Canada’s biggest problem? America

From protectionist policy to border security to environmental laws, our best friend is making our lives miserable

by Luiza Ch. Savage

Canada’s biggest problem? AmericaIt has been almost two years since Stephen Harper disclosed that his cabinet was having serious discussions about what to do to “restore the special Canadian and American relationship” that he said had become “lost” in the Bush years. “What has happened is that Canada lost that special relationship with the United States. We increasingly became viewed as just another foreign country, albeit an ally, a good friend, but nevertheless a foreign country. You know, the northern equivalent of Mexico in terms of the border,” the Prime Minister told Maclean’s in an interview back in December 2007. “That isn’t just a shift in the view of the administration, that’s somewhat a shift in American public opinion as well, which concerns me.”

At the time, Harper was preoccupied with a new passport requirement that threatened tourism and trade, adding a new scale to the ongoing red-tape “thickening” of the world’s longest undefended border. “I’m certain this trend will not be reversed in the lifetime of the current American administration,” Harper said at the time. “I’m more optimistic it will be deferred later by a new administration.” But, he added, “I’m far from sure.”

He was right to be wary. If the special relationship was lost under George W. Bush, nine months into the new administration it remains missing. At his Sept. 16 meeting with Obama at the White House, Harper boasted that it was his seventh session with the new President. But the passport requirement remains, as do agricultural inspection fees on commercial cross-border traffic and air travellers. Instead of “un-thickening” the border, the new administration has kept the Bush policies in place and even piled more on: in February, the U.S. sent unmanned aerial surveillance drones to patrol parts of the border with Canada. The drones, which can detect human movement 10 km away, are supposed to help catch smugglers. But they have raised concerns about privacy in border communities, and although they are unarmed, give the 49th parallel something in common with the tribal lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Since Obama’s February trip to Ottawa, where he was greeted with a rapturous welcome on his first official foreign visit, the state of the world’s largest trading relationship has become even more fraught. Given that fully one quarter of the Canadian economy depends on exports to the U.S., growing American protectionism has proven to be a growing threat. Problems began with a Buy American provision in the US$787-billion stimulus bill. While there have been reports that an exemption for Canada may be imminent, in return for Canadian municipal and provincial governments allowing procurement contracts for U.S. companies, rules similar to the Buy American provision are now being repeated in other legislation. Protectionism has also surfaced in proposed climate change legislation that would impose border tariffs on imports from countries whose carbon policies Washington deems insufficient. And there are other issues galore that affect Canada, from complicated and costly trucking rules and the treatment of Canadian hydroelectricity under U.S. environmental laws to “country of origin” labelling that imposes costs on Canadian agricultural producers and reduces the appeal of their goods in the U.S. marketplace.

Oh—there’s Canada’s national sport as well. In August, Canadian NHL teams faced the prospect of having their seasons thrown into limbo by a sudden Obama administration crackdown on Canadian charter flights operating between U.S. cities. That issue arose when a U.S. charter airline and an American pilots’ union complained that the Air Canada charter company was beginning to take U.S. business, and the Department of Transportation stepped in. When Harper sat down with Obama at his Sept. 16 Oval Office meeting, he took precious minutes away from discussions of Afghanistan and Iran to address the war over hockey players.

That problem was eventually resolved, with Air Canada agreeing to “an unprecedented level of monitoring and enforcement” of who boards the flights. But it was just one more high-profile imbroglio between the two countries that may have left many Canadians asking the question: is America Canada’s biggest problem?

Jason Myers, the president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, calls growing American protectionism “the hottest issue for us.” He is not only concerned about new rules that affect us directly, but also those aimed at other countries that lead to problems for Canada. For example, when Obama announced in September that the U.S. would impose tariffs on tires from China, Myers worried that any Chinese retaliation against the U.S. auto industry would hurt Canadian businesses, too, because that sector is so integrated in North America. “We just see a whole lot of areas where the U.S. is becoming more closed, protectionist and isolated in terms of trade,” Myers says. “It’s not just that it’s our biggest market, but we make things together. We are part of an integrated supply chain. It has far-reaching impacts throughout industries.”

The impact of the Buy American provisions has been not only to exclude Canadian suppliers from government contracts at the state and local level, but also to encourage American distributors to stop carrying Canadian products. “The impact of this goes well beyond the procurement markets at state and local levels and beyond the federal restrictions,” Myers says. The economic impact is hard to estimate, in part because only a small portion of the stimulus money has been disbursed, but at least 250 Canadian companies have lost business, he adds.

Washington, Ottawa and the provinces have worked toward a solution to the problem. But even if Canada gains an exemption from the Buy American provision, Canadian businesses are worried that initiative may have been just the tip of the iceberg. Similar protectionist rules have been included in several bills pending in Congress, including the Water Quality Investment Act, which Myers notes could affect $4 billion worth of Canadian exports.

Of course, U.S. protectionism is rising precisely because the American economy is struggling, with the country’s global trade deficit now a domestic political football. To American ears, this drumbeat of Canadian complaints is beginning to look predatory. The Canadian Embassy arms itself with fancy maps detailing just how many jobs in each congressional district depend on the annual US$742 billion in trade with Canada. But congressmen know a trade deficit when they see one: the Canada-U.S. imbalance happens to amount to several billion dollars each month—in Canada’s favour (it was US$2.2 billion in July).

“I think we need a whole new vocabulary in the relationship,” says Scotty Greenwood, executive director of the Washington-based Canadian-American Business Council. The two countries are often tone-deaf to each other’s politics, she observes. “Canadians like to talk about NAFTA and say, ‘We’re your biggest trading relationship.’ Well, here NAFTA is a dirty word and everyone knows that Canada has a trade surplus. That is not what Americans want to hear. Basically, Canada is saying, you guys are an awesome market. We know that. We want you to be an awesome market for us, too.”

Likewise, in an America where national security concerns are top of mind, Canadian complaints about “thickening” at the border fall on deaf ears, Greenwood says, including those of the new secretary of homeland security. “Janet Napolitano leaned over to me at a dinner,” she recalls, “and said, ‘They talk about this like it’s a bad thing.’ ” Greenwood suggests new language for discussing border issues. “The Canadian vocabulary should be something like, ‘smart, breathable armour.’ If Canadians would talk about it as smart, breathable armour it would automatically reassure Americans that you understand the concerns.” Canadian governments should adapt to the fact that U.S. attitudes changed permanently after 9/11, she says. “It’s like the passport thing. If you want Canadians to be advantaged and have privileged access to the U.S., then get a secure card instead of arguing that we should accept 5,000 different documents.”

David Wilkins, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, says Canadians should recognize the immense power of Congress when trying to press their case. That is what Wilkins himself is doing in his new role as a lobbyist for Saskatchewan, which wants to develop and export production from its oil sands at a time when some members of Congress want to penalize “dirty oil” in upcoming climate change legislation. He recently flew several influential U.S. senators to the province to see a joint Canadian-American carbon capture and sequestration project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He also praised Harper for calling on congressional leaders on Capitol Hill during his last visit to Washington. “He obviously gets it because he did that visit to the Hill,” says Wilkins.

Better late than never, says Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat in Washington. “It’s been five years since a Canadian prime minister has been out there in a formal sense,” says Robertson, a senior fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. “It is entirely appropriate for the Prime Minister to go to Congress—he is our legislator-in-chief. If we started doing that on a consistent basis, that will give us more credibility. It opens the conversation on future engagement,” he adds.

