Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Mouse and the Elephant

Too many years ago to remember the exact date, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau likened Canada’s dealings with the USA to “a mouse getting into bed with an elephant.” I love the visual images that come to mind – the elephant taking up not only his own space, but the mouse’s space, too. And when the mouse complains that he is getting squeezed, the elephant trumpets, “Quit whining! I’m letting you stay in bed, aren’t I?”

As if there are no other beds in the world. Time for the mouse to pack up and go bed-hunting...?

War of words over softwood lumber escalates

Tension between Canada and the United States over softwood lumber continued to mount when Canadian Industry Minister David Emerson declared his countrymen had "had enough."

In an interview that aired Sunday on CTV's Question Period, Emerson, a former forestry executive, reacted angrily to earlier comments made by U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins.

Wilkins urged Canadian leaders to stop their "emotional tirades" and get back to negotiating on the softwood lumber dispute. His remarks were published in the Ottawa Citizen Friday.

"I find it a little hypocritical to hear the ambassador telling us we should be negotiating.... we've been negotiating for years," Emerson said.

"The Ambassador has to realize that Canada is not going to sit back and knuckle under...Canadians have had enough."
Federal Trade Minister Jim Peterson said Canadians were not in any rush to get back to the negotiating table.
"We will go back to the table only when it's in the best interests for Canada," he told Question Period.
"We know that the world is watching the U.S. and the way it treats Canada -- it's closest trading partner."
On Saturday, Federal Conservative leader Stephen Harper waded into the fray.
"I think the U.S. ambassador is way out of line," he said, adding the ruling Liberals were largely to blame because they have "allowed communications with the Americans to break down entirely."
On Friday, Prime Minister Paul Martin said he would call U.S. President George Bush after the Liberal government had finished talking to the provinces and members of the softwood industry.
Earlier this month, Washington said it would ignore a NAFTA panel ruling that Canadian lumber exports pose no threat to U.S. producers, and would maintain expensive duties on the exports.
Ottawa claims the U.S. is exploiting legal loopholes to avoid cancelling the tariffs and to avoid paying a rebate of $5 billion in duties collected since 2002.
U.S. trade officials insist they're justified in imposing the duties on Canadian lumber. They say Canada's official grievance was rendered redundant last fall, when the Americans moved to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling on softwood duties.
Earlier this week, Canadian trade officials refused to meet to discuss the issue. Peterson said he needed time to consider his options in the wake of Washington's refusal to accept NAFTA's ruling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a fun fact. 98.987% of all US/CAN trade relations is going extremely well. Millions of Canadian jobs depend on it. Why don't you focus on the positive fo a change? Oh wait, I get it. If we don't spew Anit-Americanism then we MUST be UN-Canadian. Next time you come to a fork in the road turn RIGHT. It's called to high road.

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Yup, 98.987% (or a rather large amount, anyway) of US/CAN trade is going very well, indeed. Milions of American jobs depend on that, as well.

But the softwood lumber crisis has cost jobs for friends of mine here in BC. They want work, not welfare. You're paying for them to be out of work. This makes sense to you?

And there's nothing anti-American about it. How can an American be anti-American?

And I'll deal with your etymological gaffe about the "high road" at another time...

Get a name. Really. Even if it's a fale name.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have found some common ground here atlast! I do feel for your friends and family that have been affected negetively. The fact that many American jobs depend on us is a great point. That is why I think that we should work together (CAN/US) instead of spewing insults over the border. Question for you, why do you think that the US has taken the stand it has on this issue? Do you think that OUR gov't may have some small part to play?

You don't think an American citizen could be anti-American? gimme a break.

Just a thought, you being American, how much do you really know about Canada and Canadians? How many provinces have you visited/working in?? Have you been further out than main land B.C.?

My name is Jane Doe Canadian. For some reason this scares you.

Monday, August 29, 2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

I am a dual citizen. And the only province/territory I have not been to is Newfoundland.

I hate jingoism.

Monday, August 29, 2005 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that supposed to impress me, or everyone else you hope is reading this. I suppose if you have actually been around like you say, do you feel superior?
Who the heck is Meghan?

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jingoism....that's cute. One thing you will never tag on me is an 'ism' or an 'ist'

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:05:00 PM  

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