Podcast: Lloyd Axworthy On Supporting Refugees

The history of humanity is a history of movement. Today, movements of people from one place to another are subject to severe political and social constraints.

World Refugee & Migration Council Chair Dr. Lloyd Axworthy joined the Conference Board of Canada’s Bright Future podcast to share what he and others at the Council see as the great need for reform in our treatment of refugees in Canada and around the world. Dr. Axworthy and host Michael Bassett discuss how Canada’s generally positive political and social approach has helped our country take the lead in creating new and innovative ways to support refugees.

They also discuss how the global crisis of displaced people is putting increasing pressure on governments and international institutions to respond more effectively in the coming years.

What is really at stake right now is the lack of effective governance to manage the issue. There is a serious breakdown both at the domestic national level of governments willing to provide for aid support, to be assistance to countries that are hosting displaced or refugees.

Lloyd Axworthy

Below is a transcript of the interview.

This interview can also be found on the Conference Board of Canada website.

Michael Bassett  

My guest this episode is the chair of the World Refugee & Migration Council and co chair of the North and Central American Task Force on Migration. This is the latest high profile role for someone whose career has included serving as the President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and as an elected member of the Manitoba legislature and Federal House of Commons for almost three decades. It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Lloyd Axworthy to the podcast. Lloyd, welcome to Bright Future.

Lloyd Axworthy  

Oh, nice to be here. Thank you very much, Michael.

Michael Bassett  

For many people, the war in Ukraine has put the focus back on refugees, Canadians from coast to coast have been welcoming Ukrainians into their communities and homes. My children had Ukrainian children in their summer camps this year. I’m sure that’s a very common experience. At the beginning of September 22, just over 80,000 Ukrainians who have arrived in Canada, but people like yourself know that this is only a small slice of the overall refugee crisis. How significant is the overall number of displaced people worldwide?

Lloyd Axworthy  

Right now, it’s hard to give a fixed number because it’s escalating almost exponentially week by week, the driving forces behind migration displacement, refugees are now becoming multiple, you’ve got conflicts Ukraine, Ethiopia, Myanmar. There’s all kinds of places where the impact of war and conflict just generates large movements of people. And now you have to combine that with the impact on climate. I always use the phrase that people who are desperate are both vulnerable to somebody putting an AK 47 to their temple, or finding that there’s no water for their kids or food to eat. And they’re both equally at risk, deprivation, and sometimes I’m sure death and destruction. And there’s contributing causes. But what we have said at the World Council is that it’s not like migration or mass moves around people is anything new to the world. Our world has been based upon movements of people.

What is really at stake right now is the lack of effective governance to manage the issue. There is a serious breakdown both at the domestic national level of governments willing to provide for aid support, to be assistance to countries that are hosting displaced or refugees. And there’s also a breakdown internationally, which we’ve just seen, the challenge that’s going on from the Russians and the Chinese and the Brazilians and Hungarians, the list goes on. We basically no longer believe in the idea of a collaborative international system where we base our own best interest, collectively, of a collegial way. If you put a weather map out, we’re in a clash between a high pressure zone and a low pressure zone. When they meet, you’ve got rain storms, and hurricanes. That’s what we’re facing right now. Not just because of the growth of numbers, but also the intensity, and the breakdown of the ability to Governor.

We basically no longer believe in the idea of a collaborative international system where we base our own best interest collectively, of a collegial way.

Michael Bassett  

Do you want to mention the 100 million or 1% of the world’s population as a stat? To me, when I was looking at the report, that was a pretty powerful overall number.

Lloyd Axworthy  

I’m always a little reluctant. Let’s just say that’s the best estimate that the United Nations High Commission refugees provides, it doesn’t anywhere begin to accomplish the scope of the problem, because it doesn’t count in, for example, displacement within countries itself, this is basically cross border, it doesn’t really count for a lot of the collateral damage that takes place. With people on the move, they become vulnerable to sickness, to drugs, to serious, serious violation of their basic human rights. And that’s why I want to make sure that when we describe the scope of the problem, that we just don’t use a statistical measure. It’s only one indicator of the depth and intensity of the problems that we’re now facing internationally.

Michael Bassett  

The World Refugee & Migration Council issued A Call To Action back in 2019, you called in this report for a fundamental overhaul of the refugee system worldwide. But like many of us, our plans in 2019 fell apart over the last three years, or got derailed. Your organization has in September 2022 issued A Renewed Call for Action. What’s prompted this renewed call?