To address concerns about border security, Robertson says the heads of Canadian security agencies such as CSIS and the RCMP, and their U.S. counterparts, should jointly educate members of Congress about the deep bilateral co-operation in law enforcement and intelligence. “If you send that information to Congress, it will make it easier on border issues,” he says. Likewise, Robertson says Canadian labour should take an aggressive role in pressing top U.S. labour leaders on protectionism that hurts Canadian unions. “A third of Canadian unions are affiliates of U.S. unions. It’s brother hurting brother,” he says. “Canadians need to work the American system the way the Americans themselves use it. You have to play by American rules.” Myers agrees. “It’s clear Canada won’t go far just by trying to encourage the U.S. to do us favours,” he says. “We have a lot of work to do to build a stronger voice among stake-holder groups like business associations and labour associations across Canada and the U.S. to say that we are in this together.”

But when it comes to direct dealings with the Obama administration, Canada has to walk a fine line between raising bilateral issues and trivializing the relationship. “Because of the U.S.’s position in the world, the President is dealing with international issues, whether it’s Afghanistan, Iran or North Korea,” Wilkins says. “Those are the primary focus. It behooves any country dealing with the U.S. to talk about the international issues before you turn your attention to wait times at the Peace Bridge.”

Robertson has much the same message. “With the Americans we tend to focus on just the little neighborhood stuff,” he complains, noting that the Canadian emphasis on bilateral irritants came to irritate Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. “She would say, ‘Here come the Canadians with their condominium issues.’ ” Robertson, for one, regrets that Harper raised the issue of hockey flights at his tête-à-tête with Obama, rather than leaving it to ministers and ambassadors. “It makes them wonder: are we dealing with a border state governor or a serious G8 nation? We tend to ratchet stuff up because we think this is what the public wants. But the public wants results. A lot of stuff the President can’t resolve.”

Meanwhile, Robertson says, the U.S. is strongly interested in the Canadian perspective and Canadian contacts on issues from Afghanistan to Pakistan to the western hemisphere. Indeed, the outgoing Canadian ambassador to Washington, Michael Wilson, has called Canada’s military role in Afghanistan the “best calling card I had” in Washington. When that military commitment winds down, it will not make the Canada-U.S. relationship any easier. “That’s going to be front and centre for the government, for Parliament, for some time, as to how we handle this in a way that doesn’t undermine the terrific goodwill that we have,” he told Maclean’s in a recent interview.

Despite the tensions, there have been notable examples of smooth co-operation between the two countries on urgent matters. Facing a possible swine flu pandemic, labs in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico worked together to identify the new virus. There were also the neatly dovetailed government bailouts for the auto industry. “It was definitely a team effort,” says Ann-Marie McGaughty, a partner at the law firm McKenna Long and Aldridge, who was counsel for the Canadian government in the negotiations. “The word at the top was ‘get it done,’ and everybody tried to find a way to make it happen.” Despite the Canadian government’s much smaller stake in Chrysler and General Motors, McGaughty says that “from the beginning the mantra was, ‘U.S. and Canada side by side.’ Which meant if it was a right or a privilege that the U.S. was getting, then Canada would get it too.”

Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s foreign minister, says that while border-thickening and Buy American issues draw disproportionate attention, the underlying relationship is solid. “They aren’t issues that prevent us from continuing on a good relationship,” he says. Evidence that the Conservative government is working on the bilateral bonds can be found in the 36 trips by Canadian cabinet ministers to Washington since Obama took office, as well as the eight meetings between the Prime Minister and the President (the last one was at the G20 in Pittsburgh). Obama, too, has tried to put a happy face on relations. At his meeting with Harper on Sept. 16, he said protectionism is a “legitimate issue” but encouraged Canadians “to keep things in perspective.” “Canada continues to be a huge trading partner to the United States,” the President added. “Businesses in the United States and Canada both benefit from that trade, as do consumers. On the scale of our overall trading relationship, [irritants] shouldn’t be considered the dominant element of our economic relationship.”

But Liberal MP Scott Brison, his party’s trade critic, says the Tories started out with a serious disadvantage when Obama came into power, since Harper had been seen as ideologically close to Bush. “Their focus was very much partisan and ideological,” Brison charges. He slams the Harper government for failing to adequately push back against new border rules that have decreased casual travel between the two countries, which he says has been “devastating” for Canadian small businesses that rely on U.S. travellers. Brison also says Ottawa should have fought back harder against new U.S. country-of-origin labelling rules that hurt Canadian food producers.

And there is a growing recognition in Ottawa that Canada can’t count on things getting better quickly. In the halls of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Department there’s growing talk of diversifying to other countries as a hedge against not-so-reliable U.S. markets. Trade Minister Stockwell Day alluded to that during a recent two-day mission to Brazil to promote trade and investment. “We do have a relationship with the U.S. that is in many ways the envy of the world,” Day said. “But as we have experienced, when they hit a downturn in the economy, their demand drops and that hits us hard.” Brazil, which has emerged as the clear focal point of Ottawa’s beyond-the-U.S.A. strategy in the western hemisphere, is a huge prize—an economy just slightly smaller than Canada’s and a notch bigger than Mexico’s. Day, in fact, has been to Brazil twice since being named trade minister after last fall’s election. In 2008, Canadian exports to Brazil—everything from fertilizer to paper—totalled $2.6 billion, a 70 per cent leap over the previous year. “We see our engagement with Brazil kicking up to a new strategic level as a partner in the post-economic-crisis global marketplace,” said one Canadian trade official.

That may be so. But America will remain Canada’s biggest opportunity, and greatest challenge, for years to come. After all, Brazil remains small potatoes compared to the U.S. market. And there is nowhere else for those NHL charter flights to go.

With John Geddes




Browse

Canada’s biggest problem? America

  1. Hard to have a relationship with a country that has policies that are so paranoid. Its too bad. Perhaps they have brought it upon themselves. To tell you the truth all the actions they have taken does not affect my day to day life at all. I am very happy just staying in my own country. With all its political faults it is still the best in the world. Anyways my money is better spent buying Canadian. Best wine women and song. Lol

    • Well they certainly are paranoid and a good portion of it somewhat grounded in reality but their "solutions" aren't really helping anyone either.

    • Well they certainly are paranoid and a good portion of it somewhat grounded in reality but their "solutions" aren't really helping anyone either.

    • And we're glad that you stay there.
      After 9-11 my father said, "Now, we'll really see who are friends are." Canada, Puppets Who Kill and Trailer Park Boys notwithstanding, is a fair weather friend to the US. You guys love to criticize the USA regardless of merit, like you just did, because it makes you feel good.
      I'm glad relations are deteriorating. You guys dont take us for granted.

      • But my friend, after 9/11 we welcomed you into our homes, made you dinner, let you stay for 2 weeks and comforted you in your hour of need. Then, a year or so later, you showed up with a gun wanting us to join you in hunting down Iraqi Pete who lives in the other neighbourhood and who had nothing to do at all with 9/11. We politely said, "No". We never take you for granted but we are always concerned when our friend goes flying off the handle.

      • let us not forget what america has tried to steal from us! oil in the north. it is considered “unclaimed” by america but if you look at any official map you will see Canada’s border covering those islands. most of canadas navy is stationed up there to word off thoughts of taking what is actually owers

    • THe only thing we hate is how you top when you come to the US it is at 15%

  2. If Canadians are surprised by what the Obama administration and Democratic Congress are doing on trade, borders, and security, you weren't paying attention from 2006-2008 as candidates ran for the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

    I have Canadian grandchildren. I want them to feel as welcome in the country of their mother's birth as they feel in the home of their American family. I am afraid, however, that this is not to be.

    Elections have consequences. Canadians vastly perferred Obama and the protectionist party to McCain and the party of free trade. Well, you got your wish.

    • or Canadians preferred a change in direction after 8 years of President Cheney

      • Cheney wasn't on the ballot. But the guy who publicly dissed NAFTA was.

