For over thirty years I have tried to say it as it is. Telling the inconvenient truth about the Canadian lumber industry’s poor forest management practices in the past and not converting into a merger and acquisition specialist for a giant mining and forestry company that wanted me out of pushing better forest management. It was my first mantra against conventional and establishment group think so strong in deferential Canada.
Helping to fight corruption in Africa, promoting the Black community’s needs in Canada regarding foreign policy and now more recently criticizing the bullying US neoconservative and liberal interventionist policy towards Russia and others have been some of my priorities.
Pursuing justice is important because if one does not, it comes up and bites you one day like bad forestry and rotten attitudes to visible minorities. It bites you when cowering away and letting big countries like the US a free pass on trying to prevent smaller ones, economically or otherwise, from living in dignity and independence.
Our prime minister as he is feted and charmed by Mr Obama needs to remember this regarding any US administration. Our newly minted Mr.Sunny, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should remember this as his father did. America must not get a free pass to do what it will all the time and to Canada. Good relations sure but not just good photo-ops and then putting substantive issues completely to the sidelines where we disagree.
Be it softwood lumber to pipelines, we have some strong and important differing views. They should be promoted and the PM should not be overly agreeable to a lame duck president.
He should sharpen his negotiating skills in practice with President Obama because he may have to face Trump. He will have to be a very hard and an almost ruthless intelligent negotiator even more so than PM Harper. At least Harper tried to make some effort in the end to assert key Canadian positions on vital issues such as the Keystone pipeline.
Look to Pierre Trudeau and John Diefenbaker not just ex-PM Brian Mulroney who liked to dance the night away with the US president and too many Canadian interests at times. Good luck Mr. Justin Trudeau and read the inscription on my book I gave you years ago – as well as read most of the book. Then read Golden Bear even more closely. Clairvoyant?
This second book may be even more instructive about the possible brutal world ahead for Canada and America from the Russians who feel highly maligned by the West. We did little as a country to stop that.
International diplomacy these days is not always easy, for sure. One must go beyond positive, sunny words to Mr.Obama and certain others at times. But yes, it is a good place to start where possible.
Trump as president, if that happens may very well test the personage of the PM labelled the “Anti-Trump” more and more throughout the West and America, in particular. It is something to think about before he becomes an external lightning rod to the Trumpeters.
Canada must position itself firmly before the Trumpian onslaught and the sooner is better could be one view. Because The Donald is likely coming for us on trade and other matters though not as a number one priority. Beware of the bear but watch for the eagle, too. Canada must be strong in defending its position with America or get eaten alive with or without our sunny smiles.