48 th Academy Assembly
U.S. Canada Relations: Bridging the Common Border
Key note Speaker: The Right Honourable Joe Clark
7 February 2006
CADET MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome you
all to the 48th Annual United States Air Force
Academy Assembly. This evening we have the
distinct privilege of having The Right Honorable
Joe Clark as our keynote speaker. Mr. Joe Clark
was elected eight times to the House of Commons
of Canada and served in Parliament for 25 years,
retiring in June 2004.
He was Prime Minister of Canada from
1979 to 1980, Secretary of State and External
Affairs from 1984 to 1981 -- 1991, Minister of
Constitutional Affairs from 1991 to 1993, and
Acting Minister of both National Defense and
Justice. He served twice as the leader of Her
Majesty's Loyal Opposition and is national
leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of
He chaired the Canadian cabinet
committees on foreign and defense policy,
security and intelligence, the free-trade
agreement with the United States, and the
constitutional renewal process that led to the
Internationally, he was the first
chairman of the Commonwealth Committee of
Foreign Ministers on Southern Africa, which led
the Commonwealth campaign against apartheid, and
shared in the first-ever joint meeting of
members of NATO and the Warsaw packet. He has
also participated actively in eight G-8 economic
At his direction, Canada assumed its full role and responsibilities in the
Organization of American States, recognized the
Palestinian right to self-determination, and
maintained ODA contributions at their highest
levels in recent history.
Mr. Clark was a founding board
member of the Pacific Council on International
Policy and, before his return to active politics
in 1998, served on boards of international NG0s
and Canadian international companies. He has
been a visiting scholar at the University of
California Berkeley and American University in
Washington, D.C., and was a public policy
scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars in 2004.
Mr. Clark is a member of the Council
of Presidents and Prime Ministers of the
Americas and served as a special representative
of the Secretary General for Cyprus. He is
president of Joe Clark & Associates, an
international consulting firm based in Canada
and active in Asia and Africa.
He is also author of the book
Canada: A Nation Too Good To Lose. Mr. Clark
is a companion of the Order of Canada, a member
of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and l'Ordre
de la Pleiades, and he has been awarded several
honorary degrees and was the first recipient of
the Vimy Award.
He is married to Canadian lawyer and
author Maureen McTeer, who specializes in law
and public policy respecting health, science,
and reproductive technologies. Their home is in
Ottawa, Ontario, and Brennan's Hill, Quebec,
both in Canada. It is my pleasure to introduce
tonight's keynote speaker, The Right Honorable
MR. CLARK: Thank you very much.
I'm honored to have the opportunity to be with
you tonight. I thank Cadet Moderator for his
introduction. I'm very pleased to be here with
General Distargos, with Colonel Murray, and, of
course, with Michael Fein, who is the Canadian
Counsel General in Colorado and surrounding
I'm honored to open the discussion
of Canada, U.S. relations at this assembly of
the United States Air Force Academy and to be
here nestled up against this spectacular
southern extension of Canada's Rocky Mountains.
You may have noted that, when I was
introduced, my title was given as "The Right
Honorable." That's not just any Honorable.
It's -- I want to explain the arcane British
reasons for calling me "The Right Honorable,"
but I stick by the title, but it can sometimes
get you into trouble.
When I retired from public life the
first time back in 1993, my wife and I were
living in Calgary, Alberta, enjoying the
anonymity that suddenly descends upon people who
used to think they were important because
everybody telephoned their office, not
necessarily the person.
Our phone never rang in Calgary. We
were sitting there, kept waiting for all of our
old friends to call. Suddenly one night the
phone rang and I picked it up and a female voice
on the other end said, "I want to speak to
Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Hon," and I said, "I'm sorry.
There are no Hons here."
She said, "Sir, this is your
telephone company. This telephone is registered
to Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Hon." Now, of course, she
had a title, Right Honorable R.T. Hon. I asked
her "What was it you wanted to speak to Mr. and
Mrs. Hon about?" And she said, "Well, we have
this very special Alberta government telephone
provision which will guarantee your privacy,"
and I said, "You mean people like you won't call
me," but I do intend to address the topic of the
assembly tonight, but I'm also going to offer an
early assessment of Canada's new conservative
I should warn you that I am not
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's official
spokesperson. In fact, I led a party called the
Progressive Conservative Party and could not
support Mr. Harper precisely because he was so
insistent upon taking the "Progressive" out of
both the name and out of the nature of my former
However, in this election, he ran an
intelligent, disciplined, and successful
campaign, and like most Canadians, I wish him
the greatest of success. That's known as full
disclosure, so you know where I'm coming from in
my remarks about Mr. Harper later on.
