12.19.2010 07:36 AM

In today’s Sun: an open letter to Messrs. Ignatieff and Layton

“…it’s all being done in secret, without even a 10-minute chit-chat in Parliament. And it’s going to be announced next month by the prime minister and U.S. President Barack Obama when, coincidentally, the House of Commons is not sitting.

In effect, Mr. Harper is erasing the border between Canada and the United States.

And, to get little, he is trading away too much.”

63 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    The problem with this one issue, is that most people don’t understand privacy laws, electronic data, PIPEDA, and disclosure statues and selling this as an election issue will be rough one.

  2. Bill King says:

    Ya right. Iggy campaigning against Canada having closer relations with the United States. Now THAT’s credible.

    Cheers,

    • Conservative Peter says:

      Yes you are right . Why Ignatieff would he object to information sharing between his country and Canada ?

      • Namesake says:

        Well, you stepped on your own superfluous lame joke, but a better q. is,

        Why is Stephen Harper opening the floodgates and firewalls of handing all our intel over to the United States’ Homeland Security when he won’t even let our own CSIS & RCMP security forces share information properly through a Canadian intermediary agency?

        The Air India disaster wasn’t enough to convince him of the merits of establishing a pooled oversight body, but when the Americans come calling, he trusts them more than us to do it for us?

  3. James Curran says:

    Maybe the leader…er, um, I mean Bob Rae, will have a Christmas interview expressing our extreme displeasure with these new measures.

  4. Art Williams says:

    Layton will pick up on it. Iggy, I think, wouldn’t know a present if it was wrapped in a box with a bow on it. Maybe my $1.95 vote subsidy should go to the NDP.

  5. Steve T says:

    Ah, the default tactic when the Liberals are cornered – fear mongering about Americans! Never mind that it’s always in half-truths and innuendo (as WK himself suggests is perfectly acceptable in this article). Let’s put some good old fashioned Yankee-bashing out there as an election issue. They’ll steal our healthcare! They’ll destroy the CBC! They’ll make us change our accents to a Southern twang!

    The perfect spokesperson for this ad campaign would be Carolyn Parrish. She can say something pithy like “The Americans are coming – only the Liberals can keep out the Bastards”.

    • Conservative Peter says:

      Will they give Carolyn Parrish a Barrack Obama doll to step on ? See its just not the same without Bush as president .

      Harper/Obama will never take the place of Harper/Bush .

    • Namesake says:

      Or, har, har, they’ll….

      * Establish a common security perimeter ….
      * Develop a North American Border Pass with biometric identifiers.
      * Develop a unified border action plan and expand border customs facilities.
      … * Adopt a common external tariff.
      * Allow for the seamless movement of goods within North America.
      * Move to full labor mobility between Canada and the U.S.
      * Develop a North American energy strategy that gives greater emphasis to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases — a regional alternative to Kyoto.
      * Review those sectors of NAFTA that were excluded.
      * Develop and implement a North American regulatory plan that would include “open skies and open roads” and a unified approach for protecting consumers on food, health, and the environment.
      * Expand temporary worker programs and create a “North American preference” for immigration for citizens of North America.

      Oh, wait, those aren’t parodies, they’re the actual 2005 recommendations of the Council on Foreign Relations in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales, that this framework agreement is in service of.

      http://www.cfr.org/publication/8104/task_force_urges_measures_to_strengthen_north_american_competitiveness_expand_trade_ensure_border_security.html

      http://www.cfr.org/publication/8102/building_a_north_american_community.html

      http://www.ceocouncil.ca/en/north/north.php

      • MetaKaizen says:

        “We are asking the leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada to be bold and adopt a vision of the future that is bigger than, and beyond, the immediate problems of the present,” said co-chair John P. Manley, Former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “They could be the architects of a new community of North America, not mere custodians of the status quo.”

