'We cannot be selective about which basic human rights we defend' - Macleans.ca

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

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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.