Prepared by:
Gerald Schmitz
Political and Social Affairs Division
September 1997






   A. The Americas as a Regional Actor

   B. Strengthening Key Dimensions of Hemispheric Cooperation

      1. Democratic Governance, Institution-Building, and Human Security

      2. Social Integration and Sustainable Development


   A. The Foreign Policy Record

   B. Provincial Roles

   C. Future Prospects




Canadian interests in the Americas region beyond the United States have developed slowly. In recent years, however, Canadian policy has undergone a "hemispheric conversion," signalled by Canada’s becoming a full member of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1990. In addition to growing economic ties, Canadian engagements have multiplied in other areas such as democratic development and human rights. Canada has emerged as a leading promoter of the comprehensive goals of regional integration and cooperation set out by the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas. To ensure the success of this enterprise, parliamentary participation needs to be encouraged as part of a democratic process for moving the agenda forward.

Regional policies and processes must take into account the dynamics of a hemisphere in rapid transition. Its complex realities include: marked divergences of power, population and economic status, inequalities within and among societies with diverse histories and resources, differences of culture, religion, ethnicity, and so on. The U.S. clearly remains the dominant power among the 35 countries of the region, but in a context that is very pluralistic and involves an increasing number of actors. Canada, as a leading "middle power," has expanded opportunities to work with other states on regional problems. Despite considerable socio-economic and democratic advances, Latin American and Caribbean countries face a variety of development challenges: notably tackling poverty and sources of violence within their societies and consolidating stable and effective systems of democratic governance. There is therefore much to be done to help sustain the positive momentum of reforms already underway.

Newer and more open forms of regionalism offer the promise of liberalizing economic relations on a region-wide multilateralist basis, as well as providing institutional mechanisms for addressing a wide range of common regional concerns, including those related to security and environmental sustainability. The current push towards regional integration - from the U.S.-led Enterprise for the Americas Initiative of 1990 to the Americas Summit process in place since 1994 - is far more comprehensive than anything previously attempted. With the notable exception of Cuba’s continued exclusion, historical divisions are being overcome as hemispheric partnerships emerge on many policy fronts, assisted by a reinvigorated OAS machinery and other regional (including parliamentary) forums.

There is still a considerable debate over the role of U.S. leadership in future integration. In terms of economic arrangements, some see the common market established in 1991 by Brazil and southern cone South American countries (MERCOSUR) as a potential alternative model to expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This is one of several areas where Canada, as respected regional middle power, may be able to act in a bridge-building capacity.* Negotiating broad rules-based hemispheric agreements is clearly complicated by the range of interests at stake and number of parties to the process. Making such matters transparent and accountable to the region’s parliaments is another key consideration.

To sustain regional integration will require the involvement of governments and societies with the capabilities to implement reforms and shoulder adjustment costs while maintaining democratic support. There are a number of ways in which assistance can be provided to strengthen inter-American systems of political and social as well as economic cooperation. Significantly, Canada’s first initiative after joining the OAS was towards creating a Unit for the Promotion of Democracy. Canada has been prominently involved in peacebuilding and democratic reconstruction efforts in Central America and Haiti. Canada is supporting institutional and civil-society development across the region, as well as social investment and sustainable development priorities, mainly through programs of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

There is a recognition that progress on regional economic liberalization and integration needs to be accompanied by strategies for conflict prevention, social integration and democratic inclusion. This message has been reinforced by representative gatherings such as the December 1996 Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development held in Bolivia. Inter-American dialogue must be built on a basis that provides not only for inter-governmental diplomacy, but also ongoing public consultation, input from non-governmental sectors, and parliamentary participation.

Canadian engagement in hemispheric affairs is still a work in progress. For a long time, overshadowed by the bilateral relationship with our most important American neighbour, relations with the Americas as a whole received only sporadic attention. From the 1970s on, a more substantive official Canadian presence began to be built up in Latin America and the Caribbean. Canadian foreign policy evolved in a less ideological and more developmentally-oriented direction than that of the U.S. In the Caribbean area, an important source of immigrants to Canada, there were also Commonwealth and, in the case of Haiti, Francophone ties.

In the 1990s, Canada has emerged as a leading member of the inter-American system, and continues to be seen as a middle-power ally of the region’s smaller countries. With the advent of NAFTA, much of the policy focus turned to trade promotion and economic integration issues. At the same time, along with regional free trade objectives, Canada has emphasized progress on human rights, democratic institution building, social equity, and sustainable development. In the words of one analyst, "Canada has embraced the region in an increasingly multifaceted fashion." That process is not just Ottawa-based; the roles played throughout the country by governments other than the federal level, and by non-governmental actors, are also important to consider. Among the Canadian provinces, Quebec has developed the most comprehensive hemispheric contacts, including those in areas of culture and higher education.

Overall, future prospects are bright for Canadians to make distinctive contributions to hemispheric cooperation goals. Given some areas of tension and uncertainty, it would nonetheless be unrealistic to expect that integration processes will always proceed smoothly. Parliamentary linkages can offer an extremely valuable democratic channel for deepening the inter-American policy dialogues that are needed to help lead the region confidently into the next century.


With little in the way of exaggeration, it is accurate to say that Canada has ‘discovered’ the Americas in the 1990s.

Andrew Cooper(1)

For most of this century, Canada’s most important external relationship has been with our southern neighbour, the United States of America, overshadowing ties with the rest of the Americas south of the Rio Grande, which have developed slowly and sporadically in comparison. There have been some significant linkages in the past - for example, Commonwealth connections to the Caribbean area; the Francophone connection to Haiti; and the maintenance of an independent policy towards Cuba. Historically, Canadians have made important investments in Latin America. A substantial development assistance program was put in place in the 1970s. Central American conflicts attracted foreign policy attention in the 1980s. However, it was not until the present decade that Canada really began to embrace fully a hemispheric dimension in our international relations.

A watershed in what Jean Daudelin has referred to as Canada’s "hemispheric conversion" was this country’s formal accession to full membership in the Organization of American States (OAS) in January 1990, overcoming long resistance (though Canada had become a permanent observer to the OAS in the early 1970s).(2) Canada could now be seen as a leading participant in developing a balanced inter-American system of regional cooperation - a Western Hemisphere community of nations.(3) The premise underlying this pluralistic progression is that "it is in the interests of all countries to search for new partnerships to replace past conflictual and unstable relationships with the United States, and sometimes with each other, as well as the rather limited links with Canada." The second watershed event was Canada’s joining the negotiations which led to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. Even if the initial motivation was largely to assure gains from the bilateral FTA, Canada thereby associated itself with the movement towards closer economic integration and further trade liberalization. There has been no turning back. Indeed, at the Summit of the Americas (34 nations, Cuba excepted) convened in Miami in December 1994, Canada emerged one of the strongest promoters of a common regional agenda which, as enunciated by the Summit’s Declaration of Principles and action plan, aims at:

  • preserving and strengthening the community of democracies in the Americas;

  • promoting prosperity through economic integration and free trade;

  • eradicating poverty and discrimination in our Hemisphere; and

  • guaranteeing sustainable development and conserving our natural environment for future generations.(4)

Canadian perspectives on the contemporary processes of hemispheric integration and regional cooperation have given due weight to the multiple dimensions and challenges that such processes entail, among them: institution-building and common security, democratic development and civil-society participation, positive adjustment to complex economic and social transitions, cultural values, and environmental sustainability. This overview paper outlines the evolving situation of the Americas and the broad context of future hemispheric relations and foreign policy responses within which to consider the development of multi-faceted Canadian approaches.

