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In Adam Chapnick notes, “during [Prime Minister Lester] Pearson’s time in office [1963-68] Holmes had unprecedented access to the highest levels of government.He could reach Pearson personally when he was in Ottawa, and the Prime Minister promoted the CIIA while entertaining.An “indefatigable proponent of Imperial Federation” and former Colonial Office official in South Africa, Curtis set up a network of semi-secret Round Table Groups in the British Dominions and US.The aim was “to federate the English-speaking world along lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes”, the famous British imperialist.Active Canadian diplomats regularly speak to CIIA meetings, as did Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien.Alongside Ottawa and US foundations, Canadian capitalists with foreign policy interests also funded CIIA.At the 1919 conference British and US delegates discussed establishing internationally focused institutes.The next year the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), or Chatham House Study Group, was founded in London and in 1921 the Council on Foreign Relations was set up, notes , “to equip the United States of America for an imperial rule on the world scene.” The driving force behind these international affairs institutes was British historian Lionel Curtis.
Recently Canadian International Council President Ben Rowswell has been widely quoted promoting Ottawa’s regime change efforts in Venezuela.
Holmes also drafted speeches for Minister of Trade and Commerce Robin Winters.” Upon leaving office external ministers Lester Pearson, Paul Martin Senior and Mitchell Sharp all took up honorary positions with CIIA.
In 1999 former foreign minister Barbara Mc Dougall took charge of the institute and many chapters continue to be dominated by retired diplomats.
But its younger members and staff tended to back Washington’s foreign policy.
In subsequent decades US foundation funding strengthened their hand.
Trying to drum up support for CIC, Balsillie wrote a commentary for the , explaining that “in return for their support, contributing business leaders would be offered seats in a CIC corporate senate that would give them influence over the research agenda and priorities of the new council.” In another piece for the Balsillie wrote: “To create a research base on Canadian foreign policy, I have spearheaded the creation of the Canada-wide Canadian International Council (CIC).