        • Oooh, poor NAFTA. Has it stopped crying already?

          • The NAFTA detractors certainly haven't stopped crying. Which is why pols like Obama find it advantageous to keep bringing it up.

    • Canadians vastly perferred[sic] Obama and the protectionist party to McCain and the party of free trade…

      Do you seriously think McCain would be any less of a protectionist if he were president right now? How many House Republicans publicly denounced or tried to kill the "Buy American" clause in Obama's bill?

      • Actually quite a few of them.

        • Have any names handy?

          I remember McCain and one or two Republicans making flaccid pro forma references to the benefits of "free trade", but nothing more than that. It stands to reason: why would smart GOP congressmen and senators commit political suicide by making anti-protectionist noises in a congenitally protectionist nation?

          • But the US is generally not a protectionist nation. As Obama said, keep this in perspective.

            Half of all GOP Congressmen are still a part of the church of Reagan: Open markets, low inflation, low taxes, low regulation.

            Protectionism for them is a deadly sin. What other American presidential candidate (in history) flew up to Canada in the middle of a campaign to talk about how great NAFTA was? That my friend, was McCain.

          • I'm talking about what McCain would have done as president, when facing current fiscal pressures, not what he did when merely aspiring to be president.

            McCain came up here to re-sell NAFTA to us, not to Americans. Obama's done likewise. Americans continually fret that we'll pull out of the pact. The silly Yanks have no idea how improbable that is–NAFTA having been installed as our official religion by our establishment elites years ago.

            As for America being a free-trading nation, tell that to our lumber producers who, for decades, have seen duties slapped on their products because they've just been too gosh darn cheap.

          • News Flash!

            McCain lost the election. No one knows what he would have done as president.

      • Yes, I believe McCain would have resisted trade protectionism. Presidential opposition to Congress is not, of course, a guarantee of success.

        I believe McCain would have been less strident on border protection issues. I believe McCain would not have supported a carbon tax that inevitably will have an impact on Canadian hydrocarbon exports. And I believe McCain would have been more positive about developing alternative hydrocarbon sources (including Canada's) and less inclined to punish foreign carbon emitters who don't adhere to some holier-than-thou standard pushed by the Church of Climate Change.

        Now, was John McCain a nice man. The soul of integrity. A scintillating man. A man promising to remake American society. No, he was none of those things.

  3. "If Canadians are surprised by what the Obama administration and Democratic Congress are doing on trade, borders, and security, you weren't paying attention from 2006-2008 as candidates ran for the Democratic nomination and the presidency."

    This Canadian isn't. The US only respects countries that pose a threat of some kind. Which is why we should probably be ginning up more of this "Canada is a haven for terrorists!!!" propaganda. And not just brown ones, either.

    A thick, impenetrable border will be the best thing to ever happen to this country.

    • Charming.

      • Not nearly as charming "They hate us for our freedoms!"

        • What would you call "A thick, impenetrable border will be the best thing to ever happen to this country"? It sounds paranoid, too.

    • Isolation isn't a good strategy ever.

      • If we're only talking about trade, I agree. But Canada has been subject to political pressure (supported by our own elite, quite often) that has little to do with the exchange of goods and services and in fact amounts to an anti-democratic abuse of power and an attack on our sovereignty. Between less friendly countries, the types of actions the Americans have taken would be considered acts of war.

        If people don't think that's an important issue, well…so be it.

        • Acts of war. You're a bright light aren't you? (No you're not.)

  4. Canada's biggest problem is that Canadians thinks America is Canada's biggest problem.

    • Well, what is Canada's biggest problem, then? Our smugness? Our mediocrity?

      • We don't have a vision for our Country. We need one.

        • Foreigner has suggested one already…

          "we should probably be ginning up more of this "Canada is a haven for terrorists!!!" propaganda. And not just brown ones, either…" The Taliban of Canada.

      • our inferiority complex?

  5. Remember Bush asked Canada to participate in a continent-wide security zone and in true Canadian fashion they refused, like spoiled children having the constant need to prove they are just as tough. Also, Prime Ministers and MP's publically running them down. Just the comments here make it plain Canadians have a huge air of superiority. And you wonder why they are retaliating. You American haters–I ask time and time again which country you want as a neighbour and never get an answer. China, Russia, Venezuela, North Kroea, France–who. Australia is right wing and and doesn't want us. Tell me who you think is good enough for you. It is a shame what is happening down there but they now have left wing zealots in power and we are going to pay the price. You think Busy was bad. Just wait.

    • Agreed. We sit in our complacent little world and bitch about the Americans , all of the time. We are not in the same position they are. There security issues are different, and we should do as much as we can to ease any secutity concerns they may have. We are there neighbours and they are ours. Quit worrying about our so called sovereignty. There won't be any if the US falls apart.

    • You are so right! I have gotten into some real dust ups with people slamming the Americans. It was nothing short of disgusting to see members of the Gene Creitin Regime publically insulting them. No wonder they look at us like we are idiots to be held at arms length! My smug fellow Canadians do not impress me, and as a matter of fact I am not what you would call a "Proud Canadian"!

    • Exactly, Canadians are a bunch of smug, spoiled, little brats, who so desperately want to show big brother who is boss.
      Good luck with that one Canada. WHERE CAN I GET A GREEN CARD?

  6. …they refused, like spoiled children having the constant need to prove they are just as tough…

    More like, "they refused, like astute grown-ups with healthy survival instincts who loathed the idea of surrendering their security to the leadership of a proven moron".

    Prime Ministers and MP's publically[sic] running [Americans] down.

    Which Prime Ministers and MP's does that hallucination involve?

    • Caroline Parrish – former Lib MP
      Chretien's communications director – resigned shortly thereafter

      • Brilliant. I see no prime ministers in that list, and I see one MP, not many.

        Fail.

    • Sir_Francis…The hallucination you are refering to involved former Prime Minister Jean Cretien, and at least one of his MP'S. Surely you are not dumb enough to claim this never happened?

    • If you call the troubled, yet last bastion of hope for freedom a proven moron, then Canada is its retarded little brother.
      Sorry but true. WHERE CAN I GET A GREEN CARD?

  7. Canadians have a huge air of superiority.

    Yeah. Not wanting to be pushed around is so arrogant. We really need to be more humble…more American, as it were.

    …which country [would] you want as a neighbour…[?]

    I've always fancied living next to Sweden, actually, but that's not the point. We don't mind being America's neighbour; we mind being treated like America's valet. Moreover, Americans aren't fond of imperial arrogance either. Perhaps a reference to the year 1776 might ring a bell for you in that regard.

    You think Busy was bad…

    Who is "Busy"?

    • If only we could replace our "air of superiority" with actual "air superiority" we'd probably be a lot better off.

    • As Margret Thatcher once said to paraphrase " The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of money"…

      Go to Sweden Sir Francis…and leave freedom loving north americans alone.

  8. The problem is this whole "special relationship" nonsense. It never existed.
    1. Countries don't have friends, they have interests.
    2. ALL POLITICS is local.

    So when you have millions of Americans out of work, and their country running a massive trade deficit, of course we are going to see some protectionism. Secondly, when these people are scared about terrorists, of course we are going to see a thicker border. These should not surprise Canadians.

    • Despite the current state of the U.S., i would gladly trade my canadian citizenship for U.S. citizenship.
      News flash for you bud, (oh wait our "news" networks never report it), Canada is in worse financial shape
      than the U.S.

  9. The idea of "Buy American" always brings a smirk to my face whenever I drive past a WalMart. Ever check the labels in America's biggest "dollar store", NOTHING in there is made in the U.S.

