Canada and America’s Sibling Rivalry

In the last year, Canada and the U.S. seemed at constant odds. What’s the cause of this rivalry, and where is it leading?

The Trumpet regularly covers the always-volatile Middle East. We often shine light on the rising European combine. Our most popular book focuses on the United States and Britain. We publish material on Russia and China, South Africa, Australia and many other countries.

What about Canada? Sometimes our readership to the north (we’re based in the U.S.) might feel a little disgruntled by the lack of coverage, feeling it might be reflective of the way U.S. citizens treat Canada in general: Many Canadians feel “the Americans are out to get us,” as the director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars pointed out in early March.

In return, many Canadians don’t seem to care for the U.S. in general, and President George W. Bush in particular. The American Assembly recently reported “disturbing and persistent currents of anti-Americanism in Canada” (“Renewing the U.S.-Canada Relationship,” February 3-6). There is a certain irony here, because no matter how much Canadians might dislike the United States and its policies, Canada’s fate is inextricably tied to that of the U.S. and their common British heritage from a prophetic point of view.

The Current Climate 

Right now, the relationship between Canada and the U.S. is at a historic low. The two countries are squabbling on several fronts; disputes over lumber, beef, missile defense—even wine—have each side viewing the other with disdain and suspicion.

In February, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada would not be part of the U.S. missile defense program, despite statements in the past that it would participate. U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci warned that Canada was effectively handing over some of its sovereignty: “We simply cannot understand why Canada would, in effect, give up its sovereignty—its seat at the table—to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming toward Canada” (London Free Press, Ontario, February 25). Lloyd Axworthy, president of the University of Winnipeg and a former Canadian foreign minister, expressed the views of many Canadians in his acerbic open letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice published in the Winnipeg Free Press: “I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defense system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results” (March 3). He also made reference to “control-freak antics” that “may work in the virtual one-party state that now prevails in Washington,” and to the current U.S. “days of empire.” Of course, that doesn’t reflect the views of all Canadians, but a handy majority is firmly against President Bush and his policies, and the government did reject participating in a missile defense program intended to protect the entire continent.

On another front, the well-publicized outbreak—if you consider two infected animals an outbreak—of mad cow disease in Canada last year caused the United States to shut down the import of Canadian beef at a cost of about us$7 billion to Canada. On the softwood lumber front, Canada has applied with the World Trade Organization for permission to impose us$3.43 billion in sanctions on the United States. In an unusual form of retaliation against the U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber, the Canadian government has threatened to halt the import of U.S. wine to Canada, costing the Washington State wine industry in excess of $4 million a year. If we look at it objectively, that isn’t too significant in itself, but what it points to is the beginning of a trade war.

This could be rough on both parties, but particularly Canada. Though Canada is slightly larger in land mass than the United States (it is the world’s second-largest country after Russia), it has only about 11 percent of the population of the U.S. While Canada may feel it should be politically and economically on equal footing with the U.S., its population is smaller than California’s.

Let’s be realistic: Canada’s need for U.S. business and governmental support is intense. More than 85 percent of Canada’s exports flow over its southern border. If Canada plans to flex its muscle financially, it has only one option: find another customer for its products. Enter China.

Black Gold 

It might come as a shock to most that the second-largest single-nation supply of oil in the world is not found in a Middle Eastern country, but in Canada. Most of those oil reserves were officially recognized in 2003, swiftly raising the appraisal of available Canadian crude from 5 billion to 180 billion barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia. For many decades, that oil was considered irretrievable because of the high cost of removing it from the tar sands of northern Alberta (the tar sands contain deposits of bitumen, an extra-heavy oil that must be treated for conversion to crude oil). With current high oil prices, though, the oil is considered extractable. Counting the oil that is too cost-prohibitive to remove, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board estimates about 1.6 trillion barrels of oil in the tar sands.

But, if Canada has anything to say about it, the U.S. might never see that oil. A Chinese firm is considering a 49 percent stake in a 720-mile, $2 billion pipeline. On January 20, the Chinese and Canadian governments issued the following statement: “Canada and China have decided to work together to promote cooperation in the oil and gas sector, including Canada’s oil sands, as well as in the uranium resources field.” reported that U.S. officials are worried that “they are losing access to a reliable and relatively inexpensive source of crude oil to a rising superpower,” the resource-hungry China (February 17). In the overall analysis, it’s just another example of Canada looking for a partner other than a U.S. that has fallen out of favor. Last December, Prime Minister Martin said that it won’t be long before the Chinese economy is greater than that of the U.S. and he wants Canadian businesses to operate with that in mind. At the annual meeting of the Canada China Business Council, he said, “We have to understand and engage with this new reality—a new China linked in new ways to an evolving world …. [M]embers of our business community are at the forefront of this effort. Canadian businesses, large and small, should be doing what you have done—developing and implementing strategies for China” (Canadian Press, Dec. 6, 2004).

The United States and Canada in Prophecy

Herbert Armstrong’s most-requested book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, begins this way: “People of the Western world would be stunned—dumbfounded—if they knew! The governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australasia, South Africa would set in motion gigantic crash programs—if they knew! They could know! But they don’t! Why?”

From the very beginning of this definitive work, Mr. Armstrong identified Canada right along with the United States and Britain. Why?

The “lost 10 tribes” of biblical Israel can be identified today—as revealed in The United States and Britain in Prophecy (we’ll be happy to send you a free copy of this book upon request). Mr. Armstrong identifies the British as the descendants of the tribe of Ephraim and the peoples of the United States as the tribe of Manasseh; he also identifies France as the tribe of Reuben.

Bible students will remember that Joseph (father of Ephraim and Manasseh) was betrayed by his brothers, including Reuben, in Genesis 37. One thing that makes Canada unique is its blending of the tribes of Ephraim and Reuben. As any Canadian can tell you, they do not blend well! Discussion about Quebec seceding from Canada has continued for decades now. I hold in my hands a May 1978 Plain Truth magazine with an article titled “Will Quebec Secede? Behind Canada’s Unity Crisis.” In the December 1995 Philadelphia Trumpet, we published “Canada in Crisis” discussing another narrowly averted secession of Quebec. Today, talk of secession has quieted to a whisper, but the tension between Quebec and the rest of the country still exists. The term “melting pot” perhaps should refer not so much to the successful mixing of cultures as to the extreme temperatures created in the attempt to amalgamate cultures that cling to their roots.

As a descendant of Ephraim, Canada faces the prophecies that Mr. Armstrong warned America, Australia and Canada’s other “brothers” to prepare for. No matter how Canada struggles against U.S. interests—and more to the point, against U.S. dominance—Bible prophecy tells us one thing without equivocation: All of the Israelitish nations are cursed. Sadly, when the U.S. falls, Canada is going along for the ride.

But they could all be spared. The birthright blessings promised to Abraham could be retained if these nations would only repent. God told Israel: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). The Eternal God would be thrilled if any nation would demonstrate the character and righteousness to turn to Him in repentance. Only God can stop the prophecies detailed in Matthew 24 from coming to pass in the most devastating way.

In all probability, no nation on Earth will repent before the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord and lords. After He does return though, He will gather the nations of Israel together (Ezekiel 11:17) and use them as a model of how to live for the entire world. Every child of Abraham on Earth—Australian, New Zealander, American, South African, and yes, even Canadian—can know that the future brings a time of family harmony for the house of Israel.