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From the archives

Paper Rout

Postmedia in the gutter

Past Trauma

Richard Wagamese and an Indigenous literary resurgence

Family Pride

Profiles in gay life

Geoff White

Geoff White served as a diplomat for nearly thirty years, a period he describes in his new book, Working for Canada.

Articles by
Geoff White

Mission Brazil

The Maple Leaf beneath a blistering sun May 2023
When Canada opened its first diplomatic mission in Brazil in 1941, one of its principal aims was to help secure support for the Allied war effort against Nazi Germany. Despite some fascist tendencies of the dictator Getúlio Vargas, Brazil was one of the few South American countries to back the Allies and the only one to eventually commit…

Pursuit and Policy

Diplomatically speaking July | August 2022
Along with stakeholders from business, academia, and the public at large, employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (as it was then known) were invited to take part in a major policy review in 1994 and 1995. I volunteered. Over the course of several sessions, I heard many officers, especially younger ones, advocate for a stronger emphasis on Canadian…

Carbon Copy

In equal balance justly weighed November 2021
It is a well-worn joke, but it still has some bite: Three students — one British, one French, and one Canadian — are assigned to compose an essay on the elephant. The British student drafts “The Elephant: A Product of Empire.” The French student writes “The Elephant: A Story of Love.” The Canadian comes up with “The Elephant: A Federal or Provincial Responsibility?” Obsessions with jurisdiction are even more pronounced during crises like the…

Not Safe for Work?

Huawei in the crosshairs April 2021
It was once typical of countercul­ture nonchalance to dream of a benign technological future full of easy rewards. “I like to think / (it has to be!) / of a cybernetic ecology / where we are free of our labors / and joined back to nature,” the American poet Richard Brautigan wrote, in 1967. “All watched over / by machines of loving grace.” While Brautigan’s glib vision is no longer just a fanciful…

Defence Mechanism

Questioning the Kosovo War, twenty years later May 2019
Twenty years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization saw fit to violate the supposed sanctity of international borders, through a bombing campaign to protect the endangered Albanian-­speaking minority population in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Across the alliance, pundits claimed NATO had successfully applied the emerging “responsibility to protect” doctrine. Perhaps the earlier air bombardment of the Serbian strongman Slobodan Miloševic, which brought Serbia to the table to sign the Dayton Accord in…