  10. Take a look in the mirror, Canada. There's your problem. See, that's the difference between manly, stoic conservatives and girly, weaselly socialists: we conservatives accept responsibility for our actions instead of blaming everyone else. Has Luiza even turned 30 yet? She's going to tell us what's what? By blaming an infinitely superior country under whose protection we sleep at night and who are our largest trading partners? Uh, no. Seriously, the kneejerk antipathy towards the USA among socialists is just boring at this point; so predictable, so childish, so insouciant. Get a new schtick.

    • Thanks for condensing every stereotype of the cringing, self-loathing colonial into a single paragraph. Were it not serious, it would make brilliant satire.

      I assume you've taken no steps to immigrate into that laughably described "infinitely superior country" you worship? What a shameful lack of initiative on your part.

      I suggest you emigrate immediately, if you're willing to do a final kindness to a nation you clearly hate. Your departure would be a huge net gain for Canada.

      • Amen. This is one canuck who sees through the leftist BS up here! It is torture living up here in many respects, and i for one wish the U.S would just put and end to this whiny, piss ant, boring, wimpy, socialist, frozen, excuse for a country and annex it!!!

      • Discent is the greatest form of patriotism Sir Moron. You cannot find truth without questioning the establishment. Get off your idiotic, elitist perch and grow some nuts. A departure of you and your ilk would be a kind gesture to freedom, and therefore a net loss to CANADUH.

    • I love when a jackass like you proves every stereotype about americans true!

      • I love it when many a Canadian becomes irate about Americans, as Canadians are simply adolescents who don't realize that what they are seeing or want to believe about Americans is what they actually are. It's called a mirror Canadian children.

    • Arn't you the poster boy for the typical Repube redneck, who doesn't know his derriere from a hole in the ground. You've got everything rolled up into one neat and tidy paragraph, from the accusation we're socialist to the arrogant assumption you're a "superior country under whose protection we sleep at night".
      Tell your fright wing leaders to quit lying about our healthcare. That's all I have to say.

  11. Americans do not see Canada as a problem when we look at Canada at all; however, Canadians too often see some kind of problem, usually over trade, when they look at the US. So, why is this? Well, the reason could be that over the decades you have developed a special dependency on the US market. When a trade dispute surfaces you quickly gripe about how unfair and protectionist we are. So, be honest and admit that the real reason behind the complaints is because you want continued and unfettered access to the US market on Canadian terms, and the complaining is designed to get more of it.

  12. You guys have a short memory.
    Canada is a fair weather friend. You LOVE to criticize everything the US does. You just cant help it. I was waiting to see how long it took for you guys to use the word 'arrogant'.
    Canada is closer to Europe than America. Our countries are so alike you just figure your politicians can talk crap about us and we'll just embrace you, regardless of your disrespect. Your haughty sense of superiority is a funny thing, especially since your GDP approaches that of Texas. You guys think criticizing us makes you superior. Whatever.
    When we were attacked on 9-11 you acted as if we were paranoid to want to fortify our borders.

    Been enjoying living under that nuclear umbrella for 60 years? Maybe it's time you guys bought your own army.
    No free lunch for Canada. I say we treat you like the Euroweenies you are. The only good thing to come out of Canada has been Trailer Park Boys and Puppets Who Kill.

    I'm happy things are deteriorating, you take the USA for granted. I guess without you guys as a trading partner we'd have to produce our OWN moose poop. And your beer sucks!

    • Ed, you are out of line. Canadian soldiers are dying right alongside our own in Afghanistan. You should apologize.

      Canadian beer is fine and so is the Canadian over-the-counter Tylenol…the stuff with codeine.

    • Ha, wow, you Americans are so immature. And the one thing i wanted to say was, the only reason you wouldn't like our beer is its too manly for you. you know you cant handle it. you and your light beer.

    • don't recall you being attacked by canadians.
      ever notice how you don't have the same issue on the canadian border as you do on the mexican? thats cause it's a nice place to visit…but we don't want to live there. we don't have a superiority complex…..but you seemed surprised when you try to impose yours. you're surprised that we don't like being told we are second best. not sure who would like that. for you its always about being the best. we don't care……we just wish you'd shut up and stop being loudmouths and get over yourselves.

    • Really? In fact our economy is in good shape unlike yours. How do you like all that oil and hydro electricity you buy from us and are so dependent on? It attitudes like your that has gotten the US in such trouble around the world.

    • I have to say THIS CANADIAN (PENTICTON B.C.) AGREES WITH YOU. We really are in reality, up here, a bunch of spoiled, socialist, intellectually "sounding" nitwits. Most canadians couldn't see the forest for the trees, despite having a forest full of dead trees due to the pine beetle.

  13. Funny thing is I remember when the US was our biggest problem BECAUSE of NAFTA. 
    Well, you’d probably never have read that in McLeans but I heard 
    that a lot from my friends who lost jobs in manufacturing.

    I’m no lover of globalization myself and I think NAFTA is screwing us
    since it means basically our natural resources don’t belong to us anymore
    (which is why Obama is still trying to persuade us to stay in NAFTA IMO), and here we see the root of the problem: Americans want the cheap oil 
    and hydro without having to compete with Canadian quasi-socialist products like softwood lumber; and Canadians want American trade without giving away the country to 
    multinationals.

    If you believe in globalization I guess you could say this childish. If not, it means people no longer buy into the free market hype. No surprise where the elites of our respective countries lie on this issue.

  14. I hope all our Canadian friends who have been preaching socialism to us for years, and praying (in a secular way) for total Democrat power are happy now. You see, the Democrat party is owned by Big Labor (i.e. the unions) in the US, and the ONLY segement of the US population that wants protectionism is Big Labor. So cancucks…be careful of what you pray for because you just might get it.

    • Nobody here gives a rats ass about your politics. if you had more than 2 parties….which is white and black…..and no gray, we might be semi interested. If you think you were better off with Bush than ummmm ok. but we don't get all wet over parties and politics here. the fact that you say we preach socialism just proves your ignorance.

  15. As a Metro Detroit resident I can fully understand most Canadians complaints regarding border issues. For me Canada has always been almost like another state, except with better beer and a cooler national pastime. I have spent more time in Ontario than any place other than my own state. Choosing to cross the border to Windsor, or points beyond, has been, and continues to be, as viable an option as choosing to go to any place in the States even for a trip to the store or a restaurant. I have spent all of my adult life working in Auto related industries and have had to deal with the frustrations that have arisen since 9/11. Trust me, they make life on our side of the border just as frustrating. The difference is I am willing to accept the frustration. I know full well that because of policies in place at the time, my government allowed 19 people to legally enter the United States who then killed nearly 3000 of my countryman. I also remember that because we got lucky at the border, Ahmed Ressam was caught crossing from Canada in December 1999 on his way to kill other Americans like me.

    • i think the part that gets overlooked here is that when 9/11 happened, we as canadians felt just as sad, horrified, threaten, united as americans. it was our way of life, our freedoms, our beliefs….our neighbours, our friends and even our family that were involved too.
      when you say your countrymen, you make it sound like you knew them more personally than me…..maybe you did, maybe you didn't. When it comes to 9/11, I along with alot of other canadians lost friends and family in 9/11.

      guess my point is its not about you….its about all of us! american and canadian. its about humanity.

      also most terrorists that get into your country, come in with false documentation by means other than canada. we don't want them here…and we don't want them there. but the frustration you are willing to put up with….usually isn't stopping a terrorist from getting in….or out of your country.

    • I am an engineer and there is no one, but no one who will persuade me that the two towers in New York fell the way they did because they were struck by the planes. It was clearly a controlled demolition job. The third tower is even more evident controlled demolition case. There is no one who can convince me that the hole in the Pentagon was done by a Boeing 757-200, as claimed by the authorities. It is clearly a cruise missile that did it. Only the brainwashed Americans can believe that 19 Arabs who were not even registered on the passenger lists, with some plastic knives and very limited flight experience, could fly the planes into the towers and the Pentagon the way that happened. It was clearly an inside job perpetrated, in my view, with the connivance of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

      • There are too many nutjobs like you.

