuously consume and develop creates several conflicts. Understanding this, it is difficult to demand that Canada be a peacekeeping, or an environmentally conscious country because Canada needs to continue to develop along with other developed countries in order to have power to change or influence other important issues. It would be great if Canada were to drop out of the race without any casualties, but the truth is everyone in Canada will be affect that. Everyone is affected by Canada deciding to help other countries or stop mining the oil sands because it takes away job opportunities, increases taxes…etc. Therefore Canada’s role be to must to take the first step to globalizing the most developed countries and to convince other countries to change their priorities from developing to sustainability, peacekeeping and making other people happy. Only by globalization will Canada and the other countries be able to keep the peace or focus on environment because it reduce the need to develop, which would create a more connected atmosphere.

  9. The Global trade game made me realize that as Canadians, we are extremely fortunate to have an abundance of resources, unlike some other countries. We may have a lot of resources, but it is not an infinite amount of resources, its finite. I believe Canada’s roll in the world should be to get off the top 10 list of the top polluting countries. The articles posed on Edmond and this blog, helped shape my opinion on what Canada’s role in the world should be. The video we watched in class about the circular flow model, made me realize that we cannot keep on the same path because the circular flow model suggests that there is an infinite amount of resources, when obviously there is not. We will eventually have to change sometime, its just a matter of time.

  10. I think Canada needs to take part and have a role in sustainable development because we really need to focus on our future and our future generations. If we want our future generations to have a good quality of life we must limit how we consume. However with the way we are consuming we are going run out in the next period of time. We must protect our environment and instead of exploiting resources from developing countries and then dumping the waste back we need to decrease the gap between the wealth and the poor.

  11. Canada used to be one of the leading international peacemakers of this world due to its loyal status. Now, Canada has dangerously strayed far from its original peacekeeping roots. Through this game, I was able to see how it has evolved into a “3-D” model. The D’s are diplomacy, development and defense (as seen through my own team, Canada and edmodo articles). Sadly, this country has become more focused in its own power and development usage rather than advocating to help other developing countries. As a country heavily dependent on trade, it must be a leader in the promotion of trade and investment liberalization. In addition to providing relief from human misery, Canada’s international development policy should focus on strengthening the skills, and abilities of people/communities in developing societies. We as citizens, need to advocate that the Government of Canada encourage all levels of government in Canada to take effective action to protect, and enhance wild nature and the community of life. Also, support is needed for the transition from a Department of Defense into a Department of Peace and Security.

  12. Canada’s role in the world should be being a global leader on environmental issues. Articles vary on what Canada’s role should be simply because there is so many things Canada is doing wrong. Some articles may argue that Canada needs to step up its peacekeeping, some may say Canada needs fight for human rights more, and others say that Canada needs to improve its environmental policies. Fact is, is that these are all things that Canada should be improving on but Canadian government, in my opinion, is not capable of being the miracle country to solve all these issues for one simple reason, that Canada is only a middle power.

    I feel that with the handicap of being a middle power, Canada doesn’t have enough power on its own to sway the minds of other countries. But of course, Canada should still help in convincing other countries on changing their minds if they are doing something wrong. But with this in mind, I believe that Canada should not have its main role being a big political player on democracy, peace keeping, and human rights. Of course Canada should help with all of that, but it shouldn’t be Canada’s main role in the world because Canada simply doesn’t have enough power. However, Canada has a bountiful amount of resources and a beautiful environment. I believe that Canada should protect these privileges. By protecting these privileges, Canada can still have a huge impact on the world by becoming a global leader on environmental issues despite being a middle power.

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