KAMLOOPS — It takes years to build a good friendship, and a very short time to destroy one.
Friendship takes trust, loyalty, dependability and honesty. Without those things, friendships quickly wither and die.
Canada has spent 200 years being America’s best friend. Donald Trump is ruining it in one term of office.
Canadians fought side by side with Americans in two World Wars and in the Korean conflict, the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
In 1979, the Canadian embassy in Iran sheltered six American diplomats from Islamist militants, and Canada helped get them back home safely.
After 9/11 the town of Gander, Newfoundland, with a population of 10,000, opened its hearts and homes to 7,000 stranded Americans.
The border between Canada and the United States is the longest undefended border in the world.
We are America’s largest trading partner. Each day, almost $2 billion changes hands in trade between us, and 400,000 people travel between our two countries.
And now, Donald Trump insults us. He calls us unfair. He says we’ve taken advantage of the U.S. He says Canada needs to be brought into line.
He hammers us on milk prices and softwood lumber. He threatens to ditch NAFTA if talks don’t go his way. He says he’ll put tariffs on aluminum and steel. He says what Canada has done to the U.S. is “a disgrace.”
That’s friendship? Justin Trudeau needs to tell Donald Trump straight out that we won’t stand for it.
Time to stand up to the bully. Renegotiate NAFTA if we can, but be ready to walk away if we can’t. Fight him on aluminum and steel. If he puts tariffs on our products, put them on his.
As for us regular folks, we need to tell our U.S. friends and relatives at every opportunity that Trump’s America is not our friend. We need new friends.
David and Goliath? Sure; there are 10 times as many Americans as Canadians.
But David didn’t roll over. He had the courage to fight.
So should we.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.