  16. It's easy to criticize people for being paranoid, like Bert did, when no one you know has been affected by a terrorist act. As the old saying goes "its not paranoid when someone is really out to get you." While the terrorists may be out to get you, they are out to get us first and foremost and terrorists acts have been committed on our soil. Americans truly appreciate the contribution made by you, your country, and your military in fighting the terrorists (particularly the Canadian snipers in Afghanistan let me tell you). Our countries are truly great allies. If there was a "continent wide security zone" likely most of border issues would fade away. Ultimately each country has to pursue what it thinks is in it's own best interest and on border issues we just don't see eye to eye right now. As for the free trade stuff…I'm totally with the Canadians. Then again I didn't vote for the party, or any of the candidates, that have stated for many years that they wanted to renegotiate NAFTA while calling for greater protectionism, and more union influence in government.

  17. Even with the protectionist rhetoric emanating from the U.S. government these days, if Canada started lobbying our Congress like every other special interest under the sun you would benefit just like they all do. Either that or your country could just bribe a few elected officials, I know that's basically the same thing.

  18. It was quite obvious during the last two election cycles that Democrats, left to their own devices, would craft legislation to protect and reward their unionized core supporters' jobs. The fact that doing so violates dozens of free trade treaties and WTO regulations means nothing to a party, the leaders of which think that rules and agreements apply to other people.

  19. We should never be surprised that the US government places its national concerns above our interests. That is its duty to its citizens. We have to show respect to those concerns if we want to get anywhere with the administration, not condescend to them. I am glad to have a government in Canada that does not feel the need to thumb its mose at the US at every opportunity. At last we're moving beyong adolescence as a nation.

    Having said that, I personally would like to see more diversifying of Candian trade toward other countries….that may happen yet if there is a delayed recovery in the States. Oil for one – instead of building more north-south pipelines lets build 'em to the coast. Then if the Americans want to buy our oil, thay can buy it off the boat like everyone else. We'll hear no more talk of taxing "dirty oil" then!

    The principle of "least interest" applies here – the person who has the most power in a relationship is the person who has the least interest in continuing it. We won't get any respect down south until we stop conveying the impression that we need the US more than it needs us.

  20. I am one of those odd Canadians who is Canadian through and through, but who’s entire (very large) extended family is American. Thus, I spend a lot of time with Americans. I spent a lot of time in America.

    And one observation I have made is that for all our pretend differences, you know what Canadians are? They are Democrats. Even the Conservative voters, they are just more rightish Democrats. The views of people in most areas of say, California, pretty much jive with most of Canada, and yes, that includes you, Alberta (we won’t get into Quebec, because I don’t understand them, so I can’t speak about them).

    The only very significant differences i see is that due to the immigration patterns into the US vs the immigration patterns into Canada, the US is becoming much more socially conservative, whereas Canada is becoming less so. But the rest, it’s pretty much the same. The few Americans that come around here to sneer at us, say we should stop being “pussies”, and are just freeloading off of the American nuclear umbrella, probably hate 51% of their own countrymen (and their President) even more than us. Another obvious difference is on security. Canadians just don’t seem to understand the very real fear Americans feel over terrorists, and frankly, I don’t blame Americans for having that fear. Say what you will about their foreign policy, but there are organized networks of people that have a stated goal of killing as many of them as possible; for us to continually complain about the border, while doing little to nothing to prevent these people from entering our country, and then acting incredulous when Americans try to do whatever ham handed thing they can to prevent those same people from entering their country from ours, is just ridiculous on our part. So yeah, 1. Social Conservatism, 2. Security. Other than that, we can get along swimmingly. So let’s stop pretending our relationship with the Americans is falling apart and suddenly we see each other as Iran and Iraq. We simply don’t see eye to eye on two issues, and only one of those two issues has any real relevance to us. That one issue just happens to be en vogue right now; give it ten years, it’ll fade.

  21. If Barack Obama were Prime Minister of Canada, he probably would not endure the kinds of attacks and downright disrespect being directed his way every day, week in and week out. Not that Canadians are any less disapproving or prejudiced than U.S. citizens, but the Canadian people seem to have a sophistication not seen in the U.S. He is not the person who started the ball rolling on the Patriot Act, NAFTA, or the present border "tightening." We place the blame for these monstrosities on the previous Presidents and Congress leaders over the last 20 years., excluding President Obama. Let's come right out and call it what it is: Canada's biggest problem IS the U.S., which happens to be everyone else's problem as well. As a U.S. citizen, I understand that imperialism creates many enemies and few true friends. My country, in spite of its greatness and power, has exploited, abused and taken for granted other countries and regions around the world. I believe that President Obama is only able to do less than what he should do because the corporations and capitalists run the United States — and every candidate who accepts campaign contributions from these 2 interests are obligated to those interests. And that's what has happened to this President, just like the ones before him. Why should Canadians be so surprised? Money really does talk….

  22. Harper, you should focus more on your friends across the Atlantic over in Europe. We like you here, Canada, and we are a bigger market than the US and far more open minded.

  23. Having lived in Thailand for six years I have had my share of rude, ignorant, pompous Canadians trashing the US any chance they can get as they hang their maple leaves in their classrooms and on their backpacks. I've never met such adolescents in my life. Never met a group of people so desperate for attention; a group of people with a bigger case of national penis envy; a group of people who, lacking an identity, spend so much time disparaging us. Not all Canadians of course. The ones who have been out of Canada longer seem to grow up. Anti Americanism is a national pastime in Canada and so I could care less about this "special relationship."

    And I always love hearing about this lack of "sophistication" in Americans. We less sophisticated Americans like Jefferson, Paine, Adams, Washington among others stood up to Monarchy and threw it off inventing an enduring system of government that has become the envy of the world. What were these "sophisticated" forefathers of modern Canada doing in 1776?

    What a joy I feel that my country is pissing Canadians off!

    • Mark, I'm a Canadian, and I couldn't agree with you more! I too am sick and tired of my smug fellow Canadians who just trash the US because they think it's cool. I have been all over the US, and I have many American friends which is why I get real hostile when I hear some moron running you and your country down. Trust me,l thank my lucky stars often because I live next to the US!

    • Mark-This Canadian fully agrees with you. I hate living here. I moved back to canada from michigan, but certainly wish i could have stayed. I'll bet that almost any canadian that reads this post, will think i'm pretending to be canadian (american in disguise-Canadians don't believe it's even possible for any fellow canadian to have problems with beloved canada–dissent is not popular here) and that i am an american. Well they are sort of right. I consider myself an American, but sadly i was born on the wrong side of the line. Sad really….more commonalities than east and west berlin, yet we are more divided than ever. Canadian leftists, i tell ya.

  24. As a very proud American living, relunctantly in Canada, due to work, it amazes me time and time again, how Canadians can "badmouth" America and it's policies and people, over and over. My children are both US/CD citizens, but they long for the day to return to America. Here, they are subjected to racism and anti-Americanisms, and cannot grasp what it is all about. They wonder as I do, why Canadians love America for all its franchises, beaches and hotspots and seem jeolous all the time. Canada being a "mosaic" has no identity, unlike America, that demands that as a "melting pot", all new immigrants must learn to speak our language and live within our constitution. Here, in Canada, new immigrants keep to themselves and insist on Canada and its communities accepting any changes it brings from their countries. This article made me angry with its title, but reading it, the writer is right on so many points. I believe Canadians blame their problems on America, yet, secretly, given the chance, most of you would cross into America and never look back. Love those condos, cheap goods and services. Keep blaming America and trying to toot your own horn. It's one thing to be proud like an American and another to try to elevate yourself by bringing someone else down. Canada has everything because of the US as its protector and it will be interesting down the road if Canada does turn away. Good luck with that. BTW, I disagree with "everything Obama" as he is not fit to be anything more than a community organizer. Socialism may be welcome in Canada, but is not what America was built on. If Americans don't like that, they should move here. You certainly have it down pat here!

