Friday, November 18, 2005

Reaction to Canada: Shania Twain and softwood lumber

Two stories:

1) Shania Twain has been awarded the Order of Canada, this country's highest civilian honour -- see here. In all, 43 Canadians received the honour today. Governor General Michaelle Jean, Queen Elizabeth's representative and our de facto head of state, described the recipients as "pioneers, trail blazers, builders, [and] visionaries". I'm not sure which one Shania is. Unless, of course, our GG credits the Timmins, Ontario native with pioneering crossover pop-country. Or unless she finds the sentiments of "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" and "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" somehow visionary. Or unless she award is actually for building a successful career out of good looks and minimal talent. (Sorry, Shania. Actually, I don't mind her shallow, bland songs, and (sigh) I actually own two of her albums. Here's her website.)

2) At the APEC meeting in Busan, South Korea, "Prime Minister Paul Martin warned George W. Bush yesterday that U.S. credibility in seeking trade deals with the rest of the world is in doubt because his country won't respect a NAFTA ruling on Canadian softwood lumber" -- see here. Said Martin: "You cannot have free trade where one partner to a free-trade agreement -- when a decision goes against them -- simply says we're going to ignore it. We're not going to have free trade of the Americas if that's the precedent that's been established. We're not going to have free-trade throughout the Asia-Pacific if that's what occurs." He's absolutely right.

Meanwhile, there may be an election up here soon.

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