Lecturer to speak about relationship with Canada

Nate Ulrich

The terrorism and war plaguing the United States has created concern among its allies, including Canada.

Desmond Morton will discuss Canada’s concerns in this year’s first installment of the Gerald H. Read Distinguished Lecture Series. The free lecture will be held at 5:30 p.m. today in the Governance Chambers in the Student Center.

Morton, who is the Hiram Mills professor of history at McGill University in Montreal, is a best-selling author of 37 books on Canadian politics and history. In a lecture titled “Perspectives of a Friendly but Nervous Neighbour,” Morton will discuss his thoughts on the United States’ impact on Canada.

Morton said Canadians have several reasons to be nervous about problems with their southern ally.

“We are nervous because the U.S. has become the world’s sole super-power,” Morton wrote in an e-mail interview. “History tells us that such a state is always temporary.”

Morton added that the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and the ongoing Iraq war have not only changed the United States forever, but they have transformed Canada as well.

“Over four-fifths of Canada’s exports, 44 percent of our gross domestic product, go to a single customer: the United States,” Morton said. ” Our day of terror was not Sept. 11 but Sept.12 when the U.S. slammed its borders shut.”

Kent den Heyer, an assistant professor in the College of Education, who is a native of Canada, echoed Morton’s concerns.

“Canada’s economy depends overwhelmingly on the free flow of trade between it and the United States,” den Heyer wrote via e-mail. “Any disruption or slow down of that flow in the interest of U.S. security therefore threatens to throw a kink into the Canadian economy.”

Den Heyer believes students can take advantage of Morton’s lecture to gain knowledge they need.

“What people can learn by attending Dr. Morton’s lecture is about the two experiments in democracy, one here in the U.S. and one in Canada,” den Heyer said. “They are radically different as far as I am concerned. His insights will be eye opening for those Americans, and all of us, who wish to take the time to think more deeply about the world.”

Linda Robertson, the director of the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education, said Morton’s 10 years in the Canadian Army give him a unique perspective on the Canadian military’s philosophy and how it relates to the philosophies of the U.S. government.

Contact College of Education reporter Nate Ulrich at [email protected].