Foreign service is anything but professional

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

Just how professional is Canada’s professional foreign service?

Recent events give Canadians the impression that our federal diplomats are not only incompetent but in the bag for the Liberal Party of Canada.

The most recent example of cringe-worthy bureaucratic stupidity came on Monday when the visiting delegation from Belgium was met at an official event with a German flag. 

The King and Queen of Belgium planned their trip to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Canadian troops liberating Belgium during the First World War. Canadians were once again instrumental in defeating the Nazi’s and freeing Belgium during the Second World War. 

Our Belgian allies wanted to thank Canada for its historic contributions to peace and freedom.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, apparently, was not interested in meeting the Belgian royal couple, as his father Pierre Trudeau had as Prime Minister in 1977. On that visit, the Belgian Queen planted a tree on the grounds of Rideau Hall to celebrate the Canadian-Belgian friendship. 

This time around, small flags were used to identify the 1977 tree — except, whoever’s job it was to bring a Belgian flag accidentally brought a German flag, causing a frenzy among the flabbergasted Belgian media. 

Do Canadian officials know the difference between the people we were defending and those we were fighting against?  

Mistaking their flag with the German’s is a slap in the face to our Belgian friends, and Trudeau’s snub adds insult to injury. But in the aftermath of Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India, Canadians are learning that our reputation on the world stage isn’t what it used to be. 

We’re also seeing first hand that Trudeau’s advisors aren’t the brain trust they’ve been made out to be, and the professional foreign service is often anything but professional. 

How else to explain why National Security Advisor Daniel Jean, a career civil servant, would concoct a conspiracy theory to protect Trudeau? Jean pushed a story that “rogue political agents” in India had planted a terrorist in Trudeau’s delegation to embarrass our PM — a theory that has been utterly debunked.  

But Jean is not alone in going out of his way to promote the Trudeau Liberals. 

Peter Boehm, another career civil servant and top advisor for the G7 meeting being hosted in Quebec later this year, let his Liberal flag fly at a recent public event.

“I don’t want to get political, but I will for a moment,” said Boehm, openly showing his partisan stripes. 

“For 10 years, anything that the foreign service was doing was suppressed in our country,” said Boehm. “With the current government, we have an opportunity to put our best foot forward to show what it is we can do (and) highlight our professionalism.” 

Professionalism? Boehm’s Liberal cheerleading is almost as bad as the reception Trudeau received by the department of foreign affairs when he was first elected Prime Minister. 

Trudeau was greeted by a hysterical crowd of “non-partisan” bureaucrats, who were literally cheerleading for their favourite Liberal man. It was a shocking vindication of Harper-era suspicions of a permanent Liberal guard within Canada’s diplomatic offices.  

It’s clear our government is filled with Liberal activists parading as dispassionate and unbiased diplomats. To make matters worse, these activists are so high on...(READ MORE)