This weekend will provide a defining moment for the developing countries of the G20, which have elbowed their way into the clubby confines of the G8 and are now poised to tilt the world’s balance of power. It will also be a defining moment for Stephen Harper, the man who, in many ways, has placed himself at the centre of this transition.

When Mr. Harper first came to power, he was viewed as a parochial leader with little interest in foreign affairs. But over the past year he has engineered a significant shift in Canada’s foreign policy, evolving from a reluctant...

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