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Another foreign policy issue not on the election radar

September 24, 2008

I have a piece in Embassy Magazine today lamenting the fact that US-Canada relations are likely in for some significant changes over the next few years… and we’re unlikely to do much in the way of planning.

Certainly no one on the campaign trail is going to be talking about it.

Cross-posted on

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Y permalink
    September 25, 2008 3:22 am

    I’m with David on this on. Regardless of how Canadians may feel about the United States, we cannot afford to passively forget or actively ignore the US in this election campaign. The US-Canada relationship is too important to neglect. Period

    While Canadians (as Cor suggested) may focus excessively on the US, I think it is with good cause. Our bilateral ties are simply too deep-rooted to neglect. And, as the article notes, the US is going through a period of transition. Canada needs to (at the very least) be at the table in the discussion on North American (or, Western Hemisphere) issues, whether about NAFTA, energy or something completely unexpected.

    I am happy to hear of initiatives like the soon-to-be-negotiated EU-Canada FTA on Octobe 17 in Quebec. That FTA will provide one alternative to the US-centric focus we currently have, but it is not grounds to ignore our nearest neighbour.

    The major party leaders need to be talking about how, if elected, they will approach the United States. I know so little, and yet it means so much.

  2. corsullivan permalink*
    September 24, 2008 8:19 pm

    I enjoyed reading the Embassy piece – an interesting article on an important topic. I certainly agree that our relationship with the US should be better managed, but there’s also a question of balance. We have a lot of eggs in the American basket already, and I think Canadians often focus excessively on the US at the expense of paying due attention to other countries. How much effort do you think Canada should put into building relationships with, say, European, Asian and Latin American countries – not to mention our traditional partners in Britain and the Antipodes – as opposed to the US?

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