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In February 2006, with the election of a new government, the two components of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade were reintegrated. The purpose was to ensure a coherent approach to foreign affairs and international commerce and to better coordinate the provision of services to Canadians at home and abroad.
In the newly reintegrated department, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Trade are supported by their respective divisions.
The department's two components carry out distinct but complementary roles. The foreign affairs element develops and implements strategies to advance the Government of Canada's global agenda, while promoting Canadian values, culture and expertise worldwide. The trade component positions Canada as a world business leader by helping Canadian companies expand and succeed internationally, promoting Canada as a dynamic place to do business, and negotiating and administering trade agreements. See Part II, section 2.1.3 for detailed information on the governance and accountability structures of the reintegrated department.
Consistent with the department's reintegration, this Report on Plans and Priorities includes both its components-foreign affairs and international trade-under one cover. The information contained in this report is presented in a logical and user-friendly manner.
First, the two ministers outline the department's overall direction and priorities for the year ahead in the Ministers' message. This is followed by a joint Management Representation Statement from the two Deputy Ministers, in accordance with requirements of Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Thereafter, the report outlines the major elements of the department's governance, structure and mechanics, introducing the department to those readers who may not be familiar with how it works, while updating this information for those who are more conversant with its operations. This part of the document is particularly important this year, given the department's recent reintegration.
The report then offers more details on the specific plans and priorities of each of the two components, presented in two separate sections (Part III for foreign affairs and Part IV for international trade). The purpose of this approach is to enable readers to pinpoint directly those specific issues and initiatives in which they are interested. Both Parts III and IV of this report contain the following information, as it relates to the component under discussion:
At the end of the report (Part V), readers will find contact information, a glossary of frequently used acronyms and an index.
This Report on Plans and Priorities reflects the department's new structure, processes and corporate culture. In preparing it, the department has taken care to demonstrate its commitment to Treasury Board principles of effective reporting to Canadians (see http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20062007/p304-eng.asp). As a result, the department is confident that this report delivers credible information on its plans and performance measurement systems in keeping with the MRRS-PAA, while demonstrating value for money and sound management and providing a foundation for dialogue between the government and Canadians.
The Honourable David Emerson
Minister for International Trade
The Honourable Peter G. MacKay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
As the two ministers of the newly reintegrated Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, we present the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities with particular pleasure and enthusiasm.
Reintegrating the department's two components (foreign affairs and international trade) formalizes a relationship that has always been highly collaborative. It also enables us to take full advantage of the synergies generated by carrying out our distinct but highly complementary roles. A department that operates as effectively as possible will enhance our ability to provide government-wide leadership in developing and coordinating Canada's international policies in political as well as economic spheres.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade delivers on Canada's international agenda by carrying out four key functions: leading and coordinating international policy making for the Government of Canada; promoting Canadian interests, values and expertise abroad; assisting Canadian business and the public by providing trade, investment, consular and passport services; and supplying the physical platform outside Canada that enables the global operations of the entire federal government and the provincial governments. The department's services are available at 299 locations worldwide.
In fact, the primary focus of this department has always been-and will continue to be-the services and benefits that Canadians need at the level of quality they expect. As productive members of the international community, Canadians care about events outside this country's borders and want the federal government to help effect positive change on the world stage. Canadians also recognize that international commerce is central to maintaining the country's economic prosperity and vitality. This department is an enabler in this way, too, by helping Canadian business to compete on an even playing field and succeed in ever more competitive markets around the world.
We have taken full account of these realities in identifying the following issues on which the department will focus over the planning period.
As the government noted in the April 2006 Speech from the Throne, it is determined to show Canadian leadership on the world stage, advance our values around the world and continue Canada's proud heritage as a leader in fighting tyranny and injustice. To this end, Canada will continue to work with friends and allies around the world to promote democracy, human rights and freer trade.
As the government's lead organization for development and coordination of international policy, this department will be at the centre of these efforts.
The department will advance Canada's vital foreign policy and commercial interests with the United States and expand cooperation with North American partners, while reaffirming Canada's interests in the Caribbean and the wider hemisphere.
On security issues, it will work to achieve progress on counterterrorism and the threat of nuclear proliferation, collaborating with global partners in key multilateral organizations like the G8 (made up of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and Canada, as well as the European Union).
