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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/24/17

Trump faces gnawing problems in the Great White North

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Will Canada's beavers have to build a monster dam?
Will Canada's beavers have to build a monster dam?
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The shock election of Donald Trump has thrust Canada into one of the most perilous periods of its existence. Our relationship with the United States, upon which so much of our security and prosperity depends, has never been more uncertain.

Canada's staid liberal-conservative political map on most economic issues and even social issues has been relatively flat. Conservatives in Canada, like in the US, are what Trump supporters (really just Tea Party lite) call "cuckservatives" -- cuckolded by the liberals on both economic and social issues (free trade, global warming, feminism, abortion, affirmative action, gaylib).

Canada just emerged from a nasty Conservative decade last year, a mix of cuckservative on social issues (to steal Liberal votes) and Trump old-time conservative on environment and energy (to carry out Harper's real agenda). Canadians breathed a collective sigh of relief to be done with him.

So Canada is a bit of a foretaste of what is to come for the US. Harper was a Trumper on global warming and environmental policy, withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol and showing little interest in the Paris negotiations. It was a shameful period, with environmental research gutted, scientists muzzled so as not to raise red flags, the environmentally destructive Alberta tarsands boondoggle, plans for pipelines to the west, east and south to the US.

It was a relief to get the 'real thing' again, the liberal agenda with all its failings, even if, so far, it is not doing much of anything good. On the Kinder-Morgan pipeline, Trudeau dawdled, hoping people would lose interest, and then approved, cynically relying on a Canada-wide opinion poll that said 51% Canadians approve and 64% figure it will go ahead no matter what. He twisted BC's Liberal premier to go along with him. Trudeau also vows that the tarsands will expand and produce tar for "decades ahead".

Liberals at least pretend to listen to protesters, and the ongoing pipeline protests since November 2016 across Canada and on Parliament Hill will remind the young, trendy PM of his constituents' demands. His famous populist 'selfies' are already causing him embarrassment.

Trump will not show any interest at all in such liberal complaints. Already, he has vowed to revive the Keystone XL pipeline project, blocked by President Obama under pressure from environmentalists. That would make it easier for Trudeau to pander to the oil industry, both in revving up the tarsands and green lighting their pipeline plans. Canada will face mass protests, energized by allies south of the border.

Despite his waffling on the oil issues, Trudeau put Canada back on the environmental road--at least in words--joining the Paris Accord, which his conservative predecessor refused to do, and reinstating environmental research programs which Harper had slashed with his second term majority.

The current situation recalls the relations that Justin's father Pierre and his successor Jean Chretien had with thorny American presidents of yesteryear, Johnson, Nixon and George Bush. Relations reached ever new low points over Vietnam and Iraq.

'It's overrun by godless, gunless hippies'

Probably Trudeau will find Trump indifferent to Canadian demands, despite Canada being America's closest ally in every sense, and its largest trading partner. His knowledge of Canada is less than zero, despite adding his logo to Toronto's top hotel, Trump Towers, the second tallest skyscraper in Canada.

His efforts to expand in Canada were met with disdain for his Trump 'brand' during his gaffe-plagued presidential campaign. Disputes and a messy legal divorce ensued. Still unfinished in 2016, it is already in bankruptcy court. A bad omen for the Donald in Canada.

Perhaps that's what motivated his bizarre comments last July when he told "Fox and Friends" that he believes the US "should never have allowed" Canada to gain independence, that the United States owned Canada "at some point", and giving it back was a "major mistake". The former reality tv star was responding to a question about Puerto Rico possibly becoming the 51st of the United States, when he made the statement. "It used to be 51 you know, when we had Canada."

As a harbinger of what he has in store for Canada, he explained, "Look at that place now, it's falling to pieces. It's overrun by godless, gunless hippies." "Well what are you going to do if elected?" the interviewer Kilmeade asked. "Forcefully take Canada and claim it as part of America? I think that's gotta be an option," Trump responded. "You know, they've got a lot of oil up there, a lot."

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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games", "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" and "Canada (more...)

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