In another example of Conservative mismanagement we now have visa restrictions on the Czech Republic and Mexico. In these tough economic times it is understandable that people are trying to come to Canada where the downturn isn’t as bad. The fact that people from two relatively wealthy countries are coming here is proof of the recession’s scope.
Mexico is an important trading partner and junior partner in North American security. With the growing violence and increased hostility in the United States Mexicans need an escape. We shouldn’t grant refugee status but we should explore work exchange programs and participate in Mexico’s security. We should have intelligence assets and diplomatic efforts in Mexico for this. The diplomats should be exploring options for Canada and Mexico to establish a labour sharing agreement. Of course this would mean the creation of a dedicated over seas spy agency and restoration of our diplomatic service. Neither are in the Conservative agenda of making Canada internationally irrelevant.
Mexicans visiting Canada are important for tourism and economic connections with Mexico. The visas will mean more difficulty for Mexico’s companies to pop up and buy equipment from us. Of course the Conservatives would rather advanced industry left Canada for the United States and Europe so we can go back to fur trading and lumberjacking.
The Czech Republic gives us another set of problems. As one of our NATO allies the Czech Republic is essential to our plans in Afghanistan and Europe. We need Czech troops to assist us in Afghanistan and the Balkans. With the exhaustion of the Canadian Forces from twenty years of constant deployment and our main allies preoccupied in other areas smaller allies such as the Czech Republic will be needed to relieve our people. The Czech Republic is also a member of the European Union, an economic zone of four hundred million potential customers for Canada. Actively seeking to harm relations with Europe is one of the more foolish Conservative policies. Putting all of our economic eggs in an American basket is economic suicide.
The visa restrictions are however a symptom of a far larger problem this government is perpetuating. The lack of personnel and resources of the diplomatic and immigration services is threatening Canada. Soldiers are the last line of defence not the first, the diplomats are the first because war is a failure of diplomacy and intelligence. We need to invest in diplomats and spies or we will be burying more soldiers, sailors and aircrew. When the ones who talk can no longer talk it falls to the ones who listen secretly and when they can no longer listen the ones who shoot start shooting. Embassies are cheaper than battle groups. Every serving member of the Canadian Forces should be agitating for more diplomats and spies.