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Have your say - Responses

Has Canada become the 51st state?

I think it is about time we got rid of the border! The Americans own most of Canadian businesses anyway . Wouldn't we be better off solving this problem and getting on with living together as one family?
R. H. Johnston

Not yet, not now and not ever. I am a Canadian international relations student living in France and to me Canada will always be my home. But the day it melts into the mess bellow the 49th is the day I will not be coming home. Long live Canada!
Yael La Rose

Canadians need to stay true Canadians through and through! Who wants anything to do with those Yanks. Get real!

Canada is rapidly becoming American, but it has been since the American revolution sent thousands of displaced Loyalists north. The challenge for Canada is to retain and promote its culture, language and values in the face of a country 10 times its size. Any such references between EU and the North American example simplify that actions in the EU occur between numerous states. Canada and Mexico have far smaller economies of scale that the United States.
Matt Bourne

Why are the articles in this paper so biased towards integration with the U.S.? The writers just assume that harmonizing things like customs with the U.S. is a good thing without backing it up with any kind of data. They rely simply on anecdotal evidence like historical relations between the two counties and what the EU has done, or the fact that there were lineups at the border after September 11. Of course there were, their country was attacked! One thing I wish people would stop doing is comparing North America to Europe - they're nothing alike. Europe has several large countries, no single one dominates. They keep each other in check. North America is dominated by the United States. The argument that Germany and France are no less independent now than before the EU is irrelevant. The U.S. would decide almost everything about Canada if we let them, this can't happen with Germany and France since they're roughly the same size. One thing newspapers here constantly do is report how government official X in Washington thinks Canada should make X policy decision... Why do we care what they think so much? We keep giving more and more power to the U.S.; the question is, where does it stop? When we're part of the United States in all but name?
Martin Rokos

No, Canada has not become the 51st state. To suggest that the United States will bolt the door and leave our goods out is an old ploy that has been tried for generations. In fact, the United States even in its most isolationist times, has always needed Canada. Former governments that stood their ground, and held to Canada's founding principles, brought increased prosperity for Canadians, and secured Canada's sovereignty. Even to foment thought of bowing to or joining the United States are acts of treason. Your paper needs to uphold the commitment and convictions of its founder, George Brown: strict loyalty to Britain, and security of our own Canadian position. The U.S. needs to trade with us on our terms, not theirs. History tells us that that is entirely possible.
Thomas Baxter

We are perilously close to it as Canada continues to allow foreign takeover of significant industries and harmonize policies that should remain strictly Canadian. Co-operation is one thing but our government takes it too far. I would never live in the U.S. The practice of democracy that allows guns to be available for killing schoolchildren, and puts profit before people, is not the kind of country Canada is, or ever should be.
Gail Housnman

No, but we should. Canadians already walk, talk, look and think like Americans. We have the same hopes, fears and although some arrogantly cling to the notion that Canadians are somehow more urbane than our southern neighbors, have the same view of the world, tempered only by our impotence. Maintaining the border is good for self-serving bureaucracies, but too costly and unnecessary for the rest of us.
Don Russell

I don't think we are quite there yet but our dependence on the U.S. is so overwhelming that it's inevitable.
Paul Gallant

Despite the similarities between the two countries and the trade bond that exists is the largest in the world, Canada and Canadians as a whole are much more different than their American counterparts. As a Canadian living in the U.S., I want to assure Canadians that life in the good old U.S. of A is different. Canadian virtues and values make it one of the best countries in the world to live. It was nominated in 1999 as such. Americans and Canadians share many of the same dreams, but the Canadian way off life, for me is preferred and my American wife. Cherish it, don't ever give it up.
Robert Hielkema

Canada has not yet become the "Maple Leaf state", as it is sometimes called south of the border - but I shudder to think that it might. America has much to offer economically, but fails again and again in other domains such as health care, attitudes towards immigrants and all things foreign, gun policies, and so on. As a Canadian studying in America, I am proud of the differences distinguish the two societies and I look forward to the day that I will return home. The U.S. will never be home.
E. Moodie

Not yet, I hope that in the not too distant future that Canada becomes part of the U.S. Canada has been lacking good government since confederation. High taxes and a 60 cent dollar are a good indication that we are heading for real trouble in the near future. While Ottawa is preoccupied with feeding money to their various pet projects such as gun control, transfer payments to the (poor) provinces and Indian land claims, our country has deteriorated to the point where it's best to join the U.S.
Fernand Cote

