Prime Minister with President of Chile, Prime Minister of Barbados and in Haiti
(images from Prime Minister's site)

Words promise Latin America a "third way";
Actions belie them

Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, July 24, 2007, by : Eugene Parks

The Prime Minister recently traveled to Latin America to offer what he calls Canada’s “third way.” An alternative in which he, "cast Canada as firmly distinct from the U.S." Latin Americans could choose a path other than to "return to the syndrome of economic nationalism, political authoritarianism and class warfare, or to become just like the United States." He argued that under his “third way” Canada differs substantially from being like the United States. “Our cultural values and social models have also been shaped by unique forces and we’ve made our own policy choices to meet our own needs."

However, Latin Americans can be forgiven for being unable to distinguish Mr. Harper’s shaping of the Canadian alternative from the path to becoming just like the United States.

Politically, Mr. Harper is moving Canada closer to the American model of fixed election dates and elected Senators. Economically, the aim of Mr. Harper’s participation in the Security and Prosperity Partnership Summit in Montebello is explicitly focused on generating even more Canada-US economic harmonization and integration. In terms of security, "Some observers of U.S.-Canada relations say that since 9/11, the security perimeter is being erected regardless of what Canadian officials call it."

What Mr. Harper offers as a Canadian option appears to be the path to becoming incrementally more and more just like the States. Sadly, our Prime Minister’s actions belie his promise of offering a Canadian "third way".


Eugene Parks


Foot, Robert, Harper casts Canada as firmly distinct from the U.S. (pdf) July 17, 2007, CanWest News Service


Sanchez, Marcela, U.S.-Canada gulf widening Can Canada do anythiung to stop it? (pdf) July 20, 2007, Washington Post


Prime Minister's web site, Prime Minister Harper signals Canada's renewed engagement in the Americas, (pdf) July 17, 2007, Government of Canada


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