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Newsline: Canada mulls loosening French requirements for diplomats

A Senate committee studying the future of Canada’s foreign service is pondering whether French needs to be a lower priority for recruiting diplomats as Ottawa pivots its foreign policy toward the Indo-Pacific. The issue has emerged in ongoing hearings at the Senate foreign-affairs committee, which is looking into whether Global Affairs Canada is designed to successfully execute Canada’s foreign-policy goals. British Columbia Sen. Yuen Pao Woo told his colleagues that many from his province have an expertise in Asian languages and cultures, but seem to be held back due to their lack of French. “I wonder if it might be possible to rank the intrinsic savvy and skill that some Canadians have,” he suggested, in order to “counteract some of the lower scores that we get for deficiencies in French.” (https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/senators-ponder-loosening-french-requirements-for-diplomats-as-canada-pivots-to-asia/) At the Nov. 3 meeting, Woo argued that diplomats should still be learning French, but that this could be treated as a lower priority for diplomats than for other public servants.

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