Transcript: Jeffrey Simpson on Canada's Global Agenda At Home and Abroad | Apr 16, 2005

Jeffrey Simpson stands behind a wooden lectern in a classroom, with large green chalkboards behind him.
He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with side-parted straight brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and striped black tie.

He says SO LET ME
BEGIN BY SAYING THAT MOST OF
US, AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER,
HAVE IN THESE CHAPTERS STORES,
AND YOU SEE UP ON THE WALL,
THIS SLOGAN, "THE WORLD NEEDS
MORE CANADA."
AND IT'S, AS MARKETING SLOGANS
GO, I THINK RATHER CLEVER,
BECAUSE IT APPEALS TO OUR
PATRIOTISM AND IT MAKES
CANADIANS FEEL JUSTIFIABLY GOOD
ABOUT OUR LITERATURE, OUR WRITERS.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Jeffrey Simpson. The Globe and Mail. Canada's global agenda: At home and abroad. U of T at Mississauga. March 2, 2005."

Jeffrey continues AND IT ALSO
REFLECTS A KIND OF NATIONAL
CONCEIT, THAT WE AS CANADIANS
ARE WELCOMED AND RESPECTED AND
NEEDED IN THE WORLD.
AND THE INFERENCE IS THAT THE
WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE
IF THERE WERE MORE CANADIANS
PRESENT IN IT.
AND EVEN PRIME MINISTER PAUL MARTIN HAS
LITERALLY APPROPRIATED THAT
SLOGAN IN SEVERAL OF HIS
SPEECHES, THAT THE WORLD NEEDS
MORE CANADA.
EVERY TIME I SEE THAT SLOGAN OR
I HEAR THAT SLOGAN, I SAY TO
MYSELF, I ACTUALLY THINK THAT
THE SLOGAN HAS IT EXACTLY
BACKWARDS.
THE WORLD MAY OR MAY NOT NEED
MORE CANADA, BUT CANADA NEEDS
MORE OF THE WORLD.
I WANT TO SUGGEST THAT OUR
COUNTRY WHICH HAS ONLY 32
MILLION PEOPLE, DEPENDS VITALLY
AND URGENTLY ON ESTABLISHING,
BY ALL MEANS AND THROUGH ALL
AVAILABLE INSTITUTIONS, THE
REALITY, NOT JUST THE
REPUTATION, NOT JUST THE
MARKETING SLOGAN, BUT THE
REALITY OF BECOMING THE MOST
INTERNATIONALLY CONNECTED
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, AND IT'S
IN THAT SENSE THAT CANADA NEEDS
MORE OF THE WORLD.
IT CAN ONLY PROSPER, WE CAN
ONLY PROSPER BY BECOMING
MARKEDLY MORE GLOBAL IN OUR
THINKING, AND OUR INSTITUTIONS,
CENTRAL TO WHICH ARE THE
INSTITUTIONS AND THE POLICIES
THAT PROMOTE HUMAN CAPITAL
DEVELOPMENT.
WE CAN'T BECOME, AND WE DON'T
WANT TO BECOME THE MOST
POWERFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD,
MILITARILY OR POLITICALLY, THAT
WOULD BE ABSURD.
AND CANADA NEED NOT EVEN BECOME
THE WORLD'S RICHEST COUNTRY ON
A PER CAPITA BASIS, IN PART
BECAUSE THE DEFINITION OF PER
CAPITA INCOME IS SOMETHING THAT
CAN BE DECEIVING AND DEBATED.
BUT RATHER, WE SHOULD ESTABLISH
IT AS A VISION, THAT WE HAVE IT
WITHIN OUR MEANS AND WE TRY TO
MAKE IT WITHIN OUR POLICIES TO
CONNECT THIS COUNTRY TO THE
WORLD AS NO COUNTRY IN THE
WORLD IS CONNECTED, BECAUSE
APART FROM OUR NATURAL
RESOURCES, IT'S ONLY BY
BECOMING GLOBAL IN OUR THINKING
AND OUR ACTIONS, AND
RECOGNISING THAT IN THE GLOBAL
WORLD OF TODAY AND TOMORROW,
COUNTRIES WITH THE BEST
EQUIPPED WORKFORCES WILL
SUCCEED.
THAT'S THE ONLY PLACE THAT OUR
REAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE MAY
LIE.
AND IN A COUNTRY THAT'S OFTEN
SEARCHING FOR A NATIONAL
VISION, I SUGGEST THAT THAT IS
ONE, IN FACT THAT IS THE ONE.
I THINK IT'S COMPELLING, I
THINK IT'S CLEAR, BUT I THINK
IT'S WAITING FOR POLITICAL
EXPRESSION.
AND WE HAVE SOME OF THE TOOLS
FOR THAT SUCCESS NOW, BUT WE
LACK OTHERS.
WE'VE GOT, FOR EXAMPLE, AS
DOMESTIC OFFICIAL LANGUAGES,
HAPPILY TWO OF THE WORLDS
LEADING INTERNATIONAL
LANGUAGES.
WE HAVE, AND THIS CAMPUS IS THE
CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF THAT, AN
INCREASINGLY MULTICULTURAL THAT
CONNECTS US DIRECTLY TO MANY
CORNERS OF THE WORLD.
WE HAVE A HIGHLY TRADE
DEPENDENT ECONOMY, THE MOST
TRE DEPENDENT OF ANY OF THE
G8 COUNTRIES.
AND WE HAVE ROLE MODELS, AS
CANADIANS, LEADING
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS,
PLAYING IMPORTANT ROLES IN THE
WORLD.
AND WE'VE GOT CANADIANS AT HOME
WHO UNDERSTAND THE
PREREQUISITES OF MAKING THE
COUNTRY AS GLOBAL AS WE CAN.
AND WE ENJOY A...
