12th Annual Day for Diplomats

‘12th Annual Day for Diplomats | Orientation for Newly Arrived Diplomats and Resource Fair’ November 3, 2022

On November 3, the first in-person orientation for newly arrived diplomats since the pandemic was held under the EngageParlDiplo initiative in partnership with Carleton University. Approximately 120 heads of mission, spouses and members of their diplomatic teams attended.

Some of the highlights included the Honourable Mona Fortier sharing her mandate at the Treasury Board with the audience, many of whom are also her constituents in Ottawa–Vanier.  Anita Vandenbeld, MP (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development) and Garnett Genuis, MP (Vice Chair, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development), discussed how multiculturalism shapes foreign policy, ways to counter declining trust in democracy and why Parliament is most effective when the parties work together.  Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson welcomed diplomats with information about the capital city’s cultural and economic diversity, size and relevance.

House of Commons Speaker, the Hon. Anthony Rota, discussed his role and how diplomats can engage with and follow the work of parliament. President and CEO of Abacus Data, David Coletto, provided a snapshot of his latest public opinion survey and shifting political trends.  Maureen Boyd, Chair of the board of the Parliamentary Centre, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Colin Robertson, Vice President and Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, discussed the effects of heightened global tensions on inflation and international trade.

Heather Bakken, President of World Press Freedom Canada, led a discussion with Parliamentary bureau chief Bob Fife (Globe & Mail) and senior parliamentary reporter Catherine Cullen (CBC) and explored the challenges of reporting on parliament and government in an era of increasing disinformation and polarization.

Stewart Wheeler, Chief of Protocol from Global Affairs Canada, shared information about recent and upcoming events designed to enable embassies to identify and explore diplomatic and trade opportunities.

The President of Carleton University, Benoit-Antoine Bacon, and Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs, Brenda O’Neill, welcomed diplomats to Carleton and highlighted the importance of the university as a world-class center of educational excellence and foreign policy studies.

The resource fair that followed the event enabled diplomats to learn more about cultural and informational opportunities that can strengthen their work.

The diplomats and their families tell us they found immense value in the presentations and discussions and look forward to future events.

Links to presentations from the event can be found here:

StatCan101: Good Data for Good Decision-Making, prepared for the ‘12th Annual Day for Diplomats’ by Statistics Canada.

The Current Canadian Political Opinion Environmentpresented by David Coletto, CEO and founding partner at Abacus Data

Parliamentary Centre:  Supporting Inclusive Democracy in Canada and Worldwide

What Foreign Diplomats Need to Know about Canada: Personal Reflections by Colin Robertson and Maureen Boyd