Saturday, November 7, 2009

 

FROM THE OTHER SIDE

It may be argued these days that from an economic perspective Canada is better off than its much larger partner the United-States. Recent statistics indicate that Canada's unemployment rate is below 9%; the Americans are at about 10%. Governments in both countries are tallying-up enormous deficits...but on a per capita basis, Canada's remains well below America's monstrous debt.

Still though it is good to get the occasional perspective from the "other side". That's what I aim to do as I head south through nine of the Atlantic Seaboard States into central Florida...abandoning the miserable winter of eastern Ontario for the warmth and the perspective of a winter spent amongst our American brethren.

The drive through the next week is steeped in American history, from the majestic "Thousand Islands", through the coal mining communities of Pennsylvania; the historic Civil War battlegrounds of the Washington belt-way...Gettysburg, the Mason/Dixon Line, the Shenandoah Valley, the Dixie Capital of Richmond, and on to Petersburg, Savannah and well beyond.

Because of Canada's "minority government" status the threat of a Federal Election is forever present. But, the worse seems to have passed for now and the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is planning trips to China and to India. Both countries are emerging economic forces in the post crash months since the collapse of world markets about a year ago.

Getting, and subsequently reporting on these pages, America's perspective on and opinion of Canada will be all the more significant over the months ahead. On the domestic front, the first half of 2010 at least will be enormously significant for Canada's international status and reputation. The final determination of our contribution to the world's quarrel with Afghanistan may be a year away...in the meantime though Canada will host the world at the Winter Olympic Games of 2010 in February in British Columbia. It is widely expected that in early spring our delegation to the United Nations will be elected to an always important seat on the "Security Council": A matter which could be of significant interest to the United States as the world grapples with crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and the always existing tensions of the Middle East.

By early summer Huntsville, Ontario will receive both the world's G-8 Summit Leaders and the G-20 Economic Summit. It is widely anticipated that the Queen will travel to Canada to open one or perhaps both of these "World Stage" events. The G-20 is widely credited with pulling back the planet from the brink of economic collapse during the past 18 months. World powers owe a debt of gratitude to Canada: Specifically to the former Prime-Minister, Paul Martin, who as our Finance Minister in 1997, created the "Group of 20" and hosted its two first meetings in Montreal and in Ottawa.

With eyes opened-wide and my ears perked for the latest insight, even gossip sometimes; I am anxious to focus on the topics of interest to matters of politics in Canada from the widened perspective and insight of the all significant most powerful country on earth, The United States of America. Sometimes it helps to see ourselves as others see us. As always I shall value your comments, interest and input. Let this journey begin!

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