Our world today is as turbulent and
as complicated as it has ever been, and more so
for those of us who live in North America,
which, for a long time, labored under the
illusion that we were a long way from the
turmoil of the world. There are now no
guaranteed safe havens from terrorist attack or
from the spread of global disease or, indeed,
from simple mistakes like a cartoon that can
enrage opinion in ways that no one has seen
before and for which there is no plan to deal.
Canada's past and the past of the
United States were marked by undefended borders
and by a safe distance from the rending
conflicts of the rest of the world. That was
our past. Our future is to be at the heart of
the turbulence and, indeed, sometimes to be its
That means that our own borders are,
in that sense, less open now, physical borders
and psychological borders, so finding real
bridges which friends can stand upon is even
more important now than it was before.
Let me review for this largely U.S.
audience some simple facts about your northern
neighbor: First, we're bigger than you are, at
least in geography. Canada is the second
largest country in the world after Russia.
Second, our quality of life is regularly judged
to be higher than that of the USA and,
therefore, of most other countries in an annual
international comparison by the United Nations.
Third, in this age which is, your
president as recently acknowledged, is addicted
to natural resources, Canada's oil sands contain
one-third -- one-third -- of the world's known
reserves of oil, and our lakes and our rivers
constitute fully 9 percent of the world's total
resources of fresh water.
In trade, we are the single largest
trading partner of the United States. In
defense, we are the only partner of the United
States in the command structure of NORAD, and
for years we have had troops fighting and dying
in Afghanistan and, before that, the Valkins,
and consistently in peacekeeping in hard places
like Haiti, and if you go to any American book
store and ask for the section on Canada, the
odds-on answer will be "There isn't one."
In an average month, your state
department pays much more attention to Cuba than
it does to Canada, and I would guess that, on an
average day, Canadian media report as much news
about the United States as they do about our own
country. The reality about a super power is
that the USA is on everybody's screen, whether
we like it or not, in Tibet, in Tanzania, in
You can't get away from the USA any
day. Yet, to turn that around, most countries
get on the American screen only when there is
trouble or when there is controversy. That
includes America's best friends and closest
neighbor and largest trading partner.
I want to talk about some of the
similarities and then some of the differences
between our two countries. We start with the
similarities. Some of them are striking. We
are both what could be called new-world
countries. We were both formed because people
left the old ways of Europe for a new start in a
new continent, and people still do.
Other modern countries in the world
welcome new immigrants, but none are
fundamentally im-migration countries on the
scale of the United States, Canada, and
Australia. We are places of new beginnings, of
optimism, of innovation. We are both
democracies, often imperfect in our own
behavior, but genuinely committed to free
speech, free elections, and a legal system based
on constitutional guarantees.
We respect democracy at home and we
work to advance it in the world, but there are
also some basic differences between our
countries that go back to our beginnings. I
want to note two of those differences tonight:
One is the way we assert our values. The other
is the balance between the individual and the
The United States became a nation to
turn away from old European values, to create a
new society, a house upon a hill, a light to
other nations. Canada's purpose, by contrast,
was to transplant those old values to a new
continent, to improve an established
civilization, and give it new life.
You were the exceptions to old
values. We were their extension, and we treated
identity differently. Your model was a society
of equal individuals. Our model took more
account of community identity. We're both
countries of minorities and we both have strong
legal and constitutional guarantees of minority
rights, but Canada's largest historic minority,
the French-speaking population, has its language
and its distinct legal system, the civil code,
guaranteed under the law.
The rights of Canada's aboriginal
peoples have been held to predate our
constitution, while those of your aboriginal
people flow from your constitution.
Now, does this matter? Does history
matter? Well, of course, it does, but so does
power, and that has been another clear
difference between us. The United States is a
super power. Canada, from time to time, could
claim to have been a super influence.
