Friday, April 28, 2006


Credit where it is due

Stephen Harper deserves some credit for his pivotal role in the negotiation of the softwood lumber deal between Canada and the United States. Harper did what two subsequent Liberal administrations could not do, seal the deal. Harper managed to get both countries and three provinces to see the benefits of the deal and for that he deserves full marks.

The other thing that is impressive was that Harper managed to talk tough to the provinces with a minority. This is something Martin would never have dreamed of, the guy was too busy chasing polls and the G20. Harper is letting the provinces know who is in charge and that they don't call the shots.

The softwood deal has warts, but it is as good as we were going to get. The United States has no interest in *free trade* and it is time to take the $4 billion and make the industry stronger and retrain some of the displaced.

Hats off to Harper. He appears to be on the other side of the minority - posed to turn it into a majority. He is unlikely to fall victim to the same fate that met Paul Martin.

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