Obama, Romney and Canada - Macleans.ca

Obama, Romney and Canada

A briefing from Luiza Ch. Savage on the presidential debate


I was asked today whether the word “Canada” might come up in the presidential debate. If it does, it will most likely be uttered by Mitt Romney.

1. Keystone XL:

One point in Romney’s five-point jobs plan is energy. He wants more domestic energy development and more oil infrastructure to bring oil from Canada. He also wants to give U.S. companies a bigger role in the oil sands. In his jobs plan, he also says he wants to “strengthen partnerships with Canada and Mexico to expand opportunities for American companies in the development of those nations’ resources.”

The original route of the Keystone XL has been rejected by Obama, and he is under pressure from environmentalists to reject it any subsequent applications. Obama rejected the routing of the pipeline based on local impacts in the state of Nebraska. He has not expressed opposition to importing oil sands crude in general. It remains unclear whether he would approve the pipeline – most analysts think he would. In contrast, Romney has run ads saying he would approve it on Day 1 of his administration.

If Romney mentions Keystone XL, the proposed pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, fact-checkers will be ready to pounce on whatever jobs number Romney tosses out in connection with it.

2. Corporate taxes:

Romney could refer to Canada’s corporate tax cuts in making the case for his own tax cut plan. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has repeatedly referred to Canadian rates. Here is what he wrote in April:

We’re in a global economy. Where I come from, when we say “overseas” we mean over Lake Superior — Canada, which just dropped its business tax to 15 percent. How on Earth are our businesses going to be able to compete with the Canadians — or the Irish at 12.5 per cent?

(However, critics argue that because of all the loopholes in the tax code, the U.S. corporate sector pays a smaller share of overall taxes as a percentage of the economy than does Canada.)

3. Trade agreements:

One of Romney’s criticisms of Obama is that the president has not been aggressive in signing more trade agreements around the world. Pro-trade groups such as U.S. Chamber of Commerce have commended Canada for its aggressive trade agenda and unilateral tariff elimination. Romney could make a similar comparison.

For more on tonight’s debate, here is today’s discussion on CPAC TV between host Peter Van Dusen, former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson, media strategist Barry McLoughlin, and myself.



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Obama, Romney and Canada

  1. Only if someone’s had Alberta beef for dinner.

  2. If Canada doesn’t come up it will most certainly be because the Americans don’t ________ us. [fill that in with Respect, Understand, Know, Pay attention to.] Then we’ll get into a lather about how __________ the Americans are. [Fill that in with awful, evil, American, stupid.] Then we’ll begin saying things to remind us how good and virtuous we are. It’s okay. Don’t worry.

    I really do loathe that stupid question, “Will Canada come up in tonight’s debate?”

    • Your Mr. Harper is doing a fine job.

      I’m English, not British… just so you know.

      Leftists, no matter where they live, are filth.

      • Mr. Harper is arguably to the left of Mr. Obama.

        • Isn’t that as far to the right as you can get in Canada?

          Looking home to England, Enoch Powell was right.

      • It’s always a highly persuasive argument to call the other side “filth.” You’re probably American, since that’s what goes on in American politics these days. I thought we were a little more grown up in Canada and we could disagree without the ad hominem attacks. Or perhaps you’re not American, just 12 years old and only capable of school yard arguments.

        • Take a look at the G&M and CBC comment boards and then decide what goes for normal on Canadian comment boards. Go ahead, take a look.

    • Agreed about loathing that question.

      Will we ever grow up? As in “In my lifetime”

  3. I wish they would ask both candidates……..Do you have any affiliation with the Tri-Lateral commission, and Do you believe in a one-world government, and are you a globalist, or an american??

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • Do you actually understand the words you’re saying, or do you just pull them out of a hat? “Millions of Americans would be blown up”? How, exactly? Entire life savings stolen? Last I checked, my bank account was in decent shape. And what do you mean about your gays in SF comment?

      • The EUSSR needed Libya’s oil and since they have been on US military welfare since WW2, they had their dupe Sodom Hussein Obama arrange the assassination of their newly uncooperative stooge Muammar Queerdaffy, who they previously had on the UN Human Rights Commission…

        In Syria, nobody wants to get involved because it would force them to admit that George Bush was right and the WMDs Saddam Hussein did have and did use on Kurds and Iranians went over to his friend (and formerly theirs) Assad in the Ba’ath Socialist party.

        The EUSSR socialists can never face the facts of what socialism really is


        “The U.S. has lost track of some of Syria’s chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, and does not know if any potentially lethal chemicals have fallen into the hands of Syrian rebels or Iranian forces inside the country.”

        – Foreign Policy (9-29)

        Leon Puñettas was too busy having gay pride celebrations at the Pentagon… now there is a dead ambassador and all they can do is play with their wee wees and cry about some stupid movie?

        • Meaningless nonsense. What’s the EUSSR? Oh oh, I get it, you’re saying Europe are all a bunch of communist whatevers. Right. Way to make a good argument.

          • Back in the EU

            Back in the EU

            Back in the EUSSR