Harper And The Destruction Of Canada/US Relations
Here is a "foreword" I have written to another WJR interview that you should find of interest. You need to listen to it to understand how Canada is going to make a mess with its relationship with the US over a bridge!
I want to put the interview into a context for you so read on.
Truly, can the Government of Canada be any more stupid in its relations with the US. There are consequences for this stupidity as the softwood lumber matter coming back again demonstrates:
- "Canada PM Says Disappointed With US Lumber Duty
OTTAWA (Dow Jones)--Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he was disappointed with the U.S. decision to impose duties on softwood lumber exports from four provinces.
"Obviously, we were very disappointed - first of all disappointed with the tribunal decision, also disappointed with the decision of the government of the United States to impose a duty," Harper said in a televised news conference in Moncton, N.B.
As reported, the U.S. government said Tuesday it would impose punitive duties of 10% on softwood lumber from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan from April 15, until it has collected US$54.8 million...
Harper said the government isn't disputing the tribunal's decision.
"What's at issue is, what is the appropriate remedy, the appropriate penalty," he said."
Is it really any surprise why the northern border is thickening when we try to threaten the US with oil and energy as the PM tried with President Bush or we have NAFTA-gate for the new President or our PM makes an insulting speech like this in July 17, 2007 in Santiago, Chile? Does he think no one in the US State Department saw it:
- "Looking at the region as a whole, and some countries in particular, we have seen some phenomenal success stories of political, economic and social development over the past generation, of which Chile is a shining example.
In certain other countries, however, we are witnessing cases of regressive economic policy, dangerous political conflict and persistent poverty, social inequality and insecurity.
While most nations are turning toward economic reform and political openness, too often some in the hemisphere are led to believe that their only choices are - if I can be so bold to say - to return to the syndrome of economic nationalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, or to become “just like the United States.”
This is, of course, utter nonsense. Canada’s very existence demonstrates that the choice is a false one.
Canada is an open, free and democratic society with the strongest economy in the G8 today, while also being a proud and independent country with our own way-of-life.
Canada’s political structures differ substantially from those in the United States. Our cultural values and social models have also been shaped by unique forces and we've made our own policy choices to meet our own needs.
We want our role in the hemisphere to reflect these differences while emphasizing the economic and political fundamentals necessary for progress.
In other words, we want a role that reflects our commitment to open markets and free trade, to democratic values and accountable institutions, but also to our national identity, and our traditions of order and community values.
But for Canada to play this role, we need partners.
It is not in our past, nor within our power, to conquer or to dominate.
What we can do is bring forward our resources and goodwill, in concert with those with whom we have historical links as well as significant interests, to build a more democratic, prosperous and secure hemisphere for all of its citizens.
With a new model of partnership at the heart of Canada’s approach to the Americas, we know we can strengthen hemispheric cooperation in support of peace, security and development.
There is no better place for Canada to pursue a partnership than by building on the shared success of our relationship with Chile and on our common values of political democracy, economic freedom and social cohesion.
Chile and Canada can show the way forward."
Hey we are Canadians after all, right. Come on, be honest. Did you silently cheer Gord when he said:
- “We didn't make much of it at the time. But we surely understand now why Herb Gray moved heaven and earth, as Liberal minister responsible for FIRA (Foreign Investment Review Agency) in the early 1980s, in a failed effort to prevent Moroun's trucking empire from acquiring the Canadian half of the bridge. That battle was lost in the federal courts and ended with an out-of-court settlement following a marathon legal struggle.
Gray understood what was at stake. An economic nationalist, he recognized that having the nation's most critical border crossing owned and operated by a private company, a foreign controlled one at that, would not be in Canada's best interests. He knew that real countries, serious countries, don't let private companies run their borders.”
How about when the only Conservative MP in our region, Jeff Watson, said:
- "In my corridor, a private bridge operator is threatening the binational process for moving forward. This private interest is moving very quickly to twin the span there which really threatens to undermine a process that we are a partner in.
It is important that we get this bill through in a very timely fashion without holding up too many add-ons because the clock is ticking with respect to this private interest moving forward. It is a project that, in my humble opinion, is not in the national interest, certainly not in the community interest.
It is important that all members in the House support this legislation and get it through quickly, so that we can avert this type of situation or at least have some oversight over what is happening. This is a necessary piece of legislation."
