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.