Charles Krauthammer tries to be nice to us:
Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most attention-getting exports — polar vortexes, Alberta clippers, and the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor — we’ve somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance.
That depends on where in Canada you happen to be. Here in the Imperial Capital, where all good things begin, the attitude is either indifference or suspicion toward the Keystone XL pipeline. Torontonians are, as a rule, oblivious to what makes a modern city function. Milk comes in boxes. Steak comes on plates. Gasoline comes from a gas station on the corner run by a landed immigrant with poor English skills. The working assumption is that "stuff" comes from Star Trek style replicators located somewhere in a backroom.
Returning to the article itself. Dr Krauthammer is a recognized expert on half a dozen different subjects. But when he has to write a column about Canada this McGill graduate lurches from one Canuck cliche to the next.
Canadians may be preternaturally measured and polite, but they simply can’t believe how they’ve been treated by President Obama — left hanging humiliatingly on an issue whose merits were settled years ago.
I have never found Canadians to be especially polite when compared to Americans. Subdued, reticent and occasionally passive aggressive, but never especially polite. I think Americans assume this because, unlike in their own country, we don't scream at each other constantly. But don't confuse introversion with courtesy. Travel on the TTC for a few hours and your notions of Canadian courtesy will soon dissolve in maple flavoured fury.
The Canadians are beside themselves. After five years of manufactured delay, they need a decision one way or the other because if denied a pipeline south, they could build a pipeline west to the Pacific. China would buy their oil in a New York minute.
Canadian are never beside themselves. It would violate health and safety regulations. In any case our own bureaucrats are needlessly holding up the development of the Northern Gateway. The fault, dear Mackenzie, lies not in our neighbours but in ourselves.
If Obama wants to cave to his environmental Left, he should go ahead. But why keep Canada in limbo? It’s a show of supreme and undeserved disrespect for yet another ally.
And yet they still praise his name. Barack Obama could club to death a baby beaver on the front steps of Parliament Hill and still be regarded as a hero. Long winded editorials in the Toronto Star would hail the President's decisive efforts to curtail beaver overpopulation, while the CBC would run a segment featuring a recognized beaver expert explaining how the President's bludgeoning technique was both humane and efficient. Obama worship is just as obnoxious and irrational in Canada as in parts of the United States.
Add to this the slam-dunk strategic case for Keystone: Canadian oil reduces our dependence on the volatile Middle East, shifting petroleum power from OPEC and the killing zones of the Middle East to North America. What more reliable source of oil could we possibly have than Canada?
Was it just me or did you wince a little too? Like the prettiest girl in school saying what a reliable young man you are. No doubt some young lady would be delighted to go out with you. Not her, of course, but some nice plain looking creature seeking to settle for someone, ahem, reliable.
Keystone has left Canada very upset, though characteristically relatively quiet. Canadians may have succeeded in sublimating every ounce of normal human hostility and unpleasantness by way of hockey fights, but that doesn’t mean we should take advantage of their good manners.
It's left people in Alberta upset. Not too sure about the rest of the country. Quebec seems to hate all forms of economic activity that are not directly controlled by the provincial government. Ontario assumes that cheap oil is a divine right, recall Bill Davis' support for NEP. A large swath of the NDP voting BC lower mainland would be delighted if the "tar sands" went the way of the dinosaurs. We're not all polite and sensible up here. Some of us are just plain old fashioned Left-wing jerks.
It would be appreciated if Dr Krauthammer could acknowledge that fact. Please.