How about this comment from another Conservative. Perhaps we are not Mexico North but we should be named after a Caribbean Island just off the coast of Florida instead:
- "Conservative MP Russ Hiebert has thrown support behind a plan to nationalize security, maintenance and use of border infrastructure. Bill C-3, known as the Bridges and Tunnels Act, will give the federal government exclusive authority over 29 bridges and tunnels to the U.S....This bill will allow us to fully manage trade and security at all border points, and is especially timely as the Detroit-Windsor trade corridor is growing desperate for additional border transit capacity,” the MP said."
I swear, I would have thought they were NDP members saying things as only Brian Masse could say:
- "Given the importance of the corridor and the fact that 40% of Canada's trade goes along the corridor and adding another bridge is very essential, not only just to Ontario and Quebec but the rest of the country with our GDP so tightly wound around basically a private American operator that owns the current bridge"
- "The fact of the matter is that we have to deal with the most important border crossing between Windsor and Detroit which is owned and operated by a private American citizen. We have to ensure that Canada's interests are represented."
- "When a border crossing facility is owned by a private American citizen we have to be accountable to our own citizens to make sure that the border crossing is inspected properly, invested in properly and is run for the benefit of not only individual Canadians crossing there but also the businesses that we represent. That should be the primary interest of any infrastructure that we have connecting ourselves and the commerce that is so important for the vitality of Ontario and other regions."
What will the Canadian Government do when there is a reaction to this blatant anti-Americanism or when the US figures out that Canada is trying to control the corridors and gateways with "Shared Border Management" on the Canadian side. Deny it?
Remember that the Prime Minister has tried 3 times at least with 2 Presidents to get the Americans to buy into whatever he wants to do with the Ambassador Bridge and its Owner. I can hardly wait for another "ports" brouhaha by certain members of Congress when they wake up! Where over Canada will the US drones fly then?
I truly cannot believe that the Ambassador Bridge is that significant to Canada that such an effort has been made to force its Owner out of business. Yet, look at what has been done to try to do so as I have Blogged---endrunning the President, Government actions including Ministerial visits to the US, media stories, Bill C-3 legislation, $60M DRIC process, academic papers, tying it in with troops in Afghanistan. Think of how many hundreds of people are involved from the Canadian side.
For what---traffic volume capacity increase, security, redundancy, new road network, plaza redundancy, to be ready when the economy improves. I do not think so. They are merely the excuses to cover Canada's real agenda whatever it is.
Remember, the US is the elephant. Do you remember what the former US Ambassador to Canada said:
- "David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, fired a salvo at the prime minister, saying Martin is risking one of the world’s best relationships by playing politics. Martin has repeatedly criticized the U.S. over softwood lumber and environmental policies during the election campaign...
Those comments drew a stern warning from Wilkins to back off the election rhetoric.
“It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner constantly,” he warned. “But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn’t have a long-term impact on the relationship.”
Former US Secretary of Commerce in a DEMOCRATIC Administration, Mickey Kantor, in another WJR interview said:
- "The Canadian government bless their souls are going to try and push this and push this for one because they don’t like a private bridge that’s been there for 80 years, they would like a public bridge that’s probably a philosophical position the Canadians take.
And the second is their bureaucrats have committed themselves emotionally to this thing but we shouldn’t be pushed around by the Canadians.
I’ve negotiated over the years when I was the United States treasurer in dealing with Canadians, you got to stand up once in awhile for our country and say this in not in our interests."
Now that you have finished cheering for kicking the Americans, do not be surprised if they kick back. Watch the Ambassador Bridge become a symbol of the deterioration of our economy thanks to our foolish Government's 50 year attempt to take over the Bridge.
Take a listen to this interview. I expect that it will make waves quickly in American Government circles both State and Federal after it has been heard. The irony of what Dan Stamper says though is that he is not angry at Canada---he understands what we are doing although he obviously does not like it since it hurts his Company---He is angry at his own Government for ignoring everything!
Heaven help the Prime Minister, and Canada, when the Americans wake up, especially after the Mexican border is cleaned up! Then the focus will be directly on our border. It is NOT going to be pretty if Canada continues to carry on this way. Do not forget about Congressional action about steel to understand what I mean.
I would expect that the surprising Bridge Company Appropriations Committee Earmark action to deny DRIC further funding for the DRIC project, something that has caught everyone by surprise by its novelty, is a big nudge in the ribs!