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Queen's University

School of Policy Studies

Canada: A Nation of Shopkeepers

Friday, December 13, 2013


OpEd by Ambassador (R) Louis A. Delvoie on the Harper government’s latest foreign policy statement.

"In a phrase which has hung around for 200 years, the Emperor Napoleon once derisively dismissed Great Britain as “a nation of shopkeepers.” He could not have been more wrong. Marshalling all of the resources at its disposal, Britain became Napoleon’s most formidable adversary, and its naval and military might eventually sealed his fate. And, of course, the emperor died as a prisoner of the British on the island of St. Helena.

Read the complete OpEd


Louis Delvoie was educated at Loyola College, the University of Toronto, McGill University and the National Defence College of Canada. He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1965. Between 1965 and 1980 he worked in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Belgium and Yugoslavia, as well as in Ottawa. He subsequently served abroad as Ambassador to Algeria, Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and High Commissioner to Pakistan. In Ottawa, he was Director General of the Bureau of International Security and Arms Control in the Department of External Affairs and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy in the Department of National Defence. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1995.

From 1995 to 2002, he was an adjunct professor of international relations at Queen’s University and at Royal Military College. He is now a Senior Fellow in the Centre for International Relations at Queen’s University and a visiting lecturer at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute in Ottawa. He is a frequent commentator on Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs on CBC Radio. His numerous articles on Canadian foreign and security policy, and on international relations generally, have appeared in International Journal, Behind the Headlines, Canadian Defence Quarterly, Policy Options, Canadian Foreign Policy, The Round Table, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Military Journal and in a variety of books.

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
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