Are Trump’s US trade policies a new argument for the Trans Mountain pipeline to Asia in Canada?

Jun 16th, 2018 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

Wild weather downs trees, wires across Toronto — as here in the St Clair and Oakwood area — 13 June 2018. Photo: Matty@mattytoophatty.

[UPDATED 4 PM]. The brief but fierce big rainy wind that toppled a huge old oak tree down by the lake is over, here in this big-urban Ontario NDP electoral district. But it also almost seemed like a meteorological comment on key current political events.

The human dramas have calmed down now, along with the big rainy wind. And like others of our citizenship — with “Protégera nos foyers et nos droits” ringing in our ears — we’re pleased to hear that the Angus Reid polling organization has discovered : “Canadians feeling confident, not cowed, post G7; prefer harder line in negotiations with Trump.”

Along the way, Justin Trudeau’s once-flagging approval rating has jumped up 12 percentage points. It is now almost back to where it was this time last year. And : “The surge in Trudeau’s approval rating comes alongside an uptick in support for his Liberal Party.”

(In an era when conspiracy theories do grow on trees, it is almost impossible not to wonder whether Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump have cooked up their latest public quarrels, to gain domestic political advantages both could use at the moment? But of course this cannot possibly be true in Justin Trudeau’s case …  Well, probably … ?)

“Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau at the most recent G-7 summit, in Quebec. Photograph by Evan Vucci / AP.”

And then two gentlemen who may or may not be from the New York intelligentsia have acknowledged various deeper truths in : “Why Justin Trudeau Is Able to Stand Up to Donald Trump” (Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker) ; and “Trump’s Insults Are Bringing Out Canada’s Inner Fiery Nationalism” (Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine).

Finally, there are (were) Bill Maher’s warm words of love for Canada (home of several of his girlfriends?) — and the amusing Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump piece in his show from darkest Los Angeles last night. (Which also had George Will suggesting there is an argument the Mueller investigation has not been set up in a strictly proper way, or some such thing. Which may or may not mean who knows what for the increasingly absurd career of President Trump?)

In any case as of 4:02 PM ET, 15 Jun 2018, Maclean’s magazine journalist Paul Wells was tweeting : “For what it’s worth, I think the mood in Canada has shifted rapidly from outrage to ‘whatever’” …  Not too much later, we counterweights editors here can report that we (well … most of us) have now moved beyond our initial outrage too.

On June 14 the Toronto Marlies beat the Texas Stars 6-1 to win the Calder Cup — trophy of the American Hockey League championship.

Whatever else, President Trump has managed to unite the bitterly warring Canadian political classes, in both official languages, from coast to coast to coast, and from left to right and back again. That is a rare achievement.

The Trumpeter may have also provided a decisive reason for going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline in Alberta and BC  (while doing everything possible and more to protect Canada’s stunning Pacific coast). As Prime Minister Trudeau has noted, Trump’s US trade policies just underline the importance of diversifying Canada’s trade relationships. And Trans Mountain will open markets for Canadian oil in Asia instead of the United States.

Meanwhile, however the future develops exactly, we share the quiet faith in Canada’s unique northern North American destiny that the latest trade disputes with the USA (and Mexico) have once again laid bare. Go Canada Go. “Protégera nos foyers et nos droits”!

UPDATE 4:00 PM ET This just in, from John Bowden  : “Americans favor Trudeau over Trump on trade policy: poll … A Global News/Ipsos poll released Saturday [JUNE 16] finds that Trudeau enjoys a 20-point advantage … among Americans when it comes to which leader respondents think is better handling the discussions over tariffs and other trade issues … “Fifty-seven percent of US respondents told the poll they support Trudeau’s actions, compared to just 37 percent who said the same for Trump.”

FOX News will not believe this, of course, but … could the venerable US Constitution actually be amended so that presidents have to be either born in the United States or have previously served as head of government of a neighbouring North American democracy? (Under some updated 21st century interpretation of the old Monroe Doctrine?) Certainly not of course. But if something like that ever did happen, former US head of government Barack Obama could win a reciprocal election as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada successor without campaigning.

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