There is a great deal still to be done at all levels of government and society to realize the promise of such an ambitious and far-reaching agenda. Clearly, the roles of parliamentarians throughout the Americas must be acknowledged, and their contributions encouraged, if the hemispheric enterprise is to proceed democratically and to succeed for the benefit of all of the region’s peoples. With energetic Canadian support in collaboration with our partners across the Americas, much can be achieved.


The Western Hemisphere as a whole has a population of about 800 million people and its economies combined represent about US$8 trillion of gross domestic product. An Americas trading bloc would be the largest in the world. The dominant power in the region continues to be the United States, with about one-third of the population and accounting for well over half of total economic activity. U.S. policies have a major impact on hemispheric affairs; securing access to U.S. markets is also an important objective for most countries. Canada might be positioned among the smaller "middle powers" of the hemisphere, but is clearly closest to the U.S. in an overall sense, with its economy most closely integrated with that country’s. Canada has become more trade-dependent during the 1990s, with the proportion of total exports going to the U.S. rising to over 80%. Canada is affected by a deepening process of North American integration(5) - not nearly as advanced as the European single market but considerably beyond simple free trade(6) - and, like other countries, is at the same time having to deal with the dynamic effects of globalization processes.

To the south, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, with nearly 500 million people (about 8% of world population), present a portrait of striking diversity, notwithstanding a regional heritage strongly influenced by the major European colonial powers. Demographically, the population has become more urbanized, with a high proportion of young people (almost 50% under 15 in Nicaragua), though, on average, annual growth rates are slowing. Behind the aggregate data, however, are often abundant differences among and within countries. Just four of the 33 countries - Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina - account for more than two-thirds of the total population; Brazil alone has 35%. Population distribution is similarly skewed in the Caribbean sub-region, where three countries - Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic - comprise 80% of the total. The interests of a tiny island state are likely to be quite distinct from those of a Brazil or Mexico.

Latin America and the Caribbean are also culturally heterogeneous. As a recent survey observes: "Over the colonial division of the region into Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French areas, one finds overlaid a mosaic of European cultures as well as of Native American, African, and Asian cultures, in various combinations."(7) Indigenous peoples, historically marginalized, are increasingly seeking recognition of their rights. Religion is another factor of diversity, with Latin Catholicism no longer as dominant (and affected by internal upheavals), rapid inroads being made by Protestant groups, and the influence of African religions in countries like Brazil and Haiti.

In economic and social terms, the picture is also complicated and very uneven. Despite increasing industrialization and market-oriented reforms in recent years, it would be misleading to think that the region as a whole has attained a middle-income status. Only in Brazil and Mexico, the two largest economies (together with Argentina and Venezuela they account for 80% of regional output), have the main exports shifted from primary to industrialized products. Mexico is perhaps the most advanced, as a member of NAFTA and also of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); however, the fallout from the December 1994 peso crisis put this development in doubt. Moreover, there are enormous disparities between countries: Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita GDP under US$200; per capita output in nearby Trinidad is more than 20 times that amount. More importantly, in terms of governance and social relations, income distribution is extremely unequal in many countries, including the largest, Brazil. Over 40% of the region’s entire population has been classified as poor; in some countries it is above 60%. This is a major continuing development challenge as a recent CIDA policy framework for the region pointedly underlines:

Poverty in the Americas bears the weight of history. It is rooted in ethnicity, age, gender, culture, education and language. It has continued because of the inability of governments, and in many cases their unwillingness, to give the poor access to economic opportunities and to the political process. ... The region also has the most unequal income distribution in the world. The income share going to the poorest fifth of the population decreased between 1950 and the late 1970s, well before the debt crisis and market reforms of the 1980s. Beginning in the early 1990s, wealth was still more concentrated than during the 1970s, with the richest 10% of households receiving 40% of the total income, while the bottom 20% received less than 4%.(8)

While the persistence of such gross inequities clearly carries high human costs, there are also signs of progress - illiteracy and infant mortality have fallen in almost all countries, while life expectancy has risen - and there are important positive political and economic reform trends that need to be bolstered by current hemispheric integration and regional cooperation processes. Much of the region has suffered from a legacy of autocratic or authoritarian governments, violent civil unrest and repression, and inward-looking, protectionist economic policies. The buildup of crushing external debt-loads and the resulting painful structural adjustment remedies led to the 1980s being referred to as Latin America’s "lost decade." The wave of democratization which replaced military dominated regimes, and the economic liberalization and push for regional free trade in the 1990s, has given rise to new hopes and expectations. However, democracy has shallow roots in many places; the challenge is to construct stable, well-functioning civil societies capable of supporting its consolidation. Economic reform and adjustment are also difficult works in progress and far from assured.

The Miami Summit committed the countries of the Americas to work together towards common solutions to the region’s problems. In this dynamic hemispheric environment, many of the outstanding questions relate to the sustainability of the reform processes now underway. The CIDA document referred to above lists as threatening obstacles to be overcome: "the fragility of democracies, the weakness of institutions, the concentration of power in the hands of elites, stories of corruption, the subordination of women in society, the exclusion of the poor, particularly women and indigenous populations, drug trafficking, increased urban violence, and the deterioration of the environment."(9) Another recent assessment in The Economist reports widespread discontent in the region: "Almost everywhere both rich and poor feel less secure, as drugs, guns and violent crime take an ever stronger hold on the shanty towns that ring so many cities. ... A decade of democratic regimes broadly committed to low inflation, free economies and open trade has not, except in Chile, brought about sustained growth; and while laying the groundwork for that, it has both made old woes more visible and added some new ones."(10)

The message is not to slow down the momentum of necessary reforms, but to ensure that hemispheric processes address the very real concerns of the region’s diverse populations. In this way, the movement towards economic integration and free trade will also become more politically and socially sustainable over the long term.


   A. The Americas as a Regional Actor

Regionalism and regional integration are certainly not new phenomena in international affairs; however, they have attracted renewed interest in the 1990s as part of the shifting geopolitics and geo-economics of the post-Cold War era. Some see in this the emergence of a "triad" of powerful regional economic blocs in Asia, Europe and the Americas: centred respectively on Japan, the European Union, and the United States as the leading global actors. A concomitant concern has been that these blocs may become exclusionary or engage in competitive rivalries, rather than being building blocks towards a more open global economy governed by multilateral rules. It is cautionary as well that regionalism, even when conceived positively as "the mise en scène for communities beyond the nation-state," has had a very uneven record in practice. As neatly summarized by Manfred Mols: "Regional integration has succeeded in Western Europe; it has become a lower-level network in Southeast Asia; it has been a transitory phenomenon in Africa and South Asia; and in Latin America, efforts at economic integration in the 1960s and 1970s have failed to achieve enduring results."(11)