Your strength is strength, your
military and political power, your resolve, your
frequent commitment to principle. That's a hard
role because you can't back away when you might
want to and your inevitable mistakes are going
to be magnified. If the United States can often
make a difference in the world, Canada can often
bridge differences in the world.
That's not usually as dramatic a
role, but it can be critical. It was critical
through the formative and the early years, for
example, of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, of NATO, when Canada, as well as
being a member, was, in effect, a broker and a
link between North America and Europe.
It has been critical in the United
Nations and in international trade organizations
through the years. Sixty years ago, at the time
of a world crisis in Suez, it let Canada lead in
creating peacekeeping. Fifteen years ago, after
the invasion of Kuwait, Prime Minister Mulrooney
was one of the influential voices persuading
then President Bush to seek a UN mandate before
going into Iraq.
I learned, as a Prime Minister for
nearly seven years, that, when Canada has been
most effective in the world, it has been because
we pursued two priorities at the same time. We
worked hard on our friendship with the United
States and we worked hard on our independent and
innovative role in the rest of the world, even
when it led us to disagree with the United
Those are not opposite positions.
Those are the two sides of the Canadian coin.
Our access to Washington can add clout to the
standing which we earn by our actions in other
countries. Our reputation in the developing
world and our reputation in the multi-lateral
community are assets that the United States
cannot always command herself.
The Mulrooney government, for which
I was Foreign Minister, worked closely with the
United States and we achieved major
breakthroughs, particularly on free trade and on
At the same time, we disagreed
sharply on other contentious issues. We
disagreed on Cuba. We disagreed on the way to
fight apartheid. We disagreed on the question
of aid and development to Nicaragua. We
disagreed on the authority of the World Court in
its decisions with respect to Nicaragua.
We disagreed on the status that
should be accorded to the Palestinians. We
disagreed, very importantly, on the strategic
defense initiative, the so-called Star Wars, in
which President Reagan believed avidly and to
which Prime Minister Mulrooney said, "No, the
government of Canada will not take part."
The theme we used to describe that
relationship was that we could disagree without
being disagreeable, and it turned out to be very
constructive. It was, I would argue --
naturally, I would argue -- the most successful
period in Canada, U.S. relations in recent
I want to draw three lessons from
that period: First, both sides worked hard to
make the relation work. It was a front-of-mind
commitment in both Washington and Ottawa.
Second, there should be no illusion about how
hard it was to negotiate the free-trade
So-called big agreements are the
exception, not the rule, in international and
bilateral affairs. This one required an
enormous investment of political capital by both
the Reagan and the Mulrooney administrations.
Indeed, a strong case could be made that the
Mulrooney administration was defeated because of
the political capital it was prepared to invest
in the free-trade agreement, and I think it's
simply unrealistic to believe that either
country, either the United States or Canada,
would or could make such an investment now, so
the progress that is going to be made will not
be on the headline issues, not be on big
packages. It is going to be made on individual
issues, important in their own right.
Thirdly, the world changed
dramatically when the United States became the
only super power after the collapse of the
Soviet empire. In the Cold War period, the
United States treated its allies as though it
needed them, because it did. Yet, in the heady
days of the 1990s, both Democrat and Republican
administrations became much more assertive of
American supremacy, and at the very same time,
many of America's allies, including, clearly,
Canada, cut back on our defense spending, on our
development assistance, on our political
commitments, to reduce all this complexity to a
phrase, "You were the super power and we were
the passengers." That happened in part because, after
the Berlin Wall came down, the dominant agenda
was no longer defense against an armed and
dangerous common enemy, and the agenda did not
become poverty. It did not become international
development. It did not become human rights.
Instead, it was trade and economic
growth. Governments chose to believe that trade
would cure poverty, that market models would
work everywhere. Now, with the thrust of
terrorist attacks into the precincts and the
psyche of the United States, with violence
continuing in Iraq, with Iran defying the
International Energy Agency, with HIV AIDS
spreading, we recognize again that the world is
not so simple and not so safe.
Now, for all of our growth and
innovation, Canada has relatively less influence
in trade and economics than we had at our best
in politics and diplomacy. Economic power
reflects size. Diplomacy depends more on
imagination and agility and reputation.