        • Namesake says:

          Yup, a former Liberal is shilling for big biz., just like some former chiefs of defense are shilling for the aeronuatics industry, and a fromer Conservative PM was shilling for a German arms dealer (and his former chief of staff went to shill for the tobacco companies).

          So what’s your point — are we our former brothers’ keepers?

  6. Annie says:

    How in hell can it be stopped… and what a liar and deceiver Harper is!

  7. orval says:

    I doubt anyone could convince Mr Ignatieff, the most pro-American Liberal leader since, well, ever, to go along with such a disingenuous tactic.

  8. Conservative Peter says:

    Most of what they will be agreeing on has been going on since Chretian was Prime Minister .
    Stephen Harper wasn’t in office when John Manley signed off on Mahar Arar’s rendition to Syria .

    At least with this stuff formalized People will be able to see what they are doing .

    This is good for the Liberals , you can put getting rid of this in your new Red Book along with cancelling the F 35’s scrapping the HST .

    As Yoggi Bear once said : “its deja vou all over again “.

  9. hugger says:

    “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it.”

    A sure sign the Cons are edgy is when they come out with all the old labels like fear mongering and go into Iggy attack mode.

    One has to grimace when people start extolling the virtues of free trade at a time when Canadians are carrying record high debt levels, the middle class is under siege and the Federal government is running record deficits. Not to mention a ballooning Civil Service. And what do we have to show for it? Do we still own our Railroad? Our airline? Our own National Petroleum company..etc. etc.. NO, what we have is an economy that has evolved to cater to US demands and providing raw materials.

    I fondly remember the days of the Auto Pact when we had Canadian content guarantees instead of shares of dubious worth in GM and Chrysler. The days when we sold lumber to the US instead of just logs and logging rights. The days when we had a government that knew enough about sovereignty to say no thanks to foreign wars it didn’t like the look of.

    If our playing along with the Americans in Afghanistan should have taught us one thing that would be they will play us along with everyone else once we open the door.

    You are right Mr. K, and the message should be kept brief. Reformatory style.

    One more thing this a.m. I notice that you approve comments from many Conservative posters on your site. I can never get a comment approved on Blogging Tories. Beacons of free speech that they are.

    • hugger says:

      Never mind the rhetorical soup and the catch phrases Gord, where’s the beef?? Be specific, give examples of how we were “a xenophobic impoverished socialist union-controlled backwater ” and how the Free trade agreement produced positive results in the long term. Like today’s long term.

      I am nearly at the end of my 6th decade and worked at many different things Gord, but only once did I work in a Unionized environment.

      I will give you an example of where you are wrong regarding the once crown owned entities. Do you know what the CEO of CN Rail earned this past year? Do you know what they did with the core of the Railway in order to make it profitable? Do you understand how much cost to our other infrastructure this company has been responsible for since privatization? Has the privatized version of CN contributed millions toward subsidizing privately held interests in Quebec as did Canadian National?

      I have some background with Petro Can and agriculture too so we can beat that around later, but I have to go and will leave you to digest that for now.

      • hugger says:

        Gord, you didn’t answer any of the substantial questions I asked. You only offered your opinion on who is the most Xenophobic.

        I come from the Maritimes btw. You know, the home to all things Union according to you.

        I ask again;

        Do you know what the CEO of CN Rail earned this past year? Do you know what they did with the core of the Railway in order to make it profitable? Do you understand how much cost to our other infrastructure this company has been responsible for since privatization? Has the privatized version of CN contributed millions toward subsidizing privately held interests in Quebec as did Canadian National?

        I will again repeat that the civil service is ballooning, and this under Harpers watch and yet we have less. Why is that Gord?

        We must deal with reality Gord before moving forward to discuss other things, and that includes CPC talking points intended to impress and befuddle the sheep.

      • hugger says:

        From the book of Murdoch? Answer the above questions Gord, then we can get to the beef.

      • smelter rat says:

        Gord is a reformatory troll who simply spouts talking points. It is pointless to try to debate him.

