Diplomacy was, for a few years, a matter where Justin Trudeau’s government was strong. The leader’s charisma and freshness bringing in a worldwide sense that “Canada is back”. Then, the leadership of the world progressive scene was taken by France’s Macron, who came to power a year and a half after Justin Trudeau.
Chrystia Freeland did a good job being foreign minister, especially with NAFTA renegotiation. However, idealism and inflexibility are what caused Canada tremendous problems worldwide, including with Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China. However, Freeland being now responsible minister for Canadian unity, a new foreign minister was needed. That’s where François-Philippe Champagne, a highly educated french-Canadian lawyer who became MP in 2015, enter the game.
François-Philippe Champagne is someone highly efficient, has a flawless reputation and knows how to build a human relationship. If it’s well known he would have preferred other places in the government, a high-lever player was needed for foreign affairs, and the Prime Minister made that call.
His first test will be with China, where there are 2 former Canadian diplomats in jail in retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou. Good results with China would show that Canada is back and understand the world we now live in isn’t the same where the Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. Also, improving relations with NATO and European partners is something that will be something important for Canada, since the lack of western backing in Chinese showdown and Saudi crisis was something that severely affected Canadian leverage.
Having a professional, young and strong foreign minister is tremendous news for Canada. The political leadership understood the message in domestic matters after the election, and we can only be hopeful it did too in foreign matters.