    • hud…I used to live in the U.S. but had to come back to Canada….you are SO RIGHT. I wish i had never experienced america, because it has been very depressing living back in canada ever since (as bad as that may sound)…..CANADIANS DO NOT GET IT (UNLESS THEY ARE BRAINWASHED INDIVIDUALS OF A CERTAIN BRAND OF SOCIALISM; WHICH MOST ARE)
      ………CANADUH…..i tell ya

  25. @Hud:

    Go home then. You don't seem to be doing a very good job of fitting in here. Or didn't anyone ever tell you that when you move to a different country, you should be prepared to adapt to it?

    Oh, wait, I get it… only if it's those pesky OTHER countries. THEY'RE the ones that need to adapt.

    Jackass. The best part is that you're clearly too stupid to realize how stupid you sound.

    • You are very good at proving Hud's point with your antagonism.

    • canada rocks

  26. Gordeaux, I live by the saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".

    Believe me, Gordeauz, I do, and my family does all the things needed to fit in. The thing is, I love Canada, having spent a lot of time through the years in various parts. I just don't get the anti- Americanism and why it all is America's fault. I have the best of both worlds, as do my children. I just don't like that they are subjected to some of this at school. In America, my children were taught what a great country Canada is to have as a neighbor. I don't think they teach the same to the kids here re: America.

    • Anti-americanism has become reflexive for many Canadians (not myself, but I see too much of it). It has become widespread as a way to ingratiate oneself with fellow Canadians, unfortunately. And it is the educators in Canada that lead the charge, which is the primary reason for it.

  27. America is the biggest problem not only of Canada, but of every other country in the world. It's the biggest predator nation on earth. Why would any nation need a war budget (they call it defense budget) that is bigger than defense budgets of all the other countries combined? Obviously it is to make war at every opportunity. Why does a country need over 700 overseas bases in some 130 countries? Obviously it is to control almost everything in the world. US is a parasitic nation and my only hope is that like the Roman Empire it will overextend itself and collapse. Then we will all be saved.

    • As a former dual citizen, born in Toronto to an American mother , and having grown up in N.B., I believe I'm qualified to have an opinion. The anti-U.S. feeling prevalent among many Canadians is rooted in lack of national self-esteem. There is really no logical reason for this, as Canada is a great country with wonderful history and unique attributes.
      I liken the professed disdain to envy of a successful big brother.
      To George : next time you have an earthquake or tsunami, try asking Cuba, Libya, or North Korea for aid. Next time you need a new miracle medicine or technological device, try shopping from Russia, China, or Zimbabwe.
      And if you don't wish to stay safe under the American nuclear and conventional military umbrella, perhaps you should have learned to speak Russian or Chinese by now, you ungrateful freeloading parasite.
      I left Canada for good in 1986, and the average I.Q. in both countries went up.

      • The anti-U.S. feeling prevalent among many Canadians is rooted in lack of national self-esteem.

        Yeah. I'm sure the descendants of American slaves who sought freedom in Canada, the thousands of American blacks who emigrated here later to avoid lynchings and segregation, and the thousands of young Americans who came here rather than have to drop napalm on Vietnamese kids just hate America for its "success". Or perhaps you just need to get over yourself.

        …next time you have an earthquake or tsunami, try asking Cuba, Libya, or North Korea for aid.

        And from whence did the folks in New Orleans get aid while in the throes of Katrina, Kevin? I take it you know that an RCMP task force from Vancouver reached the disaster zone before FEMA officials did? Has that little fact been given a place in your convenient reading of history?

      • And if you don't wish to stay safe under the American nuclear and conventional military umbrella, perhaps you should have learned to speak Russian or Chinese by now…

        Yeah, thanks for helping us fend off those ruthless Soviet and Chinese attacks in our far North. They never happened, of course, but…whatever. If that silly fiction makes you feel better about your citizenship, have at it.

        By the way, the Soviets never invaded Finland during the Cold War either. Was that because of your little "nuclear shield" as well, or was it because Finland was no more a Soviet target than Canada ever was?

      • Finally, perhaps you could take some time to thank Canada, along with all the British Commonwealth, for fighting the Axis powers and defending civilisation single-handedly for two full years, while you guys were still figuring out whether Hitler was such a bad guy. If you hadn't been dragged in by Japan, you probably wouldn't have fought at all. Do you fancy the thought of speaking German? Because that's what you'd be doing if we hadn't held the line for you slackers until late '41.

        I'm rather glad to hear you left this great nation long ago. Don't hurry back, now.

        • May have to return for a funeral. But I'll take the warmer weather, lower taxes, higher standard of living, free speech, better medical care and much more atractive women anyday.
          We do thank valiant Canadians for Vimy Ridge, Passchandaele, Dieppe, and Juno beach. Unfortunately since about 1946 the Great White North has hidden under someone else's coattails.
          In Kuwait liberation, more Iraqis surrendered to a pizza delivery truck, or CNN crew than to Princess Patricia's pusillanimous players.
          Of greatness the world has its' store.
          Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky and Shaw
          Mendeleyev and Bach
          Einstein, Pasternak.
          Gretzky, Esposito,and Orr.

          • …better medical care…

            …except for the 38 million uninsured, the millions more who get routinely denied by their insurers, and the thousands who cross the border every year to try to game Canada's system for health care and affordable medication;

            …and much more atractive[sic] women…

            …two words: Ann Coulter.

            Enjoy the funeral, my star-spangle-addled friend. You've earned it.

          • Hows that 12 month waiting list for surgery working out for you ?
            Live in Colorado and Florida. More sunny days / year in former than latter. Anyone with education or gumption can easily afford health insurance, wasn't it your own Minister of Health who had her cancer surgery in California a few years back ?
            We have no Kafka-esque Speech / Truth Commission ( yet-but give Obam time ) . Ann Coulter is an erudite and conscientiously researched author, with a definite ability to offend liberal sensibilities with truth.
            I'm sure the U.N. uses a truly objective measurement of quality of life….haha. For Darfur ? Or Bosnia.
            People from the world over don't appear to be risking all to immigrate somewhere else.
            Of your compatriots, how many would move to U.S. if allowed ? I daresay over 50 %.
            And yes, Canadians have contributed insulin, the foghorn, variable pitch propeller, the Mackenzie brothers,and the Zamboni ! Thanks. Why do your best and brightest seem to move here ? Oh, that's right….the LOWER standard of living !

          • Hows that 12 month waiting list for surgery working out for you ?

            I wouldn't know. It doesn't exist.

            Anyone with education or gumption can easily afford health insurance…

            Then you've got about 38 million cowardly morons living down there–present company excepted, of course.

            We have no Kafka-esque Speech / Truth Commission …

            Neither do we. We do have the scourge of political correctness, though–a product of American college campuses in the 80's (thanks for that).

            Ann Coulter is an erudite and conscientiously researched author…

            …who once claimed that Canada sent troops to Vietnam. She's an idiot who impresses only those more idiotic than she.