Canada's traditional political
strengths have more currency, again, if we
choose to use them, including in the United
States. Obviously, nobody speaks to Washington.
No other country speaks to Washington with the
weight of an equal, but some few countries have
had the capacity to speak with the influence of
a trusted friend.
Despite the recent strains, Canada
has not yet lost that capacity, and the United
States needs both frankness and friends more
than it ever did. That's a little sermon on
history and on the past.
I should tell you a little bit, just
to lighten the tone of the mood, before I get to
Stephen Harper, I should tell you about one of
my first introductions to what it actually is
that a foreign minister does.
I was sent down to Punta Vilesta --
I'm sorry -- Montevideo and Punta Vilesta in
Uruguay for the Uruguay round of the trade
negotiations and, like every serious
international event, this one started with a
reception, and there was one particular foreign
minister -- I won't mention the name or the
country -- who had been getting ready for this
reception all day and was in pretty good shape
by the time the doors opened to the reception
area, and he sort of hoved into the room at
about the same time that the music went up and
the lights went down, and he saw, at the other
end of the hall, what he described as a "Vision
in red," so he made his way across the floor to
ask that "Vision in red" to dance, and that
person replied to him "No, I won't dance with
you for three reasons. First, I don't dance.
Second, that music -- that music is our national
anthem, and, third, I am the Archbishop of
Now, I want to speak as objectively
as I can and, I hope, as correctly as I can
about what the new Harper government in Canada
might mean for Canada, U.S. relations: For the
moment, I see three consequences. First, there
will clearly be an end to the sniping of the
Bush Administration, which had come to
characterize the former Kretchen government in
which Mr. Martin, the outgoing Prime Minister,
Secondly, there will be an increased
Canadian interest in cooperation on both defense
and security issues, but, third, Americans will
have to understand that Mr. Harper has very
little room to move on Canada, U.S. issues. In
the same way that Richard Nixon's reputation as
an anti-Communist allowed him to make an
historic opening to China, Mr. Harper's
reputation as a pro-American limits his ability
to cooperate with the United States except on
the most straightforward matters.
It was no accident that his first
deliberate act on the Canada, U.S. file was to
sharply criticize the U.S. Ambassador on a
question relating to Arctic sovereignty. That
criticism had nothing to do with the north and
everything to do with Mr. Harper's understanding
that most Canadians regard him as being too
close to the USA, so, beyond determined civility
on the Canadian side, no one can know what the
January 23rd election means for actual changes
Because that election has almost no
value as a predictor of other events or
attitudes in Canada, it was a rejection of the
party that lost, not an embrace of the party
that won. You Americans have a very elegant
phrase: "Throw the bums out." What is
surprising is that, despite the liberals'
fatigue and unpopularity, despite an
astonishing -- an astonishingly inept campaign,
Mr. Harper's -- by the liberals -- Mr. Harper's
party won only a minority government, so there
are two separate questions about the new
First, what do they want to do?
Second, what do they have the mandate to do?
What they wanted to do was once clear. It was
radical and it alarmed enough Canadians to
defeat Mr. Harper's party in 2004. Mr. Harper
claims that he has evolved and he will now be
judged by his actions as Prime Minister, rather
than his statements outside that office.
His first deliberate public action
yesterday -- was yesterday, when he named his
cabinet. His cabinet, I should underline, in
our system, has to come from Parliament, from
the House of Commons of the Senate. His choices
seem to reflect a clear determination to steer a
more moderate course.
At least 10 of his 27 ministers have
their roots clearly in the more moderate,
progressive conservative party, and a surprising
number of his ministers do not advocate the
extreme position of the majority of his party on
the issue of the definition of marriage, an
issue which had become a litmus test of
attitudes on social policy.
The answer is clearer to the other
question: What is their mandate? This new
government has virtually no mandate at all
except to not be corrupt. The reputable Canada
election study surveyed public attitudes during
both the 2004 and 2006 election campaigns.
Their preliminary conclusions,
phrased with academic care, were published last
week. They report, and I quote, "What did
change was the salience of corruption as an
issue. In the final ten days of the 2006
campaign, almost a third of our respondents
chose corruption when asked to name their most
The analysis concludes by saying,
"By the close of the campaign, neither
Mr. Harper nor his party was better liked than
they had been in 2004 and a substantial number
of Canadians continue to harbor negative
Now, remember that, in the Canadian
parliamentary system, an election victory gives
you only -- gives you power only until you lose
an important vote in the House of Commons if you
form a minority government. I know that because
I formed one and I lost one.
