Carleton University’s David Carment, professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) and editor of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ), announced the release of the 2021 Trudeau Foreign Policy Report Card, produced in partnership with CFPJ and iAffairs.  This is the fifth Foreign Policy Report Card produced by Carment and his team.

This year’s Report Card evaluates the government on three criteria: progress in meeting election promises and ministerial mandates, overall performance and accountability. The comprehensive 68-page report examines the government’s record on diplomacy, defence, security, trade, environment and climate change, development, and immigration and refugees over the past two years.

The Trudeau government received a ‘C’ this time around, its worst performance since evaluation of the Liberal record began in 2015. Among the weakest performers were defence, diplomacy and development while environment, trade and security fared slightly better.

The government has made strides in certain files but, with new challenges emerging, has failed to implement a clear, strong, self-aware foreign policy. Scandals in Canada’s defence and security sectors and domestic political considerations have distracted from the issues that matter most, such as establishing a less dependent relationship with the United States, a more balanced approach to China and Russia and the promotion of Canadian values and interests abroad through, for example, trade agreements and diplomacy.

The Donald Trump presidency and COVID-19 put considerable pressure, and constraints, on Canada’s foreign policy decision-making, but the government cannot continue to blame external actors or events for its own shortcomings. Taking responsibility for a foreign policy adrift is the first step in remedying the situation, followed by a legitimate commitment to transparency and accountability.

With rumours of an election swirling, this Report Card seeks to engage the public in the discussion of foreign policy, and provide a fair, retrospective analysis of Canada’s activity on the world stage.

To read the full report, please visit:

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021 in
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