AND I SAY THIS AS SOMEBODY
WHO'S DONE A LOT OF TRAVELLING,
WE ENJOY A POSITIVE, IF
SOMEWHAT BLURRY, INTERNATIONAL
REPUTATION, AT A TIME, SADLY
FOR THEM, WHEN OUR AMERICAN
FRIENDS' STANDING IN THE WORLD
HAS RATHER PRECIPITOUSLY
DECLINED.
AND WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE.
WE SPENT THE BETTER PART OF TWO
DECADES IN THIS COUNTRY TRYING
TO LINE UP SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
POLICIES.
WHEN THEY WEREN'T PROPERLY
ALIGNED, WE RAN HUGE BUDGETARY
DEFICITS THAT DISTENDED PUBLIC
FINANCE, AND ROBBED US OF OUR
ABILITY TO MAKE STRATEGIC
PUBLIC INVESTMENTS, BECAUSE SO
MUCH MONEY, SO MUCH GOVERNMENT
REVENUE WAS BEING INEXORABLY,
AND NECESSARILY SHOVELLED INTO
DEBT REPAYMENT, TO OURSELVES,
BUT ALSO, IN LARGE MEASURE TO
FOREIGNERS.
BUT NOW, WE ARE THE ONLY
LEADING INDUSTRIAL COUNTRY, AND
WE HAVE BEEN FOR SOME YEARS
NOW, THAT HAS A SOLID BALANCE SHEET.
SO JUST AS CORRECTLY ALIGNING SOCIAL AND
ECONOMIC POLICY WAS THE GREAT
NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE
LAST DECADE, ALIGNING DOMESTIC
POLICIES AND OUR INSTITUTIONS
FOR TOMORROW'S GLOBAL
CHALLENGES IS GOING TO BE THE
REQUIREMENT FOR THIS AND FOR
SUCCEEDING DECADES.
THAT WE COULD DO ONE, ALBEIT AFTER A
LOT OF DIFFICULTY, AND IT TOOK
US 20 YEARS, LEADS ME TO
BELIEVE THAT WITH THE RIGHT
PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING AND
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, WE CAN
ACHIEVE THE SECOND.
NOW GLOBAL REALITY MEANS THIS.
WE CAN'T SOLVE ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES ALONE.
FOR EXAMPLE, OUR CLIMATE AND
OUR AIR AND OUR OCEANS AND SOME
OF OUR RIVERS ALL-- ALL DEPEND
ON INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION,
AND WE CAN'T COMPETE
ECONOMICALLY IF WE DON'T HAVE
LARGE CANADIAN BASED AND
CANADIAN OWNED COMPANIES,
BECAUSE THE FATE OF TOO MANY
BRANCH PLANTS -- NOT ALL OF
THEM, BUT TOO MANY BRANCH
PLANTS IS TO REMAIN AN
APPENDAGE AND NOT A LEADER IN
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT.
AND WE CAN'T MEET THE DEMANDS
OF CHINA OR INDIAN OR MEXICO,
OR MANY OTHER COUNTRIES WHO
WANT A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR
PEOPLE, AND WHOSE NATIONAL
AMBITIONS ARE NOT GOING TO
DISAPPEAR, BY LOWERING OUR
WAGES AND DIMINISHING OUR
EXPECTATIONS, BUT RATHER BY
ENHANCING OUR SKILLS AND
IMPROVING OUR PRODUCTIVITY.
WE CAN'T INNOVATE, WE CAN'T DO
CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH, WE CAN'T
MAKE DISCOVERIES AND
COMMERCIALISE THEM UNLESS WE
RETAIN AND ATTRACT TALENTED
PEOPLE AND GREAT BRAINS HERE,
AND PUT THEM IN TOUCH WITH
THEIR COUNTERPARTS OVERSEAS.
IN OTHER WORDS, WE CAN'T
RETREAT INTO PROTECTIONISM, WE
CAN'T BUILD FIREWALLS, WE CAN'T
CONTINUE WITH COMFORTABLE AND
OLD WAYS OF DOING THINGS, OR
ELSE, OURS IS GOING TO BE A
GENTLE, AND IT WILL BE GENTLE,
MEDIOCRITY, IN A WORLD THAT
DOESN'T NEED CANADA, NO MATTER
WHAT THAT SLOGAN SAYS AND NO
MATTER WHAT A RATHER SMUG
NATIONAL SELF CONGRATULATION
MIGHT SUSPECT.
NOW THIS KIND OF NATIONAL
AGENDA THAT I'M TALKING ABOUT
IS NOT A DOG EAT DOG ONE, IT'S
NOT SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST,
BECAUSE THE PROJECTION OF OUR
VALUES, OR WHAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
USED TO CALL THE BETTER ANGELS
OF OUR NATURE, IS NOT
INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURSUIT
OF OUR INTERESTS.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS, MORE AND BETTER
TARGETED, AND THAT'S IMPORTANT,
BETTER TARGETED FOREIGN AID,
CAN MAKE FOR A MORE STABLE AND
MORE JUST WORLD, WHICH IS IN
OUR INTEREST AS A COUNTRY THAT
BENEFITS FROM INTERNATIONAL
STABILITY, AND IS ALSO
CONSISTENT WITH OUR VALUES.
AND INVESTMENTS AT HOME, IN
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, CAN
MAKE US, OVER TIME, MORE
INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE AND
ASSIST THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT.
AND INVESTMENTS AT HOME TO
ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO HAVE
BETTER ACCESS TO SKILLS AND
LEARNING DEVELOPMENT, FOR
EXAMPLE, FACILITATING THE
DOMESTIC ACCREDITATION OF
FOREIGN CREDENTIALS IS NOT ONLY
CONSISTENT WITH OUR VALUES, IT
SERVES OUR INTERESTS VERY
DIRECTLY AS WELL.
SO THERE ISN'T NECESSARILY A
CONFLICT BETWEEN THE PROJECTION
OF OUR VALUES AND THE
PROTECTION OF OUR INTERESTS IF
WE THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS
CREATIVELY, AND GLOBALLY.