In recent years, a number of Canadian scholars have analyzed the changing character of and prospects for regional integration in the Americas. Reviewing the historical legacy, Brunelle and Deblock observe that: "The Americas have never been the focus of a unified vision for the future in the way that Europe has been; they have never even formed a market as doctrine defines the concept. On the other hand, they have been the subject of a variety of contradictory plans, put forward by all the individual countries that make up the Americas as well as by the United States, and they have formed a number of markets, almost all of which have centred on outward-looking growth."(12) In addition to that, Mace and Thérien describe a long competition between two competing visions of the Americas: one developed by the U.S. since the days of the Monroe doctrine - a "hub-and-spoke" model centred on Washington’s national security and commercial interests - the other a Latin-based pan-Americanism dating back to the days of Simon Bolivar which, despite setbacks, has been a factor in groups of countries forging their own sub-regional development pacts (e.g., the Andean Group).(13)

In the 1990s, these historic conceptions seem, rather remarkably, to have been superseded by a converging and more all-embracing vision of hemispheric integration based on broadly shared principles of democratic governance, open markets and free trade. U.S. leadership has been crucial in proposing such an agenda - from President Bush’s 1990 Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI) to the 1994 Summit of the Americas initiated by President Clinton. Furthermore, unlike the confrontations which marked the Reagan years, these overtures have been warmly welcomed by virtually all countries of the hemisphere. (The major remaining exception is of course Cuba, as well as the special case of continued U.S. isolation over its punitive policies towards Cuba.) Some analysts contend we are witnessing the development of a new "open" regionalism, a "second generation" of regionalism in the Americas, which is both more representative of the range of regional interests and more multilateralist in reaching out to other parts of the world in a globalizing context.(14)

Applied to the Americas of today, Mace and Thérien define this regionalism as

[a] process occurring in a given geographical region by which different types of actors (states, regional institutions, societal organizations) come to share certain fundamental values. These actors also participate in a growing network of economic, cultural, scientific, diplomatic, political, even military interactions. Although the progression may not be automatic and may vary in speed from sector to sector, the combination of increasing interactions and shared values should produce not necessarily a new political unit but rather a stronger and more diversified capacity for regional management of regional problems. This regional management may occur through formal multilateral organizations, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Americas, or in an ad hoc fashion through meetings of ministers or civil servants, such as the inter-American meeting of the ministers of defence that was convened for the first time in Williamsburg, Virginia, in July 1995.(15)

It bears noting that the OAS, which grew out of the old Pan-American Union in 1948, did not have regional integration as an objective in its original charter. As socio-economic interests assumed greater prominence, promotion of integration among developing country members of the hemisphere was made an explicit goal under the amended OAS charter of 1967. That same year, OAS heads of state signed a declaration calling for the future creation of a Latin American Common Market.(16) However, little progress was made at this level for the next several decades; instead various subregional approaches, encouraged by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), continued to be pursued with at best limited success: the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA), established in 1960 and replaced in 1980 by the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA); the Central American Common Market (CACM) established 1960; the Andean Group established 1966; the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) established 1973 superseding an earlier free trade association.

By the end of the 1980s, the climate was again ripe for renewing broader hemispheric integration initiatives. In June 1991, the OAS General Assembly adopted a resolution that "the Organization will firmly support every effort to eliminate all impediments to integration, whatever their nature," focusing especially on juridical aspects.(17) Progress towards economic integration was spurred by the EAI, the NAFTA negotiations, and at the "southern cone" of the hemisphere, an agreement reached in 1991 by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, to establish their own common market - the Mercado Commún del Sur (MERCOSUR).

A lively debate is taking place on the international geopolitics of potentially competing paths to achieving hemispheric economic integration. One approach is based on the gradual extension of NAFTA-type arrangements.(18) First in line is Chile, which stayed out of MERCOSUR because of its desire for NAFTA membership. However, there are serious doubts, and considerable Latin American ambivalence, with respect to U.S. leadership and U.S. "hegemonic" power in a NAFTA-led system. Some see the development of MERCOSUR, centred on the leading power in South America, Brazil, as a potential alternative model to "NAFTA-ization." MERCOSUR, which is a customs union, also appears to have a more extensive set of integrating institutions, including a Parliamentary Assembly and an Economic and Social Council.(19) Significantly, Canada, after reaching its own bilateral free trade deal with Chile, is currently also seeking to gain associate membership in MERCOSUR. One concern is to avoid any repetition of "previous attempts of regional integration in the continent [which] were instruments of trade diversion favouring special interests at the expense of society at large."(20) A conscious aim therefore is to support regional initiatives which can fit into a wider multilateralist approach.

Whatever route prevails into the next century, the negotiation of comprehensive integration agreements is certain to be complicated, given the number of governments involved and the existing proliferation - a total of 72 by OAS estimates - of subregional (bilateral, trilateral or plurilateral) trade pacts. Brunelle and Deblock point out that:

there are, all in all, besides the 34 countries [Cuba not included], some 164 sub-state (or sub-national) legislatures (twelve in Canada including its two territories, 50 in the USA without counting the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, 31 in Mexico, 23 in Argentina, 26 in Brazil, and 22 in Venezuela), as well as five inter-state (or supra-national) parliaments (the Latin American Parliament, the Andean Parliament, the central American Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Caribbean Community and the Joint Parliamentary Commission of the MERCOSUR). To contend with the whole democratic process could prove quite cumbersome indeed if one were bent on negotiating quick returns out of a complex agenda.(21)

This raises an important aspect of the crucial political and governance dimensions of current and prospective hemispheric integration processes. Notwithstanding the priority in official negotiations given to expanding trade and commercial links, a leading American scholar, Joseph Tulchin, argues that: "questions of governance - and what I call the international code of good behavior [which includes democracy and human rights as well as sound economic policies] - are rapidly assuming greater salience in inter-American relations. It is my judgement that they will dominate relations among the nations of the Hemisphere in the 21st century."(22)

A related set of considerations was emphasized by the Ottawa-based Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) in the introduction to its March-April 1997 Internet "virtual conference" on the theme of "Power and Integration in the Americas" which observed that:

Since the end of the Second World War, the importance of free trade and economic integration has been as much political as economic. Both the logic of integration and its implications have domestic and international political dimensions.... The politics of integration also have their conflictive side.... The economic adjustments that accompany the current trade liberalization have produced social and economic disruptions that could affect the political stability of some countries and, par ricochet, regional prospects for peace and prosperity.(23)

In an earlier exercise, the Foundation analyzed the linkage of both a favourable international and hemispheric economic climate and good governance as key variables in determining whether Latin America and Caribbean partners will be able to realize positive outcomes from regional integration processes. As this study posed the central issues:

  • Freer trade and investment are necessary in order for structural adjustments and export-led development models to succeed;

  • The economic model and social reforms it calls for depend on good domestic governance for their sustainability;

  • Political leadership, participation and a shared sense of responsibility are crucial, especially if the international climate is unfavourable;

  • Without freer trade and free-flowing investments, the structural adjustments made in the region will have been for naught: "what is the point of having an export-led model of development when one’s potential customers close their borders to your products? ... The social sustainability of the economic model, moreover, and the social reforms it calls for depend strongly on domestic governance. By negating whatever benefits were gained from the export-led card, an unfavourable international climate would only make governance more crucial because imagination, leadership, participation, and a shared sense of responsibility would be required more than ever before."