Canada has not become the 51st state. The Americans are more aggressive in their approach to business, they take a chance when Canadians would hesitate. The Americans will complain when government is not performing, while Canadians will sit back and let it slide by. The Canadian attitude will have to change to blend it into the American way of life--business and culture. The time when Canada becomes part of the US is many, many years away. I thought it would be sooner, but the reluctance seems to be more apparent in recent years.
Sonia Gelmych

Hooray! Finally some forward thinking! Canada should not fear change, it should embrace it. Hasn't NAFTA taught us that open trade is GOOD for everyone? The borderless issue will save Canada billions in lost revenues, increase tourism, raise the standard of living and take us through the 21st century! Please, don't let it take 20 years! If Europe can do it, then so can we! Look around and learn. Hats off to Drew Fagan! I hope he does not get hate mail! Make his article required reading for all citizens! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE on the issue!
Gay Isber

Canada has not become the 51st state and hopefully, never will. However, if we continue to accept the naive musings of academics and so-called economic experts, we may indeed find ourselves in such a position. They seem to have no clue that the United States is bigger then us. They point to the European example, but those countries are of equivalent size and share similar values. The same cannot be said for Canada and the United States. For example, how would we prevent the pervading and paranoid gun culture from venturing north? How would we maintain our values of openness and tolerance of others? And how would we keep our societal values over the potentially destructive and blind force of individualism? It is high time we stopped listening to these "economic experts". At its heart, economics is a soulless, cold discipline, with little consideration for culture, history, or human decency. It is time ordinary Canadians stood up to be heard and to fight for their country.
Christian A. Giles

No. I don't think it will be in the next 30 years or so. But a common market and the freedom to work in the U.S. without restriction and without the need to acquire U.S. citizenship to do that would open a world of opportunity to young Canadians. It would make Canada a better country and open our minds, and make it easier to come back to Canada when you've had your fill of the U.S. Changing residence between countries is a hassle at the best of times and I would be glad to see the border customs posts go. Not the border. As with NAFTA, I think that getting rid of customs posts between Canada and the U.S. would be a net benefit to Canada. We could set a much better example for the rest of the world on how nations can cooperate with each other.
Stephen Liss

Unfortunately, it seems Canada has indeed become "the 51st state." The amount of support I have seen for George Bush is amazing. And nauseating. That Canada might become anything like the U.S. is most frightening. If the two are going to be integrated-- we all know what will happen. North American society will equal American society and I will moving elsewhere.
D. Strange

Even if economic assimilation has taken root to some degree via NAFTA, by virtue of cross-Canada reaction to wins at the Olympic Games, our national psyche remains separatist. While we may share a common North American pride with Big Brother, our personal and cultural values, sparkle in their distinctness regardless of generation. Our national mosaic, though combatant at times, highlights the underlying strength of our Confederacy: to find solutions maintaining each player's uniqueness rather than succumb to manic need to melt into an undistinguished pot. We ardently refuse to relinquish our identities inter-provincially, let alone blend as one of 51. After 135 years we have finally cast off British colonial insecurity and have learned to EXCEL as individuals and as a people. To that avail, we stand side-by-side with Uncle Sam, not nestled in his arms. And despite the desire of the Bush dynasty to want a "kinder, gentler nation", for as long as generations of X and Y show the sappy, flag waving exuberance of the maple leaf, it won't be called Canada.
Jordan Robert Ferraro
Montreal, Quebec

I agree with your article and congratulate the writer for his style, content and accuracy. There is, however one major impediment to open borders and the "pullout the stop signs" approach. This of course is the GST or combined GST/PST arrangements in some provinces that are collected at the border. Yes there are basic exemptions for time away and commercial/business categories, but the net result is a mandatory stop for most motorists and the beginning of the cross examinations by customs officials and usually a payment of GST and/or GST/PST. It seems to me that the solution to this problem lies in one of the following. 1. Get rid of the GST. 2. Get rid of the collection of GST taxes at border crossings. 3. Have the Americans introduce a GST type Federal tax of their own and then introduce reciprocity for these type of taxes.
Bryce Meausette

I would like to see more integration between U.S. and Canada. We should have only one currency like the Euro. How does NAFTA DOLLAR sound?
E. M. Cahambing

Yes! What other country would avoid trade with the rest of the world to become so dependant on one market? We have prostituted ourselves to become an economic attachment of the U.S. No other country in our history has invaded us. But our military wants to join theirs. Now even when they invade such military powers as Granada or abrogate the anti-ballistic missile treaty; we bite our tongue to ensure we can clear-cut our forests to sell them softwood they can apply duties to. But, for some so called Canadians; our independence is sufficiently secured by sending our own teams to the Olympics & winning two gold medals in hockey.
Russ Gallant