          • Sir Francis…(Boy, that's a snotty sounding name) you are a GD liar when you say the 12 month waiting list for surgery doesn't exist here! I can show you 3 people I have personally known( in the last 19 yrs) who died while waiting for Heart Bypass Surgery! I can also show you a personal friend right now…who has been waiting over two years for Hip Surgery. He is now in a wheelchair a good part of the time because of the pain. Oh, the 38 million (that changes depending which socialist is talking) Americans that do not have Medical Coverage? A good number of them are well to do and don't feel they need to purchase insurance….the Majority are Illegal Immigrants…AND!….since when is it our business how the US handles it's affairs? Somebody here said Canadians are fair weather friends….I sure as hell hope not! Would I move to the US if given a chance? You bet! I have been all over the US and I think it is great! No place is perfect of course, but it sure is nice to get away from the smothering Socialism we have in Canada! Not to mention walking yaps like you!

          • Wow. What a stream of barking gibberish.

            Hey, Rob. The only item of logical support your rant added to Kevin's argument is the impression that, indeed, Canada's best and brightest have all moved to America with only the dull left behind. I trust you're proud.

            By the way, I do hope you get your wish. The sooner you leave, the better for all concerned. Frankly, I regret that you need to arrange your departure on your own–a project for which you seem to lack the ambition. I would love to see you forcibly stripped of your citizenship and deported to a U.S. state of your choice. I suspect Kentucky would suit you perfectly.

            Have a swell day!

          • Sir Francis, no need to get mean. Rob's as entitled to his point of view as any. And I do concur that on balance, waiting lists and rationing of care hurt more than insurance coverage snafus.
            And what's so bad about Kentucky ? The east is demographically similiar to Newfoundland, while the west is akin to any of non-metro Canada.Plus I believe Canada so desperate for literate citizens of European heritage they are retroactively bestowing citizenship on emigres. Reasonable people can disagree without belittling each other, or ad hominem attacks. After 26 years spent in Ontario and New Brunswick, I felt Canucks were polite and fair-minded, except maybe Habs fans, LOL. Perhaps a result of Moosehead, Bra'D'Or , Molson Canadian,or Labatt's Blue ? ( Fyi, great-grandad sold Moosehead Brewery to Oland family in 1920 or so )

            1967 seems so, je ne sais quoi, LONG AGO ? Bring back Sittler, Keon, McDonald, Ullman,Glennie, Domi, Clark & Vaive if needed.

          • Ottawa ? Wtf ?
            I thought it was only politicians, civil service mandarins and incompetent but bilingual frogs who lived there, plus my old college buddy Geoff Graser.. Down here, productive achievers avoid the capital.
            And how long before Maple Leafs win another Cup ? 1967 too long ago !

          • First, we get: No need to get mean…Reasonable people can disagree without belittling each other, or ad hominem attacks. , after I respond to a crank who called me a "walking yap".

            Then, we get: I thought it was only politicians, civil service mandarins and incompetent but bilingual frogs who lived there…. Priceless.

            All I did was offer Rob some advice that seems totally consistent with his attitude. That's hardly ad hominem; but "incompetent bi-lingual frogs"? Man–that takes me back to Grade Four.

            By the way, knowing more than one language is conventionally considered a sign of competence or at least of intelligence; whether either of those qualities plays a role in your hierarchy of values is, of course, unknown to me.

            So I guess the pub invitation is rescinded…

          • Mea culpa. Gratuitous putdowns of francophones not in keeping with my professed desire for civility.
            I do wonder, though, how many Canadians have wondered if many civil service employees possess any qualifications beyond their ability to speak French ? In N.B. in the '80's it appeared superficially that intelligent francophones worked in private sector, others got government jobs. May just have been affirmative action backlash, or jealousy directed towards a " protected class" .
            I do recall Jean Chretien trying to have it both ways, using unfamiliarity with English as a crutch, while accusing critics of racism toward french speakers.

          • Admire competence. Intelligence in my personal hierarchy of values or attributes ? That determination probably best left to others, preferably ones who know me well.
            Good faith invitations are never rescinded , only can be rejected.
            Just as with Canada & U.S., I believe our commonalities and mutual respect far outweigh differences of opinion or quibbles over systems. Something about shared Northern European heritage, or like minded economic and political backgrounds.
            Yet a little spontaneous humor might be encouraged ?

          • Good faith invitations are never rescinded…

            That's good, because I would hate to lose a shot at some free beer. I'm just Canadian that way…

          • How wisely spoken. Free beer IS free beer.
            Availability of TRUE Cohiba cigars ?

            I believe the relevant stereotype in MY heritage or background is Scottish parsimoniousness,balanced with Irish conviviality. Such is the genetic stew from which many native Canadians emerged.

          • I don't see much commonality between Canada and US. Canada never invaded other countries, killing and displacing millions of innocent people. Canada was never involved in invasions … bombings … overthrowing governments …
            occupations … suppressing movements for social change … assassinating political leaders … perverting elections … manipulating labor unions … manufacturing "news" … economic and political sanctions … death squads …
            torture … biological warfare … depleted uranium …drug trafficking … etc.
            http://killinghope.org/
            Canada is not a barbarian Empire like the US and never will be.

          • Yes George, we barbarians are so hated worldwide for our charity, generosity and fair mindedness. You might ask citizens of Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc, for their opinions regarding Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan. ( three DESERVING Nobel Peace Prize candidates )
            Or could we mention Marshall Plan, or Nato, or U.N., or any other significant American achievements ?
            Of course, anyone who's favorably credited by the likes of Noam Chomsky and Oliver Stone MUST be objective and truthful–what, Michael Moore and Ralph Nader were too busy ?

          • You dwell on alleged misbehaviour going back a century , while I was born Toronto 1960, full time " barbarian" since '86.
            Did U.S. gov't often act over-zealously to defend perceived national interests ? Of course. They also liberated or helped liberate half the world from Nazism or communism , while funding W.H.O.'s near total eradication of many pestilent diseases. American foreign aid, combined with U.S. private charitable giving, in ANY ONE year dwarfs the total balance by remainder of world, throughout history. ( Check it out ).
            Also , look up Gordon Sinclair's famous commentary from late '70's re: U.S. vs. world.

          • I had a quadruple bypass in Canada. Had to wait three weeks, cause they decided it should be done right away. Didn't seem like a long wait to me.

          • People from the world over don't appear to be risking all to immigrate somewhere else.

            Canada accepts proportionately more immigrants and refugees each year than the U.S. does.

            Why do your best and brightest seem to move here ?

            They don't. You guys get our Pam Andersons, Jim Carreys and Tom Greens. Our useless cretins move to America to make their fortunes, as it's hard for idiots to become millionaires up here.

            Don't you have a funeral to go to?

          • People from the world over don't appear to be risking all to immigrate somewhere else.

            Canada accepts proportionately more immigrants and refugees each year than the U.S. does.

            Why do your best and brightest seem to move here ?

            They don't. You guys get our Pam Andersons, Jim Carreys and Tom Greens. Our useless cretins move to America to make their fortunes, as it's hard for idiots to become millionaires up here.

            Don't you have a funeral to go to?

          • Actually no, he hasn't died yet. Proportionately ? Lucky you have all that room, miles of frozen tundra up in Nunavit ! ( Q: How much of frozen north do you want ? A: Nunavit ! )
            And none of your recently board-certified neurosurgeons, cardiologists , etc. have relocated lately ?
            To join the already present engineers & physicists ?
            Btw, you never answered as to how many Canucks would move if allowed. Or re your former Minister of Health's U.S. surgery.
            And you claim all those waiting list for surgery stories aren't true ? So the 10 month wait for a pregnant woman's multiple births in a neonatal unit story was false ? Hmm, let's ask the Michigan hospital she went to.
            I suspect by January there'll be almost as many Canadians in Florida as radical Muslims in Toronto. Do you claim Mark Steyn wasn't harassed by H.Rights inquisitors for repeating Imam quotes in MacLean's article ? Know why Canada got the quebecois , and U.S. got the Mafia ? America had first choice. What's the difference between a Canuck and a canoe ? Sometimes, a canoe just might tip !
            It just isn't fair, is it ?

