According to this poll, 62% of Canadians would even "adopt American regulatory standards if it would ease restrictions at the border".
As Ibbitson also proclaimed, the reason why this will all be ok is : "Canadians are excited about the prospect of a Barack Obama presidency". Obama, a fine orator whose speeches move me to tears but whose voting record is thus far still somewhere to the right of Stephen Harper's, is apparently the new deep integration selling point to Canadians.
The G&M refers to the institute which commissioned the poll, the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, merely as a "Calgary-based institute".
Rather more useful would have been the information that CDFAI is a lobby group funded by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and "defence contractor" General Dynamics, beneficiary of millions of dollars in arms contracts due to Canadian participation in the U.S War on Terra.
The article also quotes "Colin Robertson, senior fellow with the institute", but fails to mention "he was a member of the team that negotiated the Free Trade Agreement with the United States", information freely available on his CDFAI bio, or that currently Mr. Robertson has been seconded by DFAIT to Carleton University to direct the Canada-US Project, along with fellow continentalist Derek Burney :
Included among its listed "themes" are :
Blueprint for Canada-US Engagement under a New Administration
Purpose: To develop a blueprint for a joint Canada-US agenda focused on bilateral and global prosperity and security issues.
- Canada-US defense cooperation (Note US spelling of defence)
- The North American energy-environment nexus
- Cross-border regulatory cooperation
- Scope and issue areas for greater bilateral cooperation in the Americas
Unsurprisingly, these are the same issues addressed in the CDFAI poll and happily reported in the G&M as Canadians, despite their "healthy skepticism of the Americans", enthusiastically supporting greater ties.
Thanks, G&M. Can hardly wait for your next one. And as CDFAI is holding a one-day conference in Ottawa today - What Does it Mean to Be Good Neighbours? - including Robert Pastor, Vice Chair of the 2005 Task Force on the Future of North America and author of Toward a North American Community, I expect we'll be hearing more of the same from you again quite soon.