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 Canada. 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 Charlottetown Accord. 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 summits. 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 Joe Clark.
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 states. 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 minority government. 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 party. 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 target points. 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 Taschkent. 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 community. 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 States. 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 acid rain. 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 memory. 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 agreement. 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 Montevideo." 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, occasionally indulged. 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 in policy. 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 government's priorities. 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 important issue." 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 perceptions." 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 quickly. 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 components. 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 microphones here. (A pause occurred in the proceedings.)
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 together?
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 States. 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 issues.
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 front. 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 charter. 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 winners. 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 concerns. 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 lethal conflict.
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" what?
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 important issue. 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 true. 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 Nations. 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 others. 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 common front. 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 together. 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 proceedings.) WHEREUPON, the within proceedings were concluded at the approximate hour of 8:20 p.m. on February 7, 2006.
   




 

 

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