          • And none of your recently board-certified neurosurgeons, cardiologists , etc. have relocated lately?

            Probably a few. It's called "labour mobility", and it's global. I come across ex-Americans up here every week–doctors, scientists, lawyers, business people, trades-people. It's no big deal.

            …you never answered as to how many Canucks would move if allowed.

            We're all allowed. It's called a "Green Card", and I would have no problem getting one, nor would most Canadians. Only a fraction care to do so.

          • So the 10 month wait for a pregnant woman's multiple births in a neonatal unit story was false?

            Wow. One dilemma in a nation of 37 million. Do you have any idea how many health-care horror stories come out of the U.S. every day? And I don't mean about people waiting; I mean about people dying. But I guess Obama's putting his presidency on the line right now because your health-care system works just swimmingly, right?

            I've had two surgeries in my life, both elective (almost cosmetic, actually), and I waited exactly two months from the date of assignment. Your anti-Canadian ranting on this file is really just childish.

            I suspect by January there'll be almost as many Canadians in Florida…

            Hey, the U.S. is a great place to visit.

          • … radical Muslims in Toronto…

            Why should you guys get them all? At least we don't happily give them flight lessons and merely shrug and smile when they leave before learning how to land. I must say, when I read about that in the 9/11 Commission report, I laughed out loud.

            Do you claim Mark Steyn wasn't harassed by H.Rights inquisitors for repeating Imam quotes in MacLean's article?

            No, I don't. I claim that Steyn is yet another Canadian idiot I wish you guys would take off our hands.

            Actually no, he hasn't died yet.

            Heh. Average Canadian life expectancy is longer than yours, so you might have quite a wait ahead of you.

          • Yes, the study done recently by Institute of Demographic Information and Occupational Testing Systems ( IDIOTS, get it ? Can't MAKE UP stuff this good ) said that due to higher gang violence , smoking and obesity rates, Canadian males live on average 2.4 years longer than Americans. That's the GOOD news.
            Bad news is, those extra years have to be spent in Canada, eh ?
            Ba-da-bum.
            Thanks for sending us the intellectuals like Steyn, btw. And of course, Tie Domi ! Or Shatner, or Steve Stills, Eugene Levy, Norman Jewison, David Foster,Ackroyd, et. al. Gotta go, it's been fun. No hard feelings. In fact, next time in TO would love to buy you a malt Scotch and a good cigar…..assuming they're still allowed , that is.

          • In fact, next time in TO would love to buy you a malt Scotch and a good cigar…..assuming they're still allowed , that is.

            Sounds good, but I'm in Ottawa, and I'm a pale ale man. As for cigars–they certainly are still allowed here, and they're Cuban, amigo… ;)

          • In Kuwait liberation, more Iraqis surrendered to a pizza delivery truck, or CNN crew…

            Heh. Bragging about defeating a tinpot army that didn't even want to fight. Yep–that's the American way. Care to boast about Wounded Knee, too?

            Oh, and this is hilarious:

            I'll take the warmer weather…

            …in balmy Montana, the Dakotas, Washington, Colorado, etc.;

            …lower taxes…

            …and zero services, chronically under-funded schools, and inveterately corrupt police forces;

            …higher standard of living…

            …and by "higher" we don't mean the factual, objective "ranked far below Canada in the UN's Human Development Index", but the typical subjective American "ranked far above Canada in our own delusions of superiority";

            … free speech…

            …meaning "in the U.S., you call claim the Holocaust never happened and that Jews are scum, and nobody can touch you. Yeehah!";

  28. It's always interesting to step back a bit and consider how the Rest of The World looks at the Canada-U.S. relationship.
    We are the envy of the world.
    Period.
    When we bicker about something, it is a domestic tiff. Only Americans are allowed to call us "canuckleheads" and only Canadians are allowed to call Americans "ignorant cowboys" ( or whatever the dig-du-jour is ).
    When push comes to shove, we will fight and die for one another without the slightest hesitation.
    There's a word for that kind of affection…hmmm…I wonder what it is?

    • Canadians are now dying for the Americans in Afghanistan. As to the Americans, they will never need to die for us because Canada will never be attacked by any other nation, except perhaps the US when they will need our water. What we need is an arsenal of nuclear weapons so that we can defend ourselves agains the Yankees when the come to invade us.

  29. Forgot to spell attractive correctly.
    And apologies to any offended.
    However I sincerely believe the U.S. has historically benefited the world more than any nation, in terms of inventions, science and and overall well-being.
    Even Canuckistan has easy-opening cans, sliced bread, gasoline engines and ESPN ! Well, maybe not Newfoundland, lol.

    • I sincerely believe the U.S. has historically benefited the world more than any nation…

      Yeah, those British were total losers. What did they ever do that America hasn't done–except perhaps invent America…?

  30. Spot on, Hud!

  31. All small countries (and Canada is small in terms of population) tend to be anti the big country next door.

    That said, I know Canada well, and DO NOT think Canadians are serious in their anti-Americanism. It is just harmless sounding off. In reality, Canadians know they depend on the US economically. But they also know vheirs is a more decent society.

  32. if there was ever an international incident that sparked a third world war threat (sounds scary?) who would canada run to? the uk? china? india? poland? france? south america? mexico? un? afghanistan? antartica?

  33. No Gordeaux. This Americans thinks YOU'RE the JACKASS!

    • Many Canadians agree.

  34. I don't know if your reply target is a Republican, Democrat, Con, Lib, or NDP'r, but he's correct about the mild socialism in Canada , and that Canada hasn't pulled it's NATO weight since late 40's.
    Not all conservatives ( small c ) are Republicans, they often merely choose the lesser of two evils.Rednecks come in many flavors or stripes.As a native-born Canadian ( see other posts ) I AM qualified after 26 years in Canuckistan to comment on your healthcare issues, economic opportunities or lack thereof,and Government muzzling of free speech.
    Btw, why do you even care what Americans think of your just-above Third World status pissant little country ? As long as we protect you and buy your products, how are you affected ? Many Canucks with gumption and brains have moved for economic success and warmer climes.

  35. I for one don't care if the US doesn't buy our stuff. They don't keep their agreements. We have lots of things they want, like water and petroleum. We should train our military in non violent resistance techniques like the Danes did in the second world war, and play a polite but firm role with the Americans on the trade front. We have a lot of resources here, and a very productive labor force. We don't need to be pushed around by anybody..

  36. Just for the record this "barbarian American cowboy" will take any given episode of SCTV over a dozen of either MADTV or Saturday Night Live…..
    I visited Canada last August and loved every minute of it. Starbucks could learn a thing or two from Tim Hortons. First thing I saw when I came home was someone driving by and tossing a plastic bottle out the window; that's when I realized I was back in America…

    http://file23magazine.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/fi

  37. True story ! Levy, Candy,Flaherty, O'Hara, the McKenzies , awesome.
    Complete shows of hilarity, not islands of humor surrounded by mediocre filer, like SNL.
    Kind of sad how they all live in U.S. now, though, huh?
    Must be our LOWER standard of living ! Btw, hear about the Canadian patriot with map of Canada tattooed on his ass ?
    Everytime he sits down, Quebec separates !
    And here in Colorado, we shoot at litterers with our LEGAL guns !

  38. It's always much better to learn to be more independent so that if anything goes wrong, you won't be affected.

  39. Despite all the U.S's issues, lord, please bring me a green card for christmas.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *