Brian Mulroney and the harsh reality ...

Brian Mulroney and the harsh reality of Canada-U.S. free trade

Posted in the Georgetown Forum


North Bay, Canada

#1 Feb 24, 2013
Brian Mulroney and the harsh reality of Canada-U.S. free trade: Hepburn, Feb. 21

Brian Mulroney and the harsh reality of Canada-U.S. free trade: Hepburn, Feb. 21

How refreshing , if unusual, to read a mainstream piece that actually talks turkey about the disastrous free trade deal. In Canada, we've been living in a kind of opium dream since the late ’80s, with the usual suspects — quick-buck artists and ideological hobbyists — insisting ever since that we've never had it so good.

Just as there was a conspiracy by business elites in '88 to foist free trade on the country, there's been a de facto conspiracy ever since to push the line that it's been some kind of boon for us all, even despite the overwhelming contrary evidence. Remember, more than 60 per cent of us sensibly rejected the deal when it was an election issue, even if our disgraceful electoral system gave Brian Mulroney a “mandate” to saddle us with it.

Brian Mulroney and his patrons obviously think we're stupid, and they might well have a case, based on almost 30 years of our allowing their nonsensical economic analyses to float.

But watch and enjoy nevertheless the inevitable unravelling in our lifetime of the doublespeak concept of “free” trade, as unaffordable energy costs and other factors begin to make the shipping of goods thousands of miles to market look merely old-fashioned and quaint.

George Higton, Toronto

I agree and empathize fully with Bob Hepburn 's comments on the real effect of free trade on ordinary people: people who have lost their jobs and the fact that almost all of these factory jobs are gone forever. It is a sad fact that real truths like this are covered up and never acknowledged by those responsible.

This article is front page material in my opinion.

Another effect that I personally observe is the loss of basic manufacturing skills in our country. All but gone are the machine shops, factories and the businesses that served them. A simple example of my own was my recent inability to purchase a round threading die. It seems that these replacement dies are no longer sold by the likes of Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire, Busy Bee, Princess Auto, etc. The only possible reason is no demand. As little as three years ago, they were available.(I note that some of the above do offer sets with many dies of different sizes, but they are all aimed at the hobbyist and not suited for manufacture.)

We have indeed sold our souls to the Asian manufacturers. It is beyond sad and we will experience the effects for years to come.

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