IN MY JUDGEMENT, NO POLITICAL
PARTY, FEDERAL OR PROVINCIAL,
FULLY GRASPS THIS CHALLENGE.
THEY ARE TOO BUSY, HEADS DOWN,
SCRABBLING FOR POLITICAL
ADVANTAGE, WHICH MEANS FINDING
OUT THROUGH POLLS WHAT PEOPLE
ARE DEEMED TO WANT TODAY, AND
TRYING TO DELIVER IT WITH THE
TAXPAYERS' OWN MONEY.
OR LOOKING FOR POLITICAL GAIN IN
YESTERDAY'S NEWS, SUCH AS THE
SPONSORSHIP SCANDAL.
EVERY DAY, MY PAPER REPORTS IT
EVERY DAY.
EVERY DAY WHEN YOU READ A STORY
ABOUT THE POLITICAL EXCHANGES
SURROUNDING THE SPONSORSHIP
SCANDAL, YOU WANT TO ASK
YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING
QUESTION, WHAT GOOD DID THAT
EXCHANGE DO IN DEFINING WHERE
CANADA NEEDS TO GO IN THE NEXT
CENTURY?
AND THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR A
GREAT DEAL OF WHAT PASSES FOR
POLITICAL DEBATE, I REGRET TO
SAY, IN OTTAWA, AND IN MANY OF
THE PROVINCES.
IT TAKES LEADERSHIP OF A VERY
RARE KIND TO RAISE SIGHTS
BEYOND THE TRAVAILS OF TODAY
AND FRAME A VISION FOR THE
FUTURE THAT IS GOING TO BE
RIDICULED BY MANY, IT'S GOING
TO BE SLOUGHED OFF AS
IRRELEVANT BY OTHERS.
IT'S GOING TO BE DISMISSED AS
TWADDLE BY STILL OTHERS, AND
DERIDED FOR NOT DEALING WITH
THE POTHOLES OF TODAY.
AND NEEDLESS TO SAY, THAT KIND
OF LEADERSHIP IS IN VERY SHORT
SUPPLY TODAY -- EXCEPT THAT
ANYBODY WHO TRAVELS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, AS I AM PRIVILEGED TO
DO, AND COCKS AN EAR FOR WHAT A
NUMBER OF CANADIANS, ESPECIALLY
YOUNG CANADIANS ARE SAYING, AND
MARRIES WHAT IS HEARD WITH WHAT
IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD,
KNOWS THAT THERE IS A
CONSTITUENCY FOR THE KIND OF
NATIONAL VISION THAT I'M
TALKING ABOUT, AND AS I SAY, IT
IS ESPECIALLY AMONG THE YOUNG.
AND I THINK THAT A POLITICAL
LEADER THAT ARTICULATED THIS
KIND OF IDEA OR THESE KINDS OF
IDEAS, WOULD BE, IN DUE COURSE
CAPABLE OF FINDING A READY
AUDIENCE.
I SAY, TANGENTIALLY, THAT I'VE
BEEN ON A NUMBER OF UNIVERSITY
CAMPUSES IN THE LAST 10, 12, 14
MONTHS, FROM ONE END OF THE
COUNTRY TO THE OTHER, AND AS I
WAS SAYING DURING OUR
RECEPTION, I ASK PEOPLE IN
THESE UNIVERSITIES WHAT'S HOT?
YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THE COURSES
THAT THE STUDENTS ARE
INTERESTED IN, WHAT ARE THEY
ORIENTING THEMSELVES TO?
AND I CAN TELL YOU WITHOUT
EXCEPTION, IN THESE
UNIVERSITIES, THE ANSWER IS
INTERNATIONAL.
POLITICAL SCIENCE,
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LAW,
THE STUDENTS WANT TO BE GLOBAL,
THEY WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT
THE WORLD, THEY WANT TO PROJECT
THEMSELVES INTO THE WORLD.
THAT'S WHAT I'M HEARING.
SO I THINK THAT THAT
CONSTITUENCY IS LYING OUT THERE
WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO GATHER
IT UP, AND PUT IT INTO A
COHERENT NATIONAL PATTERN.
IT CAN BE SAID WITH
CONSIDERABLE CERTAINTY, THAT
OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND A
BETTER FUTURE DON'T LIE IN
ENDLESS FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL
NEGOTIATIONS.
AND IT DOESN'T LIE WITH
PLOUGHING TENS AND TENS OF
ADDITIONAL BILLIONS OF DOLLARS
INTO A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT
IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO
CHANGE, AT THE EXPENSE -- AND
LET US BE CLEAR, IT IS AT THE
EXPENSE OF OTHER IMPORTANT
PUBLIC PRIORITIES.
INDEED THE VAST SUMS OF MONEY
THAT WE HAVE BEEN AND WILL
CONTINUE TO POUR INTO THE
INEXHAUSTIBLE MAW OF OUR
SECULARLY SACRED HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM IMPEDES THE COUNTRY'S
PREPARATION FOR FUTURE SUCCESS,
BECAUSE THAT MAW SUCKS UP AND
IS SUCKING UP AND WILL CONTINUE
TO SUCK UP MONEY FROM ALL OTHER
AREAS OF PUBLIC SPENDING,
INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY POST
SECONDARY EDUCATION.
AND NO POLITICIAN, UNTIL
PERHAPS VERY, VERY RECENTLY,
HAS HAD THE POLITICAL COURAGE
TO EXPLAIN THIS SELF-EVIDENT
ARITHMETICALLY VERIFIABLE TRUTH
TO CANADIANS, SO FEARFUL IS THE
POLITICAL CLASS OF ANTICIPATED
PUBLIC WRATH.
