Bellicose Baird Is Canada's Angry Voice On The World Stage
"While it is true that international diplomats will weigh substance over style when assessing Canada’s new foreign minister, in terms of making decisions with global implications, Baird’s recent track record is less than stellar.
It was only last October that Baird, as transport minister, advised Harper not to concede any additional Canadian landing rights to the United Arab Emirates’ two national air carriers. This had long been the offset that the UAE sought as compensation for the Canadian Forces using Camp Mirage in Dubai as the major logistic staging base for our operations in Afghanistan.
To his credit, Defence Minister Peter MacKay understood how vital Camp Mirage was to our military and he argued in favour of conceding the landing rights. Harper listened to Baird instead, and the rest is history.
After 10 years of rent-free lodging, the UAE gave us 30 days to pack up Mirage and vacate Dubai. As a war of words heated up in the Canadian media, the UAE also invoked a visa requirement on all Canadian visitors.
While the Canadian Forces have managed to work miracles in order to relocate to temporary regional facilities and to maintain the mission support in Kandahar, the Mirage debacle has cost Canada untold millions of dollars in additional costs and lost trade."
Halifax Chronicle Herald
Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay at mackaycartoons.net