      • hugger says:

        To your last comment gord;
        Well you should care what CN’s CEO makes Gord, and what those “retired” assets you refer to resulted in was tremendous increases in heavy truck traffic and extraordinary costs relative to infrastructure throughout many areas of the country. I would also point to the short line railways that filled the void in many areas and operate on a profitable basis. What the privatized CN did was cut off the lifeline to many communities and industries and retain the best paying services that already existed. Those profitable sections were already OURS Gord, and helped to pay for the less profitable or negative cash flow services to other areas. That is what Nationhood is about. What a Federation is about Gord. That is what a Sovereign country does, it invests in the whole country, not just bits and pieces of it. These changes in many cases were game changers for entire areas of the country, and for entire industries and shut the door on many independent industries and entrepreneurs and opened the doors for the corporate oligarchs who also accessed government subsidization. Speaking of which, the highest deficit I remember Canadian National running was in the range of $325 million. The next year they broke even. I learned about manipulating depreciation, capitol cost allocation and fudging the books from them.

        I’m going to highlight this part of your response, “Canada’s transport infrastructure is now much less expensive and far more efficient as it has moved to increased use of intermodal means – something a hidebound crown corp could never do.”

        Give me the figures on the cost of Canada’s transport infrastructure, new construction and especially maintenance. Do you know what it costs to build a mile of road these days? Also how much it costs for Emergency measures services, hospitalization, insurance and rehabilitation costs relative to accidents on our highways caused by the increased truck traffic and what the costs incurred were relative to accidents caused by shipping the same goods on rail? There is also the effects of waste and more pollution to consider as a result of the increased amounts of fossil fuels being used as a result of moving those goods onto the roads.

        Moving on, do you think the new CN invented intermodal? If you do you would be wrong on that count also. That is what the new CN has relied on as a main mode of profit taking but they sure as heck didn’t invent it nor did they develop it to a profitable model. All they have done is pirate what belonged to Canadians and cherry picked the best of it, and abandoned numerous communities and commercial ventures that once relied on services provided by Canadian National.

        You didn’t take a guess at the privately held interests in Quebec Canadian National subsidized either Gord. It is no small entity and it was all politics. Mulroney politics. I’d like to get a homer simpson hold on dat guy.

        Re: the ballooning civil service and your inability to see how that relates to this discussion. The civil service has grown 40% in the last ten years, and the point is one of the most basic possible. More civil service, less real estate, fewer institutions owned by Canadians for the benefit of Canadians. But we got more people in the PMO controlling the message.

        Next? Oil and gas royalties maybe? My oh my, that ABC guy from NFLD sure schooled the Texbertans on that one.

  10. Maggie R says:

    I chuckled years ago when the “Free Trade” Agreement came into existence, yeah, right, complete with resolutions board or committee when objections should arise! American by birth, Canadian by choice, I predicted that as soon as it (free trade agreement) doesn’t suit them THEY will change the rules. Do you remember the soft wood fiasco which took a few years of appeals for the U.S. to back off and partially admit they went too far!

    As my late mother would say, “Mark my words…” I say, “Mark my words, the U.S. wants to annex Canada, maybe even call it “United North AMAERCIA” Once they annex Canada, all that we hold dear as Canadians will be gone, a little at a time so we don’t really notice until it is too late. Just imagine all our natural resources in sensitive, protected areas will no longer be protected and will be pillaged by any cheap means possible for the greatest Yankee buck gain. Our fresh water, the envy of the world will be turned into a commodity and sold to the highest bidder; pipelines and trucks will transport it to the far corners of the globe and by the way not a drop will ever reach those who REALLY need it.

    Our First Nations people will be among the first to suffer. If they felt they have gotten the short end of the stick (land treaties etc) and what the currently enjoy of self government, all that will be gone in the blink of an eye and the stroke of a pen. Just take a trip down history lane to learn how the natives were treated in the U.S. and the phrase, “White man speak with forked tongue.” We as Canadians are guilty of that but not to the extent of the Americans, at least in recent years concessions have been made and treaties honoured for the original intent.

