"Canada has probably one of the largest resources of fresh water in the world," the former U.S. ambassador said during a debate on Canada-U.S. relations. "Water is going to be - already is - a very valuable commodity and I've always found it odd where Canada is so willing to sell oil and natural gas and uranium and coal, which are by their very nature finite. But talking about water is off the table, and water is renewable. "It doesn't make any sense to me."
It was as close as any high-profile American has come recently to saying what many Canadians have long suspected - Washington wants our water.
Harper's ambigious stance on water exports, coupled with the obvious American desire to tap this resource, is a worrisome combination. Polling shows Canadians overwhelmingly oppose exporting our water to the Americans. The fact that this issue is being discussed, with no apparent media scrutiny and little publication, suggests something is at play. This meeting is slated to be a short one, so any issues raised must have some measure of urgency and/or priority. Why such a low-profile for this issue? Bush's position is clear, is Harper going there to tell the Americans "hands off"? Or, is Harper privately discussing ways to allow American access without present public knowledge? This question needs to be clarified before the next election, because it seems like there is a clandestine element that may not become apparent until after the desired majority.