Our Neighbors to the North
My husband recently took a trip to Canada. Before he left he asked me what I would like him to bring me back as a souvenir (because yes, I am still like a child and want a present from all his journeys). My answer was “a newspaper from Winnipeg”. I knew he would be there immediately after the election and I wanted to see their take on the state of America. I wanted an education on how we, the United States of America, are seen by our neighbors to the north.
Dan Lett of the Winnipeg Free Press wrote, “ U.S. elections are closely followed in this country. We’re aware that every blip in U.S. social, political and economic narratives ultimately affects the Great White North”. He went on to state that according to Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, the campaign was “divisive and downright nasty on both sides.” Doer also said that with the victory by Obama, there was hope that Washington legislatures would put aside their partisan “tools of war” and work together. Lett continued with a discussion of the impending fall off the “fiscal cliff” and had a brief summary of the Bush tax cuts and whether or not they would restored and defense spending cut less robustly
Then the article discussed the effects on Canada. Basically, Lett believes that Canada is doing better than the U.S. on just about all economic measurements. As a percentage of the GNP, Canada spends less on health care and has less debt than the U.S. Their equivalent to social security is better funded and their unemployment is lower.
If the dollar continues to decline then Canadians will benefit from cross-border shoppers; however, even this trend is not good for the Canadian economy.
“We (Canadians) know we need a robust U.S. economy to help keep the pistons of our economy firing,” Mr. Doer said.
Don’t worry, Texas friends and family–I have no intention of fleeing my homeland and only the direst of circumstances could ever cause me to seriously contemplate leaving. Heck, I will not even move out of Texas–but if I did it would most likely be to Canada. They seem to enjoy a similar lifestyle to ours and live relatively free. However it does appear that our economies are so intricately entangled that if circumstances here were to cause me to leave the U.S., they would also most certainly effect our neighbors.
To those of you who say we need to quit trying to be the world’s police, maybe you need to think again. Something as peaceful as the continued flutter downward of the worth of our dollar will have devastating consequences on not only the U.S and Canada but on much of the world.
Here is what some former U.S Presidents have said about our relationship with our neighbors to the north:
Franklin Roosevelt, 1936 during a visit to Quebec City: “…When I have been in Canada, I have never heard a Canadian refer to an American as a “foreigner.” He is just an “American.” And, in the same way, in the United States, Canadians are not “foreigners,” they are “Canadians.” That simple little distinction illustrates to me better than anything else the relationship between our two countries.”
John F. Kennedy, 1961 address to Canadian Parliament: “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder. What unites us is far greater than what divides us.”
George W. Bush 2006 in Cancun, Mexico after meeting with Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper: “I view the relationship with Canada as a vital relationship for the United States. The relationship, of course, is defined government-to-government. It’s also defined people-to-people, and there’s a lot of people in my country who respect Canada and have great relations with Canadians, and we intend to keep it that way.”