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Bush thanks CANADIANS for 9/11 help -- Whoa!

By Garion11 ·
And here I thought all Americans were evil and Bush was a terrorist.

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday said that the United States and Canada share a special kinship and thanked Canadians for the hospitality they showed thousands of American travelers in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"Thank you for your kindness to America in an hour of need," Bush told an audience in Halifax.

"Our two peoples are one family and always will be," he said.

After the attacks, about 33,000 travelers were stranded in Canada when the United States closed its airspace.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin described the hospitality of residents, who offered passengers their homes, and in many cases their beds, and scrambled to provide meals and showers.

"That's what neighbors do, that's what friends do," Martin said.

Bush was greeted with warm applause and thanked the crowd for their kindness after the attacks.

"For days after September 11, Canadians came to the aid of men and women and children who were worried and confused and had nowhere to sleep," he said, adding that they asked for nothing in return.

On Tuesday, Bush dismissed concerns about strained ties between the United States and Canada, thanking those Canadians who turned out to wave "with all five fingers" during his first official visit.

Bush said he understood that many Canadians opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 but added, "I'm the kind of fellow who does what he thinks is right and will continue to do what I think is right."

Bush and Martin said Tuesday that they agreed to work "in a practical way toward common goals," including tightening border security and resolving trade disputes.

But Martin expressed frustration with a continuing U.S. ban on Canadian cattle, imposed after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state in 2003, and the dispute over a 27 percent tariff the Bush administration imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports in 2001.

On the cattle issue, Martin said scientific tests have "clearly demonstrated that a decision should be taken, and a favorable decision to Canada should be taken as quickly as possible."

"This has been studied to death," he said.

Bush said he understood Martin's frustration but that U.S. law requires the White House Office of Management and Budget to review proposed Agriculture Department regulations before his administration can lift the ban.

"I fully understand the cattle business. I understand the pressures placed upon Canadian ranchers," he said. But he noted, "There's a bureaucracy involved. I readily concede we've got one."

Asked about polls that suggested U.S. and Canadian public opinion drifting apart on major issues such as the war in Iraq, Bush said he hadn't seen those surveys. But he added, "We just had a poll in our country when people decided that the foreign policy of the Bush administration ought to stay in place for four more years."

"It's a foreign policy that works with our neighbors. Trade between our countries has never been stronger," he said. "But it's a foreign policy that also understands that we've got an obligation to defend our security."

Addressing another international issue, Bush called Iran's recent decision to suspend its uranium enrichment program temporarily a good first step, but he said the United States wants to see a permanent halt to the program. (Full story)

Bush said he received a "very warm and hospitable" welcome in Ottawa.

But outside the news conference, a large crowd of demonstrators engaged in shoving matches with police and waved signs calling Bush an "international terrorist" and demanding he end "the massacre in Iraq." Others bluntly said, "Go home." (Full story)

Bush had planned to visit Canada in 2003, but the trip was scrubbed after then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien refused to contribute troops to the invasion of Iraq.

Both countries said Iraq was not a factor in the decision to cancel the trip, but it was not rescheduled until Chretien retired in December.

Further aggravating the situation were critical comments from Chretien's spokesman, who called Bush a "moron," and a member of Parliament from the prime minister's center-left Liberal Party, who cursed Americans.

The spokesman was fired, but the Parliament member, Carolyn Parrish, was re-elected to her suburban Toronto, Ontario, seat in June. She has continued her criticism, telling reporters after Bush's re-election that the results showed Americans were "completely out of step" with the rest of the world.

The Liberal Party, now led by Martin, kicked Parrish out of its parliamentary caucus this month after she was shown stomping on a Bush doll during a television spoof.

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Not exactly what I heard

by Aldanatech In reply to Bush thanks CANADIANS for ...

From what I know, most Canadians are not exactly "pleased" with Bush:

OTTAWA, Canada (AP) -- Holding up signs calling U.S. President George W. Bush a "war criminal" and "liar," a few thousand demonstrators rallied in the Canadian capital Tuesday to protest his visit, the U.S.-led war in Iraq and a host of other issues.

Organizers said about 5,000 people, many of whom rode buses overnight from across Ontario and Quebec, held a rally at Ottawa's City Hall before a planned march on Canada's Parliament buildings. Police put the figure at between 2,500 to 3,000.

Making his first official visit to Canada, Bush arrived Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Paul Martin. Bush was welcomed by many placards and signs along his motorcade route, including a truck parked nearby that was emblazoned with the phrase "Bush is a war criminal." Another placard branded him an "assassin."

Much the anger seemed focused on Bush's decision to invade Iraq. Canada decided against sending troops to Iraq -- a decision supported by more than 80 percent of Canadians.

"Canada is not against America. We're totally against Bush," explained Fredric White, a 40-year-old who works for an entertainment company, who stood by the Parliament building as the president's motorcade arrived.

"He's arrogant and ignorant. We totally disdain his policies on the war and his treatment of the U.N.," White said. "The administration has an imperialist attitude where he thinks he can take over countries by bombing them."

One group, the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, planned to roll out a so-called "unwelcome mat" for Bush -- a giant carpet-turned-protest-sign.

Protesters also voiced disapproval over trade issues and U.S. efforts to get Canada involved in the continental missile defense shield.

Christy Ferguson, a 27-year-old activist with Greenpeace, held a large banner saying "Stop Star Wars."

"We think Canada shouldn't even be talking to the U.S. about missile defense because it's driving nuclear proliferation around the world," she said.

Martin has promised an open debate in the House of Commons on whether Canada should take part in the defense program. Polls show a majority of Canadians are against joining the system, calling it destabilizing and a misguided effort to put weapons in space.

An Ipsos-Reid/CTV poll released Tuesday shows 58 percent of Canadians think Bush's re-election was a "bad thing," while 26 percent believed it was good. The poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians and had an margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Joe Cressy, an organizer for the anti-Bush rally and a student at Carlton University in Ottawa, called the protests a "direct communication link to Bush" -- but also "a message to our prime minister that he should not support Bush's policies."

Gathered at the City Hall rally, Lawrence Wueft, a 60-year-old sculptor from the eastern province of New Brunswick held up a banner made from a bed sheet that read: "Bush, go home. Keep your bloody hands off Canada."

"Bush, you're involved in an illegal war. Don't involve Canada in that illegal war," he said.

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Western Canada

by Bob in Calgary In reply to Not exactly what I heard

Here in the west 90% plus think PM Martin was the wrong choice so if only 58% think Bush is "Bad" it makes him more popular than our own PM. If we say we like him will you please reopen the border to Canadian Beef.
Useless fact of the day, BSE affects only Bovines, ie cows, Thats why it's called BOVINE spongiform encephalytis. So why close the border to Llamas and Alpacas They are camelids.

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Because we are meanies...

by Packet Spoofer In reply to Western Canada

haven't you heard?!

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Because of economic interest, not science

by JamesRL In reply to Because we are meanies...

The BSE thing is pretty galling as a Canadian.

Canada had one sick cow. Japan had three(out of a much smaller cattle population) The US blocks Canadian beef, to protect their beef exports to Japan. Does the US block beef imports from Japan? No - you can pay a fortune for a Kobe beef steak in many major cities, but no Alberta beef.

Why does the US drag its feet, even though Canada is as strict about monitoring and testing as the US is - because there was an election and the farmers/meat packers and others lobbied hard.

Same thing with softwood lumber. Three times has the US lost the ruling, but why do they persist -because the penalties assessed against the US are not as high as the benefit they get from the tariff they have imposed while seeking a ruling. In the meantime, Canadians get laid off and Canadian forest companies edge towards bankruptcy.
And by the way, Americans buying new homes pay more. Care to guess who lobbies the government to continue taking it to the court?

