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Columbus Communications


Columbus Communications is a company with a new vision of globalization in Canada. Because of the FTA, NAFTA, and the FTAA, the 1988 Canada United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, and Free Trade Area of the Americas due to be ratified in 2005, the focus of Canada's attention is now directed southwards.

The following are a series of letters to the editor in various publications discussing the topic.


National Post, September 21, 1999.


Re: A Glimpse Behind Closed Vatican Doors, Sept 16. Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, the Archbishop of Toronto, points out that Richard John Neuhaus, in his book, Assignment in Rome, uses the word "America" to mean all the countries in the New World from Argentina to Mexico to Canada. This is to be applauded because it is the proper historical use of the word.

Christopher Columbus in 1492 landed on a landmass unknown to Latin-speaking intellectual Europe. By 1507 the name America was applied on a map of the world for the first time. Thus Columbus discovered America, the fourth continent, which Mexicans, Brazilians, and Argentinians live on along with Canadians and Americans. These historic facts are completely ignored in Canada.

Canadians act like the U.S. in the usage of "North America"; we exclude nations that speak Spanish such as Mexico, Cuba, or Nicaragua. Mexico may be part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but it is not a North American country or are its people considered North Americans.

The word America used by Mexicans and other Latins is the correct historic usage, it is not owned by one country or belong to the U.S. There is no copyright on the word America. We are entirely wrapped up in the U.S.ís America like a cultural colony.

The fact is Canada is a nation on the American continent and Canadians are Americans like Brazilians, Chileans, and Mexicans. The term North America lacks the cultural diversity that is the historic trademark of the West.


Vancouver magazine, April 1999.

We're No Miami

In your article about generous Hong Kong benefactors (Cultural Guan-Xi," Dec. 1998), I read that Vancouver is considered the capital of Asia like Miami is the capital of Latin America. Perhaps this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. The Miami Herald has two reporters in Latin America and three who cover Latin America full-time from Miami. The Vancouver media has no full-time reporters in Asia, although the Sydney Morning Herald does. The Vancouver Sun carries Jonathan Manthorpe, but he reports on Asia for the entire Southam chain. This is not very intense media interest in a region that is supposedly so important to the city. I think the elites and the media of Vancouver have been seduced by suave, smooth-talking Hong Kong billionaires. Call it globalization lite.


National Postís Financial Post, June 17, 1999.

MIssing the Boat on Latin America

In Terence Corcoran's June 8 editorial (Despite the Hoopla, Free Trade in a Funk), it seems apparent freer trade is going nowhere. Perhaps the National Post could give it a boost. Mexico is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (This is not the popular view, as North America to most Canadians does not include any Spanish speaking nations.) As a result, the Bolsa in Mexico City could be listed in the North American indexes.

Or perhaps the Post could make a section called "The Americas" to track how each market is doing in Latin America. The United States is supposedly a foreign country, but it is listed in North America as if it were a part of Canada.

Canada has an edge in Latin America and we do not take advantage of it. We are too comfortable in the shadow of the U.S. We rely on U.S. news wires and reporters for information from the region, like a weak cultural colony. All the news we get is politics, violence and drug-related, rebellions, wars and crises. Why invest there? In a region with about 400 million people, the news cannot be all bad. The media needs to give Canadians better information about Latin America.


The Globe and Mailís Report on Business, October 27, 1998.

Mexico left out

In comparing how far the dollar goes outside Canada, Report on Business omitted a significant country that is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (How Far Does a Dollar Go? - Oct. 19).

That country is Mexico, a member of the OECD since 1994.

Unlike European countries, Mexico has a trade accord with Canada in the North American free-trade agreement, a deal that was supposed to increase trade and business interest between the countries.

Mexico is probably a more popular tourist destination that two other countries in the comparison combined - Iceland and Norway.

In addition, the government of Canada is trying to negotiate a trade agreement of the Americas. This inexplicable exclusion of a large, important Latin American country by the media does not augur well for the future of this trade deal.


The Globe and Mailís Report on Business, January 19, 1998.


Re: your story, "Trade Mission to Sail Again" (Jan 8). Exports to countries Team Canada has visited previously have declined. Trade with the United States rose from 75% of Canada's total exports in 1990 to 82% in 1996. Trade with Mexico declined from 0.5 per cent in 1990 to 0.4 per cent in 1996.

If Canada is in the process of globalization why are exports to Mexico, a country we signed a trade treaty with in 1993, falling? How can globalization be occurring if trade with 180 countries is stagnant? Beyond the United States, where trade is growing, the cupboard looks bare. Yet there are about six billion people to trade with. The corporate elite are not delivering the goods promised.

The current situation looks more like Americanization than globalization. In my dictionary, the word globalization refers to "globe," which means the whole ball, the entire planet. We're not there; the corporate, political and media elite are giving us smoke and mirrors. Globalization simply isn't happening yet.


The Globe and Mail, October 22, 1994.

Name that ocean

In Report on Business under the heading Overseas Markets, you include Mexico City. If you check an atlas you will discover that one can drive to Los Angeles or Houston as easily as Monterrey or Mexico City. Such, however, cannot be said for Sydney, London, or Milan.