Atl. Canada as Bush hating collateral damage

I had a chat yesterday with one of my left-leaning friends and he starting going on about the exciting election of Barack Obama and how it means a whole new day for Canada-U.S. relations.  He said he could see a number of areas where the two countries could work together.

I was a bit shocked.  This guy (I don’t think he reads my blog) was a virulent opposer of Atlantica and was one of those that said it would lead to a worsening of labour standards and turn New Brunswick into Mexico (I am paraphrasing).  Now he can see areas to work more closely together?

Well, I told him – and you – that the opposition to Atlantica has all but turfed the initiative.  It was hard enough getting government and business leaders to seriously consider the idea but once Maude Barlow and a few others came in with their own version of the shock doctrine – it was all but dead.

So it seems that for many it wasnt’t the big bad U.S. of A – it was the big bad Bush.  Now he is gone and so essentially is what could have been an interesting initiative (Atlantica) to re-establish better two-way trade with a historical and natural trading region in the Northeast US.  Many serious people – economists and policy makers- believed that in the long term – better economic ties with our neighbours to the south would have led to a far better economic development environment. 

The initiative was never really given any oxygen because of what seems to have been a dislike of George Bush.

Too bad.

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One Response to Atl. Canada as Bush hating collateral damage

  1. mikel says:

    I’ll be honest and state that I don’t fully understand the comments above. Because you have a friend who seems ‘left leaning’ you think an organization is dead??

    Anybody ‘left leaning’ knows that Obama is pretty FAR from ‘left’. It’s true he’s not as bad as the republican Bush, but that’s like saying the Royal Bank is more ‘left’ than the CIBC because it offers more dividends to shareholders.

    As for Atlantica, opposition to that has been dead for some time, since the demonstrations really. For Maude Barlow it simply gave a media opportunity, the Council of Canadians probably doesn’t have enough NB members to fill a room.

    Atlantica itself is pretty low key for now because of the economic downturn. It would be absolute lunacy to talk about chinese trade right now on the front pages, which is why Graham is referring to roads. At least those provide jobs, and at least the public can use them as well.

    But keep in mind that those on the left are FAR better informed than you give credit for. Nobody opposed Atlantica because they dislike Bush, its ALWAYS about policies. Those cherries you are now buying from the US, thanks to ‘free trade’, now can contain twenty times as many pesticides as would be allowed under canadian regulations. Now we hear that Dow is suing in NAFTA over those towns who are banning cosmetic pesticides. Those are REAL issues, and it makes no difference if Bush is president or Clinton (there were actually far more NAFTA protests around the country during the nineties, there just wasn’t the internet of today that would give them traction).

    There’s no doubt most of the world despised Bush and Obama is a relief in comparison (but ‘bad’ may be better than ‘horrible’ but when there are only two choices….). Most importantly, there has been considerable talk about how protectionist Obama actually is. With US jobs bleeding out, his comments on the campaign trail, that once were written off by those who wrote them for him, now seem like they may actually be serious. He’s talking about more government works, but if they don’t pad the employment data enough, then protectionist is just ‘good politics’. That of course means the end of Atlantica, with no work at all by the Council of Canadians.

    But its always about policies, there are some sectors where the US actually has BETTER policies than Canada, but there are few of those cases getting any traction in Canada, all thanks to ignoring ‘the left’ and thinking that they just didn’t like George Bush (who, face it, we all know didn’t have the brains to be president, it was Dick Cheney and some CEO’s running that country).

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