Volume 95, Issue 35
Friday, November 2, 2001
Hellyer: U.S. will swallow Canada
Former deputy PM says Canada must change now
By Erin Conway-Smith
A rousing chorus of "O Canada" began a lecture on the possible end of Canadian independence, Thursday night.
Leading the crowd in song was former deputy prime minister Paul Hellyer.
Hellyer's new book, "Goodbye Canada," discusses the demise of Canadian sovereignty in a world of terrorism and financial globalization.
"I have come to the conclusion that there are two, at most four years before we reach the point of no return, at which annexation by [the United States] will become inevitable," he said.
Canada has been duped by free trade, Hellyer said. The national treatment clause in the North American Free Trade Agreement allows the U.S. to buy Canada and our natural resources.
"It allows foreign corporations to invest in Canada with no conditions or limits," he said. "Since the free trade agreement was signed, 13,000 Canadian companies have been sold to foreigners the majority to the U.S."
Canadians should be concerned because when corporate ownership leaves the country, so do top jobs a major concern for university students, he said, adding this also erodes the country's tax base, resulting in less money for social programs.
"If and when we sign the [Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement] if it contains an entrenchment of the national treaty clause it's game over for Canada," he said.
Hellyer, who is also leading the new Canadian Action Party, spoke about the need for a new progressive nationalist party that would not cater to big business.
"Let's make our country so strong that it's the kind of progressive middle power it once was and can provide a beacon for the world," Hellyer said.
Jesse Greener, VP-external for the Society of Graduate Students, the group that organized the event, said he was taken aback by many of Hellyer's comments.
"I like the fact that he has enough spine to say we can make a change," Greener said.
Third-year media, information and technoculture student Marty Zahavich said he found Hellyer's knowledgeable commentary the most interesting part of the lecture.
"He didn't just hear it in a book, he was there. Because of that, I found it difficult to disregard any of his points," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001