As a lawyer I’m supposed to be able to give a pundit’s opinion on just how well Canada is doing, and whether we are working towards a strong and fair international agreement. But the reality is that it’s surprisingly difficult to tell, even here in Paris. That’s partly because I’m still learning, partly because key discussions about what countries are offering and giving up are occurring behind the scenes, but mostly because everything is intertwined and constantly in motion.
In general, Canada is doing well in some very important areas. However, it is difficult to give an unqualified endorsement. The new government seems not to have grappled with some more challenging questions of fairness and Canada’s contribution to climate change. As such is aligning itself with unhelpful and aggressive positions – especially in its efforts to limit discussions about how to help the world’s most vulnerable communities.
During the recent Canadian election a spokesperson for the Conservative Party said that if Justin Trudeau arrived at a key debate with his pants on he would have exceeded expectations. In fact, Mr. Trudeau not only found his pants, but impressed a great many Canadians and was elected Prime Minister on October 19th.