    Canadians, I feel are driven by a sense of fairness however the Americans are driven by power and greed.

    Well, that’s my Canadian two cents worth.

    • Wayne LaRochelle says:

      Maggie,

      What colour is the sky in your world? I’ve read some wild ones on this site but yours takes the cake.

    • hugger says:

      Jaysus Gord, smug pompousness? What about clubbing visa, mastercard and paypal in order to get at Assange? What about criticizing the conservative government for not criticizing Cuba on human rights? That coming from the country that emasculated Iraq. Pompous or what?

      • hugger says:

        Emasculate definition; : to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit : weaken

        Better that hundreds of thousands are killed so long as it’s Uncle Sam approved?

    • The Doctor says:

      Maggie R’s post, condensed version: Canadians good, Americans bad.

      How profound. And tolerant.

    • Robert K. says:

      The USA isn’t interested in annexing Canada. They wouldn’t know what to do with another 25 million Democrats. Actually maybe we could finesse a reverse takeover?!

  11. O Dog says:

    Harpers’ timing to reveal this when the house is out on break is no different than having a serious meeting when the toddlers are having their afternoon nap. Nothing seems to ever get done when the kids are continually distracting the adults by screaming and having temper tantrums.
    The left routinely resorts to bashing our neighbour to the south when they feel they can gain political ground. Our relationship with the U.S. has and will continue to be strong due to our comparable way of life and our adherence to reasonable values. They hate terrorism and we hate terrorism! Sharing immigration policies and pooling our resources to root out undesirables is as logical as continuing our NORAD agreement. This may (without knowing the exact details) offer Canadians easier travel to and from the U.S. Considering the fact that we presently enjoy a trade surplus with America, I believe that this arrangement could be very good for Canada.
    I also promote the idea of a North American “union” such as what has been achieved in Europe. Our joint economic state would be inevitably stronger and so would our security.
    I will always be proud Canadian! I will never be a narrow minded hermit like those in the LPC or the NDP.

  12. To whisk a few trucks across the border in two hours instead of three, we are going to lose control over some of the very things that distinguish us from our neighbours to the south.

    A few trucks indeed, mostly they’ll be trucks loaded with goods from China whose only Canadian attachment is they’ll have landed at the newly expanded port in Vancouver, David Emerson/Stephen Harper’s so-called “Gateway” strategy. A few longshore-folk get some work, some big construction firms get the investment capital, and we pay the environmental price as prime farmland is paved over so that American consumers can get even more cheap electronics and socks. This is done in the name of competitiveness… who the hell cares if Vancouver gets even more international shipping when the ultimate destination is the 9/10ths to the U.S. anyway? We’d have got our share simply by virtue of already having the largest port on the West Coast before this damn Gateway Strategy and we weren’t exactly going to lose it all if we chose to right-size the operation (just stay efficient) simply by virtue of having the shortest transit time.

    And it’s all being done in secret, without even a 10-minute chit-chat in Parliament. And it’s going to be announced next month by the prime minister and U.S. President Barack Obama when, coincidentally, the House of Commons is not sitting.

    The opposition has done such a miserable job since Feb 6 2006 that I don’t see any hope in them taking the challenge on now, least not effectively.

    Sovereignty used to be a Progressive Conservative issue and always was one that tugged at the heartstrings of New Democrats. Liberals were more split, the John Manley identity-crisis types not really knowing which side of their chest their heart beats behind, but you could always count on the majority of Liberals to remember Chretien and Trudeau who knew clearly that this land is our land.

    It’s the Reform/Canadian Alliance folks who have less interest in Canada as an on-going proposition, by and large. In one breath they’ll get all angst ridden over any claim that they love the country less than the next Canadian, but willingly trade areas of our country’s sovereignty over to the United States for a few dollars more in the name of “trade”. This government has done nothing but.

