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people outside Canada and not tell Canadians?"
"We were instructed not to issue a public document in Canada," says a March 24, 2009, memo to Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, signed by Leonard Edwards, the department's top bureaucrat.
Gar Pardy, a retired diplomat, said it was a significant decision not to tell Canadians about the closures.
"While there is no news release in Canada . the information message on the five missions' websites will be accessible in Canada through the Internet."
"This is the peekaboo with this government. When they don't want people to see or hear news . they bury it," he said. "Why would you release to Puma Red
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Canada closed its embassies in Cambodia, Bosnia and Malawi, as well as diplomatic missions in Hamburg, Germany, and Cape Town, South Africa, that year.
"(Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) staff, especially those affected, as well as former (heads of mission), may question the decision," it continues. "Critics will position closures as contrary to the government's stated commitment to re asserting Canadian leadership internationally."
But the memo also notes foreign affairs officials were waiting for the Privy Council Office to decide whether to release the information to the public in the cities where the missions were closing.
The memo shows the Tories weren't thinking about foreign relations, but about making sure nobody knew what they were doing, said NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar.
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"That's what I find difficult. And to make that decision based on the possibility that you're going to have some criticism by interested people, (that's a) sad commentary," Pardy said.
The Privy Council Office is the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister's Office."(Non governmental organizations) and think tanks will speak out about closures that affect their agendas," the memo reads.
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