Lloyd Axworthy  

Well, Michael, if I could just go back on your question, when the Council actually came into being was around a period of quite active leadership. You had Obama’s mission in Washington. And the same thing going on under the United Nations of actually holding a worldwide compact meeting to come up with a basic plan of action, a basic set of principles on both refugees and migration. They all had conversion, the major UN meetings, a lot of preparation had gone in. The genesis of the Council was to say, we have to find a way of translating those broad principles and commitments into concrete, specific, practical answers. And that’s where we placed ourselves. When we came to responding to that first major inflection point of these large un contracts that had been worked on, we were still of the view that it was a system that could be reformed, that there was a possibility of structural changes and systemic changes. I’m afraid what prompted our report that we just released is that increasing the level of interest, the level of support of a lack of leadership makes it a much more dire circumstance, because there doesn’t seem to be any will or effort to come to grips with this on a coherent, comprehensive level. So I would say what was once a fairly confident view about the ability to reform, it is now becoming clearer and clearer about the entropy, the dissolution is taking place in the ability to cope with these movements. Now, that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t a lot of organizations and a lot of people around the world who are very dedicated. I was just co chairing a meeting here in Manitoba, the immigration Advisory Council for the province. And we were talking about refugees, and just listening to the kinds of efforts that were going on by local NGO groups, human rights groups, churches and others, to deal with the Afghan situation and Ukrainian situation, Syria situation, and increasingly central American situation. You realize there’s a lot of people but I think our failure to have that translated into effective policies is almost impossible. Our international system, as you know, is in paralysis right now. The UN is finding itself totally hung up because of the total and complete stalemate with the Russians and Chinese using their power the Security Council to undermine our international agreements and arrangements was a wake up call. I think it’s also a Paul Revere call. I’m afraid that if we allow this thing to unravel, we’re really headed for much bigger problems, because people are going to continue to move that isn’t managed than some effective lead, then we’re all going to pay a very serious price. 

Michael Bassett  

Lloyd, for you, why is this issue so important? Why are you dedicating and continuing to dedicate so much of your time and energy to this topic?

Lloyd Axworthy  

Let me preface that by saying this Michael, I’m here at my cabin on Lake Winnipeg writing my memoirs, and part of what I’m trying to discover is what made me do it. I have roots going back into a family of migrants who came on my mother’s side from Patagonia. They were Welsh. They’ve gone from Wales to Patagonia, and Patagonia, to Canada for Saskatchewan. And secondly, I just think growing up as I did in the north end of Winnipeg, where it’s one of the most diverse populations populated by immigrants from Eastern Europe, increasingly indigenous movements coming from rural areas. I learned that there is a basic fundamental respect that has to be shown in the caste system we labor under and so much needs to be challenged. When I was in opposition in those years, I like to call my sabbatical from 84 on when Mr. Maroney came, one of the things I did was not sit in the benches and kind of go after other ministers on the other side. I went to Nicaragua, on the invitation of an NGO to deal with what was happening in the Contra wars. While I was there, I met refugees. I got to know them. Many of them had been wounded by landmines. Many of them had nowhere to go. They were basically, they were without any anchor. It struck me again that there is a fairly large and increasingly larger cadre of people who don’t belong anywhere. No one represents them. Refugees don’t have a constituency. People don’t get elected from refugees. They may eventually they become the diaspora and they form into effective community groups. But refugees themselves by the very nature, they are fleeing some kind of persecution, some conflict, they’re moving across borders – who’s responsible? That’s why so often they end up the end of the queue.

We at the Council work with a group called GIRWL. This is a group of women from around the world who were refugees and we’re trying to establish a connection by using all the new technology and then one cases we asked them about what was happening as a result of the COVID epidemic. their basic answer was we’re at the back of the queue. When it comes to everything, healthcare, vaccines, law enforcement, governance, supplies, and there’s one woman put it is that they are not necessarily the back of the queue. We’re not even in the queue. I guess as someone who grew up with an understanding as a Canadian, we have great privileges, civil society to live in a democratic society, we have to make sure that we share that comes out of my own religious faith. I grew up in the United Church where social gospel was a very important element in my growing up. And I saw that question is how does that become applied? How do you take that fundamental belief and markets of Protestant Christian belief and translate it into honoring the spirits? I guess you would call it the liturgical side of the church? It’s what do you do on the ground? How do you turn it into real action? I guess that’s where I still am. I just find it really hard to think of how many people are just been cut loose, and have no roots. They’re reliable, and people like many of us here in places like Canada, to speak for them and to work for them.