Bush will move on beef, but the earliest he could act is 120 days. And no doubt he will ask for something in return.


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But Llamas and Alpacas

by Bob in Calgary In reply to Because of economic inter ...

When the border shut to beef they also shut it to Camelids Which are a totally different species to Cattle That was my first point.
With regard to the beef closure it is causing enormouse hardship for our cattle industry, But be careful, Ranchers are beginning to invest in infrastructure to support Canadian cattle once this is in place we will not need to process live animals in the US. This will be a big impact to the US industry plus the fact that Alberta Beef is the best in the world. The US will see their markets disappear.

We were hoping to see Bush move on the closure but He doesn't seem to want to. Maybe we should shut the border to Oil and Gas going to the US and see how quickly things would move then.

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Like that?ll ever happen

by ProtiusX In reply to But Llamas and Alpacas

Canada is more dependant on the American dollar than you care to admit. But hey no problem cut off the oil. The Bush administration is working to open our own oil reserves in Alaska. I think it?s high time the US became energy independent from the rest of the world. Then we wouldn?t be so vulnerable to extortion from other countries.

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Canadian oil

by house In reply to Like that?ll ever happen

That doesn't make very much sense to me. Even in Canada it is actually cheaper for us to bring in oil than to use our own. Weird the way the world works.

PS-No more fresh water for you!!! Joke.

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Two way street

by JamesRL In reply to Like that?ll ever happen

Canada and the US are dependant on each other. Quebec supplies electricity to New England. Alberta supplies natural gas and oil to the western US.

We both rely on each other for markets for our goods. You might think that the US, being 10 times the size population and economy wise, would be more able to stick it out alone. But the US imports more from Canada than Canada imports from the US. The US could replace those imports, but at a higher cost.

The US imports a lot of raw materials, unfinished goods and energy from Canada that US industries depends on.

Canada is not extorting the US, Canada is tired of allowing the US to bully Canada. And Canada will fight back - finally. We have had many court rulings that favour us, but the US ignores them. Its time to slap tarriffs on US imports in retaliation - sad to say as a free trader, but necessary.

Good business is when both parties get good value out of the partnership. Hopefully we can get back to that stage, but we aren't there right now.


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American media bias

by JamesRL In reply to Not exactly what I heard

Does anyone here not appreciate that whether you think they are right or left or whatever, they will present whatever story makes scandulous headlines.

Sure there were protestors. But nothing like the numbers that the last APEC(Asia Pacific Economic ) or G8 meetings had. Between Carleton (note the spelling, its my alma mater) and University of Ottawa, there are close to 50,000 students. Many people bussed up from Toronto and Montreal. So all in all not a big turnout.

What I don't know if you saw was the pictures of the people who waved and cheered at Bush as the limo drove from the airport. I'm sure not all these people supported the war in Iraq, but they were happy to have Bush meeting one on one with Martin to try and resolve some of the outstanding issues.

And to top it off I saw the CNN's Tucker Carlson clip where he compared Canada to a colder Honduras. Does Hondauras do a Billion dollars a day in trade with the US?

Carolyn Parrish is a blowhard who was kicked out of the Liberal party for being as insulting of her party leader as she was of Bush. But even she promised not to boo Bush if he addressed the House of Commons(which he declined to do). Even the leader of the NDP(socialists) had a few words with Bush - concerns about the missle program.

Canada is somewhat concerned about the anti-missle program, even some defense minded right wingers have concerns about a) the feasability and b) the slippery slope - starts with ground based and could escalate to space base weapons.

I could have gone to the republican convention and found more interesting protesters than above.

I am not particularly pleased with Bush. Not on the war, not on the many bi-lateral trade issues with Canada. But I would rather engage and talk with him to try and work things out, than insult him.


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Excellent post

by Garion11 In reply to American media bias

"But I would rather engage and talk with him to try and work things out, than insult him."

That says it all.

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