How successful Canada was on remaining independent of foreign control, whilst being a part of international decision making. Canada remained independent of foreign control a majority of the time, but at others it did give in to the pressure put upon it. Canada also got to be a big part of the decision making because it put itself out there, got recognized as a middle power and proved its worth. Some of the ways Canada remained independent of foreign control are: When president Reagan’s administration had a project they were trying to get Canada involved in called the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI, but also referred to as Star Wars). This was a plan to arm satellites that could destroy soviet missiles from space. Not many people believed the plan would work and even if it did there would no longer be balance between the two superpowers, ergo in 1985, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney politely said “no”. President George Bush brought the idea back to life in 2004, and wanted Canada to participate in the new missile defence initiative, but it wasn’t clear who the missiles where protecting North America from.
Many Canadians thought that Canada should participate but Prime Minister Paul Martin decided against it. After 9/11 Canada aided the US in attacking Afghanistan, to get to where the Taliban government was aiding Muslim terrorists, but Canada refused to participate in using the war as a pretext for ousting Saddam Hussein. The UN also didn’t approve of Bush’s attack on Iraq. After World War II Canada had completely disengaged itself from the British Empire, ergo Canadian representatives refused to go along with British plans. They put their powers to good use for peace rather than a “mother country”. Canada remained very independent throughout the Cold war but sometimes we did end up giving in to foreign control. After World War II the US and USSR were considered superpowers, because the US had an atomic bomb and the USSR had the largest army; most countries including Canada were allied with them, or under their influence. Canadian leaders were pressured by their American counterparts to reinforce the United States’ foreign policy and at times they found the pressure very hard to resist.
When NORAD was put in place during 1985 many Canadians were angered because they felt it threatened Canadian independence and since the soviet missiles would be intercepted and destroyed over Canada, Canada would be the one facing damage and destruction, not the US, but despite this, Canada has maintained its commitment to NORAD. Canada and Americas’ economies are very alike, to this day. In 1945 when the UN was officially founded, Canada argues to be made a middle power, meaning they would get recognition for being capable of holding their own, and the contribution they made during World War II. Canada is very well known for their participation in every UN peacekeeping operation. Lester B. Pearson even won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. When Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, Britain, France and Israel made a secret pact to invade Egypt. Israel attacked Egypt while Britain and France took over the Canal. The situation grew tense when many countries denounced the invasion.
Lester B. Pearson proposed to the UN that Britain, France and Israel withdraw their troops and the UN send a peacekeeping army into Egypt. His proposal was accepted. Canada also adapted a new flag, which in a way was to show they had completely detached themselves from Britain. In 1949 Canada had signed the NATO treaty. That was the first time Canada had signed a military treaty. Two Canadians, Lester B. Pearson, and Louis St. Laurent had spearheaded the campaign to create NATO. In 1950 the commonwealth developed the Colombo plan to assist underdeveloped countries. Richer countries like Canada promised to help poorer nations by donating, money, expertise, and equipment. By 1960 Canada had provided 320 million dollars in assistance for the underdeveloped members of the commonwealth. Overall Canada was very successful in being a part of the international decision making and also remained quite independent of foreign control. Canada had stopped following Britain, but we have been heavily influenced by America. Regardless, we have been recognized and are known as a strong nation.