Michael Bassett  

Let’s talk a little bit about how Canada is supporting refugees. There’s many changes that can be done to help and make their transition to Canadians more helpful, helping with language or settlement services. But there’s also some seemingly small things that have an outsized impact. Canada’s response to the war in Ukraine has been commended by our immigration team for addressing one of the most, as they say most simple but groundbreaking barriers for refugees by eliminating visa requirements for Ukrainians under the Canada Ukrainian Authorization for Emergency Travel Act. Research shows that visa requirements are a significant barrier for refugees being able to make their way to Canada or other countries. Another example of a small but significant change was the decision to grant Ukrainian refugees three year work visas. Are there other simple but profound changes you’d like to see on how Canada welcomes refugees, or helps them to settle in Canada

Lloyd Axworthy  

The question that keeps coming up, if you could provide the visa exemption for Ukrainians, why not for Afghans?

To begin with I’d like to see some changes in those programs you just outlined. The visa program was a very good immediate response. Let’s go back to the ground, let me relate to you the conversations I have directly with people. In the case of Ukraine, a large number who are coming are women with children, getting that visa exemption is a good idea. But their ability to go to work is limited or non existent. They’re looking after their kids. The peculiar side of the Ukraine movement is that there’s not a lot of men involved. They’re staying there to fight they have to stay. As a result, there’s a question of income. One of the problems like was that they weren’t using some of the tools that were available to overcome these issues. Let me use the example of private sponsorship. And probably that’s been one of the great Canadian innovations that came about in the Immigration Act of 1976. When I was immigration minister in the early 80s, we used it very effectively to bring in large numbers of people from Vietnam and the Indochina Peninsula, resettled some 60 – 70,000 people, half of those were through private sponsorship. Now what did that do? It meant that when they arrived, there was somebody there to look after money was provided housing schooling, language training. We haven’t declared this as a refugee issue as a result that hasn’t triggered some of the requisites that would come under being a refugee. It’s a judgment call. I’m kind of concerned that there has been a tightening or maybe even using the word shrinking inside the immigration system, about the use of the sponsorship program that used to be, well, it’s still really widely admired around the world, except that we’re not using it very much anymore. I’m still not sure why. Whether it’s just a policy decision or what the reason is, that tends to shrink things substantially.

The other issue is we could be designated larger numbers. The question that keeps coming up, if you could provide the visa exemption for Ukrainians, why not for Afghans? There is an equity question. Where there is some real progress made something that the Canadian government, I say this with self modesty that the World Refugee Migration Council, really proposed an argue for, is that providing a way of supporting financially migrants and refugees through the repurposing of assets, frozen assets of sanctioned assets. Canada is still seen as one of the few places on Earth who still welcomes people. One of the reasons for that is that when I was an immigration minister, we did some longitudinal studies and found out that the mere fact that large numbers of Canadians were providing direct personal sponsorships that they got to know refugees were not some abstraction. They weren’t criminals, they weren’t dependents, they were people just looking for a new place to live. They created a certain outlook amongst Canadians that really offset the kind of words of the bigots, to say, no, this is a real thing and it’s good for the country to do. We’re one of the few places in the world which still have a good public support. There’s still 60 70% of Canadians who support the opening of the country, as long as it’s well matters. And as long as it’s done in an effective way. That does make us distinctive.

Michael Bassett  

Let’s talk about that example that you put forward of Canadian leadership. And that is the introduction in spring of 2022 of measures that allow the government to confiscate and reallocate assets that have been frozen or seized as the result of human rights violations. And you estimate that this could contribute millions or even billions of additional dollars in support of refugees. And this is an area where Canada has introduced this legislation, they are out in the lead, what has been the impact of this Canadian leadership on other countries? And are you starting to see any of those proceeds or any of the assets beginning to flow to support refugees? Are you starting to see this actually have an impact?

Lloyd Axworthy  

That’s the first step in our two step dance. The second step has to be let’s put those assets back to work, let’s not leave them in the vault. And the result of that is that it will also provide a certain deterrence warning to the oligarchs.

