Former PM urges multilateral solution

The United States must work multilaterally if it wants to win the war on terror, former Canadian Prime Minister Joseph Clark said Thursday in his keynote address at the Six Universities Conference at AU.

Clark, a Distinguished-Statesman-in-Residence in the School of International Service, said that since 9/11, "the international community is more inter and less national." He spoke at 6 p.m. in the Kay Spiritual Life Center.

In his speech, he encouraged new paths in international relations, stressed looking beyond national borders as well as using "old-fashioned diplomacy" to solve global problems. He also discussed immigration and free trade.

After his speech, Clark answered questions from an audience that was a mix of college students and delegates from North American and East Asian universities. The questions ranged from U.S.-Canadian relations to the separatist movement in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Clark said that the key to good U.S.-Canadian relations was for Canada to have a "public, independent stance on issues" while simultaneously cooperating with the United States on trade and security.

Clark described the last decade as the "mercantile '90s" and said that since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, politicians mistakenly believed that free trade would solve all the world's problems. But since 9/11, security replaced free trade as the most important issue of the day and has dominated the international scene in a way unmatched since the Cold War.

Regarding Quebec's fight for separation from Canada, Clark said that the Canadian government has attempted accommodation.

"The fundamental insecurities behind Quebec's independence have been answered," he said. "Quebecers have become international citizens with an adhesion to Canadian ideals."

Some in the audience disagreed with Clark's view on Quebec. Elise Rubin, an American who lived in Canada during the '90s, said that all was not well in Quebec.

"The vote for secession for Quebec was about seven years ago, and it was a very close vote," she said. "The problems with language and culture still persist. I think he downplayed the issue."

However, some enjoyed the presentation.

"Clark spoke very well and he was very insightful. I am glad that KPU was able to bring him," sophomore Zach Copeland said.

After the speech, as people left Kay, supporters of Democrat Lyndon LaRouche handed out pamphlets.

"We're not here protesting," Jean-Sebastien Tremblay said as he and fellow Canadian Roman Walker gave out pamphlets titled "It's the physical economy stupid!"

Both were critical of Clark's speech.

"It was an exercise in PR. It teaches students how things are done, how to avoid addressing reality," Tremblay said.

Walker added that Clark is "very politically correct," and that he has certain "financial interests," referring to Clark's role on the boards of several companies.

Walker and Tremblay were at AU with six other LaRouche supporters to watch the presidential debate with the College Democrats.

As Clark left Kay, Walker followed him down the Friedheim Quad. "We discussed politics and banking," Walker later said. "His security guys tried to pull him away, but he came back and kept discussing the issues with me. It was cool"

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