Hugh Segal’s Canada-U.S. Union

Senator Hugh Segal is proposing to fold Canada into the United States. He’d include Mexico too. (Very generous!)

We should create a common “assembly,” he says – a legislature – in which elected representatives of the three “nations” do – um – whatever it is representatives do.

“Sovereignty is a vital national instrument. It is not a goal.” Sovereignty is not a goal. That’s Segal speaking. We can use our sovereighty for this or that purpose.

We could,  for example, give up a bit. We could give up Canada.

The proposal is contained in Segal’s new book, The Right Balance, Canada’s Conservative Tradition, just out from Douglas and McIntyre.

One of us is losing her mind. Or his mind. It might be me. Segal regards his vision as “conservative.” I always thought conservatives were a bit slow off the mark. Reluctant to entertain wild innovative visions. I thought Canadian conservatives had a certain fondness for Canada.

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7 Responses to “Hugh Segal’s Canada-U.S. Union”


  1. 1 Steve K February 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Is there a source on this? I’d love to read more about what this bonehead has to say about giving Canada to the US.

    • 2 janetajzenstat February 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Hugh Segal and Pamela Wallin, The Right Balance: Canada’s Conservative Tradition, Vancouver and Toronto Douglas & McIntyre. 2011. Amazon has it of course.

  2. 3 Stephen MacLean February 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Hear, hear, Dr Ajzenstat! Segal’s book may be on my reading list for the summer, but already I’m glum for any Canadian conservative renaissance—is this too an oxymoron?—given the reviews.

    The EU example may be instructive for, in addition to the repositioning of sovereignty as a mere bargaining chip (witness the deals cut to get recalcitrant countries to sign on to the Lisbon Treaty), British Tories would point to the growth in bureaucracy, loss of accountability, and burgeoning costs as additional reasons to eschew Segal’s proposal.

    Depressingly, Segal is often described as formed in the mould of fellow Kingstonian, Sir John A. Macdonald.

    Heaven help us!

  3. 4 Grant Havers February 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Segal, who, I recall, once described himself as a Red Tory, has forgotten one of the cardinal tenets of Canadian conservatism: Don’t prove George Grant right! If Segal has his way, Grant’s lament for Canada’s disappearance will be finally and brutally vindicated. I am concerned that Segal may be a rather inept mouthpiece for our corporate elites with a growing appetite for further continental integration with that declining, debt-ridden empire, the United States. How that would benefit the peaceable kingdom is beyond me. Peace, order, and good government would not last very long if we abandon the sovereignty that gives these principles substance in the first place.

  4. 5 Alastair Sweeny March 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I’m scratching my head over this one.

    Apart from the certainty that the Canadian legal profession will never allow this to happen, Senator Segal’s proposition makes no sense. Under NAFTA, each country has everything it needs from the others, and there are dispute settlement mechanisms in place. In particular, the Americans have free and unlimited access to our oil under NAFTA, priced in US dollars, and as I suggest in my recent book, Black Bonanza, we now have a fabulous resource in the Athabasca Sands of over one trillion barrels of synthetic crude, that we can extract for well under $50 a barrel.

    Let’s stick to the argument George-Etienne Cartier used with the BC delegates to persuade them to enter Confederation – “It is necessary to be anti-Yankee. We can and will build up a northern power.”

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