Conrad Black: Trudeau’s jolly progressivism and America’s revival will bring back the brain drain

Canada voted to change governments just a year before the United States did and the countries are taking more divergent policy tracks than at any time since Pierre Trudeau warned Ronald Reagan that his proposed missile defence system was destabilizing. (It was, in the sense that the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War ended, and there was only one superpower left in the world.) All indications from both governments are that the NAFTA free trade talks are not going well. It is time to recognize that Canada got a very good deal in free trade with the U.S., thanks in large part to the very high esteem then-prime minister Brian Mulroney earned with president Reagan and president George H.W. Bush. He was widely criticized at the time for being a White House lap dog, but in fact, he recognized that with the United States at the height of its preeminence in the world, the only way for Canada to have any influence was to be taken seriously by Washington.