Monday, November 09, 2009


While I was home, I picked up a couple of Maclean's magazines. It's funny - I don't think I realized how far my attitudes have shifted since I left home, but after eight years overseas with little access to Canadian news and lots of access to other opinions, I found some of the articles odd.

Canada's Biggest Problem? America

-restore the special Canadian and American relationship

-equivalent of Mexico in terms of the border

-shift in the view of the administration, shift in American public opinion

-new passport requirement

-world's longest undefended border

-agricultural inspection fees

-aerial surveillance drones to patrol parts of the border with Canada

-catch smugglers

-concerns about privacy

-give the 49th parallel something in common with the tribal lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan

-one quarter of the Canadian economy depends on exports to the US

-Buy American provision in the stimulus bill

-climate change legislation, border tariffs on imports from countries whose carbon policies Washington deems insufficient

-trucking rules


-costs on Canadian agricultural producers

-crackdown on Canadian charter flights

-growing American protectionism

-Chinese retaliation against the US auto industry would hurt Canadian businesses too because the sector is so integrated in North America

-exclude Canadian suppliers from government contracts and Canadian products

-US protectionism is rising precisely because the American economy is struggling now

-trade deficit, Canada-Us imbalance in Canada's favour

-we need bilateral co-operation in law enforcement and intelligence

-talk about the internalization issues before you turn your attention to wait times at the Peace Bridge

-are we dealing with a border state governor or a serious G8 nation?

-a lot of stuff the President can't resolve

-Canadian perspective and Canadian contacts on issues from Afghanistan to Pakistan to the western hemisphere

terrific goodwill that we have for the military commitments Canada has

-swine flue pandemic, labs in Canada, the US and Mexico worked together to identify the new virus

-dovetailed government bailouts for the auto industry

-underlying relationship is solid

-Harper has been seen as ideological close to Bush

-decreased casual travel between the two countries

-devastating for Canadian small businesses that rely on US travellers

-country-of-origin labeling rules that hurt Canadian food producers

-diversifying to other countries as a hedge against not-so-reliable US markets

-Brazil a clear focal point of a beyond-the-Us strategy

-exports to Brazil a 70% leap over the previous year

American perspective: Paul Rosenzweig

-passport requirement proceeded with remarkably modest disruption

-American approach to land border with Canada

-most Americans don't hold any strong opinion about Canada. You're just like us, we think, only a little different and a little less temperate

-era of benign neglect of travel and trade

-Canada has much greater openness to the rest of the world than does the US Canadian asylum policies are more liberal; Canada extends the privilege of visa-free travel to the citizens of many more countries. And, more fundamentally, Canada takes a much lighter hand in screening arriving travellers.

-stringent identification requirements for Mexicans entering US, Canada allows visa-free travel for Mexicans to Canada

-an opportunity for Mexicans to evade the southern border restrictions

-it can't both exercise its own sovereign authority over its border policies, and expect the United States to do the same

-no shared sense of the terrorist problem or possible convergence of policies

-not as closely aligned as they think they are

-9/11 was a traumatic experience, Canadians think the US overreacted, Americans think that Canada didn't react enough

-We used to say at DHS:'If the Canadians say they will do something, they'll do it.' I'm not sure that mutual trust exists as much anymore - especially Canadian belief in American trustworthiness.

-the US is both entitled to, and obliged to, form its own judgment about Arar

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