The overall conclusion is that "Strong governments are needed to capitalize on open markets and strong societies are required to shoulder the costs of adjustment."(24) Such are the challenges which the Americas will have to meet if the region as a whole is to emerge as an effective actor in global affairs.

   B. Strengthening Key Dimensions of Hemispheric Cooperation

      1. Democratic Governance, Institution-Building, and Human Security

Almost all of the countries of the Americas are now nominally democratic, with governments composed of elected politicians under a constitutional rule of law. Moreover, recognition of this fact has been incorporated into the institutions of the inter-American system. Canada’s first initiative after joining the OAS was the successful establishment within it of a Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD).(25) During the 1990s, the OAS has been involved in a number of election monitoring and democratic development activities. In 1991, the OAS General Assembly in Santiago, Chile, adopted a resolution authorizing the Organization to intervene "in the case of any event giving rise to the sudden or irregular interruption of the domestic, political institutional process or the legitimate exercise of power by the democratically elected government in any of the Organization’s member states." The OAS has subsequently been involved in efforts to preserve or restore democratic government - notably in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti - with mixed results. The OAS also includes several important human rights mechanisms, though as yet they have not been allowed to be very effective.(26) It has been argued as well that the OAS should move to democratize further its own institutional structures; perhaps even establishing a hemispheric parliament.(27)

In the early 1990s, policy elites emphasized the need for free-market reforms and adjustments (dubbed the "Washington consensus" by John Williamson).(28) It is significant to note a parallel emphasis in more recent years - including by the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB), the major multilateral institution supporting regional economic development - on retrieving positive roles for the state and capable public institutions. Such roles are now seen as equally necessary to the political and social sustainability of ongoing processes of hemispheric economic liberalization and integration. Referring to this movement as the "Santiago consensus,"(29) The Economist quotes Williamson in saying that: "Policy needs to shift from cutting back a state that had become bloated to strengthening a number of key state institutions whose efficient functioning is important for rapid and/or equitable growth."(30)

Not only are more effective domestic and inter-American governance institutions required, if they are to earn public legitimacy they must be accompanied by broadly-based democratization. The extent and magnitude of that challenge is indicated by CIDA’s Americas policy framework:

The survival, deepening and consolidation of democracy ... cannot be taken for granted. Democratic traditions in the Commonwealth Caribbean are long-standing, but this is not the case in Latin America. Clearly, the roots of democracy have to be carefully nurtured.

In many countries, the armed forces still have considerable leverage in terms of political and economic power while social, economic and political destabilization associated with drug trafficking is increasing. Institutional violence and human rights violations are still widespread. The rule of law is often problematic while corruption, ineffective policy apparatus and weak judicial systems are commonplace. More important, for most people, democracy has yet to translate into improved standards of living. While democratic governments have raised the expectations of their constituents, few have been able to deliver on their promises. In addition, the inability of governments and state institutions to deal with various social issues has fuelled a growing crisis of governance: poverty and exclusion continue unabated, while gross and systematic corruption exists. Public unrest is growing in some countries and urban violence has increased in all of them. Tensions are increasing almost everywhere as social inequalities persist.(31)

The lack of human security in the region, despite extraordinary expenditures on the apparatus of public and private security,(32) is linked to that same democratic and social challenge, and in turn raises questions about the adequacy of existing political and economic instruments for achieving hemispheric cooperation and integration. Canadian foreign policy analyst James Rochlin has argued that: "A key challenge in the Western Hemisphere is that of achieving a greater degree of democracy not only in the OAS but also within the emerging institutions of trade pacts. Democracy in this sense implies greater political power for states other than the United States."(33) The inter-American system is faced with opening up its processes, including to increasingly active non-governmental organizations, and with becoming more responsive to all members’ interests.(34) Affirming that "the OAS is a critical forum in which the nations of Latin America define their concept of their own security," Joseph Tulchin sees a historic opportunity at hand: "Never before have the nations of Latin America had a similar chance to define their roles in the world community and to contribute, in a meaningful and substantial fashion, to the shaping of the Hemispheric community."(35)

Canada, even though it has been slow to develop it own institutional ties to the hemisphere,(36) is now increasingly becoming enmeshed in the democratic governance, peace-building and (with reservations) security dimensions of inter-American affairs.(37) At the same time, new ways of cooperation are needed to reconcile the important differences which remain among countries, such as over how best to deal with destabilizing situations, the appropriateness of external (military/humanitarian/human rights) interventions, and other ongoing dilemmas related to the management of non-traditional security threats (e.g., control of the drug trade). These have all emerged as important, if sensitive and often contested areas, where Canadian capabilities (diplomatic/peacekeeping/development assistance), as well as support for inter-parliamentary dialogue, could be of benefit to realizing regional integration goals.

      2. Social Integration and Sustainable Development

One of the biggest challenges for the Americas is to create the conditions for greater social equity and participation while pursuing structural reforms and economic growth that is environmentally sustainable. As Raymond Dunn outlines part of that challenge:

Even if the region succeeds economically, economic growth does not automatically improve the standard of living. Social investment must be the highest priority; Latin American countries must invest in human capital and technological improvement as well as some form of social safety net to protect their poorest citizens. Political and economic reforms will be undermined if social demands remain unsatisfied. Most countries in the region are poised to go in either direction - toward a more stable system or toward instability - depending on how successful they are at consolidating democracy, achieving economic success, and satisfying social demands. Inclusion in free trade agreements is a solution that could help them achieve these goals.(38)

In recent years, many countries of the hemisphere have made considerable strides in liberalizing their economies, and this has been reflected in increased trade and investment flows. However, traumatic events such as Mexico’s political and financial crises, brought on by the indigenous revolt in the southern state of Chiapas in January 1994 and the collapse of the peso in December 1994, were a rude reminder of the volatility of international market factors and of the socio-political agenda to be addressed as part of the region’s economic transformation.(39) Progress on economic liberalization and integration needs therefore to be accompanied by strategies for social integration and democratic inclusion. Otherwise, the gap between integration goals and domestic social realities will widen dangerously. Levels of popular frustration and political protest are extremely high in many countries, The Economist reported a few months ago, pointing as well to the contradiction that: "The fundamental economic outlook is favourable. But the poor cannot eat ‘fundamentals.’ What they see is that the region’s traditionally wide gap between incomes is widening further."(40)

While strong governments and public institutions may be necessary to confront the above challenges, clearly top-down governance and development models can no longer suffice if the societies, not just the states, of the Americas are to be brought forward into hemispheric integration processes that are broadly based and ultimately sustainable. Civil society actors have continued to mobilize since the Miami Summit around regional integration themes, and Canada has been among the most supportive of such participatory processes. For example, leading up to the December 1996 Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development in Bolivia, a preparatory Canadian national consultation was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.(41) Among the recommendations put forward for consideration were that:

  • Canada should advocate that trade agreements at all levels should integrate economic, environmental and social considerations...

  • The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) & North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) should be promoted at the Summit as instructive for other trade negotiations.

  • Land claims should be a high priority for governments of the region. Any Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) should be accompanied by progress in addressing pressing aboriginal issues...

