By Paul Cellucci
The past year has seen difficult times
for Canada, the United States and the civilized world. We suffered a blow,
a terrible blow. We were the victims, in the United States, of
premeditated and cowardly acts of terrorism. Now, defeating terrorism is
at the top of our already long list of international priorities.
I can tell you that the help started from
the very first moments of this tragedy. It started when the Prime Minister
called the Embassy in Ottawa and said: "Whatever we can do to
help." Across Canada, planes started arriving. Canadians opened their
homes and their hearts, and made sure that stranded passengers from the
United States and other countries were taken care of. There were
extraordinary acts of kindness.
The United States and Canada are now
working together to make sure that the US/Canada border does not become an
impediment to the economic recovery that is needed in both of our
countries. Obviously, there is an emphasis on security, but some have cast
this as a choice between security and prosperity. There is no choice
here-we cannot have one without the other. Security is a necessary
foundation upon which we build our prosperity.
I am confident we are well on the way to
putting this secure and smart border in place so that we can keep the
US/Canada border open for business.
In terms of softwood lumber, I know how
vitally important this issue is to the people and the economy of Canada
and, specifically, British Columbia. We should never lose sight of the
fact that this dispute is about real jobs, real people and real families
on both sides of the border. It is also about the economic health of
hundreds of communities across Canada and the United States. That's the
reason why this issue has been so emotional and so difficult. It is
affecting families and communities on both sides of the border.
I think it's important to note that the
United States government did not initiate the legal processes-the US
forest industry was the petitioner. But the US government is working very
hard to build a consensus to find a solution to this long-term dispute.
It is important to find a long-term
solution to this long-standing dispute. We will continue to work hard on
the US side to find the consensus needed to solve this dispute.
We are working together to defend our democratic way of life by defeating terrorism and working together to expand free trade to defeat poverty in this hemisphere and around the globe. I have been reminded each and every day in these historic times since the events of September 11 how lucky we are in the United States of America to have such great friends in Canada.
Paul Cellucci is US Ambassador to Canada and a former governor of Massachusetts. This is an edited version of a speech presented earlier this year.
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last modified on Thursday, October 07, 2004