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LETTER: Maude replies to J.L. Granatstein’s charge of ‘anti-Americanism’

J. L. Granatstein of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute wrote of the “anti-Americanism” among the Canadian left in an op-ed in Monday’s Globe and Mail.

He wrote the anti-American left will be vehement “when Mr. Obama’s environmental policies and his ‘America first’ revisions to trade policy begin to work their way through the administration and Congress. Maude Barlow, Jack Layton and Naomi Klein will denounce the policies, whatever they may be, as either inadequate or too much, and point to a clause or two that, they will say, shows the Americans are trying to steal Canada’s water or jobs or money or independence.”

He continued, “Ms. Barlow has already suggested the United States will some day be involved in wars over water, so no one should be surprised when she paints Mr. Obama as a puppet of corporate forces.”

In her letter to the editor published in today’s Globe and Mail, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow writes, “J.L. Granatstein’s op-ed piece on the Canadian left being knee-jerk anti-Americans is frankly ignorant (Today We’re Making Nice; Tomorrow Nasty – May 18). The activists and academics critical of the former Bush administration I know all work with their American counterparts to build a different set of policies for this continent, policies based on social justice, co-operation, environmental stewardship and equality. I, for instance, chair the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch, am on the executive of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization, and am a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, a leading Washington think tank. We would love to see the United States under President Obama adopt a Canadian-style health-care system and for our two governments to adopt a joint alternative-energy strategy for the continent that would dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions in North America and start the rehabilitation of the tar sands in Alberta. This opinion piece adds nothing to a meaningful dialogue on the future of our continent.”

Maude’s letter to the editor can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090519.COLETTS19ART1808-4//TPStory/Comment.

Granatstein’s op-ed is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090515.wcoamerica18/BNStory/specialComment/home.