What's this? The little Canadian Beaver stands up to the Great Eagle and says "thanks, but no thanks, we don't want to join your missile club". In an act of sovereignty, Canada has decided to stay out of the missile defence shield, even though Paul Celucci has threatened to violate that sovereignty anyways by shooting at missiles no matter what.
Canada, though it is a branch plant economy of American corporations, is a sovereign nation. What does sovereignty mean?
"In international law, the important concept of sovereignty refers to the exercise of power by a state. De jure sovereignty refers to the legal right to do so; de facto sovereignty the ability in fact to do so (which becomes of special concern upon the failure of the usual expectation that de jure and de facto sovereignty exist at the place and time of concern, and rest in the same organization). Foreign governments recognize the sovereignty of a state over a territory, or refuse to do so."
Linda McQuaig has stated some very interesting points concerning this sovereignty issue:
"Canadian advocates of missile defence have long argued that joining the scheme is the best way to protect our sovereignty — the logic apparently being that Washington is going to intrude into our airspace anyway, so it's better if we look like that's what we wanted all along. It's only rape if you resist."
Some people have said that our refusal to join missile defence would make relations with the US a bit icy. Bill Graham says it hasn't. This is manipulation, and a sovereign nation does not let itself be manipulated. It's like any other relationship with a person who says "if you don't act the way I want you to, the I will cry, cut you off and throw a tantrum". Most adults don't tolerate this sort of behavior from little children, so why would we tolerate it from the US?
As is the case with politics, a firm "No" always means "No- for now". Things will change, and so far we have not joined yet. In the middle of all this gloating over our "Sovereignty" we might want to examine how some prominent Canadians are trying to sell it out completely. By this, I mean the Joint Task Force on the Future of North America.
The Council of Canadians has obtained a leaked document from this initiative, which can be found here. The Task Force sees China as an emerging threat, and opine that we should work towards negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas. Well, our refusal to join the MDS has struck a devastating blow to the objectives of this task force, who viewed cooperation on security between Canada and the US as a prime concern.
Is this really a blow to the Task Force's initiative? Time will tell if "no" really does mean "no".