|'Hectoring' Americans is harmful to Canada: Pamela Wallin (Aug. 17, 2009)|
Vancouver Sun/Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA - Canadians need to do a better job of managing their relationship with the United States, Senator Pamela Wallin said Monday.
Wallin, speaking to Ontario's municipal leaders, said there is too much finger wagging and moralizing from Canadians towards their southern neighbours.
"It is truly seen as hectoring," said Wallin, the former Canadian consul general to New York. "This kind of strategy just doesn't work. We express these views at our peril."
She said attacks on the former president, George W. Bush, were an example of emotional, ill-advised public discourse.
She said Canadians wished en masse for Democrats to be elected when Democrats are the most likely politicians to be protectionist, putting up barriers to Canadian trade.
Wallin said Canadians need to spend time understanding Americans and their society rather than judging them.
She said that's important because trade with the U.S., at $2 billion a day, far eclipses any other trade relationship Canada has.
She said to strengthen that relationship, Canada should continue to be seen as a strong advocate for improved world security, through missions such as Afghanistan.
Wallin said the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an event that will dominate American consciousness for a generation.
"It's a business relationship," Wallin told delegates to the annual convention of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. "We need to make it work."