Lecturer: Canada is nervous about its relationship with United States

Abi Luempert

The class filed in slowly as the professor waited patiently.

However, this class mainly consisted of faculty and staff from the College of Education, Health and Human Services and only a handful of students. And the professor was not a typical Kent State professor, but a Hiram Mills professor at McGill University in Montreal.

Desmond Morton presented the first lecture of the year last night as part of the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education’s Distinguished Lecture Series in the Student Center Governance Chambers. Morton’s speech, “Perspectives From Your Friendly but Nervous Neighbor,” discussed Canada’s rising concerns with the United States.

“The crisis for Canada was not 9-11, but the next day – clang! The barrier was shut down. No exceptions,” Morton said as he described the instant freeze on all activity at the border after Sept. 11.

Whatever occurs in the United States has the potential to affect the Canadian economy, and that is what makes Canada nervous, Morton said.

Over four-fifths of Canada’s exports go to the United States, making it their biggest customer, Morton said.

However, Morton called the heavy reliance on U.S. business by Canadians “a foolish mistake.”

Canada is nervous, but still “very friendly and even envious of the United States,” Morton said as he discussed how his home country attempts to copy the United States in some ways.

“Canada uses the metric system to measure speed limits and other things, because we thought the United States was going to use it,” Morton said.

The professor also discussed the differences between the two countries. He said Canada appoints its judges; they are not elected.

Morton spoke about Canada’s history with Great Britain and the United States’ allegiance to protect them, which began with Franklin Roosevelt.

Morton also talked about the Canadians’ “pathetic military state” before the United States began to provide it with more updated equipment.

David England, the dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, said Morton’s lecture was a “well-informed insight into both the history and context of Canadian politics and relations of our country.”

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Abi Luempert at [email protected].