The department will continue to press forward the momentum for reforming the United Nations (UN) to make it more effective and accountable in addressing global issues and problems. It will build strong partnerships with new economic powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, and reinvigorate relations with established economies such as Japan and the European Union (EU) in order to expand economic opportunities for Canadians. And, it will provide continued support for African development, lasting peace in Sudan and the Middle East, and reconstruction and democratization in Afghanistan and Haiti.
The important contribution of international commerce to Canada's prosperity cannot be overstated. In order to secure an ongoing level of prosperity that fully supports our future national economic and social requirements, the department will develop a global commerce strategy that takes full advantage of globalization. This multi-faceted strategy will set out the government's role in supporting Canadian business to achieve success in the international marketplace. It will recognize the competitive factors facing Canada around the globe and propose strategic policy instruments and tools to ensure that Canadian companies have the support they need to compete equitably. Enhancing and securing access to global markets, positioning Canada for commercial success-including its attractiveness as an investment location-and working closely with the business sector will be key contributors to assured prosperity.
Without secure access to foreign markets, no degree of marketing effort can succeed. Therefore, the department will strengthen Canadian access to global markets through negotiation and implementation of commercial agreements such as the free trade accords under negotiation with South Korea and other key markets in Asia and elsewhere. It will also pursue negotiations toward foreign investment protection and promotion agreements (FIPAs) with China, India and Peru and negotiations of bilateral air agreements, where necessary, to facilitate international commerce.
Positioning Canada for commercial success will be paramount to capitalize on the door-opening results of enhanced market access. The approach will be dynamic and aggressive, yet pragmatic. It will highlight our sectoral strengths, including in research and development capabilities, and aim to derive more and better results from the commercialization of Canadian technologies. With regard to foreign investment, the department will step up its efforts to more closely highlight the characteristics sought by current and prospective foreign investors. Our ability to portray Canada as an advantageous location and to partner for international investment, innovation and value-added production is central to generating jobs and prosperity.
To help Canadian business compete successfully in all international markets, the department will provide strengthened assistance through the Trade Commissioner Service. Working with clients, stakeholders and partners, it will connect increasing numbers of competitive companies across Canada with global market opportunities through our Regional Offices, our information and market intelligence systems and our officers in missions abroad, ensuring competitiveness for those involved in international commerce. The department will work to increase awareness among the department's trade-related stakeholders of both the opportunities and challenges involved in global commerce.
The department continued to work actively to resolve the long-standing softwood lumber dispute with the United States. Our general approach continued to be to seek a negotiated settlement while pursuing litigation before World Trade Organization and NAFTA panels and American courts. Negotiations in early 2006 led to an April 27, 2006 agreement in principle between Canada and the United States to resolve the dispute and provide Canadian industry with a stable and predictable environment in which to operate and invest. Further negotiations then took place to develop the legal text. Minister Emerson and American Trade Representative Susan Schwab initialed the softwood lumber agreement on July 1, 2006. On August 22, 2006, Prime Minister Harper confirmed that, since a clear majority of the lumber industry and the key lumber-producing provinces supported the agreement, the government would table legislation in Parliament in order to bring the agreement into force in autumn, 2006. Canadian officials will continue to consult regularly with provincial officials and with industry in implementing the agreement.
Internally, the department will continue its evolution from an organization that is primarily policy-oriented to one with a greater involvement in program and project design. And, it will further enhance operational efficiency and employee skills development, which will improve the department's ability to realize its other objectives.
In carrying out this work, the department contributes to a number of government-wide objectives. First, it helps ensure that Canada's foreign policy reflects true Canadian values and advances Canada's national interests. Second, it seeks to strengthen rules-based trading arrangements and to expand free and fair market access at bilateral, regional and global levels. Third, it works with a range of partners inside and outside government to achieve increased economic opportunity and enhanced security for Canada and for Canadians at home and abroad.
In putting forward our comprehensive agenda for the planning period, we are keenly aware that the department's past accomplishments and future successes are made possible by the staunch sense of purpose demonstrated on a daily basis by its employees. We take this opportunity to recognize their considerable contribution in advancing Canadian foreign policy and economic interests in the challenging, complex and competitive international arena. The following pages of this report provide evidence of the benefits they bring to Canadians.
Readers are also invited to consult the department's website (http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/) for additional information on international developments and the department's activities.
Deputy Minister for International Trade
V. Peter Harder
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
We submit, for tabling in Parliament, the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Report, issued by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, as follows: