The appointment of John Baird to Minister of Foreign Affairs suggests that under a stable majority, the Government of Canada will be able to put renewed emphasis on promoting Canada's prosperity through trade and on realizing Canada's security interests in international relations.
Mr. Baird in his previous ministries has demonstrated a strong commitment to implementation of the Prime Minister's agenda. He is a strong leader who is not afraid to take strong action when necessary to ensure that the Government's purposes are fully realized in the programming of the departments under his administration.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has been a problematic ministry for the Harper Government due to long association of its senior civil servants with Liberal Party elitism through Liberal Party associated think tanks and other agencies. This has been particularly true in the case of the North Asian Relations Division.
But the function of the professional civil servants in Foreign Affairs is to implement the foreign policy agenda of the elected government, not attempt to subvert this agenda. This would include the new Office of Religious Freedom for which the Prime Minister clearly intends a central role in Canada's foreign affairs, immigration, and developmental aid programming.
Under Mr. Baird one can expect to see a rigorous approach to ensuring that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will genuinely represent the interests of Canada abroad as these interests are understood and articulated by the Government of Canada elected by Canadians on May 2.