I think so. I think it’s certainly not in full flower, but it’s a real beginning. I compliment Minister Friedland for including the idea of repurposing these assets in her budget paper, that’s a real step forward. The Canadian government is also trying to get the other G7 countries to buy in. If I can use a very simple example. It’s a Robin Hood arrangement. You’re taking from the bad guys, the oligarchs, the thieves, the purloirs, the people who have been exploiting the vulnerabilities of other people to buy magnificent yachts, summer homes in the Mediterranean, and stashing an awful lot of money away and piggy banks around the world. One thing that the Ukrainian war has really opened up is just how much money there is out there. When we first start doing our research, the World Bank told us it was probably maybe about $14 billion a year that was a being corruptly stuck into these piggy banks. The Ukrainian issuers are showing it’s much larger than that. We’re now freezing up the Magnitsky Act, all the countries have actually brought in special programs that, say, if you’re violating human rights violating certain basic international convention, we’re going to freeze your assets. That’s the first step in our two step dance. The second step has to be let’s put those assets back to work, let’s not leave them in the vault. And the result of that is that it will also provide a certain deterrence warning to the oligarchs. So the people who are stealing the money, that it’s not there in perpetuity for their interest, someday, Gaddafi’s nephew isn’t going to wander into a Canadian bank and demand the money that’s sitting there from the Gaddafi for it, to be reallocated to them. This is a way of making sure the reallocation is an open, transparent process through a legal judicial process that makes sure that every point of view is properly accounted and arbitrated and that the money can be redirected towards the people who have been victimized by these actions. The case in Ukraine is obviously the queerest one. The genocidal efforts of Russia, in the destruction of that country, needs to be not just responded to with sanctions, or with weaponry now has to be responded to by serious financial and reinvestment in infrastructure and education and health and all the things in the country needs to survive. And the money has to come from somewhere. And up to now Western countries have been putting a lot of money on the table. But if the war continues, how long is that going to be maintained? We’re simply saying, here’s an alternative way of cashing in. We’re hoping that with the Canadian model now established and the fact that it’s been raised in conversation that G7 that it may have a broader spread, and if that’s the case, then we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that could be returned.

Michael Bassett  

On this series we’ve had guests like Shamira Madhany or Tareq Hadad talk about how Canada needs to make more progress and recognize the credentials and skills of newcomers. This failure to recognize the skills or credentials means many of these new Canadians are essentially starting their lives over. Your organization has this beautiful turn of phrase where you say refugees are seeking security, self reliance and dignity. What can we do to make sure that refugees in Canada are able to realize their full potential

Lloyd Axworthy  

And what we’re seeing, again, with large refugee movements, is that there’s an enormous amount of real potential for the country, if we’re restricting or putting handcuffs on allowing that to be applied, then we are being our own problem.

It’s called, but it goes back into our history. I mentioned to you earlier that I, co-chair in Manitoba, immigration Advisory Council along with the provincial Minister of Immigration. And this issue of credentials is front and center in our work, because so much of the determination of credibility or credential is done by self made organizations that have acquired legislative authority to decide who comes in and who doesn’t. Clearly, much of that is a protectionist view, that if you limit the supply of engineers, or doctors or accountants, technologists, scientists, or lawyers, or whatever profession, if you can control that, then you keep the price up. But it’s becoming a real economic failure for the country, because it really means that in large part, we’re not tapping in to the real potential that people are bringing, the brain surgeon is driving a cab. That’s not that so far from the truth, there’s a lot of examples of that claim. And what we’re seeing, again, with large refugee movements, is that there’s an enormous amount of real potential for the country, if we’re restricting or putting handcuffs on allowing that to be applied, then we are being our own problem, we’re creating that problem. But it’s very difficult, because these are powerful interests. They have a lot of clout with provincial legislators, and in some cases in the federal level, to protect these things, the fact that there is a fragmentation in the country itself, you still have to get licensed in several provinces to practice a profession, I may have always thought it was unique that there’s a class of content that wants to talk about, well, let’s open free trade, I’d say to Mexico, but can’t figure out how to do it between Manitoba Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. We have very protectionist rules in terms of our own interprovincial boundary, which, by the way, is something I know that the Conference Board itself has, over the years worked very actively on to try to get changes. We’re really dealing with an anachronism in the system. It takes some tough political will to do it, because you’re going to have to deal with some very strong opposition. But I think it has to happen. We’re seeing the results from the Ukraine moment, just how much talent has to bear. When we managed the large movement of Indo-Chinese into Canada, there’s been some serious academic studies that show that in many cases, they’ve now become the best educated, most prosperous, and most active citizens in the country itself. They have become incredibly productive citizens and Canadians. That’s the lesson that we tried to say in the council about respect and dignity is to sya, boy, let’s let it rip. That’s gonna take a lot of effort and really needs to be challenged politically, and very fast as soon as you can.

