Book Review by Patrick Brown

Paul Hellyer is a veteran of Canadian politics, a man with a passionate love of Canada, a clear view of how things actually work, and a deadline.

This book is the distillation of his thoughts on the forces that, he says, will lead to world economic disaster and probably to the Canadian annexation of by the United States.'The premature death of our beautiful country is increasingly inevitable,' he says. With present trends, he feels it will take only three more years for the trend to become irreversible.

But Hellyer, stubbornly and fearlessly, refuses to accept it as fate. That's why all Canadians should read this book.It's well argued and plainly written, it's only 190 pages long, and it's an eye-opener for those who had the uncomfortable feeling that there is something wrong with the way things are going, but couldn't quite put their finger on what it is.

What's in 'Goodbye Canada?' First of all, a clarification of what's going on with 'globalization', and how people who are termed neo-liberals can carry out a 'conservative revolution'. Secondly, an explanation of world banking (you never did understand it, did you?), and how we, our government, and all the nations of the world got so far in debt. Thirdly, a knowledgeable skeptic's view of economics ('economics, like religion, is taught by rote'). Fourthly, what is happening to democracy. Fifthly, the why and the how of the US takeover of Canada, and what we can do about it.

And, among the extras, a letter to US President George W. Bush, and a deconstruction of the techniques of trade agreements. And, further, an alternative vision. Hellyer describes his proposed changes as 'an intellectual and political revolution'.

'The premise here is that Canada has to be saved, and that it is worth saving,' he says. He suggests that the enthusiasts for globalization and the US 'colonization' of Canada don't feel that they have had quite enough time to brainwash Canadians into thinking that union with the US is either desirable or inevitable or both. Therefore, 'We should and must have the debate now.'

He goes on: 'Like the human body, you can only cut off so many of the individual parts before it ceases to be functional, and then dies. And that, I regret to say, is what is happening to Canada.'

At the end, Hellyer's solution is political and resolutely democratic. He proposes the combination of all parties except the Liberals and the Alliance into one party capable of providing a 'government in waiting', an clear alternative to the federal Liberals. His recommendations, a political platform from the 'radical centre', would give Canada freedom of action in world economics, domestic policy, and foreign initiatives. It sounds as if it is Eyes Glaze Over material, but it's not. It'll make you mad, though.

This book was written just before September 11th, but Hellyer had already noted that US Ambassador Paul Cellucci had, on June 30th, 2001, suggested the 'harmonization' of border controls, law enforcement, energy, environmental, and immigration policies. Some may think Hellyer is prescient, but, no, he's just listening closely. 'Police and armed forces of the country being colonized are mobilized against the protesters' he says of many countries, including Canada. So what's the point? Well, when someone of considerable political experience, passion, and undoubted integrity proposes an real alternative direction for Canada and the world, all Canadians must take notice. And when that individual has the writing skills to compress those proposals into a short, easy to read, and understandable book that fits into your pocket, you'd have to be a remarkably apathetic Canadian not to read it.

Hellyer is clear, sane, logical, and forthright. He's angry and he's pumped. You should get this book, read it, and think about it. Right now.

Paul Hellyer: 'Goodbye Canada'. Toronto, Chimo Media, 2001. $14.95.