New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is relinquishing control over diplomats and high commissioners overseas. He immediately sent a letter indicating as such, and that he trusts their judgment. What a change from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I have direct experience with this control, when as a reporter I tried to get politicians and foreign staffers off message. It just wasn’t happening, so I always came off the phone with a surreal feeling, as though I had been talking to a computer rather than a human being.
“Today begins a new era in Canadian international engagement,” (Trudeau) writes.
“You are experienced, skilled professionals, and some of Canada’s best assets internationally. Under my leadership, you will have a government that believes in you and will support you in your work around the world.”…
“I expect that you will be engaged energetically in public diplomacy with other diplomats, host government officials, civil society, and the media – in all manner of ways – through direct contact, the media, and social media,” he writes.
“My cabinet colleagues and I will be relying on your judgment, insights, discretion, and work ethic in advancing our interests. I have every confidence that your reporting and our interactions when I am abroad will provide a critical, factual basis for our policies.”
Check out the full story here. I wonder how this will play out here in Jamaica and with the new High Commissioner, who arrived recently and replaced the wonderful Robert Ready, who brought an openness and positivity to his post, but who must have had definite directions on what messages to relay to the public.