(Lawrence Martin — Globe & Mail)
A young John Diefenbaker once proclaimed that he would build a Canada that would be “all Canadian and all British.” Stephen Harper isn’t going that far, but his British bonding and his de-emphasis on American ties that were so conspicuous under Brian Mulroney’s conservatism are of considerable consequence. […]
When Mr. Harper took office in 2006, few were aware of his transatlantic interests and intent. At that time, given his Republican-like conservatism, we expected a closer alignment with the Americans. But his concept of Canada has a back-to-the-future look, and old-fashioned values are high on his list. […]
On questions of trade, Mr. Harper was blunt in an interview with Bloomberg TV last week, saying “we’d obviously like to see trade dependence on the United States fall.” Some has already taken place, he noted, but “I’d say we have to do a lot more. … It’s kind of shocking that when we came to office, in spite of the fact that Canada is one of the most trade-dependent advanced economies in the world, we had trade agreements with only five countries in the world.” There are now trade agreements with 14 countries, Mr. Harper noted, and “we’re negotiating with 50 others.” Read more here.
Date: September 27, 2011