Trade Wars, USA vs Canada
Brian Campbell

USA President Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet in the form of huge tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has retaliated with trade tariffs of his own. This somehow took President Trump by surprise, even though Prime Minister Trudeau warned him that he would respond in kind. It is possible that since Trudeau was not openly hostile to him at the G7 Summit in Quebec, Trump mistook Canadian politeness and graciousness for weakness. Or it could be that Trump is going by past history, and I will be the first to admit that Trudeau has not been our strongest leader, including not following through with his promise to protect our softwood lumber from Trump’s tariffs last year.

But that was then and this is now, and Trump has apparently pushed our Prime Minister too far. And like the boxer he is, Trudeau is coming out swinging, promising to match tariff for tariff. Trump is bristling, threatening and name calling, as Trump is wont to do. Of course Trump’s supporters are also threatening and name calling Prime Minister Trudeau, as good lackeys who want to hold on to their jobs tend to do.

But here is where things take a turn. Americans outside of Trump’s inner circle are sending messages of apology to Canada for the actions of their President. Social media is loaded with messages to Canada, advising us that not residents of the USA think of Canada the way their President does. And while this is going on, within our own government, all of our political parties are uniting behind our Prime Minister, something that has rarely happened, the last time possibly going all the way back to World War One.

So here is the bottom line. Our country is being threatened by a foreign government, and a powerful one at that. If ever there was a time for us to stand together, this is it. Our political parties have already figured this out, it’s time for the rest of us to get on board.  I know there are many of you who have had differences of opinion with how our Prime Minister has done his job in the last three years. I get it. I personally have been quite disappointed with Trudeau’s performance on many occasions. But this is different. We are facing a powerful man who looks down on countries like England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and yes, Canada; while at the same time admiring the leaders of Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt and North Korea. What does this say about President Trump’s values?

Like any bully, Trump only respects strength and power, so this is how we must deal with him. We must show him the strength of a united Canada. We must stand behind our Prime Minister and give him our united support while he deals this threat to our country, no matter what we think about him in other matters. There will be time enough to be angry with Prime Minister Trudeau for his other decisions later.  For now support him in his fight with this bully. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”  Churchill knew what he was talking about. You don’t reason with a bully. You face him with strength.

O Canada, We stand on guard for thee!