The Federal Election and the U.S. Factor: Part Three
Date: Tuesday, June 22 2004
The Federal Election and the U.S. Factor (Part Three)
As people denied knowledge of their own history, Canadians are responding predictably in the present election campaign. Stephen Harper, a latter-day annexationist, is buoyed up by the fact Canadians don’t know their history and the repeated appearance of people like himself in our political life. In addition, he is doing what he can to erase, deny, or change clear public statements he has made over the last few years. Build a fire-wall around Alberta to get out of medicare and to seize powers from the national government. Fill Canada’s “obligation” to fight “shoulder to shoulder” with the U.S. in Iraq.
His new, pretended moderation is no surprise. It is, in fact, historical. A constant characteristic of annexationist forces in Canada is recognition of the need to deceive Canadians about plans for the country.
In the early 1880s when Goldwin Smith, Augustus Wiman, Richard Cartwright and a very large body of U.S. politicians, media moguls, and capitalists designed the end of Canadian independence [“deep integration” was then called Commercial Union], they made a false move. Wiman sent a newspaper letter from New York acknowledging that Commercial Union would result in political union. Canadians showed alarm. Ever after – in their drive towards annexation – the Commercial Unionists insisted the policy had nothing to do with annexation or Canada’s integration into the U.S.A.
Incidentally, Wiman founded the renowned New York Canadian Club, very largely as a platform from which to preach Commercial Union.
The Commercial Union advocates spent nearly a decade fighting for their cause. Wherever the Liberal spokesperson Goldwin Smith went in Ontario, Conservative Colonel George Denison and his supporters followed. They printed tens of thousands of informed denunciations of the Commercial Unionists and distributed them widely.
The Commercial Unionists were watched carefully and were fraudulently supported by the White House and U.S. key government officials. As the 1891 election (a Commercial Union election) approached, the U.S. Secretary of State let it be known to John A. Macdonald’s government that the U.S. wanted trade talks. Macdonald’s people began meetings, though the U.S. insisted they were not “formal” and must remain secret.
Then on the eve of the election top U.S. officials had an “informal but important” meeting with lifelong, self-described annexationist and a Globe editor Edward Farrer about Canada/U.S. trade. And the U.S. publicized that meeting.
The election began. U.S. spokespeople flatly denied having had any meetings with Macdonald’s people about trade. The intention was to convince Canadians the Liberal, Commercial Union annexationists were open, flexible, and friendly; the Macdonald Conservatives were rigid and unbending.
`Historian Donald Creighton records that the U.S. Secretary of State James Blaine had involved himself with Macdonald’s people “while he proceeded with complete impunity to double-cross them” (p. 554, The Old Chieftain).
John A. Macdonald knew, at 76 years old, he was in the election of his life, an election to preserve Canada’s independence. That is why he made the famous statement: “A British subject I was born – a British subject I will die”. There was no Canadian citizenship at the time, and so John A. was saying in the only way he could that he would NOT be a U.S. citizen but would preserve his Canadian identity. He went on to call the Liberal plans and the activities of Edward Farrer “veiled treason”.
At the height of the election – almost as if happening in a spy thriller – a worker in the Globe printshop smuggled out to John A. Macdonald’s supporters some pages from a secret pamphlet written by Edward Farrer. The secret pamphlet was intended for select top U.S. officials, instructing them in detail how to bring Canada to its knees so that it would accept Commercial Union, and annexation.
(In the last months of Jean Chretien’s time in power, Brian Mulroney helped advise U.S. officials. It is said, also, that he has advised Stephen Harper in the lead-up to the present election. Mulroney is merely continuing the Edward Farrer role.)
John A. Macdonald reported Farrer’s document at a major campaign meeting, claiming “a deliberate conspiracy, by force, by fraud, or by both, to force Canada into the American union”.
The election went to the Conservatives and the drive for Commercial Union was over. The Liberals lay low until they had a handsome, debonair, elegant Liberal Prime Minister in power, Wilfred Laurier. Then they tried again for “deep integration”, this time calling it “Reciprocity”. But Laurier was defeated in the storied 1911 election, giving Canada time to build in order to complete independence in 1931 with the Westminster Act.
Many believed the push for annexation was finally over. But they did not take full account of U.S. greed and the greed of some Canadians who believe they might be richer and more powerful as part of the U.S.A.
Canada was hit very hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s. From there it was hurried into the Second World War in which Canada gave up too much to the U.S.A., hoping to get U.S. support for the war effort. After that war, the Cold War (significantly set in motion by the U.S. and Britain) aerved to pressure Canada, more and more, to give up independence to the U.S. in armaments, defense planning, intelligence and police cooperation, integration of military equipment and training … and more.
Indeed, the cancellation and destruction of the Avro Arrow project in 1959 occurred very directly because the U.S. wanted Canada subordinate in air power and had no intention of purchasing the most advanced aircraft in the world from Canada. U.S. refusal to purchase guaranteed the failure of the project, as U.S. government intended.
The greatest blow to Canadian independence was delivered by Brian Mulroney who made a pact with separatists in order to gain power. He brought in – eagerly – the Free Trade Agreement that has made Canada subject to U.S. trade laws at many levels of operation, and has opened Canada to unresisting economic takeover. The huge irony of the Agreement is that the U.S. accepts it only when convenient to its own policy. In the softwood lumber conflict, just for instance, the U.S. has lost over and over in tests of its own trade laws. It ignores the rulings completely and uses its sheer power to punish Canadian softwood operators – with impunity. Canadian government takes no action whatever in response to U.S. violation of the Agreement and of Canadian workers and enterprise.
Mulroney made the initial Free Trade agreement on October 5, 1987, though a hard-fought election had to follow in 1989. In his bid for office in 1983, Mulroney had said: “Don’t talk to me about free trade. The issue was decided in 1911. Free trade is a danger to Canadian sovereignty”. Edward Farrer was more honest.
If all Canadians knew even the brief history I’ve unfolded here – and the endless deceptions of the annexationists, they would make short shrift of Stephen Harper and his “moderate” Canadian Alliance masking as a “Conservative” party.
The election is being fought hard. Canada must have a Liberal/NDP victory if it is to survive. If it does not have that victory, it may discover the Harper forces will turn out to fit John A. Macdonald’s phrase, as people engaging in “veiled treason”. Canadians may see them deliver most of Canada to the U.S. and turn what is left into such a disagreeable imitation of U.S. society that difference between the two countries will disappear.