AND SUCCESS DOESN'T LIE IN
ENDLESS DISCUSSIONS OF
ASYMMETRICAL FEDERALISM, AND IT
DOESN'T LIE WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT INTRUDING ITSELF
WILLY-NILLY IN AREAS OF
PROVINCIAL JURISDICTION, WHERE
IT HAS LITTLE EXPERTISE, MAKING
DEMANDS THAT PROVINCES BEHAVE
IN CERTAIN WAYS, IN GRATEFUL
RECOGNITION OF FEDERAL CASH.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT DOESN'T LIE
IN THE KIND OF POLL DRIVEN
AGENDA OF THE PRESENT FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, WHOSE INTERVENTIONS
IN AREAS OF PROVINCIAL
JURISDICTION ARE PRODUCING ALL
THESE USELESS AND
COUNTERPRODUCTIVE FEDERAL-
PROVINCIAL TENSIONS, AND NOR IN
THE DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING KNEE-
JERK REACTION OF THE OPPOSITION
CONSERVATIVES.
AND IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T LIE WITH THE
BLOC QUEBECOIS WHICH WANTS TO
BREAK UP CANADA TO MAKE IT
WEAKER -- TWO WEAKER STATES,
AND CREATE TWO SMALLER
ENTITIES, BOTH MORE SELF
ABSORBED THAN WE ARE AT THE
MOMENT.
RATHER, THIS INTERNATIONALIST
VISION WHICH I'M EXPLAINING, OR
TRYING TO OUTLINE ACTUALLY LIES
LARGELY, NOT EXCLUSIVELY, BUT
LARGELY WITHIN FEDERAL JURISDICTION.
AND IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR A NATIONAL
GOVERNMENT THAT CAN SPEAK ON
BEHALF OF ALL CANADIANS, AND IS
THEREFORE UNIQUELY CAPABLE OF
RALLYING THE DISPARATE PARTS OF
CANADA INTO A NEW NATIONAL
PROJECT.
ALL THESE DISCUSSIONS OF THE
SO-CALLED FISCAL IMBALANCE OR
WHAT THEY CALL IN FRENCH, THE
DESEQUILIBRE FISCAL, IT'S
INSPIRED BY PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENTS THAT HAVE MORE THAN
ADEQUATE TAXING POWER IF THEY
WISH TO USE IT.
ALL OF THAT WOULD CEASE IF
OTTAWA HAD A ROBUST AND
VIGOROUS INTERNATIONALIST
AGENDA, BECAUSE THAT AGENDA
DOES REQUIRE REAL INVESTMENTS
IN NEW FEDERAL MONEY, FOR
RESEARCH, TRAINING, POST-
SECONDARY EDUCATION, FOREIGN
AID, FOREIGN POLICY, CLIMATE
CHANGE, ETC.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THIS
INTERNATIONALIST PROJECT LIE IN
UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING UTTERLY
KEY, AND THAT IS, THE WAY IN
WHICH THE WORLD, WHETHER WE
KNOW IT IN DETAIL OR NOT, IS
RAINING DOWN UPON US.
HOW OUR INDUSTRIES AND OUR
ECONOMY, HOW OUR AIR AND OUR
WATER, HOW OUR FORESTS AND OUR
FIELDS, HOW OUR UNIVERSITIES
AND OUR COLLEGES, HOW OUR
GOVERNMENTS, OUR SCIENTIFIC AND
RESEARCH AND CULTURAL
PRODUCERS, HOW ALMOST EVERY
ASPECT OF OUR DAILY LIVES AND
OUR FUTURE ARE INCREASINGLY
TIED TO THE PRESSURES, THE
DRIVES, THE TREATIES, THE
NEGOTIATIONS, THE SHEER WEIGHT
OF THE WORLD UPON A COUNTRY OF
ONLY 32 MILLION PEOPLE.
AND EITHER WE LET THAT WEIGHT
SHAPE US, AND SOME OF IT'S
GOING TO SHAPE US REGARDLESS OF
WHAT WE DO, BECAUSE WE ARE ONLY
32 MILLION PEOPLE, OR WE CAN
SHAPE IT, OR PREPARE OURSELVES
TO TRY TO SHAPE IT, AND TO AT
LEAST TURN SOME OF THESE
PRESSURES TO OUR ADVANTAGE.
THIS KIND OF INTERNATIONAL
CONNECTEDNESS REQUIRES US HERE
TO DO SOME RETHINKING ABOUT
DOMESTIC ARRANGEMENTS.
IT REQUIRES US, EVERY TIME WE
COME UP TO A PUBLIC POLICY
QUESTION, TO ASK OURSELVES THE
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION,
INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY,
HOW WILL THIS DECISION TODAY
AFFECT OUR ABILITY TOMORROW TO
THRIVE IN A COMPETITIVE GLOBAL
WORLD, AND TO INFLUENCE, ONE
HOPES FOR THE BETTER, NOT JUST
OUR NATIONAL WELLBEING AND THE
WELLBEING, ECONOMICALLY
SPEAKING, OF THE WORLD, BUT THE
JUSTICE, THE FAIRNESS AND THE
SUSTAINABILITY OF THAT WORLD.
BECAUSE CONNECTEDNESS MEANS NOT
JUST, AS I SAID, THE
ENHANCEMENT OF OUR OWN
INTERESTS, BUT THE PROJECTION
OF OUR OWN VALUES INTO THE
WORLD.
AND I THINK WE HAVE A RATHER
UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY TO EXCEL
IN THAT GREAT NATIONAL EFFORT,
EVEN THOUGH, OR PERHAPS I
SHOULD SAY, BECAUSE WE LIVE
BESIDE THE UNITED STATES.
THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN KIND
ENOUGH TO READ THE OCCASIONAL
THING I'VE WRITTEN OVER A LONG
PERIOD OF TIME KNOW THAT I
THINK ANTI-AMERICANISM IS
COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY
COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, IT IS
PUERILE, IT LEADS US UP DRY
CREEK BEDS, IT APPEALS TO THE
WEAKEST ELEMENT IN OUR NATIONAL
COLLECTIVE PSYCHE, WHICH IS A
FALSE SENSE OF MORAL
SUPERIORITY.
I DEPLORE IT IN EVERY RESPECT.