Michael Bassett  

You also talked earlier about how Canada is relatively unique in our approach in general welcoming of new Canadians, political parties across the spectrum. And even most Canadians understand that our growth and our prosperity is tied to our ability to attract and retain people from around the world to Canada. But your Call to Action draws a distinction that this attitude is really not common. In fact, you call the refugee crisis a political crisis, what makes Canada’s approach to welcoming new Canadians so different from other countries?

Lloyd Axworthy  

I think it grows out of both who we are. I’ve always said we’re not the indispensable nation is the Americans gland, that we are in many ways, an exception, we came together based on the idea that you can form a country with very different cultural groups. The only place where we failed desperately is in our treatment of indigenous people in our country. But I think we’re now coming back slowly, kind of compensate for that. But the whole idea that you could form a country based upon groupings of French and English and in the Laurier years of the turn of the century, which is in my great grandparents came to Canada, there was a mass migration because people said, we got to populate the prairies, you have to populate our cities. They all grew up with that kind of ethos. Right now, I think that ethos has got some challenge going on. We now have political movements in this country. We actually have some punitive political leaders, who are really beginning to talk the language of anti immigration. I mean, there isn’t an easier target in the world. And they go after people who are coming because they’re the strangers at the gate. They don’t have any constituents. They don’t have a vote yet. They don’t have any political power to will. One thing I agree with is that so far, in terms of the main political parties in this country, there has been a general acceptance. There is certainly after 9/11 the Harper government changed parts of our immigration act to make it much tougher to get in because of security reasons, much higher hoops to jump through. Unfortunately, while those still exist, that’s a residual that hasn’t been properly responded to. Overall, Canadians see the value of it. Also think because we’ve had political leadership that recognizes that value, we’re in a very important period to make sure that we don’t give that away or we don’t let that dissipate. Because we can see what’s happening in other countries. When that happens, we begin to shrivel. The United States is paying a huge price for the restrictions under the Trump years. The United States used to be the beacon on the hill, and used to provide a place for the brightest and the best in the world to come. And now, it’s tough to get in. We’ve done a lot of work with the Refugee & Migration Council on the question of the migration from the Americas. This is causing huge political turbulence, both in the countries of Central America themselves in Mexico, but also in the United States, because it’s not being managed, we’re deeply concerned that there has to be a change. And that’s why we’ve been recommending the need for a regional approach. Canada can speak with legitimacy, because as you pointed out, we’ve done it, we’re still out there making the case. So far, we haven’t had what I would say, a strong champion emerge from the Canadian government. Now, to make a change internationally to make a change regionally, you’re going to have to get some champions out there who see this as something that we as Canadians can do, and maybe bring a coalition of other governments and NGOs and civil society together to make it happen.

Michael Bassett  

You raise a really vexing challenge that, but we certainly as a research organization, put a lot of thought behind, which is the changing dynamics of decision making, and the ways in which sometimes emotion or reactionary stuff is coming in and taking over as well reasoned research and evidence that is telling us that certain things are actually good for us. And there are better things for us to do. As someone who’s had a long and distinguished career across a ton of sectors across politics across academia, you’ve chaired several high profile boards of civil society organizations, you’ve been a member of the Board of the Conference Board of Canada. What changes are you seeing in the policymaking environment that are shaping what research organizations and researchers need to do in thinking about having an impact on government policy?

Lloyd Axworthy  

One thing that was very clear, it was that increasingly, there is suffocation of serious acceptance of research and support of it. When I was at foreign affairs, we had the Pearson Center of Peacekeeping, which provided a lot of important judgments about managing conflict. We have the Center for Human Rights in Montreal. Inside the Department of Foreign Affairs, I established an internal Think Tank. We have groups like the Conference Board, who are very evidence based, and what they’re doing. Increasingly, I find that those the public institutions I talked about have all gone, we are really starving our international institutions and outreach. Our international development budget has not increased, we’re closing embassies, we’ve ceased to have that same kind of internationalist outlook, that I certainly inherited. Trade is really important. But trade is also going to depend upon having a stable world of having people who feel that they’ve got a stake in the system, who are being excluded. The more that we create an inequality in our society, domestically and internationally, you’re going to create more feedback, we have to restore a much stronger sense of Canada as an effective international player. Let’s not simply say that all the counts is Canada, the US and maybe the G7. I think we have to be an awful lot more adventuresome, and innovative about what we do, because I think Canadians have the capacity to do it. We proved it. Some of the initiatives that Canada was able to take back in the 90s, people say, well, that was a very different time. Of course it was. But I think there’s even more openness now because it was such sterility on behalf of the big powers. There’s a lot more space internationally now.

