Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs that Government Will Act on "Rights and Democracy" Controversy

Lawrence Cannon on R&D controversy: "I do not intervene in the discussions that are held at the Board level.  Mine is to make sure that this organization is smooth running and that it functions correctly." 

"Obviously, there seems to be a governance structure problem here, and so I'll be looking at that," Cannon said.

"I can tell you that I intend to have a discussion in the very near future with the chairman of Rights and Democracy in order to get his view and his perspective of things," Cannon said Wednesday.

 February 6: Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon met with Mr. Braun yesterday and said they both want a "constructive future" for Rights and Democracy. 

February 11: "Le ministre canadien des Affaires étrangères Lawrence Cannon promet d'intervenir d'ici quelques jours à Droits et Démocratie."

Comment:  I think that Mr. Cannon's characterization of the essence of this matter as a "governance structure problem" can lead to a productive resolution once this "governance structure problem" is effectively addressed.  I feel cautiously optimistic that the Board and management of R&D can find a way to work together in harmony again.  There has to be openness, trust and good will on both sides.  There will always be differences of opinion as to priorities and approaches, but at the end of the day R&D has an important mandate to fulfill for Canada and on the nature of that mandate there is in fact a high degree of consensus.

February 19: Le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Lawrence Cannon, serait sur le point d'annoncer une décision dans ce dossier. Selon sa porte-parole Catherine Loubier, il juge «inacceptable» le fait de scruter les origines ethniques d'un groupe d'employés.

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