‘We cannot be selective about which basic human rights we defend’


In a speech in Montreal, John Baird lays out the Harper government’s international agenda as a champion of women’s rights and gay rights.

Speaking out when we see hate and violence also means we cannot be selective about which basic human rights we defend, nor can we be arbitrary about whose rights we protect. Sadly, this is something lost on too many people who hold power.

In my time as Foreign Minister, I have directly confronted some of these people, and I’ve done so because there are times when diplomacy must be balanced with tough, direct talk. Speaking the truth to power. I do so, standing firm on the principles that have made Canada economically prosperous and rich with diversity.


‘We cannot be selective about which basic human rights we defend’

  1. He should sit down with Kenney and have Kenney explain why the Roma are exceptions to this laudable position.

  2. Is the ironic meter on overdrive? Or, does Baird’s “speaking truth to power” end in “yes, sir, right away, sir, sorry to bother you, Mr. Harper.” Or, did he just forget Khadr’s existence?

  3. But who gets to be selective about which human rights qualify as the “basic” ones that must be defended?

  4. What a joke this guy is.

  5. …”and [Baird continued] I lament the growing scarcity of telephone booths in which I can secretly don my superhero get-up. Being a modest superhero is getting harder by the day.”

  6. “diplomacy must be balanced with tough, direct talk”

    Maybe I’m just being picky, now, but I’ve got to hope at least some folks of influence in the world of Foreign Policy would consider that to be a false dichotomy.

    • The inference being diplomacy is for wimps and apologists.

      • Indeed and IMHO no small accident, either.

        • It’s almost like they had a strategy. Which would be scary if we actually had any real pull in the ME.

          • From where I sit all I’m seeing here is a big mouth to the East with big friends to the South. I can’t help but wonder if the need to be relentless has twisted him enough to start believing his own propaganda.

          • The truth about our true influence in the ME is that it’s soft. I agree with much of what Axworthy says about Soft Power, although he could have put more stress on WHY he made that conclusion when he wrote about it. A lot of folks seem to miss that

            We should be trying to get better at using it.

          • Right,and since we have no military leverage there, it only makes sense to toss aside our soft power such as it is as well.

          • Seems to me this is more about influencing opinion over here than solving anything over there.

  7. It’s about self-censorship due to fear of violence and reprisals.

    The story here is that people are murdering other people because there is a video out there that they don’t like. Blame the murderers, not the video.

  8. Meanwhile the catholic church is commiting violence against women – by trying to make illegal birth control in all its forms, I wonder if the story of a repub senator from the USA midwest made it to canada

    Basically a guy named Akin – senator or candidate from MO, said that rape is justified in some cases.

    Here’s hoping the police are looking into his subconcious slip of the tongue re any uNsolved rape cases

    BTW our chief homophobe essentially got outed in the MD govt. I just heard today that another of the repubs anti gay state senators – his wife is suing for divorce.

    Her suspicious were correct – she hired a lawyer who connected into the bigots iPHone GPS to follow where he went.

    the “mens club”



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