  • Trade agreements can, while increasing overall prosperity, aggravate existing inequities, and further marginalize those already on the margins. These social dimensions need to be addressed in any FTAA. Mechanisms for an effective involvement of Canadian civil society in trade policy formulation should be strengthened.(42)

Although the OAS convened a special session with NGOs in July 1996, Canada was one of only a few countries to include NGO representation in its official delegation to the Bolivia summit. Mr. Clifford Lincoln, M.P., also attended as a parliamentary representative. Coinciding with the formal intergovernmental event, there was also a parallel non-governmental conference representing civic organizations throughout the region - "youth and women’s groups, labour unions, non-governmental organizations, business groups, universities, community associations, grassroots organizations, indigenous and peasant organizations..." - addressing a range of issues as part of a hemispheric agenda for "sustainable development": poverty, debt, land tenure, corruption, conflict resolution, education, cultural diversity, etc. An overriding message of this gathering to the assembled governments was that: "without effective participation of the civil society there will not be sustainable development."(43)

The Bolivia summit is an example of the kind of regional process for addressing policies affecting the hemisphere that needs to be followed up through the further development of inter-American institutional channels. Dr. Nola-Kate Seymoar, who represented NGO input on the Canadian delegation, has recommended that:

A long-term plan for our involvement in the hemisphere should be developed with the participation of the government and civil society. A mid-term goal might be set to host the GA [General Assembly] of the OAS and the Summit of the Americas together in the year 2000.(44) Canada should propose that the new OAS Commission on Sustainable Development incorporate a multi-sector round table for advice and input at the policy level.... ‘Participatory policy making’ should continue to be pursued as an alternative or complement to traditional consultations.(45)

Flowing from the Bolivia summit plan of action, the OAS is putting in place an Inter-American Strategy for Participation (ISP), the elements of which were discussed at an initial consultation in Miami in February 1997.(46) Another crucial part of ensuring that societies as well as governments are well represented in managing future processes of hemispheric integration will be to strengthen the role of representative democratic institutions and to bring together legislators from across the Americas, ideally on a continuing basis, to deliberate on common regional goals and the best means for achieving them. In this regard, the Parliamentary Conference of the Americas in Quebec City in September 1997 can make a seminal contribution to the growth of initiatives designed to support constructive, publicly accountable and participatory approaches to hemispheric integration and regional cooperation.


   A. The Foreign Policy Record

As indicated at the outset of this paper, Canadian involvement in hemispheric affairs remained quite restricted and hesitant up to the present decade. That began to change during the 1980s, though the bilateral relationship with the United States was by far the dominant policy consideration. (As well, as Louis Balthazar has pointed out, the U.S. posture towards Canada had long been distinctly non-hemispheric; responsibility for relations with Canada being put under the State Department’s division for European affairs.(47)) Earlier, in developing a Latin American policy, the Trudeau government had sought to diversify relations, while avoiding any constraining entanglement in OAS politics (Canada becoming only a "permanent observer" in 1972), as part of its "third option" strategy of seeking counterweights to U.S. power. Following the 1970 foreign policy review, a Latin American division was established in 1971 in the Department of External Affairs Bureau of Hemispheric Affairs. Canada joined the Inter-American Development Bank in 1972. The Canadian International Development Agency instituted aid programs in the region. Private investment also grew; however, results were modest.(48)

During the 1980s, Canadian policy became embroiled in efforts to address highly polarized civil conflicts in the Central American region, notably following the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, and in El Salvador and Guatemala. Human rights advocacy clashed with Cold War approaches in the early Reagan years. Canadian attention was spurred by NGO activism around these issues and later, as the focus shifted to conflict resolution and post-war reconciliation and reconstruction, by subsequent contributions to regional peace processes.(49) Parliamentary inquiries into Latin American affairs reflected these preoccupations.(50) However, in the later years of the decade, economic issues began to assume more prominence. Even though the effects of the debt crisis still clouded commercial prospects with Latin America,(51) the movement towards North American free trade marked a fundamental new departure for Canada. While not necessarily reducing Canada’s capacity to take independent foreign policy stands vis-à-vis the U.S. (e.g., on Cuba among other issues), economic integration with America, then expanding to the Americas, became a central context for subsequent policy development.(52)

There has been some concern that this potent thrust might overshadow and diminish Canada’s historically close relationships with certain economically less favoured parts of the hemisphere or the small island states of the Caribbean where there are long-standing Commonwealth ties (as well as the Francophone connection to Haiti).(53) Indeed, the preservation of such "colonial" European affinities, along with Canada’s unbroken relations with Cuba, was often considered an inhibiting factor and responsible for Canada’s reluctance to accept membership in a U.S.-dominated OAS. Canada had also become a major aid donor to this subregion: bilaterally and as a leading contributor to the Caribbean Development Bank established in 1969 (of which the U.S. is not a member), as well as instituting its own system of trade preferences known as CARIBCAN in 1986; taking a distinctly alternative approach to the more ideologically-motivated U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. As Prime Minister Trudeau affirmed to Commonwealth leaders in St. Lucia in 1983:

We have consistently chosen to address hemispheric tensions from their economic and social causes, being equipped neither by ambition nor by capacity to pursue military solutions, or grand strategic designs. Consequently, we have urged on other partners a developmental approach - national plans and regional institutions. In our view, states have a right to follow whatever ideological path their peoples decide.(54)

While the increasing trade focus from the FTA to NAFTA has shifted the spotlight from Central America and the Caribbean basin, the substantial Canadian interests built up there have carried forward, albeit at a lower profile. For example, it is worth noting that from 1966 to 1990, 238,000 migrants came to Canada from the Caribbean (128,000 from Latin America during the same period, many as refugees), making up large communities in major cities, especially Toronto and Montreal.(55) Tourism is an important source of revenue for many island states. In terms of security and human rights, Canada has continued to be involved in important democratization and development assistance initiatives in Central America, Haiti, and other parts of the Caribbean. Multilaterally and in inter-American affairs, Canada is also seen as a middle-power ally of the region’s smaller countries.

By the end of the 1980s, Canada appeared finally ready to embrace a fully engaged foreign policy for the whole of the Americas. As then Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark signalled to the OAS General Assembly in 1989: "Canada’s joining of the OAS represents ... a decision to become a partner in this hemisphere."(56) At this point, NAFTA was barely on the horizon (it should be recalled that Canadians had reacted negatively to the Reagan proposal for a "North American accord" a decade earlier). Canada eventually decided to join the US-Mexico negotiations, though at least initially rather cautiously and defensively. Canadian energies in the OAS also concentrated first on issues of democratic institution-building.(57) Nevertheless, once NAFTA was accomplished it quickly became a central feature of Canada’s renewed and expanded hemispheric horizons. As Andrew Cooper puts it: "Canada has gone on the offensive in encouraging the broadening of the project. Since the implementation of NAFTA, the Canadian approach has undergone a fundamental transformation. ... Canada has embraced the region in an increasingly multifaceted fashion."(58)

