Bury my heart on bended knee

Don’t you find it passing strange that every company, government, think tank and farm boy is trying to convince U.S. President Donald Trump just how important we are to them and how no changes should be made to free trade? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been suitably deferential, dispatching cabinet ministers, and even inveigling former PM Brian Mulroney to come out of retirement to pour maple syrup into the ears of anyone in Washington who will listen.

In addition, onetime civil servants such as Derek Burney as well as provincial premiers like Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall have either volunteered or been dragooned to the cause. The message has been so well and warmly received that White House spokesman Sean Spicer refers to our leader as Joe Trudeau.

Time was when huge stretches of Canada were against free trade. The Rt. Hon. John Turner made voting “no” the centrepiece of his 1988 election campaign with that memorable TV ad showing American and Canadian negotiators at the table. Says the American: “Since we’re talking about the free trade deal, there’s one line I’d like to change.” The next scene shows a map with a hand rubbing out the border between our two countries.

It would appear we’ve reached that point again. The first thing the Trump administration did was approve Keystone so our oil sands can be pumped to the U.S. for refining and upgrading. Doesn’t this sound like our traditional role as hewers of wood and drawers of water? All the while tugging on our forelocks in suitable deference to the new lord of the manor.

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