When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Ottawa earlier this week she was treated not as an honored guest representing the country that guarantees Canada’s sovereignty, about which much hot air escaped Prime Minister Martin in February:
“We are certainly intending to defend our sovereignty and our air space and if anything develops in our air space, we expect, as a sovereign state, to be notified and have influence on any decisions,” he said. “Canada’s a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our air space.”,
but as pre-campaign fodder for an election that should have taken place months ago and has yet to be called by Bananada’s ruling elite.
Ms. Rice’s visit, by the way, was originally scheduled for April, but Mr. Martin’s lack of ability to divorce temporary political advantage from the safety of Canadians was off-putting to the more responsible SecState.
Canada’s once and future Prime Minister is still using the Jean Chrétien playbook: “Da way ya get re-elected is bashin’ da US, eh?”
So this week Ms. Rice faced accusations of abetting importation of, in the language of US apologists for illegal immigrants, “undocumented alien firearms” from the US to the streets of Toronto.
Two points Condi probably did not make while ignoring Canadian complaints about the 2nd Amendment: 1) According to Toronto police statistics, about 1,200 guns have been seized so far in 2005, consistent with previous years and, 2) if the dramatic increase in Toronto street crime is due, as claimed, to drugs; how is the implied increase in drugs explained –US laws are generally tougher on drugs.
Nary a word escaped Mr. Martin’s lips regarding the $2 billion plus firearm registration pogrom, nor did he mention that despite this fiasco no one in Canada actually has any idea where the weapons have come from. But, as the Edmonton Sun points out – no surprise there.
Mr. Martin’s plenipotentiaries have also been huffing about softwood lumber. Condi told him it was time to stop the “apocalyptic language.”
She was referring to the Liberals’ threat that if the softwood lumber dispute isn’t resolved in Canada’s favor – Soon – Canada may decide to sell its oil to China and spurn the United States.
Now I’ll admit I do not know the details of the softwood lumber dispute, nor if invocation of the War Measures Act is the minimum requirement for suspension of capitalism in Canada. I do know Canada subsidizes business, and I suspect the fees charged for cutting government owned trees are too low. I do know that Canada enjoyed a $66 billion trade surplus with the US in 2004. But, even if Canada is 100% in the right, so what? Toothless threats are not going to do anything more than garner a few votes in Canada while increasing Canada’s international bozo-quotient.
A lot of that $66 billion surplus was generated by sales of cars manufactured by General Motors in Oshawa (that’s Ontario, for those of you who don’t know where your Grand Prix, Impala, Monte Carlo, Silverado, GMC Sierra, Lumina, Buick Century or Regal were built). But GM is facing serious financial difficulty, significantly because of the cost of fully-corporate-subsidized health care in the US. This is an area where GM Oshawa has a “productivity” advantage – it’s not just the Canadian buyers of GM cars that subsidize Canadian health care; it’s every Canadian taxpayer. As an extra bonus, Canadians are subsidizing US buyers, too.
You do wonder though, that if GM can’t carry this health care subsidization thing off forever, how long an entire country with a roughly equivalent GNP, a smaller security force and even less competent management can do it.
But let’s stipulate that Canadians continue to put up with delays in health care treatment that their Supreme Court has called a violation of human rights, and that the Grits loot all Alberta’s oil revenue to prop up socialized medicine for another decade. Let’s grant that Canada’s righteousness enables UAW workers to avoid the Delphi Syndrome of 65% wage reductions. And let’s imagine that Canada makes good on the threat of reducing oil sales to the US.
A thought then occurring to members of UAW Local 222 might be; “Let’s make sure those Yanks have gasoline. How many cars have we sold to the Chi-Coms?”
Even Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant appreciates the economic realities:
CBC is reporting that Ontario will be the first Canadian province to change daylight savings rules to reflect the changes happening in the U.S in 2007. [Bryant] says “the province’s economy was the deciding factor and that if Ontario isn’t on the same time as the United States, it will be hurt financially.”
OK, so is “not being on the same time” a greater or lesser threat to Ontario’s financial well-being than Ottawa refusing to sell oil to the US?