5.13 Maintaining a healthy relationship with our closest neighbour

Canada must never ignore the importance of a healthy relationship with the United States. No matter who is in the White House and no matter how different our national perspectives may be, a close relationship is dictated through geography, history, and trade. Canada’s level of respect and influence in the world is strangely measured both by how well we work with the United States, as well as by how well we simultaneously hold our course if different from that of the White House. That relationship must be built at many levels: federal government to federal government, as well as federal government to civil society, and other levels of government.

Canada and the United States share much. At the core of our relationship must be a respectful tone, even when we disagree. Together, we should be capable of advancing shared democratic ideals, and developing continental strategies for greater peace and security.

Core trading relationships are fundamental to both economies. Protecting those trade relationships depends more on mutual self-interest than on facile agreement.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Build and strengthen relations with all levels of U.S. government − municipal, state, and federal − and with U.S. civil society;

  • Expand networking opportunities for corporate Canada with an emphasis on small business to promote Canadian exports;

  • Expand partnerships among cultural institutions, scientific research organizations, universities, and municipalities;

  • Expand and promote mutual tourism opportunities, especially for young people, through low-carbon VIA-Amtrak partnerships;

  • End the Harper administration’s ‘black-out’ on tourism promotion for Canada in our biggest market;

  • Promote Canada to U.S. visitors as a ‘Safe and Friendly Neighbour’ to help break down the fear factor that increasingly isolates our U.S. neighbours from the world;

  • Develop shared missions to alleviate global poverty and show leadership on environmental goals;

  • Launch an adept rapid response to U.S. media myths about Canada. Act within minutes to correct false statements about lax Canadian security and urban myths about any link to 9/11 terrorists and Canadian immigration laws. Stay positive, friendly, but firm;

  • Expand public awareness in both nations of our extraordinary good fortune and our ability and moral obligation to help the less fortunate globally;

  • Repeal the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and seek redress under appropriate arbiters (potentially the World Court, NAFTA, or the WTO) against any retaliatory measures by the U.S. government toward Canada’s commercial banks.