    Side note: Maybe this is why Jim Prentice wanted to leave in 2010? I’m being serious here. If anyone here had seen his keynote speech at the last Progressive Conservative Party of Canada leadership contest you’d know the man is pretty passionate about Canada. Incidentally the Peter MacKay supporters called his speech “over the top”. I suppose for them it just have been as MacKay’s was utterly forgettable.

    • PS: When I said sovereignty has been a Progressive Conservative issue I’m primarily thinking of the post-Mulroney years, at least until MacKay briefly held the reigns. But unlike many, while I’m not exactly a fan of Brian Mulroney, I do not believe he ever intended with FTA and NAFTA to weaken Canada as a sovereign state. Someone said above that Canada likes to think of itself as a fair nation, while the U.S. is primarily concerned about increasing its own power and wealth at the expense of others.

      You can see by the actions of the state and political class in the United States, both historical and contemporary, that the notion of Manifest Destiny as it pertains to the U.S. of A is very much alive.

    • Conservative Peter says:

      This isn’t just about what Canada can gain , its about what Canada can hold onto . An agreement like this can prevent the congress from taking further action against Canada at the border regarding both security and trade .

      Look at all of the trade rulings that Canada lost at both the GATT and WTO trade tribunials .
      Our trade with the U.S. was not affected by most of those ruling because of free trade and NAFTA.

      Yes it took a long time to settle the soft wood lumber issue but what never gets reported is that several Europen countries took Canada to the WTO and won . As a result Canada has to pay a duty to ship softwood lumber products to those countries.

      • Conservative Peter says:

        And one more thing . The Buy America provision in the stimulus bill affected Canada because back during the free trade talks Ontario and Quebec would not allow their interprovincial trade barriers on the table .

        At the time the bill came out over 30 countries had exemptions already in place to buy America . Canada was not one of those countries because we had buy Ont. and buy Quebec .

      • Mr. Chamberlain says:

        “It’s about what Canada can hold onto.”

        There’s naivety and then there’s stupidity. I’ll leave it to you to self-disclose which of the two applies to you. Perhaps reconsider your tag as “Simple Peter”.

    • smelter rat says:

      It’s not just Vancouver. Winnipeg is expanding it’s airport to accomdate future freight flights from China, which is a quicker way to get goods to the central US states than shipping to the west coast. From Winnipeg stuff goes straight south by truck, or the flights can continue on to any number of US cities.

  13. O Dog says:

    I guess my comments were just too “Right” for your selective blog. Truth is Kinsella….. Harper will explain this new arrangement to Canadians in a forthright manner and most of us will see right through the fear mongering that the Liberals, the NDP and your good bed buddies over there in the Bloc will try to implant. Ignatieff will bleat on for a few days until the press (minus the T.O. Star) calls him a desperate hypocrite starving for public acceptance. Harper is a proud Canadian who is too smart and patriotic to throw this country under the bus. He has already proven himself many times over as a solid leader and a statesman. That brick by brick philosophy he possesses, compared to the Liberal party method of erecting “quickly built opportunistically oriented style platforms” will give the Conservatives that majority government that they deserve! If you want to give those in the LPC advice…….. tell them to stop treating Canadians as though they are stupid and uninformed!

  14. ButterNut says:

    The “Scary Stephen Harper with his Hidden Agenda” meme meets Liberal reflex anti-Americanism. Okay, let’s see how well that works the 4th time around, with a leader who called himself an American during the last decade.

  15. Namesake says:

    Yeah, that’s why it’s only left-wing papers like, er, the Calgary Herald and the Vancouver Sun which’ve run op-ed’s like, “Security deal with U.S. must be negotiated openly — and carefully,” saying:

    “A draft proposal of a deal leaked last week talks of a perimeter security arrangement. It is thin on specifics. Canadians have a right to be nervous. Such an agreement could, for instance, profoundly affect Canada’s immigration policies….”