Opposition parties understand that
Canadians don't want another election and
they're prepared to judge Mr. Harper on his
performance as Prime Minister, but if his
actions confirm the lively fears about his
agenda, I think that dynamic could change
One of the most encouraging aspects
of the election was that Mr. Harper and his
party won ten seats in French-speaking Quebec,
so they now have credentials as a national
party, a government that reflects the larger
country, not just its western and its rural
As importantly, those Quebec
representatives could serve as a powerful
moderating influence on social and on
international policy within the new government
caucus. You may read other views during the
next couple of days about Mr. Harper, although I
doubt that many of them would differ from that
assessment, and I, of course, reserve the right
to change my mind, depending on what happens.
Our two nations will, of course,
find a way to get along. We'll fight over Mad
Cow Disease. We'll fight over soft-wood timber.
We'll fight over a range of other issues, but we
have too many shared interests, too many common
values, to live with daggers drawn. The
question is: Will this be a real partnership
based on mutual frankness and respect and on an
understanding that we each bring capacities the
other does not?
From the Canadian perspective, there
is now a new government and, therefore, a new
opportunity to build a constructive partnership.
Mr. Harper will need time to determine his
priorities and seek to build his support in his
own country. The Canadian public will need time
for more considered judgment of the man who
suddenly became their new Prime Minister.
It would not be wise for the United
States or its friends to push old agendas,
including ballistic missile defense, or to
expect dramatic, new initiatives. It's a time
to look at issues where we have common interests
and different talents. Latin America and the
Caribbean are one clear example, and there are
others, and to carefully plan ways for American
power and Canadian influence might help bring
stability and progress to a turbulent world.
Now, that's my part of this
evening's performance, or part of my part. I
understand there will be a question period now
and I would look forward to the opportunity to
hear your questions or your comments and to try
to respond to them.
(Spoken in French) if you wanted to
put your questions in Canada's other official
language. Thank you very much. There are
(A pause occurred in the
CADET: Sir, I'm Cadet First Class
from Squadron 1. There's been a
significant amount of debate or a certain amount
of debate regarding possible value divergence
between the United States and Canada. Do you
feel there's a significant value divergence
between our two states, and if so, what does
that mean for the future of our relationship
MR. CLARK: That's a debate in
Canada. My own view is that there is some
values difference. Part of it's historic, and I
tried to speak about a couple of the elements of
that, the historic elements of it. Part of it
has to do with other issues. The pollsters
themselves in Canada -- and we, unfortunately,
live in a world which depends on what we know on
pollsters -- disagree on the question, but there
are some serious studies, particularly by
Michael Adams, that argue that Canadians are
less deferential to authority, that there are a
range of other issues that could actually be
called differences of values.
I think it would be unwise to assume
that we are a country -- that our value systems
are exactly the same. Now, two things have to
be said about this: One, obviously, value
systems in both our countries vary and diverge
internally. There are wide ranges and
differences of views on questions that could be
routed in values in both of our countries.
Secondly, it is going to be
interesting, I think, as we try to determine
where our two countries are going, to take a
look at what is happening to our own internal
demographics, and by that, I don't mean so much
age and urbanization as I mean a source of new
migration. Both of our countries, as I've said
in my remarks, were formed originally as --
Is this other mike working? Can you
hear me? Yeah.
Were formed originally as im-migrant
countries. One of the great wisecracks,
statements, ever made by any person in public
life was by your President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt when he met the annual convention of
the Daughters of the American Revolution, who
thought that they had prior rights to the United
President Roosevelt used to address
Americans by opening his remarks by saying, "My
fellow Americans." What he said to the
Daughters of the American Revolution back in the
1930s was "My fellow immigrants," which set them
on their ear, but the reality is we both are
immigrant countries, Canada and the U.S.
The other reality is that, for most
of our history, the immigration came from the
same place. It came from Europe. It came from,
by and large, a Christian mindset. That's been
changing in both of our countries in terms of
sources, and what's interesting is that the rate
of immigration into Canada is faster than that
of the rate in the United States, and what's
also interesting is that the general source
trends are different.
