Sunday, June 13, 2004

The fate of Canada

I have been a proud Canadian at different points in my life. Most Canadians hold dearly to their distinctiveness and are nationalists to the bone. But my life, my spirit, and my hopes have taken me to a new reckoning.

The death of Ronald Reagan, a man I greatly admired for many reasons, has heightened my own aspirations and inspired me to speak more openly about my desire to participate in an open discussion about America and Canada's future as its partner.

Fifteen years ago Canada embarked upon a new and expanded economic relationship with the United States, entering into a Free Trade Agreement. Hotly debated and feared by many Canadians, this economic relationship, expanded across the continent to Mexico with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) several years later, turned the Canadian ship toward an inevitable port: economic and political union with the United States.

It is my belief that this is something all Canadians should embrace and that serious debate should commence so that we can grasp our destiny by the hand now, instead of having it thrust upon us in the future. I hope that contributors, American and Canadian, will develop a forum to discuss the merits and issues that surround the growing economic and political integration of North America. Currency union, a common North American defense and security authority are issues of immediate importance, but so are many other cultural and environmental matters. Let us talk of the North American Union.

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