THE U.S. IS THE WORLD'S MOST
POWERFUL AND AFFLUENT COUNTRY,
IT IS ALSO, ALAS FOR IT, NOW,
ONE OF THE WORLD'S LEAST
ADMIRED COUNTRIES.
PERHAPS THAT'S THE FATE OF ALL
SUPERPOWERS.
I JUST FINISHED READING A
WONDERFUL AND GREAT HISTORY OF
THE SPANISH EMPIRE AT ITS
HEIGHT, AND THE CASTILIANS WERE
WIDELY DESPISED EVERYWHERE THE
SPANISH EMPIRE RULED, IN
NAPLES, IN MEXICO, IN LATIN
AMERICA, IN MILANO, IN THE LOW
COUNTRIES.
AND THE CASTILIANS COULDN'T
UNDERSTAND WHY EVERYBODY
DISLIKED THEM.
MAYBE IT'S JUST THE FATE OF
SUPERPOWERS EVERYWHERE.
EVIDENCE FROM A VARIETY OF
WORLD-WIDE SURVEYS AND THE
REACTION OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
UNDERSCORES THE POINT THAT THE
BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS MADE
THE UNITED STATES RATHER
UNPOPULAR ALL AROUND THE WORLD,
EXCEPT IN A FEW PLACES.
AND THE RECENT U.S. ELECTION PUT IN
POWER, IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND
IN THE CONGRESS, LEADERS FROM
INLAND AND INWARD LOOKING PARTS
OF THAT GREAT COUNTRY, WHOSE
MORAL VALUES AND PATRIOTIC
TRUCULENCE, AND UNILATERALIST
INSTINCTS AND DOMESTIC POLICY
PREFERENCES ARE ESTRANGING THE
UNITED STATES FROM LARGER AREAS
OF THE WORLD.
AND SO THERE'S NO BETTER TIME FOR
CANADA TO GO INTERNATIONAL,
THAN WHILE THE U.S. GOES PAROCHIAL.
WHILE RESPECTING AND NURTURING
THE ECONOMIC SPACE THAT WE
SHARE WITH THE UNITED STATES,
ON WHICH A GREAT DEAL OF OUR
ECONOMIC WEALTH DEPENDS, WE
SHOULD BECOME MORE
INTERNATIONAL IN OUR GOVERNMENT
POLICIES AND IN OUR DOMESTIC
ARRANGEMENTS, WHILE THEY REVEL
IN THEIR OWN TRIUMPHANT
EXCEPTIONALISM.
OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
DOESN'T LIE IN BECOMING MORE
AMERICAN.
BUT OUR NATIONAL SELF-INTEREST
DOESN'T LIE IN BEING ANTI-
AMERICAN, IF, BY AMERICAN THESE
DAYS, WE MEAN, BECOMING MORE
LIKE KANSAS OR DALLAS.
BUT RATHER WE SHOULD BECOME
MORE CANADIAN, IF BY THAT WE
MEAN, MORE INTERNATIONALLY
CONNECTED, BETTER TRAINED, MORE
OUTWARD, AND THEREFORE MORE
CONFIDENT IN OURSELVES, WITHOUT
FALLING, AS I SAY, VICTIM TO
THAT TERRIBLE TRAP OF CANADIAN
MORAL SUPERIORITY.
MOREOVER, WHEREAS CANADA, AS I
SAID A MOMENT AGO, ACTUALLY
PROPERLY LINED UP ITS SOCIAL
AND ECONOMIC POLICIES AND SO,
THEREBY STABILISED ITS INTERNAL
FINANCES, THE U.S. HAS GONE IN
EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION,
BY AMASSING HUGE FEDERAL
DEFICITS, AND CAUSING GREAT
DIFFICULTY AT THE STATE LEVEL.
ATTENTION HAS BEEN NECESSARILY
FOCUSSED ON THAT COUNTRY'S 340
TO 350 BILLION... SORRY, 430
TO 450 BILLION dollar FEDERAL
DEFICIT, BUT DOZENS OF STATES,
TOO, THAT ARE UNDER
CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS TO
BALANCE THEIR BUDGETS, ARE
FACING LARGE DEFICITS WHICH, AS
I SAY, THEY ARE
CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED TO
ELIMINATE, AND THE STATES, MANY
OF THEM, HAVE RUN OUT OF
TRICKS.
THEY HAVE USED THEIR TOBACCO
SETTLEMENT MONEY, THEY'VE
ISSUED NEW BONDS, THEY'VE
ROLLED OVER OLD DEBT, AND
BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH AN
AVERSION IN SO MANY PLACES IN
THE UNITED STATES, TO PAYING
MORE TAXES, THAT MEANS CUTTING,
AND IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING, FOR
UNIVERSITIES, FOR SCHOOLS, FOR
HEALTH CARE, AND THIS CUT IS
GOING TO CONTINUE.
SO WHILE THEY CONTRACT,
THEREFORE, WE'VE GOT THE
CAPACITY TO EXPAND.
AS LONG AS WE DO IT -- AS LONG
AS WE DO IT IN WAYS THAT MAKE
US MORE COMPETITIVE GLOBALLY.
OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE
ACTUALLY DOING BETTER THAN
THEIRS ON THE AGGREGATE IN ALL
THE INTERNATIONAL TESTS.
U.S. HEALTHCARE SPENDING,
DESPITE WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT
OURS, IS ACTUALLY RISING FASTER
AS A SHARE OF GNP THAN IS
CANADA'S, INCREDIBLE AS THAT
MAY SEEM.
OUR CANADA PENSION PLAN IS
FULLY VESTED.
THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM
IS NOT.
OUR GOVERNMENT DEBT IS
DECLINING, THEIRS IS RISING.
IN OTHER WORDS, OUR ECONOMIC
FUNDAMENTALS ARE SOUND,
FISCALLY SPEAKING, THEIRS ARE
NOT, AND THIS GIVES US AN
OPPORTUNITY IF WE USE IT
WISELY.
