Saturday, April 29, 2006

Van-Kingsway, THIS is why we wanted your MP

To all those who criticized my defence of the Emerson appointment, I offer a humble "I told you so".

Anyone who suggested that other senior Conservative MPs could have easily taken on the role of Trade Minister, I trust they stand corrected.

This deal is a good one for Canada. Perfect, no... but when making a deal of this magnitude, I don't suspect one side should anticipate complete victory over the other.

Overall, though, the positives well outweigh the negatives. In fact the only two groups who seem to be raising any ire about this deal are the Liberal Party of Canada and the Bell Globemedia chain (who are, usually, one in the same).

Kudos to the Prime Minister, Minister Emerson, Ambassador Wilson, and the plethora of public and private sector minds who help make this a reality.


Completely unrelated, but has anyone else noticed that the Provinical Government has made practically zero news in the last few weeks? Its a little disconcerting, if you ask me.


  1. Oh blake,
    not that I'm one to, you know, point out the obvious or anything but I believe the Rt. Hon "the leader" said about 27 ways til Tuesday that this is precicely the kind of deal that should be utterly unnacceptable to Canadians. Of course I could line up several hundred Forest sector employees and a couple dozen managers who would be more than happy to explain why this deal is a bad idea.

    At least now maybe we can get all you crazy folks past the idea that our trading relationship with the US has ever been or ever will be fairly described as free trade.

    That being said, Interfor is one happy camper today. One or two more mills just got that much closer to the chopping block of resale and conglomeration.

  2. Mike, you're not a Liberal, so when you try to barf out their sick spin of "we'd rather just keep losing billions than do something imperfect" you sound really bad at it.

    The bottom line is that the Natural Dithering Party had five years to fix this mess and they ignored it, or even made it worse by insulting the Americans when they should have been negotiating with them. Responding to five years of Liberal incompetance, the Harper administration fixed the problem in five short weeks.

    Suck it.

  3. fair point Andrew,
    but how am I supposed to get good at sounding like an idiot soundbyte recording if I never practice. It took Harper 18 years you know. Partisan talking points aside, it was probably unrealistic to expect a much better deal than was signed. That being said this is a deal that differs in no major respect from the deal that Emerson turned down last fall.

    The lessons worth learning here are that (a) trade agreements (particularly bilateral ones) with the US are not ever under any circumstances going to be binding (given the nature of the US Constitution) (b) Free-trade as it is taught in business schools and neo-con spin classes does not exist in the real world, nor should it (c) a well managed trade relationship with the US will be better for both countries than an imaginary free-trade relationship. (d) The deal that was signed is better than no deal at all but even nicer would have been to have signed an authentic trade deal rather than the imaginary waste of time that is NAFTA.

    Also worth noting is that there are some serious, long-term vulnerabilities facing the various Canadian wood fibre industries. No value added manufacturing in soft-wood products. A pulp & paper industry that may not exist in ten years for a dozen different reasons and a lack of producer competition across the board that is likely to have a real effect on productivity, global competitiveness, wages etc.

    The one part of my comment that was sincere was the bit about lining up workers and managers in the industry and letting them tear strip after strip off of the idiocy of this particular deal. That I could do whether I had a Liberal membership or not.