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|Tuesday October 25, 2005|
|U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Ottawa for two days of meetings with Canadian officials. It's her first official visit to Ottawa as secretary of state.
Prime Minister Paul Martin and U.S. Secreatry of State Condoleezza Rice in Ottawa.
The visit was a long time coming. Rice visited more than three dozen countries before making the short-hop flight to Ottawa. Her visit last spring was cancelled after Canada refused to join the U.S. missile defence shield.
The trip began with a dinner with Prime Minister Paul Martin at 24 Sussex Drive.
At a news conference earlier in the day, Martin said he would raise the issue of continued U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. But, he said, softwood is only one of several contentious issues he intends to discuss with Rice and her officials over the next few days.
"We're going to discuss everything from softwood to passports at the border and the flow of illegal guns from the United States into Canada," said the prime minister.
The dispute over softwood is probably the best-known irritant in Canada-U.S. relations, with the Americans demanding a negotiated settlement. Canada insists there can be no talks until the U.S. accepts repeated NAFTA rulings and returns billions of dollars in tariffs on Canadian lumber.
|Softwood issue tops agenda for Conde's visit|
Letter to the Editor
MacKay is right-on with his cartoon of poor, benighted Paul Martin trying to attract US State Secretary Condi Rice's attention to the softwood lumber dispute. The US, in the person of Ms. Rice, spares Canada any need to carry some of the world's most onerous political, social, military, and economic burdens. The US carries some of them well, some of them poorly, but the fact is they carry them and we don't.
Canada should try to be as free with our help and counsel as we seem to be with our criticism and condemnation.