BUT WE DO LACK SOME OF THE
TOOLS THAT I THINK WE NEED TO
SUCCEED IN CONNECTING CANADA TO
THE WORLD, AND IN COMPETING
SUCCESSFULLY IN IT, AND ONE OF
THESE WEAKNESSES IS THIS WHOLE
AREA OF HUMAN SKILLS
DEVELOPMENT, AND IT'S
APPROPRIATE, AT A UNIVERSITY,
TO DWELL ON THIS.
BY SOME ACCOUNTS, AND BOB RAE
JUST REAFFIRMED THIS IN THE
REPORT HE DID FOR THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT, ABOUT ONE QUARTER
OF OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
DON'T GRADUATE, AND PERHAPS
ANOTHER QUARTER GRADUATE, BUT
THEY DON'T GO ANY FURTHER.
AND STUDIES OF ALL KINDS, YOU
ALL KNOW THIS, SHOW THAT THREE
QUARTERS OF ALL NEW JOBS DEPEND
ON SOME FORM OF HIGHER
EDUCATION, AND THAT THE JOB
MARKET FOR THOSE OF LIMITED
EDUCATION OR SKILLS IS BLEAK.
OUR PRIVATE SECTOR, THIS IS
SOMETHING NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IN
CANADA ANY MORE, BUT OUR
PRIVATE SECTOR DOESN'T DO A
VERY GOOD JOB -- OBVIOUSLY
THERE ARE SOME EXCEPTIONS, BUT
OUR PRIVATE SECTOR DOESN'T DO A
VERY GOOD JOB IN PROMOTING OR
FINANCING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT OR
TRAINING.
THE LATEST CONFERENCE BOARD
REPORT UNDERSCORED THIS FACT,
BUT MANY OTHER REPORTS HAVE
DONE THE SAME.
THE SMALLER THE FIRM, OF
COURSE, THE SMALLER THE
COMMITMENT TO TRAINING.
BUT EVEN MANY OF THE BIG
COMPANIES FAIL TO DELIVER MUCH
ON TRAINING, WHICH IS, I
SUPPOSE, WHY QUEBEC GOT
FRUSTRATED A FEW YEARS BACK AND
IMPOSED A 1 percent PAYROLL TAX FOR
TRAINING.
BUT OUR COUNTRY'S PRODUCTIVITY
DEPENDS IN PART ON THAT KIND OF
TRAINING, BECAUSE HIGHER VALUE
SKILLS MEAN AN IMPROVED ABILITY
TO COMPETE, AND COMPETE WE
MUST, BETTER THAN BEFORE IN AN
INTERCONNECTED WORLD.
EVERYONE THESE DAYS IS
TRANSFIXED BY CHINA, AND BY ITS
LOW WAGES -- HOW CAN WE COMPETE
WITH THAT?
IT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
WE CAN'T, BUT WHAT IS MORE
IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND,
I THINK, ABOUT CHINA, IS HOW
THE CHINESE ARE CHURNING OUT
THOUSANDS OF ENGINEERS,
SCIENTISTS, TECHNICIANS,
MATHEMATICIANS, AND OTHER
HIGHLY EDUCATED INDIVIDUALS AS
PART OF THEIR GREAT NATIONAL AWAKENING.
SO BEFORE WE ACQUIESCE IN THE USUAL
INSISTENT DEMANDS FROM BIG
BUSINESS AND THEIR NEWSPAPER
ACOLYTES, FOR LOWER TAXES, WE
MIGHT ASK OF THEM, WHY IS IT
THAT THE CANADIAN PRIVATE
SECTOR, BY WORLD STANDARDS, IS
SO POOR AT HUMAN CAPITAL
DEVELOPMENT.
YOU FIX THAT PROBLEM FIRST, AND
THEN WE'LL TALK ABOUT LOWER
CORPORATE TAXES.
THIS IS ANOTHER HIDDEN SUBJECT,
SOMETHING WE USED TO TALK A LOT
ABOUT, WE DON'T ANY MORE, BUT I
THINK THE HIGH DEGREE OF
FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF KEY
SECTORS OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
MILITATES AGAINST INVESTMENTS
SKILLS TRAINING AND HUMAN
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, AND THERE
ARE SOME NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS.
BY AND LARGE, BRANCH PLANTS
BREED BRANCH PLANT MENTALITIES.
HEAD OFFICES ARE WHERE THE VERY
BEST JOBS USUALLY RESIDE IN
COMPANIES.
AND WE JUST DON'T HAVE ENOUGH
WORLD CLASS COMPANIES
HEADQUARTERED HERE IN CANADA.
ABOUT HALF OF ALBERTA'S ENERGY
INDUSTRY IS FOREIGN OWNED.
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, THE
BIGGEST FORESTRY COMPANY, THE
BIGGEST ENERGY INDUSTRY, ARE
FOREIGN OWNED.
NORANDA AND STELCO IN THIS
PROVINCE MIGHT BE SOLD TO
FOREIGN INTERESTS.
WE CAN'T, WE SHOULDN'T BRING
BACK THE DAYS OF FIRA, AND
BUILD WALLS AROUND CANADA, BUT
GOVERNMENT POLICY HAS GOT TO BE
FOCUSSED ON WHAT IT TAKES TO
SUSTAIN AND MAINTAIN CANADIAN
COMPANIES HEADQUARTERED HERE,
AS PART OF THAT INTERNATIONAL
AGENDA I'M DESCRIBING.
AND THAT, IN TURN, MIGHT ALLOW
INVOLVING COMPANIES THAT WE
ALREADY THINK ARE BIG AND MAYBE
TOO BIG, TO GET EVEN BIGGER AND
I'M REFERRING IN PARTICULAR TO
BANKS.
THERE ARE TWO OTHER HUMAN
SKILLS QUESTIONS OF GREAT
NATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR THIS
INTERCONNECTEDNESS.
AGAIN, WE DON'T TALK MUCH ABOUT
THIS.