As indicated by the emphasis on promoting trade liberalization at the 1994 Miami summit, followed by a "Team Canada" mission to Latin America and the recent conclusion of a bilateral free-trade agreement with Chile (considered an interim step to NAFTA membership), trade interests have become ascendant if not predominant in Canadian policy towards the region.(59) Furthermore, NGOs’ advocacy of policy alternatives has not played as intense a role as it achieved in the 1980s in the case of Central America and around issues of debt and structural adjustment. Nevertheless, non-governmental actors have provided a critical perspective to the prevailing "neoliberal" development model.(60) Such normative non-commercial concerns continued to be voiced strongly during the 1994 public foreign policy review. As well, the NAFTA era has generated some parallel socially-conscious transnational forms of engagement - for example, the "Common Frontiers" coalition on human rights and economic integration which has received support from the Montreal-based International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. Moreover, Canada’s regional development assistance contributions - which through all channels total $800 million annually - stress a strong social agenda within the context of market-oriented reform and regional integration. As CIDA’s Americas policy framework puts it: "the great challenge for the Americas is to create greater social equity while pursuing structural reforms and economic growth. Canada sees itself as a favoured partner in this regard."(61)

Andrew Cooper argues that the new regionalism allows for a positive and expansive Canadian approach to evolve along these lines:

... Canada could tap into the image of the Americas’ democratizing and ‘opening up’ in a comprehensive fashion within the international order. The Chilean minister responsible for negotiating accession into NAFTA underscored these ‘similarities’ by stating: ‘We deeply are rooted in democratic values and we care about labour rights, environmental standards and sustainable development.’(62)

Looked upon in this way, there are many policy convergences which can be supported by Canadian initiatives through hemispheric economic integration processes that are participatory and socially responsible. Indeed, many of these common objectives have already been enunciated in the 1994 Miami Summit’s Declaration and Plan of Action. The test in the final years of this decade will be to see to what extent these optimistic intentions are capable of being fulfilled in practice.

   B. Provincial Roles

The significant contribution of the Canadian provinces to increased engagement in the Americas also deserves mention. The external interests of provinces such as Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have been primarily commercial. In the case of Quebec, the province clearly "most involved in Latin America," this international activity has also had an important political, social and cultural dimension.(63) Besides a long history of ties to the region, official contacts at the intergovernmental level multiplied as the government of Quebec developed a considerable external relations machinery and opened a number of overseas bureaus from the 1960s on. Alberta and Ontario have been the only other provinces to have established any significant presence in the field; however, Quebec alone has maintained its offices abroad.

Haar and Dosman put forward the view that: "Canadians accept that Quebec is a special political community in the Americas that desires a distinct relationship with Haiti and certain Latin American countries. The cultural ties between ‘Latin’ Quebec and Hispanic America may be more perception than reality, but Quebec’s four offices in Latin America and its numerous inter-governmental agreements and programs embody a specifically Québécois hemispheric projection."(64) In the area of education and knowledge-based exchanges, for example, Gordon Mace observes that:

One of Quebec’s major successes in Latin America has been in the field of scientific cooperation through inter-university co-operative agreements. In this area, Quebec relied heavily on the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education, which groups together university principals from Quebec and Latin America. Quebec has also been successful in attracting students from Latin America to study in the province’s universities.(65)

In recent years, NAFTA-related considerations have come to the fore, and this is also true for Quebec both in government and business terms. As well, the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation is located in Montreal. However, Quebec’s relations with hemispheric partners continue to be more comprehensively based.

   C. Future Prospects

Very few indeed in this hemisphere would suggest that Canada has no right to have views on virtually all major matters of the day. The country is a member of this community by right of geography and history, a state of affairs not always quite so visible in other parts of the world with which we would like to have even closer relations. ... The Americas, with Latin America well to the fore, and with whom our links are so natural in geopolitical terms, can help make that world a bit less frightening... We remain a country which prospers from the widest possible multilateralism ... especially in some situations when we are dealing with the U.S. on matters of wide concern. Latin America is a partner of great utility in all this. La géopolitique oblige.

Hal Klepak(66)

In light of the foregoing, it is clear that opportunities are expanding for a broader and deeper Canadian engagement in hemispheric affairs. Viewed optimistically, Canada has at last overcome its ambivalence towards the region, with Ottawa having "pursued its aims by applying many of the quintessential features of Canadian ‘middle power’ diplomacy. On the one hand, Canada has worked hard to multilateralize its relationship with the U.S. through NAFTA and other institutional arrangements. On the other hand, Canada has cast itself in the role of a bridge between regions."(67)

Still, many observers see serious obstacles to the smooth unfolding of the preferred Canadian scenario of regional integration: continued manifestations of U.S. unilateralist tendencies in trade and foreign policy (e.g., protectionist disputes, the extraterritorial Helms-Burton legislation on Cuba); a growing dependence on bilateral exports to the U.S.; uncertainties and differing perspectives over the progress of trade liberalization; potentially explosive governance and social problems in parts of the region. Jean Daudelin of the Canadian Foundation for the Americas cautions that much of the current policy orientation rests on "brittle foundations."(68)

In short, there is still much that can be done to strengthen the bases of Canada’s insertion into hemispheric integration processes. Moreover, the policy initiative cannot be solely Ottawa-based and government-led. This is also a critical juncture at which enhancing social participation and democratic representation - notably through developing more extensive and regular inter-parliamentary linkages - can enrich the Canadian contribution to inter-American dialogue on all of the issues related to hemispheric integration and regional cooperation. That is the parliamentary challenge waiting to be taken up to help lead the Americas into the next century.

* This intermediary role is acknowledged by an editorial in The Economist, "Rediscovering the Americas," 17 May 1997, p. 15. See also Eric Lauzon, "Les négociations de la zone de libre-échange des Amériques : une opportunité pour le Canada," Le Devoir, 4 août 1997, p. A7.

(1) Andrew Cooper, Canadian Foreign Policy: Old Habits and New Directions, Prentice Hall Allyn and Bacon Canada, Scarborough, 1997, Chapter 7, "The Search for Neighbourhood," p. 262. The fullest historical analysis of this theme is by James Rochlin, Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy Towards Latin America, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, 1994. See also Gordon Mace and Claude Goulet, "Canada in the Americas: Assessing Ottawa’s Behaviour," International Journal of Canadian Studies, Spring 1996, p. 133-59.

(2) Daudelin astutely analyses the bases of the new policy context in "The Politics of Oligarchy: ‘Democracy’ and Canada’s Recent Conversion to Latin America," in Maxwell Cameron and Maureen Molot, eds., Canada Among Nations, 1995: Democracy and Foreign Policy, Carleton University Press, Ottawa, 1995, p. 145-62.

(3) Ann Weston, "Overview and Introductory Comments," in Jerry Haar and Edgar J. Dosman, eds., A Dynamic Partnership: Canada’s Changing Role in the Americas, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK), 1993, p. viii.

(4) See the Summit of the Americas Declaration of Principles, "Partnership for Development and Prosperity: Democracy, Free Trade and Sustainable Development in the Americas," Miami, 9-11 December 1994. For useful background to this agenda, see also the Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Special Issue: "The Summit of the Americas - Issues to Consider," Vol. 36, Fall 1994.

(5) Cf. Stephen Randall and Herman Konrad, eds., NAFTA in Transition, University of Calgary Press, Calgary, 1995.

(6) For a comparison of the North American and European integration projects, see Dorval Brunelle and Christian Deblock, eds., L’Amérique du Nord et l’Europe communautaire : Intégration économique, intégration sociale?, Presses de l’Université du Québec, Sainte-Foy, 1994. The same authors offer a distinctly Quebec perspective on possible future impacts of market integration in this hemisphere in "Free Trade and Trade Related Issues in Quebec: The Challenges of Continental Integration," Paper presented to the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Washington, DC, 21 February 1997 (available through the Web site of the Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale at the Université du Québec à Montréal at http://www.unites.uqam.ca/gric/index.htm).

