Text of ambassadors’ letter

The following is the full text of the open letter from 38 former Canadian ambassadors, protesting the Harper government’s attacks on Richard Colvin:

The issues raised by the Richard Colvin affair are profound. Colvin, a Foreign Service Officer dedicated to discharging his responsibilities to the best of his ability under difficult circumstances, was unfairly  subjected to personal attacks as a result of his testimony provided in response to a summons from a parliamentary committee.

While criticism of his testimony was perfectly legitimate, aspersions cast on his personal integrity were not.

A fundamental requirement of a Foreign Service Officer is that he or she report on a given situation as observed or understood. It is only in this way that any government can draw  conclusions knowledgeably and make its considered decisions, even if at variance with the reports received. The Colvin affair risks creating a climate in which Officers may be more inclined to report what they believe headquarters wants to hear, rather than facts and perceptions deemed unpalatable.

Serge April, Marc Baudouin, Michael D. Bell, Rod Bell, Eric Bergusch, Fred Bild, Marius
Bujold, Robert Collette, Jacques Crête, Brian Davis, Anne Marie Doyle, Paul Durand, James Elliott, Nick Etheridge, Marc Faguy, Robert Fowler, James George, Stan Gooch, John Graham, Nick Hare, Jean-Paul Hubert, Rick Kholer, Gabriel Lessard, Daniel Marchand, Patricia Marsden-Dole, Émile Martel, François Mathys, Carolyn McAskie, John Noble, Gar Pardy, Jacques Roy, Michael Shenstone, Joseph Stanford, Howard Strauss, William Warden, Christopher Westdal, Jack Whittleton, Ron Wilson.