Terrence Corcoran writes in the National Post an article called "Leaping into the elephant's bed"
By Terence Corcoran
Under the spell and magnetism of Barack Obama, Canadians are doing the unthinkable and speaking the unspeakable. They are jumping into bed with the U.S. elephant, to use Pierre Trudeau’s famous analogy, willingly and seemingly joyously.
But oh what an agonizing jump it is for many, pushed and pulled as Canadians are by the myriad forces of history, culture and ideological frictions — and contradictions — that bind the two countries.
Back in the 1990s, when Brian Mulroney was prime minister, he was vilified by the left and the Liberals for launching Canada into free trade with the United States and Mexico. It was all part of a “continental sellout” to evil corporate interests, said Maude Barlow’s Council of Canadians.
In 2001, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien had to be dragooned into a more sympathetic response to the World Trade Center attacks. And when it came to Iraq, the Chrétien government snubbed George W. Bush.
“We told him to go get stuffed,” one Canadian official is alleged to have said.
Yesterday in Ottawa, Canadians of all ideological stripes seemed willing to buy into an updated corporate-backed continental sellout over energy and the environment, repackaged as a Clean Energy Dialogue.
Even radical environmentalists, such as Aaron Freeman of Environmental Defence, accepted the potential of a continental policy, perhaps unaware that the idea is in fact the brainchild of Tom d’Aquino, head of the dreaded Canadian Council of Chief Executives.
Against terrorism, Prime Minister Stephen Harper uttered words that Jean Chrétien would never have contemplated and that would have landed Mr. Harper in political hot water if he had been flanked by, say, George W. Bush instead of St. Barack of Obama.
“There is no such thing as a threat to the national security of the United States which does not represent a direct threat to this country,” said Mr. Harper. “We as Canadians have every incentive to be as co-operative and alarmed about the threats that exist to the North American continent in the modern age as do the [government of the] people of the United States.”