Yours is predominantly from Latin
countries. Ours is more predominantly from
Asian countries. What that will do to value
structures, what that will do to other
attitudes, what that will do for the partnership
between these two historic friends of the North
American Continent is something only time will
tell, but I suspect it is going to have some
impact upon this question of values, so we
should assume friendship. We should assume
respect. We should not assume identity of
values as we go forward dealing with complex
CADET: Mr. Clark, Canada has had
extraordinary experiences -- you would know
better than anyone -- with constitutional reform
and, in particular, the integration of very
diverse groups into the quality -- into the
reform process. I know this is a difficult
question to ask, but in what ways do you think a
Canadian system can give the world some valuable
lessons for working on the problems and
questions related to Islam and political Islam?
MR. CLARK: The Canadian system -- I
think it's one of the most urgent questions we
face. Most people who have been involved in
public-policy making when a new issue arises
tend to look back on "How did we deal with an
issue like this before?" Well, anybody trying
to deal with what is happening as a result of
the cartoon in a Danish newspaper has no
precedence to go to.
We've never had to deal with an
issue like this before, where there is that kind
of rage in the streets. There have been
embassies attacked. The American Embassy in
Iran was when I was Prime Minister, just before
I was Prime Minister, but nothing like this, and
that is an indication, just the most recent
indication, of a very serious problem on this
To come to the question, I don't
think there's anything in our system that would
help us deal with that, except for -- no, I
can't think of anything in our system. I can
think of -- speaking in our formal
constitutional system. I wouldn't recommend our
I wouldn't recommend our Parliament.
I wouldn't recommend necessarily our Federalism,
but I would recommend, I guess, what I would
call a tradition of diversity. My view of my
country is that one of the reasons we have been
able to deal relatively effectively so far with
remarkable diversity is that we started having
to respect difference.
We both have defining battles, the
United States and Canada. Yours was a long,
divisible battle, the Civil War. Ours, the
Battle of the Plains of Abraham, while it was
preceded by some earlier skirmishing, lasted
about 40 minutes, and it was barely won by the
What was important about it was that
the winners did not treat the losers like they
were vanquished. The French lost the battle but
the English were smart enough to say, "We have
to live here together. Their language is
important to them, so guarantee it. Their land
system is important to them, so guarantee it.
Their special legal code is important to them,
so guarantee it."
That was the basis, obviously, of a
cooperation between the two founding peoples in
Canada, but, more importantly, it created, in my
view, a tradition of diversity, which has caused
us, usually, in cases of conflict, including
domestic conflict, to try to look at why the
other person is acting as they are and try to
understand them as much as we express our own
It doesn't always happen. It
doesn't always work, but I think that that has
been the model of Canada that can apply, not
institutional, but attitudinal, and part of the
challenge is going to be to try to take this out
of the context of one particular country's
history and try to determine ways in which it
can be communicated into new situations of
potentially -- not potentially -- of obviously
CADET: Hi, Mr. Clark. I'm
curious about how you brought up the 9 percent
fresh water in Canada.
MR. CLARK: "I'm curious about"
CADET: The 9 percent of fresh
water stat that you put up.
MR. CLARK: Yeah.
CADET: I'm curious because that's
obviously an area where U.S. and Canada
relations will have to evolve to in upcoming
years and I'm curious about are you speaking
about it in terms of a security framework, or is
it a trade-related issue, or how you see that
kind of evolving in our future, given the kind
of opposition that's been evolving in Canada,
especially, and I'm just curious about the
future of that and what you see happening.
MR. CLARK: I raise it because, one,
it's a reality that may not be widely known.
Canada is not widely known by our neighbor.
Second, you are going to want our water and we
are not going to want to let you have it, and,
thirdly -- and that will become an increasingly
You are becoming highly -- you use a
lot of water. You're involved in developments
now, including urban developments in arid areas,
that are going to demand more water. Someone
will almost certainly make the proposal --
indeed, they already have -- that because you
need it and we have it, we should give it to you
for a consideration.
This is an issue that, in my
judgment, runs very deep in Canada and there
would not be a willingness to move on water.
