Trump world view to guide Canada's peacekeeping policy

Jan 25, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests his nation's peacekeeping decisions will be made with the Trump administration's particular world view in mind.

Trudeau was asked about Canada's role as peacekeeper in the Trump age at a town hall meeting in Calgary.  A woman asked whether taking a pause in announcing new peacekeeping missions puts Canada's reputation at stake. She also asked how much power the United States has over Canada.

Credit National Public Radio

Trudeau replied by touting Canada's past contributions over the decades, including its training role in northern Iraq in the fight against ISIL. He added that Canada is seen as a major contributor to peace, security and stability around the world and intends to follow through on its peacekeeping commitments.

"But as we all know, the new administration in the United States has some very particular views about how we need to engage in the world," Trudeau said, "and we want to make sure that we are working well with our allies and we are reflecting on the best way Canada can continue to help and play a positive role in the world."

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said Monday he plans to talk to his American counterpart before he pursues Canada's plan to send peacekeepers to Africa, saying co-ordination with the United States is essential.

The government announced in August that Canada would deploy up to 600 troops on future U.N. peacekeeping missions, though it stopped short of saying exactly where they would go. A decision was promised by the end of the year, after military officials and Canadian diplomats had a chance to test the waters and get a better sense of where the troops could make a difference.

However, the question of where Canadian blue helmets will end up is still undecided, as the government tries to get a handle on the Trump administration's priorities.