Changes internationally affect Canadian politics

EDITORIAL: Exploring the changes in political climates nationally and abroad

The shifting political climate south of our border has caused a reaction in the hearts and minds of many.

Some see it as a positive change, while others are not so comfortable with the new President Elect and his image.

Regardless of our personal opinions on the new United States leader, Canadians should realize this is causing a shift in our own federal government.

This week, the Prime Minister welcomed several new members to his cabinet, and said goodbye to some long-serving members. Overall, this change in cabinet comes as a reflection of the way Canada must be seen on a global platform and a change in how our country will operate in terms of dealing with the new Republican government in the U.S.

In case you haven’t heard, here are some big names in the change game:

Chrystia Freeland is the new Foreign Affairs Minister, replacing Stéphane Dion. She comes from an international trade background, and is a former journalist and author.

Patty Hajdu is the new Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister. Her former title, Minister of Status of Women, is now held by Maryam Monsef.

Francois-Philippe Champagne has replaced Freeland in the position of International Trade Minister. His background as an international trade specialist, as well as businessman and lawyer, should help him navigate the potentially rocky road ahead, as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been named by Donald Trump as an issue he would like to change.

The position of the Democratic Institutions Minister has been filled by Karina Gould the cabinet’s youngest minister at 29.

Finally, Ahmed Hussen has taken over the Immigration profile, replacing long-time politician John McCallum, who has been recommended by Trudeau as Canadian ambassador to China.

All of these changes reflect the changing political climates elsewhere in the world. Canadian ties to the United States, to Russia, to China, to England all of these are incredibly important and must be managed with care.

A few familiar faces are in fact leaving the cabinet or politics all together. McCallum is out, Dion is out and MaryAnn Mihychuk (former Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour) is taking a back bench.

As Albertans, we have many concerns of our own, including our newly-imposed carbon tax, the shifting price of oil, a high need for family supports and more.

All of these issues are the result of international affairs that trickle through the various levels of society.

In essence, it is irresponsible to think the new U.S President, our own changes in government, and the heated exchanges as of late in the United Nations Security Council will not affect us.

All of these incidences, appointments, arguments and allies affect our daily lives as families, employees, Albertans and citizens of Canada.

It is important as ever to remain connected to the greater political balance, even if it can seem dry and trying at times.

Outgoing U.S President Barack Obama gave his farewell speech on Jan. 10th, commenting on the state of democracy a notion that applies to us as Canadians as well. He said, “Democracy requires a basic sense of solidarity the idea that for all our outward differences, we are in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”

This idea not only applies to the nature of democracy, but to the globalization of our world. Our world, our politics, our aspirations and achievements are all connected in the world as we know it.

Do not be afraid to research, to get involved with our City of Lacombe, or to become a voice among your friends. Create discussion, be engaged and understand that we are in a delicate and changing time.


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