Author Yves Engler tackles Canada’s image tomorrow

Montreal-based writer Yves Engler will present “Canada on the World Stage: Force for Good or Bad Actor?” tomorrow as part of the York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS) Afternoon Seminar Series.

The seminar will take place from noon to 1:30pm at 305 York Lanes, Keele campus.

Engler will present a seminar and audiovisual presentation examining Canada’s foreign policy. He will challenge the purported myth of an altruistic Canadian foreign policy by exposing how this country has been part of the command and control apparatus of the world economic system from its beginning. He will argue that at first Canada served as an arm of the British Empire, but given the country’s location and economic and racial makeup, it quickly became intertwined with the United States.

Former vice-president of the Concordia University Student Union, Engler is the author of the recently released The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (Fernwood Publishing, 2009).

Most people believe Canada’s primary role has been one of peacekeeper or honest broker in difficult-to-solve disputes. Contrary to the mythology of Canada as a force for good in the world, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy sheds light on many dark corners, from troops that joined the British in Sudan in 1885, gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean and participation in the United Nations mission that killed Patrice Lumumba in the Congo to helping overthrow Salvador Allende and supporting the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.

Engler is the author of Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical (Fernwood Publishing, 2006) and co-author of Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority (Fernwood Publishing, 2006).

For more information, visit the YCISS Web site.