Appreciation for US diplomats

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Our contributor Paul Jackson, in his day job as columnist for the Calgary Sun, writes of Canadian—American relations, and actually has words for praise for our diplomats and spokesmen.

I've always found Canadian diplomats and top government officials tight—lipped and evasive, while U.S. diplomats and top government officials speak freely and frankly without fear of retribution from their administration.

Just watch President George W. Bush's media spokesman Tony Snow on Fox News or CNN and he's open in a way no media spokesman for a Canadian prime minister or cabinet minister would ever be.

Starting in January, border crossing will require either a passport or a new high tech identification card. The United States has plans for such a card, and Jackson urges Canada to follow suit. He points out something I had not considered.

Yet, whether Canada decides to rely solely on the traditional passport or implement a simpler but high—tech security card as in the U.S., it will actually make cross—border travel easier and quicker than having to deal with dozens of different drivers' licences from different provinces and states, or citizenship or birth certificates.

Alberta's oil and natural gas resources are one of the aces in the hole we have for energy security, along with Arctic reserves (ANWR is only the tip of the ice cover), offshore drilling (especially off of Florida and California — both currently forbidden), federal lands in the West currently off limits for exploration, and last (and least) alternative fuels.

Thomas Lifson   10 31 06

Our contributor Paul Jackson, in his day job as columnist for the Calgary Sun, writes of Canadian—American relations, and actually has words for praise for our diplomats and spokesmen.

I've always found Canadian diplomats and top government officials tight—lipped and evasive, while U.S. diplomats and top government officials speak freely and frankly without fear of retribution from their administration.

Just watch President George W. Bush's media spokesman Tony Snow on Fox News or CNN and he's open in a way no media spokesman for a Canadian prime minister or cabinet minister would ever be.

Starting in January, border crossing will require either a passport or a new high tech identification card. The United States has plans for such a card, and Jackson urges Canada to follow suit. He points out something I had not considered.

Yet, whether Canada decides to rely solely on the traditional passport or implement a simpler but high—tech security card as in the U.S., it will actually make cross—border travel easier and quicker than having to deal with dozens of different drivers' licences from different provinces and states, or citizenship or birth certificates.

Alberta's oil and natural gas resources are one of the aces in the hole we have for energy security, along with Arctic reserves (ANWR is only the tip of the ice cover), offshore drilling (especially off of Florida and California — both currently forbidden), federal lands in the West currently off limits for exploration, and last (and least) alternative fuels.

Thomas Lifson   10 31 06