Michael Bassett  

Can you talk about this funding gap and this challenge. Your organization has a very interesting call. It looks at the changing or an increasing role for companies or private individuals or families and their charitable foundations in addressing systemic issues. Increasingly, we’re seeing these foundations are moving their resources, their influence, to really drive change on what we call wicked problems, systemic problems facing our country, wicked problems, like the refugee crisis. This is far from this feel good photo op that used to plague what used to be called corporate social responsibility. It’s a significant engagement in really thorny issues. Why do you think private foundations should be involved in moving the needle at critical issues like refugees.

Lloyd Axworthy  

If the migration issue isn’t managed, effectively, if it’s not more effectively funded, if it’s not organized around a collective sharing of responsibilities, then we’re all going to pay a big price.

I was on the board of MacArthur Foundation for 10 years after I left government. And I think MacArthur is one of the real leaders if not the biggest anymore in the States, but it still has an endowment of $8 billion. So you can still pour out a lot of money. And one of the things that we tackled at that time was a migration response network around the world, people working on migration flows and what do you do about it.That was shut down again due the politics change and leadership changes. But it really opened up for me just the incredible capacity that private philanthropic institutions have for innovation, for doing things, demonstrating how it can work. And now because you’ve got such gargantuan foundations, there is a lot of charitable philanthropic money available with the right incentives. And in this case, it means solving a critical issue, I think you’ve put your finger on. This is not some kind of Noblesse oblige, or Florence Nightingale, or let’s do good. That’s part of our makeup. But it’s also very much in our interest. If the migration issue isn’t managed, effectively, if it’s not more effectively funded, if it’s not organized around a g of responsibilities, then we’re all going to pay a big price in that one effort alone. And I think that the combustion of climate, corruption, COVID, and conflict, in terms of movements of people can be explosive.

Michael Bassett  

What role should Canada play in preparing for this future? And where would you focus dollars and time over the next five years?

Lloyd Axworthy  

There’s a fairly large menu out there right now. But in terms of priorities, I would say, number one, I think that we have to restore our faith in Canada as an effective international player. And one of the things that, to me is still an idea that is yet to be fully explored, was the Responsibility to Protect. It was a Canadian initiative, we set up the commission. So I would work on that. And I would work on really reinforcing a lot of our capacity in Canada, we need an awful lot more Canadians out there working internationally. I would put a lot of money into getting that kind of mobilize and energized. And then certainly would certainly look at some of the key drivers that we’re now facing. And there is, in this case, a very natural connection between climate and migration. We have two different constituencies, you have environmentalists working on climate change, and you’ve got human rights, people working on refugees, they don’t talk to each other, they’re not working together. One of the things that has to be done is to bring that together, and that means change on silos and government, now immigration and environment, but finding ways of integrating these things differently. Thirdly, I would also really like to see Canada become much more engaged in setting up effective regional organizations. We have a good track record in setting up the Arctic Council, that’s worked really quite well. In terms of managing issues in the circumpolar area, I think the same thing has to happen in our own hemisphere. I think Canada has to spend an awful lot more time rebuilding its neighborhood, and helping to work these things out, including being complementary to the United States. We’re still fortunately we live next to one January has been a benign neighbor. But I’m afraid that if the political tracking in the United States goes off the rail, which is very close to doing that goes up the MAGA Movement that Mr. Biden talked about, that we’re going to have a very different problem to face. And I think we’re going to have to be an awful lot more adroit. What it really means is, I think we have to have more confidence in ourselves as Canadians, on who we are, what we can do and what our responsibilities are.

Michael Bassett  

Lloyd, it’s been such a pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Lloyd Axworthy  

It’s my pleasure and give my best back to all your colleagues at the Conference Board of Canada. I was and am an admirer of the effort you made to try to bring evidence to bear on the issues of our time. So thank you for the opportunity.