During the negotiation of the free-trade
agreement, the first free-trade agreement
between Canada and the United States, it was
made abundantly clear several times that bulk
water was not going to be part of negotiation.
We are prepared, grudgingly, to
export water in bottles, but not bulk water, and
there was recently, in Calgary, a delivered
speech made by one of our leading statesmen, the
former Premier of Alberta, Peter Lawley, urging
the new Parliament, whoever it was, to make it
very clear by way of formal resolution that, as
the United States looks to the forms of
partnership it might have with Canada, it should
not consider -- it should not try to put water
on the table because that would not be something
on which we would move forward, so that was
the -- and I'm glad you detected the reason that
I raised the matter and let me elaborate on it.
Yep? Over here, I think.
CADET: Yes. A lot of people place
a significant amount of value on the personal
relationship between the President and Prime
Minister. A good example of this might even be
Mr. Mulrooney and Mr. Reagan, who had, from
what I understand, a good working relationship.
As former Prime Minister, do you place this
value on the personal relationship between
President and Prime Minister?
MR. CLARK: Yes, I do, and, in fact,
I think that one of the largely underestimated
aspects of successful international relations is
personal relations. I've always been a defender
of international summits, which are often
criticized, precisely because they do try to
create that leader-to-leader relationship and if
one has both countries -- you have to assume
both countries are going to have excellent
bureaucrats, excellent officials, that they're
going to go as far as they can, but sometimes it
can only be broken by a leader who trusts and --
who knows and trusts another leader, so I think
it's a dynamic of international relations that
is underestimated in the literature and very
important in fact, and certainly it's important
to the Canada, U.S. relation.
You don't have to both be Irish and
sing songs to make it work, but there has to be
a deliberate attempt, which has to start with
the smaller country, like with Canada, there has
to be a deliberate attempt to show respect for
the President of the United States and to earn
respect from the President of the United States,
and I think that can be done.
I think it can be done between
President Bush and Prime Minister Harper, but
it's a very important element in this
relationship. That alone won't do it, but it
makes it a lot easier.
CADET: Hi, thank you, Mr. Clark,
for your lecture. I was just wondering if you
could speak a little bit on the growing trend in
Canada from moving from speaking with one voice
on foreign issues, as Paul Martin would say, to
a more open trend that was promised by Stephen
Harper whereby either individual provinces or
even cities can take more power in negotiating
their treaties in foreign relations and what
that might mean to the Canada, U.S. relations.
MR. CLARK: These are good
questions. I should not be surprised. I'm not.
We wouldn't have had a free-trade
agreement if we had not brought provinces into
negotiation. We brought the provinces into
those negotiations by and large under our
agents, but some of the traditional advice that
had been given to Mr. Mulrooney and to myself
was that the international trade is not in the
province of business, and technically that's
Our view was that we could sign an
agreement in our jurisdiction, but they had
jurisdictions that could stop that agreement
from being brought into effect, so as a
practical matter, we brought the provinces in,
and I think it was a very successful initiative
and precedent, but I emphasize that we did it
for very practical reasons, and there is a risk
to confusion about who speaks for a country if
it's not -- if there are multiple voices.
It is if those multiple voices say
different things, and that, of course, is the
risk. Mr. Harper was quite careful in what he
was talking about, as I understand it, in that
he was offering to extend to Quebec in
particular an opportunity to have a larger voice
on issues relating to the United Nations
Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization,
UNESCO, and this is a field -- UNESCO works in
fields that are under the Canadian constitution
within the jurisdiction of the provinces.
That was, in effect, an extension of
an initiative that we undertook, the Mulrooney
government undertook, to bring Quebec and New
Brunswick into l'Ordre de la Pleiades, the
Summit of Foreign Countries, and into the games
of l'Ordre de la Pleiades. This extension is
fine. If you take it too far, you do run the
risk, it seems to me, of creating incoherence as
to who speaks for the country.
I think it would be very important
to take a look at other ways in which this might
be done. I think that there should certainly be
a heavy involvement of provincial leaders and,
given our country, urban leaders, in
international delegations, perhaps in
participation by invitation in discussion of
international initiatives, but I think one does
have to be careful about the question of who
speaks for the country, okay?
CADET: Good evening, Mr. Clark.
