Solid Americas strategy would reap big rewards for Canada

CAMPBELL CLARK, The Globe and Mail, May. 24 2011, The Globe and Mail

Stephen Harper steps onto the world stage this week for the first time as a majority-government Prime Minister, with a four-year mandate that gives him a new opportunity to make good on a foreign-policy promise he made four years ago to expand Canada's presence in the Americas.

Mr. Harper flies to the G8 summit in Deauville, France, on Wednesday for talks on the current crises facing the world. But four years ago, he was in Santiago, Chile, pledging a new era of Canadian efforts to shape an Americas at a crossroads. Despite the spotty follow-through of his minority-government years, the hemisphere still offers a potential cornerstone for Mr. Harper's foreign policy.