So, at this year's annual World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, the United States trumped up the "Buy American" dogma. Canadian Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, responded by pronouncing that American "protectionism" would be "met by resistance" by countries around the globe- but that Canada would not effect trade restrictions of its own.
After all, why should Canada stand in the way? They are the number one trading partner of this United States.
Although other countries fear the latest US evolution in its trade policy, Canada does not. And, it's all good- we need them. They need us. They ARE us. We are one and the same. Keep reading.
And, therefore, I say- let's get this charade out of the way already- and officially make Canada our 51st State.
Seems outrageous doesn't it?
I know. I know.
Hate me today. But, love me tomorrow, eh?
But, in an overwhelming variety of ways- it makes a lot more sense than you might think.
Canada, that Great-White land mass due north of the United States contains, quite possibly, the richest body of natural resources in the world- iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydro-electric power.
Canadian-based companies such as Canadian Natural Resources Limited (NYSE:CNQ), Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX) and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Inc (POT) are just a few of Canada's major players in the global resource boom of recent years.
Yet, as of 2008, there were only 33 million Canucks living in a surface area of 3.85 million square miles- or roughly 5.4 people per square mile of arable land- which is ranked 166th out of 168 of the world's arable countries. All those resources- and so few people. Sounds suspicious. Where's all that money going? All Canadians must be rich. No? Or maybe just a handful have all the dough- and the rest go to hockey games with flasks of wine and beer, wondering the same thing.
Anyways, let's face it- the only way you can tell Canadians apart from Americans is if you listen to the accent- and, you know we Americans love to make fun of it. But, it's not unlike Sarah Palin having bred children, don't ya know, in Fargo, North Dakota.
So, hey- let's not throw stones.
And, of course, Canadians grow up wanting to be Americans. They watch exactly the same television shows as us on US-affiliated Canadian networks. They supply us with an endless star-studded list of talent- from Jim Carey, Mike Meyers and Howie Mandel on the comedic side (all of whom, when they had the chance, took the first American-bound bus out of Canada they could find), to K.D. Lang, Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan on the singing side.
And- as, everyone knows- Captain Kirk is Canadian.
On an economic basis- Canada's gigantic resources would offer the USA an incredible, indescribable boost. The United States, in fact, is already the major importer of Canadian resources. Suffice to say, the U.S has become entirely dependent on Canadian oil. We import nearly $5 billion worth of steel and iron from the North. The combined resources of the two countries would offer all types of industries a seemingly endless backstop of supply. Whether for internal use, or for export.
Indeed, there is enough oil in all that Canadian shale to last us oil-addicted Americans several lifetimes- and then some. Plus- we wouldn't have to go digging in the near-term, certainly, for our own vast 3 trillion barrel shale deposits buried under Colorado, Utah and Wyoming- so U.S. environmentalists might smile a bit the next time Senator Orrin Hatch gurgles about trofting the Rockies (although, of course, oil shale extraction is definitely not green).
I mean- at least in Canada- mostly all their oil shale can be found in the tar sand boonies of those pitless-wonders, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Of course, from a security stand-point- merging Canada into the United States effectively eliminates one giant coast-to-coast border: a border which scoundrels have used for years to enter into our country; all they've had to do is fly into Canada and then sneak over the vast porous border into the U.S. If Canada became part of the United States- security could be greatly enhanced, especially by only allowing international flights into Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
You know- I'm not alone in wanting to grab a big piece of Canada as an investment in our future. China, over the last several years, has been steadily, stealthily and methodically buying up Canada right behind our backs.
And, China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. reportedly recently made a play to buy Canadian telcom equipment giant Nortel Networks (NT) - all of it. The entire company - which is now in chapter 11 bankruptcy. This, even though in March 2008, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had previously nixed Huawei's desire to buy a 16.5% stake in Massachusetts-based, 3Com Corp. (COMS) citing national security concerns. It makes no sense, either from an economic, or a security point-of-view, to let China keep doing what they're doing unabated. In fact, it is outrageous that this has been going on up in Canada- in our own backyard. What are you Canadians thinking???
In 2002, Leger Marketing of Montreal polled Americans about annexing Canada to the United States, and roughly 40% said they would be in favor it. 49% disagreed. In September 2001, Leger had done a similar poll of Canadians - and, in regard to Canada being annexed by the USA, only 20% of Canadians agreed. In fact, 76.5% rejected the idea! And there have been similar polls conducted over the years. Seems like the same results. A strong minority of Americans favor it. And the strong majority of Canadians firmly reject the idea.
Hmm. Sounds to me like Canadians need some more prodding. Are you Ontario Loyalists still bitter about what happened in 1776? Are you French Canadians still hanging your chapeaux on trying to separate altogether from Canada and becoming your own country- OUI or NON? "Je me souviens?" -don't make me laugh...
Time to get over it. We need each other. For economic and security reasons, to name just two. Is there really even a Canadian "identity," in the first place, in which to vest any nationalistic pride whatsoever?
No. That went out the window when Pierre Trudeau went to Harvard.
So I say- let's make you Canadians an offer.
"We'll make you our 51st State." And you say, "Sure- what a great idea. We're one and the same, anyways. Thought you'd never ask!"
(The author holds no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article)