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/elephant+next+door/3971792/story.html

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=1c339a13-1697-4120-863d-8e75d5bfba10

    • Namesake says:

      They have the same owners (Postmedia, who picked them up from Global) as the National Post, whose Chris Selley agreed (in his Dec. 13 weekly Full Pundit roundup on “The great sovereignty giveaway”) with Thomas Walkom of the To. Star that:

      “even if this trade-off [between freer trade & decreased sovereignty] is deemed acceptable, it faces an insurmountable problem: In real life it won’t work. The U.S. would be happy to control Canada’s borders to the outside world. But no U.S. politician who wants to get re-elected would ever agree to weakening America’s northern border with Canada.”

  16. Steven D L says:

    Harper:
    -You are selling Canada down the sewer so you look good to the USA.
    -If you have not noticed, or most likely don’t care, Canada has NOT benefited from “free trade”. What did happen is our “trade freely” left Canada!
    -Our aeronautical intelligence and experience was sold out after Diefenbaker scrapped the Arrow due to USA political influence (another Conservative….remember?).
    -You have pushed policies through when Parliament is not sitting – a spit in the face of our democracy and parliamentary system and the citizens of this great Nation.
    -Now you want to give my personal information, rightly obtained by MY government, to the USA! THEY have no constitutional right to information about me obtained for my Nation’s use such as my income, employment or even my date of birth.
    -AND you want to push this policy through while parliament is not sitting; AGAIN.
    -The US opinion of their success was very clear in the 19 December photo of Clinton and “your” (not our) foreign minister cannon. She is waving and smiling from over joy of success while he looks like a dog running away with his tail between his legs.
    -NO FREE TRADE!
    -NO AGREEMENT OF INFORMATION FROM CANADA ABOUT CANADIAN CITIZENS PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED INFORMATION!
    -AND, while I am at it, NO more boat loads of invaders!
    -You are TEARING Canada apart one slice at a time. You are truly aiming at adding 13 more states to the USA. And you do not have the guts nor honesty to talk to Canadians while you carry out this silent deceit.
    -Signed with all true disgust

    • Danny says:

      Oy veh. When will the loopy left stop trotting out the Avro Arrow cancellation as an example of US political interference in Canada, when it was really a government pulling the plug on a huge white elephant. The Arrow was a great interceptor, capable of Mach 2 + . It would have been great at catching and shooting down big slow USSR bombers carrying nuclear weapons to North America. But two years before it was scrapped in 1959 the USSR put up a satelite, sputnik (1957), that proved nuclear weapons could be delivered by Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. That made bombers, and interceptors, obsolete.
      I am sure there were people making great horse shoes when Henry Ford started rolling out the model T. Horse shoes are history, just as the Avro is.

      • Namesake says:

        “That made bombers, and interceptors, obsolete” — so why on Earth is the CPC committing us to buying $21-B worth of combination bomber/interceptors in this day & age, then, genius(es)?

        • Danny says:

          Sorry, the JSF F-35 is a fighter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II
          It is neither a bomber nor an interceptor.
          Which is not to say the case for buying them has been made. But you are comparing apples and oranges.

          • Namesake says:

            Apples and oranges, my eye. What a sophist. Your defense of the rationale for killing the Arrow doesn’t hold up — even with ICBMs, the Russians continue to use bombers _to this day_ — and neither does your hair-splitting about what type of aircraft we continued to buy for the next 50 years to send up to shadow them (be they strictly interceptors — which ARE a type of fighter — or ‘multirole’ fighters which are made more agile & outfitted w. various kinds of kit in addition to air-to-air missiles, such that they can also engage in dog fights or bomb ground installations, e.g.).

            And it should be noted — rather than dodged — that the only rationale FOR getting the F-35 white elephants proffered to date by the PMO has been: to intercept Russian bombers & errant passenger or cargo jets carrying explosive ink cartridges.

