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In less than a year, Canada has gone from a bold leader in the effort to change the way the global economy is governed, to a quiet enabler of the status quo.

The World Bank’s 25 executive directors, including Canada’s Marie-Lucie Morin, are expected to select a new leader on Monday in Washington.

Ms. Morin already has received her orders from Ottawa: The Harper government is backing the U.S. nominee, Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim, putting Canada’s stamp on the continuation of American dominance of an institution that represents 187 countries.

This is a shift from a year ago, when Canada cast...

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