Reality is that Canada is very close to financial bankruptcy. We really have 10 future states and a couple of territories waiting for the inevitable default on Canadian Federal and Provincial debt. Then we will be begging Uncle Sam to bail us out and undo the excesses of decades of bureaucratic socialist excesses. At that time we will be grateful to be taken over by a much more efficient government. So much for Canada preserving its unique cultural identity!
Jim Jackson

Yes, it has. Rewarded indolence, outrageous living costs, punitive tax policies, excessive Government regulation, and a declining rate of productivity has resulted in Canada being put up for sale. After having expected its Government to reward them with an easy life for little or no effort, most Canadians now find themselves working for foreigners, like Americans, none of whom never shared in our socialist beliefs, and whose well-known work ethic grants them the right to see others working for them. The reason why America shall never formally induct Canada as a 51st State is quite simple - why should the U.S. cripple their superbly dynamic nation with 30-million people, most of whom have never acquired a work ethic?
Ken B. Armstrong

Though not politically today, but is there any survival of Canada without the U.S.? Canada's trade, economic, fiscal and monetary policies are dependent on USA's. Like European Union, North American countries will certainly join together one day to take care of their own vested interests. U.S. politically, Canada and Mexico economically.
Pramod Jain

As a very proud Canadian of 82 years, there is no way that Canadians should ever consider such an action. Those persons who think and follow such thoughts should apply for Green Cards and leave our great country. Canada for Canadians forever. GOD bless and keep our land FREE.
Gordon Mac Leod

I agree with DREW FAGAN article, Canada and the U.S. would be one great economy, probably better than the EU. Canadians have to think about their future, we are becoming more and more a high technology culture at the same time we want to be able to use all these engineers, I.T., people. Not only for the technology and science sectors of the economy but for every sector. It would be really nice if anyone could work in the USA or Canada freely without having to go through all the expenses. I'm sure Canadians realize it but it seems to take so long. We already have an example of economic ties European Union. It created is efficiency and FREEDOM. If Canada wants to increase it's standard of living then...Jean Chretien knows what to do.
Remo Prata

Not yet, however many of our politicians and most of our outspoken business leaders are taking us in that direction. Canada and Canadians have not yet developed the level of self interest that permeates U.S. foreign policy, indeed much of their domestic policy. We still recognize Cuba, Canada did not conspire to overthrow the democratically elected governments of Chile and Honduras. We still seem to understand that what is best for a country may not align with what is best for the bank accounts of corporate shareholders.
Bob Burdett

Canada has not become the 51st state, just a very efficient parasite.

Becoming a 51st state has been in steady progress since Mulroney, then Klein and now with the Harris mentality... it is our politicians that will sell us out...too badů we have such great potential to contribute to the whole of the the autumn we will fall one leaf at a time....then on day the stars won't be just in the skies....and the stripes for some of us will be prison garb........

The only reason we are what we are is our close proximity to the US. Our forefathers came to this Country for a better lifestyle and or religious beliefs. The border will go before 2020 because globalization will force it to go. It will be a matter of economics. It's like the coming of Spring.
David Coombes

Well before talking about being 51st state or not what would the world loose when there would be no Canada or Canadian values 1. There would be a big loss of a sovereign country which respects refugees all over the world unlike Australia 2. Environmental and Peace keeping institutes that had been part of Canada for over years would vanish and Canada would be sidelining itself with war as an option of solving conflicts. 3. Caring in a Universal means in terms of education rights and health rather than religious volunteerism would be there and any religion with money would dominate the propaganda war like USA These are some of the things that we have or shall I say we had because as long as we do not build anything on our identity rather crouching on foolish under developed mentality such as keeping a option of being the 51st rather than independent or not electing a leader of Canadian nature but keeping a royalty with no Canadian citizenship and so on... yes we would not appreciate the independence we have but why do we put ourselves that we can be the number 51st there are many places in line and have their own residents elected as leaders or keeping pace with their values in the US dominions like Puerto Rico or may be Guam.
Ali Ismail Matthew Brown