  17. Richard Ball says:

    By tomorrow there will American soldiers — with guns — on Canadian streets !!!!!!!

  18. bell says:

    This is one of the problems with the liberal party. Take a lesson from Pumba and leave your past behind you. Ignoring the fact that the argument didn’t actually work 30 years ago. Why would anyone think that argument would work today? Back then the argument held merrit because some people actually believed then that free trade was bad for the economy. There are not many of those people left today and the few that remain are already voting Green, NDP, Communist or most likely staying home. Canadian’s are concerned about the economy and jobs. Any position that can be framed as supportive of that (speeding up the borders and expanding trade) will get votes. Any position that does not support that (clogging the borders) will scare away votes. Liberals must realize that with the connected world we live in today the average voter is much more informed. Stop trying to fool them. The message has to be simple but unfortunately in today’s connected world it also has to be correct.

  19. MississaugaLibPeter says:

    Two other questions:

    1. This new fine-dangled security system obviously will be run by the Yanks, but how much costwise will the privilege really cost? In real dollars, and in new adventures around the world we will have to follow since our security blanket will be intertwined.

    2. Is it really smart to attach yourself to a dying empire? These frigid’ idiots south of us are passing out tax cuts while the rest of the world is tightening their belts. Sorry WK, Obama is NO REAL CHANGE.

    And one real truth:

    Both China and the United States want the land and resources of the SECOND LARGEST COUNTRY in the world, and we desperately need real, patriotic, Canadian politicians.

  20. Sean says:

    Warren. who are you kidding?! Col. Sanders has more credibility standing up for the rights of chickens than Ignatieff does for standing up for Canadian values.

  21. Shaun says:

    Why is it that all the conservatives that love to bash Canadian values and Canadian society still live here in Canada when you can move to your beloved US fairly easy? Also, with that great US economy that you want so badly here in Canada, you can buy up a couple of foreclosed houses, just as a ‘fuck you’ to poor people (that should be titillating enough for conservatives).

  22. metakaizen says:

    The point, of course, is that a stalwart Liberal defender such as yourself raised the alarm bells on this issue and in doing so revealed one of numerous Liberal connections to what is being criticized.

    Of course there are stronger connections- for example Chretien’s role in the expansion of the free trade agreement, of which this is the logical next step. And others have pointed to Ignatieff being a less than credible standard bearer for the path Warren suggests. It’s just that you provided the links to this particular connection.

    You’re right to note that former politicos of various stripes often go off to shill. Muldoon, in particular, is a disgraceful episode.

    But on this particular issue, the Liberal Party would be fighting itself while opposing the Cons.

    I don’t think this dog will hunt. Or, more specifically, it will for the NDP, but not the LPOC.

  23. Namesake says:

    More grist for the mill: Monitoring America — how Homeland Security et al. are spying on their own citizens FT (and now they want to do the same thing to us w. the Harperites only too willing cooperation):

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/monitoring-america/

    http://pov-mentarch1.blogspot.com/2010/12/monitoring-north-america.html

  24. The Doctor says:

    Warren, I have lot of respect for your political strategic smarts, but I don’t see this as being such a big winner for the LPC in today’s political environment. I absolutely agree that in 1988 or 1993, this issue could have been a potent conservative-killer. But now, with 5 federal parties duking it out, with the BQ dominating Quebec and 4 parties vying for the centre-left vote, a lot has changed. Plus, as some have pointed out above, we already tore our guts out in that free-trade debate. That’s not determinative, but the main thing is, the potential voters who would be most responsive to, and galvanized by, this as an issue are people who are already firmly in the Liberal/NDP/Green camp. And I don’t really see how, in a campaign with this as the ballot issue, the LPC could out-xenophobe the Dippers. And if the LPC really pushed the envelope on this during a campaign, the Bay Street wing of the party would also start rolling its eyes.

    • Namesake says:

      Agree on it not being THE successful election issue, and not one to WIN votes so much, but it could certainly be AN issue to help convince a lot of former Cons. supporters to stay home.

