While I was reading Mr. Cowen's book over the weekend at the Chapters on Rideau Street, I paused in the middle of the sixth chapter to detachedly watch the 'I hate America' march go by. For those of you who weren't aware Canada had such protests, well, you're now informed. As for why it was passing a bookstore, Parliament Hill is the next block over.
I saw signs which denounced:
1) Mr. Bush personally
2) Republicans in general
3) American health care
5) The Iraq situation
6) The Afghanistan situation
7) The American electoral system
8) probably some I'm forgetting
9) The SPP
If you're not Canadian, you probably have little idea what the SPP, or the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is. I admit I had to google to get the acronym, but I was well aware how it is portrayed: The leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the US sit down and conspire on how to meld us into one large country.
This view of the SPP is apparently taken seriously in Ottawa; it never gained such traction in St. John's. Now, while I generally view most all protests as a chance simply to have an enjoyable scuffle with police, or try to impress a certain activist someone you've been trying to ask out, I suspect Ottawa is unique in its loathing of the alleged SPP goal of some sort of grand merge.
Ottawa is a government town, plain and simple, and people here live in absolute fear of anything that will upset the unending supply of cushy jobs. Obviously, a North American union could not be based out of Ottawa (my bet would be a new town constructed from scratch around Rugby, North Dakota), which causes the civil servants here no end of nightmares.
Basically there's nothing to it except the chance for three intertwined nations to sit down and discuss a few mutual priorities. Hardly cause for paranoia.