I think the questions all Canadians should ask themselves is -What does the USA have that is so much better than what we have here? -What is it that we want to achieve by this move? We don't have to merge with another country to have more trade or a better economic relation with that country. Canada would be the only country in the world that even thinks of such an idea as giving up their sovereignty. Any other country would laugh at the suggestion. Canada has only everything to loose and nothing to gain by such a move. America has everything to gain. The fact of the matter is that the security threat to Canada is nowhere near to the threat USA is facing. We are not a target of any country like china, N. Korea , Syria , Iraq, Iran, Cuba etc or groups like the Islamic fundamentalist. By becoming one with the USA we are adding on significant extra security risk to ourselves. Why would anyone in their right mind or not working for the USA want that to happen. I agree that we should assist, cooperate and follow the lead of Americans in not becoming a porous neighbour allowing security risks into the continent. That can be done without becoming one with the U.S. Canada should do all it can to maintain and improve trade relations with all countries, as with the United States. Why is our focus of trade relations only with the U.S. There is a whole world out there that can also benefit us. The over dependence on the U.S. has allowed them to dictate terms. This idea of merging with America is like a man putting all his eggs in one basket, handing it over to his rich neighbour and hoping to live a long retired life, that is as good as his neighbours. We all know that doesn't happen. Are Canadians getting too lazy to take care of themselves? Any such move is not reversible. I beg all Canadians to strongly oppose any such idea.

I used to be a strong supporter of the U.S. I was born in 1964, and I fell for/accepted, the dichotomy of 'us' versus the 'commies', for instance. In hindsight, I think things started to change, in my perception, with what I saw as Bush 'stealing' the election from Gore. Then there was a 'pregnant pause', until Sept.11/01. I fully supported U.S. action against the Terrorists, even in Afghanistan. Now I'm going to skip to the 'final straw' for me -- the conviction of Andrea Yates in the Texas murder-insanity trial. It shocked, and disgusted, and outraged me. So did CNN's coverage of it, at times. Then I began thinking of 'Enron' as a 'symptom' of the U.S. Then I saw Canadian lives being put at risk, Because of our Government. Involvement, participation in War on Terror (favourite CNN term). Related to that, the economic impact, re last Canadian Government budget, TO ME (NEGATIVE). I have 'outletted' my emotions and logic. 'vented' them on CNN feedback e-m, and it felt good to denounce the U.S. as morally and democratically BANKRUPT, and being the BIGGEST THREAT to world security -- declaring, I will no longer support the U.S. on anything. The Canadian. Government is quickly approaching a similar rebuke from me. (ie. $7-billion on security, $0 for Health Care)
Chris King

Not yet, our policies are still very distinct...but for the last twenty years though I've been hearing how the States want our water and other resources. On the other hand, a young adult grows more quickly when put into a situation to fend for itself...would Canada become stronger and learn to unite its country quickly in the event of militarily becoming independent? Maybe we've been depending on the States too long...
Jennifer Smith

Canada is the only country that criminals and terrorists, drug lords, cults etc. can come to by either walking, driving, flying or busing to, and when they set foot on our soil we put them up in hotels, feed and cloth them, go directly on medical, cash welfare, schooling to teach them English, offer and pay for any course or program they wish to enroll in, and will also bring in their relatives free of charge. Canada is the meeting place. Here they can plan who or what country they wish to bomb, terrorize in the comfort and safety of our country while they kill our American friends. We are as guilty as them and the American people should distance themselves from our generosity to our equal enemy.
Ken Helfrich

We are asked "Has Canada become the 51st state?", but the first and full question (the title of this article) puts us in the yr 2025... This is the type of question which has the potential of evoking coronary reaction in Canadians. But I ask - does every Canadian province have a unique character? Anyone who has traveled knows the answer. I've been to most provinces (sorry Nfld and Sask.) and I've also done some U.S. 'state hopping' this past summer 2001. The States in the U.S. have their own unique character too. Of course they do. So no - Canada would not become the 51st state. We could forever remain "unique" at least. Another obvious reason is that Canada is too huge to be one state, but perhaps the question was posed metaphorically. During a vacation in Vancouver in spring 1994 - I acquired a red maple-leaf tattoo over my heart. I love Canada. But larger than Canada - I support world peace and cooperation. I generally support 'continentalization', or the dissolving of the N.A. borders. Nor do I wince at the prospect of a future "United States of North America". There, I said it. Gone (should be) the days when it is vogue to dislike the States or Americans. Grow up. They are the most like Canadians. Why not embrace the non-fiction concept of peace and cooperation? Dare. Be a forward thinker. Cease putting your attention on what divides provinces or countries and focus on unity. O Canada, We do stand on guard for Thee, and we proceed, Fearless.
Wm. Bailey

Canadian integration with the U.S. will not stop with economics.