      After all, it betrays a lot of the principles the CPC was so busily invoking to polarize the nation all year and runs against the grain of the whole “cut taxes / stop the gravy train” movement that’s been picking up steam, of late.

      First, it should be characterized for what it is, as something most everybody loves to hate, these days: a type of HST — viz., Harmonizing Security Trade b/w us & the US of A.

      Second, it’s fiscally irresponsible for us to follow suit to do that: as the Washington Post’s series, among others, points out, it’s a giant make-work project, with literally thousands of gov’t organizations AND private contractors having sprung up over the past decade to gobble up bilions of dollars a year to build nearly worthless databases on its citizens “suspicious” activities; see its series at:
      http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

      Third, it violates people’s privacy and personal dignity and “treats everyone like criminals” — the very themes which raged so much on the 2 too ‘long’ battles (gun registry & census), this summer — both in what gets people into those databases (e.g., flying; taking photos) & what’s included in them, and also in how we’re scanned, poked, & probed for daring to get on an airplane. (As Paul Wells said about the latter, citing this article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/opinion/26iht-edcohen.html “You don?t protect freedom by confiscating it.”)

      Fourth, there’s already enough evidence to believe it’s a big mistake to partner up with & entrust our nation’s personal & security data to the American agencies, who’ve demonstrably failed their own mission in several ways recently:
      – the Wikileaks (epic data security fail): wanna bet they wind up losing a lot of files on our citizens, as well, once we hand them over to them (which is a big part of what this agreement is about)?;
      – not acting proactively on security risks even when they have been identified, because they capitulate to corporate lobbying http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/09/knew-cargo-planes-vulnerable-years/
      – being so inept that they, D’oh!, lost track of 119,000 registered aircraft from their own country (even though, um, the thing that STARTED this whole ramped up anti-terrorism industry was those 4 aircraft that were commandeered to crash into symbolically important targets on 9/11)) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/us-agency-loses-track-of-119000-aircraft/article1832415/

      • The Doctor says:

        Well, those are all interesting points. I guess we’ll have to see how it all plays out and gets spun. You and WK could be proven right.

        I still think, though, that as a general rule, and as a general proposition (details aside), this proposal appeals to three things in your typical conservative voter: #1 a belief in the value of the trading relationship between Canada and the US and any proposal which strengthens, reinforces and streamlines it; #2, a belief in trade liberalization and harmonization generally, and #3, a belief that post-9/11, we need to do what’s necessary in North America in order to strengthen border security while not unduly harming border traffic and trade flows.

        But I agree that there are all kinds of objections that you could raise to all of that. And the kind of points you raise do remind me of what happened during the FTA and NAFTA debates: the proponents tended to stress generalities (“trade liberalization is good”), while the opponents would zero in on specific objections (“look at how this aspect is bad because in this instance . . . .”).

      • Namesake says:

        one more item to add to the fourth (let’s not partner up with the demonstrably inept Americans) list, courtesy of the blogger ‘THe Happy Wanderer’:

        – they can’t even get the most basic item — screening airline passengers’ carry-on items for LOADED GUNS — right.

        Moreover, their own quality control testing has shown “every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.”

        http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7848683

        http://the-happy-wanderer.blogspot.com/2010/12/loaded-gun-brought-on-plane.html

  25. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    People must have a lot of time on their hands. Too much time and energy spent here slamming our country. You guys are practically tripping over yourselves in supporting the current government. No matter what. Sad. This country deserves better.

    Continentalist chumps! You’re embarassing yourselves!

    • Hunter Mars says:

      I remember well the strong visceral reaction I had to the
      “Just one line bothers me ” advertisement . The scene of the pencil
      eraser removing the border line was incredibly powerful . Surly the
      Liberals are able to come up with something equally compelling .
      Thanks for the reminder Warren . I always thought it was a strong
      piece for an election .

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