Canada Among Nations 2003: Coping With the American Colossus
By David Carment, Fen Osler Hampson, Norman Hillmer
Oxford University Press, 2003, 320 pp.
September 11: Consequences for Canada
By Kent Roach
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003, 208 pp.
These two important books demonstrate the vibrancy of Canadian debate about Canada's unavoidable relationship with the United States and how it has been transformed by the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the unilateralist response of the Bush administration. The volume edited by Carment, Hampson, and Hillmer offers an in-depth examination of U.S.-Canadian relations from an exclusively Canadian perspective. In it, experts argue that September 11 provoked a change in Washington's definition of national interest, with revolutionary implications for Canada, which has little latitude to charter autonomous courses because of its trade dependency (the U.S. share of Canada's exports has risen from 73 percent to 87 percent since the free trade agreement of 1998). They believe that Canada's essentially reactive diplomatic tradition is no longer sufficient and that Canada needs to develop a clear sense of what it wants out of the U.S.-Canadian relationship, as well as a strategy to achieve these goals in the face of unrelenting pressures for continued North American integration. Roach, in a more traditional nationalist account that is skillfully argued and not shrill in tone, looks with a critical eye at the specific consequences of September 11 for Canada, particularly the broad range of antiterrorist measures: the "smart borders" agreement, Canadian participation in the war in Afghanistan, changes in Canadian refugee policy, and new budget and public security legislation. He rejects the idea that September 11 changed everything and believes Canadians must "affirm the distinctiveness of Canadian values."