Volume 93, Issue 46

November 19, 1999


Admin may face review

Government announces cuts

Province may find itself home to private universities

Reform policy may harm UN friendship

The mysteries of medicine revealed


Reform policy may harm UN friendship

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

The relationship between Canada and the United Nations may be in for a change if the Reform Party of Canada ever becomes the province's majority government.

Earlier this week, the official Opposition released the details of a new policy which states the group would withhold international organization funding, including funding to the UN.

Any proposal to reduce or remove the Canadian presence in international organizations has resulted in negative reactions from many members of the Western community, who see Canada's role in these organizations as vital to the future interests of the country.

"I think it would prevent us from having a say and ban us from the forum of world discussion," said Jonathan Vance, an assistant professor of history at Western.

Erika Simpson, an assistant professor of political science who teaches international relations at Western, said removing Canada from the UN would go against almost 50 years of Canadian foreign policy.

"Canada's traditional foreign policy has emphasized multilateralism and the importance of contributing to international organizations," she said. "If Canada pulled out of the UN, this would contradict the trend of the last half of the 20th century."

Vance also pointed out since the mid-1940s, Canada has played a major role on the international stage through organizations such as the UN. Vance added Canada has also been a major player in helping the UN to evolve into the institution it is today.

"Since 1945, Canada has been a force of reason and mediation, especially with the United States and making sure the UN wasn't an arm of the U.S.," Vance said.

Mark Raymond, a third-year political science student said he was stunned when he heard of the Reform's proposal. He said the impact of Canadian foreign policy would be far reaching and have a negative impact on Canada's status in the international community.

"Incredibly ridiculous," Raymond said. "Canada would have incredibly less [of a] reputation – it would damage our interests in trade and human rights."

If the proposal ever became reality, Vance said Canada's reputation in the world would decline and Canada's ability to make changes on the world stage would also be seriously diminished.

"It would be walking away from 50 years of a proud history and turn Canada into a third rate mediocre power," he said.

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