The CIC Virtual Events Series

CIC Young Professionals Network:  In Discussion with Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon Chantal Chasteney 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12PM ET (9 AM PT)

The tragic explosion on August 4th, where 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded at Lebanon’s Beirut port killing over 200 and wounding thousands. What’s more, there continues to be economic and political uncertainty. When combined with the ongoing refugee crisis in Lebanon and the outbreak of COVID-19, Lebanon has been dealing with multiple crises.

Canada and Lebanon have always had strong ties and Canada was quick to act after the Beirut explosion, announcing $30 million in aid. But what’s next in Canadian-Lebanese relations? What role will Canada play as Lebanon faces its current economic, political, and social challenges? Join the CIC Young Professionals Network as we are in conversation with the Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon, Chantal Chastenay, on Canadian-Lebanese relations.

There will also be an Q&A section where Ambassador Chastenay will take attendee questions.

About our speaker:

Ambassador Chastenay joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1993. At Headquarters, she has held various positions, including deputy chief of protocol and director of the Diplomatic Corps Services. She also worked in human resources, in the Francophonie Division and in the Middle East Sector. During her career, Ambasador Chastenay has held a number of positions abroad, including in Morocco (2000 to 2001) and Jordan (1995 to 1998); in the latter, she was responsible for political relations with Iraq. She was also political counsellor at the embassy in Paris (2008 to 2013). In 2016, she became deputy head of mission and minister-counsellor at the Embassy to Mexico

Next In The Series

CIC Edmonton: On Defeating Trump, Wokeism, and on the Future of Politics in Canada 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 5PM -730PM PT MT (7PM – 9:30PM ET)

On November 3rd, the United States chose a new president after a heated election campaign.  Join the Canadian International Council in Edmonton on December 9th  to find what the lessons learned from the outcome of this election, the salient issues during the campaign of both candidates and the broader impacts of a Trump vs. Biden Presidency for Canada.

This event will include debate and discussion on the future of Trumpism in the U.S and in Canada as well as the implications for the next federal election in Canada. The event will also include a question and answer period from the audience.

Panelists include:

Dr. Jean-Christophe Boucher is the program director of security of state and resources and an assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. He received his PhD in Political Science at Université Laval in December and is currently the 2020 Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy.

Dr. Wanda Costen is a Professor and the Dean of the School of Business at MacEwan University. She earned her Ph. D. in sociology from Washington State University. She also has an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University and her undergraduate degree is from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Costen’s research interests include managing diversity, racial and gender inequality in organizations, women and leadership, and strategic human resources.

Najib Jutt is a political strategist with Statecraft and a founding partner with ALIF Partners with over 20 years of global brand experience working with multinationals from Canada, USA, Japan and the UK. Having worked with all levels of government in Canada, he has been integrally involved with numerous political campaigns as a political advisor, crisis manager, or communications specialist.  Mr. Jutt is a regular commentator and contributor to media outlets such as CBC News and The Hill Times. He is also a recipient of the 2019 Friends of Diversity Award.

Daniel McCarthy is the director of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program at the Fund for American Studies. Previously, he was editor of The American Conservative magazine. Mr. McCarthy began his career in journalism as a reporter and his writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, from The New York Times and USA Today to Reason, the National Interest and The Spectator. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied classics.

 Dr. Andrea Wagner is an assistant professor at MacEwan University and has been awarded the Jean Monnet Chair through the European Union’s Erasmus+ program. Her research focuses on corruption and rent-seeking in the European Union specifically on the importance of anti-corruption agencies in Central and Eastern Europe. She examines how domestic and international rhetoric directed against highly successful anti-corruption agencies can undermine the fight against corruption.

CIC Victoria: In conversation with William Pike, Editor-in-Chief of the Nairobi Star (Member-Only)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 11AM ET (8AM PT)

More information TBA.

CIC Waterloo: Rewind: Canada’s Decision Not to Support the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 4PM – 5:15 PM EST

Based on Prior Independent Viewing of “High Wire:  Canadian Diplomacy and the 2003 Iraq War”A Masterful New NFB Documentary by Claude Guilman.

In March 2003, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien resisted pressure from the United States and Britain – Canada’s closest allies – to back the US-led invasion of Iraq.  The PM made Canadian support conditional on United Nations endorsement, something which did not materialize.  The decision was a bold one – an expression of independent Canadian foreign and defence policy judgement and a notable challenge to the Canada-US bilateral relationship less than two years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Canadian International Council’s Waterloo Branch is offering a special two-part event:

  • First, view an insightful and dramatic new National Film Board of Canada documentary by Claude Guilmain – “High Wire: Canadian Diplomacy and the 2003 Iraq War” – online when you want (at
  • Then, join a live virtual panel, “Rewind: Canada’s Decision Not to Support the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq,” on December 9 from 4:00 to 5:15 pm (EST) and engage with the distinguished speakers.

The NFB Documentary: The film explores the diplomatic and political maneuverings leading up to the Prime Minister Chrétien’s crucial and controversial decision.  One-hour-and-twenty minutes in length, the documentary features candid interviews and footage with the principals, including the Prime Minister; the PM’s Chief of Staff, Eddie Goldenberg; Canada’s Ambassador to the UN, Paul Heinbecker; and the PM’s Foreign Policy Advisor, Claude Laverdure, accompanied by insights from noted journalistic and academic observers.

The Panel Discussion:  On December 9, Ambassador Paul Heinbecker will be a featured participant in the CIC panel.  Considerations and questions to be explored by the panel will include how Canada played its diplomatic hand, what lay behind the apparent determination of the US President George W. Bush to bring down Saddam Hussein, the complexity and big power politics of United Nations decision processes, Canada’s reportedly different intelligence assessments of the Iraqi threat, whether Canada’s military commitment in Afghanistan at the time took the sting out of its “no” to the US’s Iraq adventure, the extent to which domestic Canadian political considerations may have been an influence, and the extent to which Canada’s refusal to support its neighbour may have tainted the bilateral relationship in the near and longer-terms.

The panelists for the Canadian International Council (CIC) virtual event, “Rewind:  Canada’s Decision Not to Support the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq”, will be:

  • Paul Heinbecker, Canadian Ambassador to the UN (2000-2003) and Germany (1992-1996);
  • Louise Frechette, the first Deputy Secretary-General of the UN (1998-2006), Canadian Ambassador to the UN (1992-1994), and Deputy Minister of National Defence (1995-1998);
  • Christopher Sands, Director, Canada Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington D.C.; and
  • Mokhtar Lamani, former Ambassador of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations (1998 to 2004) and Ambassador Special Representative of the Arab League in Iraq, appointed by the Arab Summit in 2006.

The Moderator will be Margaret Huber, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq (2007-2010).

(Note:  The NFB film cannot be accessed by individuals outside of Canada.)