Engler talk questions perception

Author Yves Engler makes a visit to the University of Lethbridge this weekend as he presents "Canada on the World Stage: A Force For Good or Bad Actor?"

The talk, scheduled for Sunday, June 7, 7 p.m. in Andy's Place (AH100), invites everyone to take part. On tour with his new book, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Engler explores the notion that Canadian foreign policy isn't as positive a force on world politics as we would like to believe.

Numerous studies have found that Canadians' self-appraisal of their country's foreign policy is more positive than any other country. Most believe Canada's primary role has been as peacekeeper or honest broker in difficult-to-solve disputes. But, contrary to the mythology of Canada as a force for good in the world, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy sheds light on many dark corners of Canadian foreign policy: From troops that joined the British in Sudan in 1885 to gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean and aspirations of Central American empire, to participation in the UN mission that killed Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. In more recent times, Canada has supported the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and participated in theatres such as Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Canadians often seem more interested in what the U.S. is doing internationally rather than our own government," explains Engler. "This book is an honest analysis of what our government is doing around the world and unpacks the mythology that Canadian businesses and politicians act benevolently outside of Canada."

Former Vice President of the Concordia Student Union, Yves Engler is a Montréal activist and author. He has published three books, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical and (with Anthony Fenton) Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority.