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York University
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Deepening Relations between Canada and India


<p><img style="float: right;" src="" alt="" width="190" height="225" />Glendon welcomed scholar and former diplomat <a href="" target="_blank">David M. Malone</a> on November 29th for a lecture on Indo-Canadian relations, sponsored by the <a href="" target="_blank">Centre for Global Challenges</a> (CGC) and the <a href="" target="_blank">Glendon School of Public &amp; International Affairs</a> (GSPIA). <br /><br />Under the title "Rising India: Should We Care?" Malone, who is a former Canadian high commissioner to India and currently president of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), explored the topic of India&rsquo;s emergence as one of the fastest growing countries in the world.<br /><br />After a brief overview of the subcontinent&rsquo;s history and its foreign policy since attaining independence, Malone referred to the cooling of relations between India and Canada following the nuclear tests which had taken place in Pokhran in 1974. At that time, India perceived nuclear weapons as a strategic necessity, following its defeats by China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965. Canada, which considered itself a champion of non-proliferation at the time, bristled at New Delhi&rsquo;s nuclear policy.<br /><br />Malone&rsquo;s lecture addressed the question of just how pertinent this debate was today. He pointed out that Canada has significant interest in developing closer relations with India, a country in the process of rapid development. He spoke of the advantages of diversifying Canada&rsquo;s commercial exchanges in order to reduce our dependence on the United States and to develop partnerships with a country which is undergoing a remarkable economic expansion.<br /><br />Malone also pointed to India as the developing country most like Canada. He outlined our sharing of democratic values, a federal and parliamentary system, our cultural similarities, as well as the use of the English language. Moreover, Canada&rsquo;s Indian community is the largest and most important in the world. Indo-Canadians &ndash; such as Rohinton Mistry, Anita Rau Badami, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Anosh Irani, M.G. Vassanji and Jaspreet Singh - are enjoying great popularity; and the <a href="" target="_blank">Toronto International Film Festival</a> (TIFF) was the first of its kind to feature <a href="" target="_blank">Bollywood</a>&rsquo;s abundant productions.<br /><br />For some time now, our American neighbours have been enjoying many advantages of India&rsquo;s new prosperity, and the exchanges between the two countries have increased and deepened significantly since the year 2000. In this competitive milieu, what can Canada offer in order to entice new partnerships with India?<br /><br />Malone expressed the belief that the U.S. will remain India&rsquo;s priority, but that Canada has the opportunity of making significant progress as a member of the <a href="" target="_blank">North American Free Trade Agreement</a> (NAFTA), acting as a springboard towards the rest of North America. Our abundant natural resources represent another advantage in the context of an emerging Indian middle class, which is revising its consumer habits. Finally, our Indian partners are favourably disposed towards Canada and its multicultural social framework, which enables the Indo-Canadian community to blossom and integrate into Canadian society.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>More about David M. Malone</strong><br /><br />Born in 1954, David M. Malone is a career foreign service officer and scholar. On July 1st&nbsp; 2008, he became President of Canada&rsquo;s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), one of the world&rsquo;s leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges facing developing countries. Prior to that, he served as Canada&rsquo;s High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal from 2006 to mid-2008. For further details of Malone&rsquo;s career, please consult his <a href="" target="_blank">biographical notes</a>. Oxford University Press will be publishing his monograph, <em>Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy</em> in the near future.<br /><br /><em>Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny</em></p>

Published on December 14, 2010