THE FIRST IS THE EMERGING
EVIDENCE OF AN IMMIGRANT
UNDERCLASS, AND THE SECOND IS
ABORIGINAL UNDERACHIEVEMENT.
MULTICULTURALISM IS A HUGE -- A
HUGE ADVANTAGE FOR CANADA'S
QUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL
INTERCONNECTEDNESS.
MULTICULTURALISM STEMS, BY
DEFINITION, FROM IMMIGRATION.
FOUR DIFFERENT STUDIES BY
IMMIGRATION CANADA, STATS-CAN,
THE CANADIAN LABOUR AND
BUSINESS CENTRE AND THE C.D.
HOWE INSTITUTE, HAVE ALL
POINTED TO THE SAME PHENOMENON
OF AN EMERGING IMMIGRANT
UNDERCLASS.
A LOW INCOME RATE FOR RECENT
IMMIGRANTS THAT WAS 23 percent IN 1980
IS NOW 35 percent.
IN CANADA'S CITIES, GENERAL
INCOMES ARE NOT BECOMING MORE
UNEQUAL UNLESS YOU FACTOR IN
THE LOW INCOME IMMIGRANTS.
AND I COULD GO ON FOR SOME
LENGTH, BUT I WON'T, BECAUSE
THAT'S NOT THE FOCUS OF THESE
REMARKS.
MY ARGUMENT IS THAT RATHER THAN
OTTAWA DRILLING A SPIGOT INTO
ITS OWN REVENUES AND LETTING
THEM FLOW TO THE
MUNICIPALITIES, A POLICY THAT
DEFIES EVERY ELEMENTARY NOTION
OF ACCOUNTABILITY, OTTAWA
SHOULD SPEND THAT KIND OF MONEY
ON THE INTEGRATION, THE
LANGUAGE TRAINING AND THE
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT OF
IMMIGRANTS, THE GROSS NUMBER OF
WHICH OTTAWA KEEPS PUSHING UP,
BUT THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED
WITH WHICH IT KEEPS PUSHING
DOWN TO THE MUNICIPALITIES,
SCHOOL BOARDS, WELFARE
AGENCIES, AND SETTLEMENT
HOUSES.
WE CAN'T MAKE THE KIND OF
PROGRESS WE HAVE TO MAKE IF WE
HAVE AN ABORIGINAL UNDERCLASS.
AND CANADA'S ABORIGINALS HAVE
MADE GREAT STRIDES IN THE LAST
GENERATION.
THE NUMBER WITH COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITY DEGREES HAS SOARED,
MANY ARE NOW EMPLOYED IN THE
NATURAL RESOURCE INDUSTRIES.
BUT I THINK WE NEED A MARSHALL
PLAN FOR EDUCATING AND TRAINING
ABORIGINALS FOR JOBS IN THE
MODERN ECONOMY, BECAUSE, AND
THIS IS VERY POLITICALLY
INCORRECT, BUT THAT'S WHAT
COLUMNISTS ARE PAID FOR, I
GUESS.
YOU CAN WAX NOSTALGIC ABOUT
TRADITIONAL WAYS, YOU CAN EVEN
WRITE A MULTI-VOLUME ROYAL
COMMISSION EXTOLLING THESE
WAYS, BUT ON-RESERVE EMPLOYMENT
PROSPECTS, NO MATTER WHAT FORM
OF SELF GOVERNMENT YOU DREAM
UP, ARE GOING TO BE THIN TO
NON-EXISTENT, EXCEPT FOR PUBLIC
SECTOR ONES, IN TOO MANY PLACES
IN CANADA.
TOO MANY RESERVATIONS ARE GOING
TO BE DEAD END UNEMPLOYMENT
STREETS, EVEN THOUGH THE ENTIRE
THRUST OF ABORIGINAL POLICY FOR
THE LAST THREE DECADES HAS NOT
ACKNOWLEDGED THIS BRUTAL
REALITY, AND HAS WANDERED
AROUND IN SEARCH OF TREATIES
AND LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENTS, AND
COURT CASES AFFIRMING RIGHTS,
WHILE ABORIGINALS HAVE BEEN
VOTING WITH THEIR FEET, BY
DRIFTING INCREASINGLY OFF THE
RESERVATIONS INTO URBAN AREAS.
FINALLY, THIS WHOLE AGENDA I'M
TALKING ABOUT DEPENDS ON POST
SECONDARY EDUCATION, COLLEGES
AND UNIVERSITIES WHOSE ROLE IS
ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR
INTERNATIONALISING CANADA AND
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE.
UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN
UNDERFINANCED IN CANADA FOR AT
LEAST A GENERATION.
AND THE UNDER FUNDING CAN BE
DEMONSTRATED IN A MYRIAD OF
WAYS, AND MANY OF YOU HAVE
PROBABLY READ BOB RAE'S REPORT
THAT IN THIS REGARD, SIMPLY
REPEATED WHAT IS WELL KNOWN.
HERE'S ONLY THREE INDICATORS -- I COULD
GIVE YOU THIRTY.
BETWEEN 1980 AND 2002, 20
YEARS, ROUGHLY, GOVERNMENT
INVESTMENTS IN PUBLIC FOUR YEAR
UNIVERSITIES IN THE UNITED
STATES ROSE BY 25 percent IN REAL
TERMS AND IN CANADA, AGAIN IN
REAL TERMS IN THAT PERIOD,
THOSE INVESTMENTS DECLINED BY
20 percent.
FROM THE MID 1980s UNTIL 2003,
AGAIN, ALMOST A 20 YEAR PERIOD,
HEALTH CARE AS A SHARE OF TOTAL
PROVINCIAL SPENDING ALL
PROVINCES, ROSE FROM ROUGHLY
30 percent TO 40 percent, AND IN SOME
PROVINCES, WELL ABOVE 40 percent, AND
DURING THAT SAME PERIOD,
SPENDING ON POST SECONDARY
EDUCATION AS A SHARE OF TOTAL
PROVINCIAL SPENDING, DECLINED
FROM 7 and a half percent TO 6 percent.
