Has Canada's international reputation gone South?


Some say there's been a dimming of Canada's international reputation. Canadians aren't used to seeing screaming Americans protesting pipelines that carry Alberta oil. We aren't used to seeing Americans paying much attention to us at all. And international disappointment over Ottawa's withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol may have many Canadians wondering if they should hide their maple leafs when abroad. Today, we look at whether Canada really is the unpopular kid in the world class.

Reputation Institute, Robert Jekielek

Well, if you have been listening to the news over the past couple of years you might think Joan Jett was singing about Canada.

With large protests outside the White House against the Keystone pipeline, the condemnations that followed Canada's pullout from Kyoto, the push to sell asbestos abroad, the treatment of the first nations, the UN report on Canada's shortcomings in food security... well, the list goes on.

And last week UNICEF put Canada in the bottom half of the world's well-off nations when it comes to how Canada looks after its children. We aired a clip from David Morley, the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada despaired of Canada's reputation.

But is Canada's international reputation that bad? Robert Jekielek, says actually we're still popular. He is the director of the New York-based Reputation Institute, which every year ranks the world's countries on their reputations. Robert Jekielek joined us from New York.

Panel: Paul Heinbecker / Bessma Momani

Paul Heinbecker has a unique vantage point on how the world sees Canada. He is the former Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He is also the author of Getting Back in the Game: A Foreign Policy Playbook for Canada. He was in Ottawa this morning.

And Bessma Momani is an associate professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She is an expert in political economy and she joined us from Waterloo, Ontario.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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Promo: Medical Errors

Every year it is estimated 40,000 Canadians die as a result of medical errors. The number alone is unsettling, and so are the individual stories. Several of them are documented in a new book, After the Error: Speaking out about patient safety to save lives. Susan McIver is the co-author of the book, and she'll join guest host Matt Galloway later this week to tell us what she found about medical errors in Canada's health care system.

Last Word - The Spaniard That Blighted My Life

We've been talking today about the continued survival of Spanish bullfighting, an event that even a fan like Ernest Hemingway admitted was a tragedy, not a sport. It certainly seems like an antique, a test of manliness in an age that rarely measures courage in ritual confrontation with animals.

With that in mind, today's Last Word is also an antique. A century-old song about a matador. Al Jolson and Bing Crosby sing The Spaniard That Blighted My Life. Yes, that probably should be WHO Blighted My Life, but, we don't write 'em, we just play 'em.

Other segments from today's show:

Justin Trudeau's social media stratgegy

How Spain's economic crisis has affected the bullfighting industry

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