It's troubling. We haven't become the 51st state yet but I fear it is not far off. What the author barely touched on is that there are far greater issues at stake than money, but it always comes down to the dollar. The author mentioned the example of Germany and France and how amiably and unthreatening their relationship is. Perhaps it is because, for all intents and purpose, they are equal -economically speaking. On the other hand look at Scotland and its powerful southern neighbour, England. Scots have chaffed under England, and remain subservient. They have no significant power over their own affairs, their culture wanes. Being assimilated with the most powerful country in the world, there is absolutely no way Canada could maintain her interests, identity, and culture while having an open border.
Chantelle Carlson

Canada is becoming Canada. More than ever, I'm a Canadian, not a North American, and yet that allows more integration without loss of sovereignty. Like any relationship, the value is doomed if partners become too much like each other.
Steve Saines

I think that maybe the more appropriate question should be "How soon will Ontario become the 51st state?" ( Marcus Mayer

Terrific article. So logically presented and reasonably explained. My mother was American who crossed the 49th about 1915 as a child and spent her whole life in Canada. As you pointed out, in those days it didn't really matter about papers, Green Cards etc. She never did formalize her presence in Canada and led a full and successful life here. It worked back then. It could work now! Who needs the stupid border!?
Bryce Meausette

What does it mean to be Canadian? Well, let's see. Hmmm....I really can't think of anything that would sum it up better than to say, well, we're not like them Americans. (sarcasm intended) Canada should join the U.S. It's that simple. Get over this "Canadian identity" thing already -- it's a sham perpetuated by politicians and their appointed lackeys. Ottawa doesn't want us to wake up to the fact that we belong in the U.S., as a part of North America, and that Canada itself exists only as an outdated reaction of loyalty to a pathetic monarchy. So wake up people --- demand a referendum on this issue and join the rest of the world in the modern era. Don't worry, we'll still have the Stanley Cup playoffs.

We do not have time to keep going over this question forever. Time and time again Canadians have said they wish for their country to stay as it is. Free and sovereign, and I dare say, at any price. Rather, let us focus on continuing to build this beautiful country and join hands with countries that respect us like the European nations. If we must join anyone, let us reach out to the European Union instead.
R. Brisson

Of course not. Nor has the U.S. become the 11th province. It's a dumb question. A better question is: should we go further in building a North American economic and political community? In my opinion, yes. In Europe, the elites imposed a vision of Europe on narrow-minded nationalistic ordinary people. In North America, I suspect it will be the other way around. Ordinary people feel a strong sense of community. Americans are barely aware that Canada is a separate country. Nor do Canadians really think of the U.S. as a foreign country. Separate, slightly different, but not foreign. Governments have built a border with no counterpart in people's minds and hearts. All we need is for governments to dismantle this artificial border and North America will be reunited.
Paul Klein

"We've got to get to the purpose, rather than the thing. It has to be seen as a shared asset because, on balance, the threats to the two of us are shared. The differences we're looking for between us pale in comparison to what we face from the outside." I believe this quote gets to the heart of the matter. Canadians need to maintain their independent right to determine our enemies without. The threats to us are shared by agreement, by our consent. If we lose the right to determine the enemy without, soon we will lose the freedom to determine the enemy within.

We're not the 51st State yet! However, the possibility certainly exists that within the next two decades Canada will be integrated with the U.S. economically if not politically. The Americans are going to want to significantly increase their security along their northern border and will do it with or without our participation. Logic dictates that it would be preferable not to have a border there at all! Canada would not necessarily become a State but possibly a Territory like Puerto Rico. It really makes no sense to have a land mass like Canada occupied by a population that is less than California! No matter how much we wish not to be American, we are moving ever so much closer to them in every facet of everyday life. Along with the economic integration will come the adoption of the American dollar as the currency of North America. In most respects the American dollar is the de facto currency of the world now. I am not champing at the bit to become an American, but being a realist, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that we will at some point become part of the United States in some form or another.
Paul Foulkes

Watching how this country has been run lately, I don't think it could get any worse. Land of the free and home of the brave? Seems to be more appealing each day.
Mark Cebrowski

Sadly, we are not the 51 state. I wish we were. As I see it, Canadians have unwisely chosen to distance themselves from the US while failing, through our own faults,(enumeration available on request) to develop a viable independent alternative. If we are not going to act like a mature nation ourselves let's join one -- if the U.S. will have us.
Bertrand Clarke

It is an accomplished fact. Obvious to anyone living near any border crossing, or working in the manufacturing and energy sectors, we are already completely integrated. We share family, values, history and contemporary culture with America. Only the pseudo- intellectuals who lack influence, show no leadership qualities, and think Question Period is important, will deny this reality Who cares?
Johnny Johns

I would propose the following precondition to any negotiation on an open border: That the U.S. implement some very meaningful gun control legislation as well finding ways to relieve their citizens of a great deal of their existing weapons and ammunition. I would be utterly opposed to any deal that would allow weapons (new or used) to proliferate across Canada.
Thomas Wintschel

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