SO WHEREAS 20 YEARS AGO, THE
RATIO OF HEALTH CARE SPENDING
TO POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
SPENDING WAS 4 to 1, IN 2003, IT
WAS 6 to 1, AND ALL THE TREND
LINES ARE CONTINUING IN THAT
DIRECTION.
IF WE PUT 1 BILLION dollars, FOR
EXAMPLE, OF PUBLIC MONEY, IN TO
HIRING MORE PROFESSORS, TO
INCREASED TEACHING AND ACCESS
OF POST SECONDARY EDUCATIONS,
WE WOULD BE DOING AN AWFUL LOT
MORE FOR OUR FUTURE THAN IF WE
SPENT ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS
ON HEALTH CARE.
INDEED, IT'S CURIOUS THAT WE
TALK ABOUT A SHORTAGE OF
DOCTORS, BUT WE DON'T TALK
ABOUT A SHORTAGE OF PROFESSORS.
AND WE LAMENT WAITING LISTS,
BUT WE DON'T LAMENT LARGE CLASS
SIZES.
AND WE REFUSE USER FEES FOR
SEEING A DOCTOR, AS IN SWEDEN
AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES, BUT
WE ACCEPT EVER HIGHER FEES FOR
STUDENTS SEEING THE INSIDE OF A
UNIVERSITY.
WE GOT OUR PRIORITIES WRONG, IF
WE WANT TO PREPARE OURSELVES
FOR THE FUTURE, WHICH HAS GOT
TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL AND A
LEARNING FUTURE.
UNIVERSITIES, WITH ALL THEIR
INTERNAL POLITICS THAT ARE
OFTEN BEYOND THE CAPACITY OF
MOST PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND, ARE
NEVERTHELESS, AMONG SOCIETIES
INCUBATORS OF IDEAS,
INNOVATIONS AND NOTIONS OF
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
AND IF CANADA IS GOING TO
PURSUE THE PATH OF BECOMING THE
MOST GLOBALLY CONNECTED COUNTRY
ON EARTH, AS IT MUST, THEN
THESE INCUBATORS, THESE
UNIVERSITIES, THESE COLLEGES,
HAVE TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT OF
THE CONNECTEDNESS.
AND THERE ARE MANY WAYS IN
WHICH THIS CAN BE DONE, BEYOND
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW, AND EVEN
MEASURED.
TO GIVE YOU A COUPLE OF
EXAMPLES OF WHAT I'M TALKING
ABOUT -- IN JULY, STATS-CAN
REPORTED THAT THE NUMBER OF
FOREIGN STUDENTS ENROLLED IN
CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES CONTINUES
TO RISE.
THAT MADE THE HEADLINE, THAT
WAS GOOD NEWS, ALTHOUGH THE RAW
NUMBER EDGED UP TO 52,000, THE
PROPORTION OF FOREIGN STUDENTS
WITHIN THE UNIVERSITIES
ACTUALLY STAYED ABOUT THE SAME,
BECAUSE THE TOTAL ENROLMENT HAD
BEEN GOING UP.
SO RELATIVE TO OUR TOTAL
STUDENT BODY, NATIONALLY
SPEAKING, OUR UNIVERSITY
STUDENT POPULATION IS NOT MORE
INTERNATIONAL THAN IT WAS SIX
OR SEVEN YEARS AGO, EVEN THOUGH
IN ABSOLUTE TERMS, THE NUMBER
OF FOREIGN STUDENTS HAD
INCREASED.
THAT'S ONE INDICATION.
THAT'S JUST ONE MEASURE OF
INTERNATIONALISATION, BUT THERE
ARE LOTS OF OTHERS.
THERE'S THE CURRICULUM.
IS IT -- I CAN'T ANSWER THIS
FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO,
BUT I WOULD SAY THAT IT AND
EVERY UNIVERSITY SHOULD ASK
ITSELF, IS IT -- THE
CURRICULUM, AS GLOBALLY MINDED
AS TOMORROW'S STUDENTS WILL
NEED IT TO BE?
ARE WE DESIGNING ENOUGH
PROGRAMS TO ALLOW OUR STUDENTS
TO LIVE AND WORK OUTSIDE THE
COUNTRY DURING AND AFTER THEIR
ACADEMIC YEARS?
ARE THESE INSTITUTIONS
SUFFICIENTLY TIED TO OTHER
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS?
IN OTHER WORDS, ARE THESE
INCUBATORS OF IDEAS, ARE THESE
PLACES WHERE TOMORROW'S LEADERS
AND CITIZENS ARE BEING FORMED,
AS CONNECTED AS WE NEED THEM TO
BE FOR THE FUTURE?
SO I JUST END BY SAYING THAT
GLOBAL SUCCESS IS GOING TO
DEPEND ON BRAINS, AND
INTERCONNECTEDNESS AND AN
OUTWARD APPROACH TO THE WORLD.
EVERY POLICY AT HOME OR ABROAD
HAS GOT TO BE MEASURED BY THE
DEGREE TO WHICH, IN WHOLE OR IN
PART, IT MOVES CANADA TOWARDS
THAT SUCCESS.
AND WE NEED NATIONAL LEADERS,
NOT JUST IN POLITICS, BUT IN
ALL AREAS OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE,
WHO ARTICULATE THAT VISION, AND
WE NEED POLICIES THAT FLOW FROM
THAT VISION, THAT CAN BE
EXPLAINED TO CANADIANS IN WAYS
THAT THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.
SO THE QUESTION IS, WHO'S GOING
TO BE THE FIRST TO UNDERSTAND
THE URGENCY OF THE CHALLENGE,
AND FRAME THAT VISION.
AND I THINK WHOEVER DOES THAT,
WILL BE THE DOMINANT POLITICIAN
OF THE NEXT GENERATION.
THANK YOU.

[Applause]

Watch: Jeffrey Simpson on Canada's Global Agenda At Home and Abroad