Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

North Korea stares at Abbott and Harper (and me)

- April 13th, 2014
Tony Abbott at the DMZ

Australian PM Tony Abbott April 9, 2014 at the DMZ between South and North Korea.

PMHarper at the DMZ

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the DMZ in December, 2009. (PMO Handout)

David Akin at the DMZ

Your correspondent at the DMZ, Dec. 2009. The blue hut that Abbott and Harper were photographed in is over my left shoulder. And that tall building in the background? That, folks, is North Korea.


Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Here’s The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Philip Coorey reporting on Abbott’s visit: Read more…

Former AUS PM Gillard rallies the left in Ottawa speech

- March 29th, 2014
Cameraon Gillard Harper

Julia Gillard (2nd from left) was the prime minister of Australia in Nov. 2011 when this pic was snapped (by a Harper PMO photographer though I was standing 10 feet away at the time the pic was snapped) during Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Seoul, South Korea. That’s UK PM David Cameron and IMF President Christine Lagarde in the pic with Gillard and Harper.

Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to the first-ever Progress Summit put on by the Broadbent Summit. Gillard led a left-leaning goverment and the Broadbent Summit is named after Ed Broadbent. (I surely don’t need to tell you who he is.).

Here is the text of the remarks Gillard was to give, provided by the event organizers:


In my home town in Australia, Adelaide, it is going to be 32 degrees today but the warmth of the welcome I have received has compensated for the difference between that and the freezing Ottawa air. So I am simply delighted to be here to join you for this important event.

While the weather is so starkly different, Australia and Canada share so much in common.

We are both vibrant liberal democracies in the Westminster tradition, with national and provincial level governments and we share our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

Our nations are rich in the resources the world needs and have large scale, efficient agriculture. Our economies are sophisticated and increasingly reliant on knowledge and service industries. We came out of the Global Financial Crisis, less damaged than many other nations in the world, in part because of the superior regulation of our banking and financial sectors.

The life expectancy of our people is more than 80 years, our GDP per capita is over $40,000 dollars and the World Bank puts us both in the top three best places to start a business. As a patriotic Australian please forgive me for pointing out we slightly beat you in each of these measures. All these indices are telling us that Canadians and Australians share the good fortune of living in two of the most prosperous places on the planet. We have the joy that comes with living not only in wealthy nations, but in peace and freedom. Read more…

Welcome to Canada, Mr. and Mrs US Ambassador !

- March 26th, 2014

A nice touch from the Heymans, signalling their excitement about their move to Ottawa after Bruce Heyman was sworn in today as the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Welcome! (Even if you are Black Hawks fans….)


Harper: “Could well see Russia exit the G8 entirely”

- March 3rd, 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Toronto Monday where he spoke at  mining conference. Before getting into issues of natural resources, though, Harper spoke about the situation in the Ukraine. The video, above, was photographed and distributed by employees of the prime minister. The PMO also produced the transcript below: Read more…

PMO slams opposition on Ukraine. Slams. Really Slams.

- February 26th, 2014

Foreign Minister John Baird will lead an official delegation to Ukraine later this week. As the government said, the delegation will include community leaders and Parliamentarians but, as we learned today, none of those Parliamentarians will be New Democrats or Liberals. How come, we asked Jason MacDonald, the communication director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. His answer: Read more…