(7) Which Future for the Americas?, Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), Ottawa, 1995, p. 9. A new bilingual edition is currently in preparation.

(8) Canadian International Development Agency, Equity for Sustainable Growth ¾ CIDA’s Development Policy Framework for its Co-operation Program in the Americas, Hull, Quebec, 6 January 1997 (Internet version, p. 11). See also Ricardo Brinspun, "Sostenibilidad, Equidad e Integracíon Económica," in Paul Krugman et al., Las Américas: Intégracíon Económica en Perspectiva, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Departmento Nacional de Planeación, Bogotá, 1996.

(9) Ibid., p. 4.

(10) "Latin America’s Backlash," The Economist, 30 November 1996, p. 15-16 and 19-21.

(11) Manfred Mols, "Regional Integration and the International System," in Shoji Nishijima and Peter Smith, eds., Cooperation or Rivalry? Regional Integration in the Americas and the Pacific Rim, Westview Press, Boulder, Colo., 1996, p. 9. Although the European Union represents the most successful and advanced integrationist project to date, it should also be noted that there are still powerful anti-integration forces within Europe which may yet delay if not derail its progress.

(12) Dorval Brunelle and Christian Deblock, "Les Amériques : entre la dépendence, le repli & l’intégration," Association canadienne d’économie politique, Table-ronde sur l’ALÉNA, Ottawa, 8 June 1993, p. 4.

(13) Gordon Mace and Jean-Philippe Thérien, eds., Foreign Policy and Regionalism in the Americas, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colo., 1996, p. 3ff.

(14) Among many sources, see, for example, Christian Deblock and Dorval Brunelle, "Le régionalisme économique international: de la première à la deuxième génération," in Michel Fortmann et al., Tous pour un ou chacun pour soi - Promesses et limites de la coopération internationale en matière de sécurité, Institut québécois des hautes études internationales, 1996; Vilma Petrash, "From Subregionalism to Inter-American Regionalism: NAFTA, MERCOSUR, and the ‘Spirit of Miami’," Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1997 (draft manuscript posted on FOCAL’s "Power and Integration in the Americas: A Virtual Conference." For a variety of Latin American views, see also Julia Jatar and Sidney Weintraub, eds., Integrating the Hemisphere: Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Dialogue, Washington, DC, March 1997.

(15) Mace and Thérien (1996), p. 2.

(16) Paul A. O’Hop, Jr., "Hemispheric Integration and the Elimination of Legal Obstacles under a NAFTA-Based System," Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, Winter 1995, p. 135-36.

(17) Ibid., p. 136-37.

(18) As O’Hop sets out the challenge facing such an approach, it risks adding more complexity to what has so far been an independent development of regional and subregional regimes, each with their own "web of laws and institutions that strengthen the already formidable legal obstacles to Pan-American integration, ... unless a means of coordination is devised. ... The NAFTA institutional structure is sparse, but it does provide a starting point for a system of coordination ... The weakness of the NAFTA institutional structure portends a long and difficult road toward integration, as the constant tension between integration and national sovereignty is often resolved in favor of the latter" (Ibid., p. 176).

(19) Dorval Brunelle and Christian Deblock, "Economic Regionalism under the FTAA and MERCOSUR: James Monroe or Simon Bolivar?," Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale, Université du Québec à Montréal, 1997 (Internet version at http://www.unites.uqam.ca/gric/). See also Julius Katz, "Paths Toward Hemispheric Integration," North American Outlook: Perspectives on Western Hemispheric Economic Integration, National Planning Association, Vol. 5, No. 4/Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter 1995-96, p. 72-76. For assessments sensitive to Canadian-Latin American interests, cf. Richard Lipsey and Patricio Meller, eds., NAFTA y MERCOSUR: Un Diálogo Canadiense-Latinoamericano, CIEPLAN/Dolmen Ediciones, Santiago, 1996 (also published in English as Western Hemisphere Trade Integration: A Canadian-Latin American Dialogue, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1996).

(20) C.A. Primo Braga et al., "Regional Integration in the Americas: Déjà Vu All Over Again?," The World Economy, Vol. 17, July 1994, p. 577-601. See also Michael Hart, Doing the Right Thing: Regional Integration and the Multilateral Trade Regime, Occasional Papers No. 39, Centre for Trade Policy and Law, University of Ottawa and Carleton University, Ottawa, January 1996; and Jan Joost Teunissen, ed., Regionalism and the Global Economy: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean, FONDAD, The Hague, 1995.

(21) Brunelle and Deblock (1997 Internet version), p. 4.

(22) Joseph S. Tulchin, "Hemispheric Relations in the 21st Century," Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 39, Spring 1997, p. 33-43.

(23) FOCAL, "Power and Integration in the Americas," Introduction, p. 1-2.

(24) FOCAL, Which Future for the Americas? (1995), p. 16-17. This exercise sketched out four possible scenarios: good governance in a favourable international environment ("Flight of the Condor"); a favourable environment but governance is found lacking ("Wounded Dolphin"); both governance and the international environment fail the region ("Caged Jaguar"); innovative and responsible governance takes on a difficult environment ("Rising Phoenix").

(25) See the excellent analysis by its first head, Canadian John Graham, "Canada and the OAS: Terra Incognita," in Fenn Osler Hampson and Maureen Appel Molot, eds., Canada Among Nations 1996: Big Enough to be Heard, Carleton University Press, 1996, p. 301-18.

(26) Ibid., p. 317. See also the separate workshop paper on human rights.

(27) Cf. Liisa North, Yasmine Shamsie and George Wright, A Report on Reforming the Organization of American States to Support Democratization in the Hemisphere: A Canadian Perspective, The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University, Toronto, 1995, especially p. 49-55. The suggestion of a hemispheric parliament has been made by the prominent American jurist Thomas Buergenthal who was a member of the UN-sponsored "Truth Commission" in El Salvador in the early 1990s.

(28) Williamson, then of the Washington-based Institute for International Economics, put forward the term in his book Latin American Adjustment: How Much has Happened (1990).

(29) Spurred by Chilean President Eduardo Frei, the annual summit of Latin American and Iberian leaders in late 1996 focused tellingly on the theme of "governability for efficient and participatory democracy."

(30) The Economist, 30 November 1996, p. 21. See also Colin Bradford, ed., Redefining the State in Latin America, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, 1994]; and Paul Krugman et al., Las Américas: Intégracíon Económica en Perspectiva, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Departmento Nacional de Planeación, Bogotá, 1996.

(31) CIDA, Equity for Sustainable Growth (1997), p. 13 of Internet version (emphasis in original).

(32) Total spending on "security" (both public and private) in Latin America is reported to be 13-15% of GDP, which is more than the region spends on all forms of welfare (The Economist, 30 November 1996, p 21).

(33) James Rochlin, "Markets, Democracy and Security in Latin America," in Cameron and Molot (1995), p. 265.

(34) That growing range of voices wanting to be "counted in" (though sometimes as a counter to the official process and elite consensus) was on display at the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas. For a documentary record, see Robin Rosenberg and Steve Stein, eds., Advancing the Miami Process: Civil Society and the Summit of the Americas, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colo., 1995.