I was wondering: Given the new nature of
military threats towards the United States and
Canada that you mentioned earlier and the new
nature of military engagement -- that is,
nontraditional engagement, not between states
but almost, if I may go so far as saying between
sort of cultures -- I was wondering what your
opinion is on the importance of a united front
or a united face in the political sphere in
terms of foreign policy, response to
international incidents, and in international
governing organizations such as the United
MR. CLARK: I think it's very
important but quite difficult. I mean, one --
the two Iraq interventions were quite different,
but part of what the United States secured in
its method of intervention in the first -- and
what we called the first Iraq war -- was that
there was an opportunity for that common front
to be shown.
As a matter of fact, it was heavily
dictated, as most things are when there's one
big guy in the room, it was heavily dictated by
American views, but American views at that
time -- and I was part of those discussions --
took very real account of the concerns of
I don't know how you would
institutionalize that because that was a
response to a real and urgent requirement and it
is easier to bring together -- people together
in that kind of circumstance. Obviously, it
would be much more effective if international
organizations, the UN or regional organizations,
could be the scene or the cause of that kind of
That has to come from the members.
It's not going to be capable of being imposed by
a constitution of the UN or of the 0AS or of
anybody else, but certainly, if the question is
should we be encouraging leaders to seek that
common voice, yes, we should.
I'm quite active in some work with
the Commonwealth, which used to be the British
Commonwealth, which is now no longer British,
although they're there. What's interesting
about the Commonwealth is that it does embrace
the Islamic world. There are significant
Islamic countries who are present there.
Consequently, a common front on an
issue that had to do with Islam would be
difficult in the Commonwealth, but a frank
discussion of the issues would be much more
possible and would also be very valuable, okay?
I'm advised we have time for one
more question, and you're it.
CADET: I better make it good.
Okay. There is widespread anti-Americanism in
Canada, and it only appears to be growing with
the Bush Administration. I was just wondering
how you think this will affect our relations in
the future and if Stephen Harper's government
will be able to counteract this.
MR. CLARK: I think there is more
anti-Americanism than there has been. I think
there's always going to be some in Canada
because you are a hard presence to ignore and
our affairs are sometimes hard for your
governments to avoid getting involved with. I
think the dispute -- no, the handling -- by the
Kretchen government of the dispute over Canada's
participation in Iraq fortified, strengthened,
the sense of anti-Americanism in the country
beyond its core, and one of the things that has
to be done is to build that down, and that's
something Canadians have to do.
The only thing that Americans could
do about that is make the problem worse, if
there were to be a heavy-handed intervention of
some kind. I think that most Canadians,
recognizing we believe that we can work out
regional arrangements that protect our interests
and our identity, very much want to do that with
the United States.
It's not that we don't like you.
It's that we're afraid of you, fundamentally,
afraid of having our culture absorbed in yours,
of having our interests overwhelmed by yours.
I think that, if Mr. Harper is given
a chance, in other words, if he is not asked too
early to do things that he can't do by the
United States, if he's given a chance, he could
well build down some of that anti-Americanism
and he could well build up a sense that there is
a capacity for the two countries to work
The United States would have to
recognize that that would mean -- that would
have to be a two-way street, that there would be
some issues in hot dispute where the Canadian
side would prevail and not always the American,
and they'd have to recognize, in my view, by my
model, they'd have to recognize, as they did in
the period of the Mulrooney government, that
there are going to be very sharp and intense
disagreements on particular issues, and they
should not try to haul everybody -- haul Canada
into line on issues where we quite genuinely believe that U.S. policy is wrong, but the
prescription for the time-being is to cool it.
There is a new government. It's a
government that bears the burden of seeming to
be too close to the United States, closer than
the population is. Let the Prime Minister give
him time to either -- to try to bring the public
more in line with where the public is, but try
to reduce this quite troublesome sense of
anti-Americanism, and it would serve everybody's
interest not to watch Fox.
Thank you very much.
CADET: Mr. Clark, we are
really happy that you came out to talk to us
tonight, and we'd like to give you something, a
little something as a token of our appreciation.
MR. CLARK: Thank you very much.
CADET: Please rise for the
exit of the official party.
(A pause occurred in the
WHEREUPON, the within proceedings
were concluded at the approximate hour of
8:20 p.m. on February 7, 2006.