(35) Tulchin (1997), p. 38 and 40.

(36) For a succinct review, see Stephen Randall, "Canada and Latin America: The Evolution of Institutional Ties," in Jerry Haar and Edgar J. Dosman, A Dynamic Partnership: Canada’s Changing Role in the Hemisphere, University of Miami North-South Centre and Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK), 1993, p. 27-43.

(37) See in the same volume, op cit., Hal Klepak, "Security Issues in the Western Hemisphere in the 1990s: A Canadian Perspective," p. 147-71; also Klepak, ed., Canada and Latin American Security, Éditions du Méridien, Laval, Quebec, 1993.

(38) Raymond Dunn, "The Latin American Transformation," North American Outlook: Perspectives on Western Hemispheric Economic Integration, p. 21.

(39) For further detail see Gerald Schmitz, Chiapas and after: the Mexican Crisis and Implications for Canada, BP-384E, Research Branch, Library of Parliament, Ottawa, February 1994; also Ricardo Grinspun, Nibaldo Galleguillos and Richard Roman, "Economic Reforms and Political Democratization in Mexico: Reevaluating the Basic Tenets of Canadian Foreign Policy," in Cameron and Molot (1995), p. 211-34. More generally, on the financial challenges, see Ricardo Haumann and Helmut Reisen, eds., Securing Stability and Growth in Latin America: Policy Issues and Prospects for Shock-Prone Economies, OECD, Paris, 1996. On the social challenges, see the monograph by Canadian economist Albert Berry, The Social Challenge of the New Economic Era in Latin America, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto and FOCAL, Ottawa, Joint Program on Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Economic Relations, 1995.

(40) "The Backlash in Latin America," The Economist, 30 November 1996, p. 20. See also Denise Dresser, "Latin America Struggles for Parity," The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 8 September 1997.

(41) The consultation was chaired by a former Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. John Fraser, Ambassador for the Environment and Sustainable Development, and co-hosted by the Canadian Foundation for the Americas and the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The author thanks the rapporteur Ms. Angela Vincelli of IISD providing for information on this process.

(42) "Report of the Canadian National Consultation in Preparation for the Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development, Bolivia: Recommendations Drawn from the Consultation Meeting, 28 May 1996," Internet copy, p. 3-4 (available at http://iisdl.iisd.ca).

(43) There Is No Sustainable Development without Effective Public Participation: Recommendations of the Civil Society of the Hemisphere to the Santa Cruz Summit, Coordinated by Fundacíon Futuro Latinoamericano, Quito, Ecuador, 1996, p. 8 and passim.

(44) The most recent OAS General Assembly was held in Peru in early June 1997. The next Summit of the Americas is planned for Santiago, Chile in 1998.

(45) Nola-Kate Seymoar, "Civil Sector Consultation for the Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development, Bolivia, December 1996," International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, January 1997, p. 8. For discussion of the specifically environmental aspects of developing hemispheric policy, see the separate workshop paper on sustainable development.

(46) Organization of American States, "Draft Report on the Consultation for the Inter-American Strategy for Participation (ISP): Strengthening Public Participation in Environment and Sustainable Development Policy-Making in the Americas," North-South Centre, University of Miami, 5-7 February 1997; also Wendy Drukier, "Miami Consultation Concerning Elements of an Inter-American Strategy for Participation," Participant Report, FOCAL, Ottawa, February 1997.

(47) Louis Balthazar, "Changes in the World System and U.S. Relations with the Americas," in Mace and Thérien (1996), p. 27.

(48) See Gordon Mace and Jean-Philippe Thérien, "Canada in the Americas: The Impact of Regionalism on a New Foreign Policy," Ibid., p. 53ff.

(49) See Gerald Schmitz, Canadian Foreign Policy in Central America, Background Paper 147, Library of Parliament, Research Branch, Ottawa, May 1986; Peter McFarlane, Northern Shadows: Canadians and Central America, Between the Lines, Toronto, 1989; Rochlin, Discovering the Americas: The Evolution of Canadian Foreign Policy Towards Latin America, Chapters 7 and 8.

(50) House of Commons Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence, Report on Canada’s Relations with the Caribbean and Central America, Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Hull, 1982; House of Commons Special Committee on the Peace Process in Central America, Supporting the Five: Canada and the Central American Peace Process, Supply and Services Canada, 1988.

(51) This regional impact received considerable attention in a 1987 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Canada, the International Financial Institutions and the Debt Problem of Developing Countries.

(52) For a review and assessment of these integrationist effects on Canadian foreign policy evolution, see Gerald Schmitz-LeGrand, "Le destin n’est pas inéluctable: évaluation des effets probables du libre-échange nord-américain sur la politique étrangère du Canada," Études Internationales, Vol. XXII, No. 1, March 1991, p. 81-136.

(53) See Gregory Mahler, "Foreign Policy and Canada’s Evolving Relations with the Caribbean Commonwealth Countries: Political and Economic Considerations," in Haar and Dosman (1993), p. 79-91.

(54) Ibid., p. 86.

(55) Alan Simmons, "Canada and Migration in the Western Hemisphere," ibid., p. 46.

(56) Cited in Mace and Thérien (1996), "Canada in the Americas: The Impact of Regionalism on a New Foreign Policy," p. 63.

(57) Graham, "Canada and the OAS" (1996). A comprehensive study of Canadian involvement in the inter-American system from its earliest history into the 1990s is by Peter McKenna, Canada and the OAS, Carleton University Press, 1995.

(58) Cooper (1997), p. 268.

(59) The only substantive parliamentary consideration of inter-American affairs during the 1990s has been by the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Free Trade in the Americas: Interim Report, Ottawa, August 1995.

(60) See Laura Macdonald, "Current and Future Directions for Canadian NGOs in Latin America," in Haar and Dosman (1996), p. 113-30.

(61) Equity for Sustainable Growth ¾ CIDA’s Development Policy Framework for its Co-operation Program in the Americas, January 1997, Internet version, p. 14. Canadian aid program objectives are to:

  • reduce poverty;
  • strengthen human rights, democratic development and civil society;
  • develop human resources and institutions;
  • support economic competitiveness and growth;
  • foster the transfer of know-how and technologies;
  • develop environmental management capacities; and
  • provide emergency support when necessary. [p. 4]

(62) Cooper (1997), p. 271.

(63) See Gordon Mace, "Canada’s Provinces and Relations with Latin America: Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario," in Haar and Dosman (1996), p. 61-77.

(64) Edgar Dosman and Jerry Haar, "Conclusion: The Future Challenge," ibid., p. 185.

(65) Ibid., p. 71.

(66) Klepak, "‘Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit’: Geopolitical Realities and the Canada-Latin American Factor in Canada-US Relations," Notes for a Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, 7 March 1997, p. 4 and 6.

(67) Andrew Cooper, "Overcoming Ambivalence: Canada as a Nation of the Americas," Paper presented at the Convention of the International Studies Association, Chicago, 25 February 1995, p. 24.

(68) See Jean Daudelin, "Dreaming Hard," Internet version of draft paper for "Power and Integration in the Americas: A Virtual Conference", FOCAL, Ottawa, March-April 1997.