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Letter: A Canadian's perspective on Kavanaugh and NAFTA

Watching the Ford-Kavanaugh spectacle unfold I was struck by the immaturity and partisanship, of both the nominee and the senators reviewing him. As a Canadian -- and neither a Democrat nor a Republican -- who watched the proceedings, all I could...

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Watching the Ford-Kavanaugh spectacle unfold I was struck by the immaturity and partisanship, of both the nominee and the senators reviewing him. As a Canadian - and neither a Democrat nor a Republican - who watched the proceedings, all I could do is gape at the lack of professionalism in the room. When I finally turned off my TV, I knew that Canada should never accept President Trump's NAFTA terms.

For those unaware, one of the major points of contention in the NAFTA renegotiations is the dispute resolution mechanism. The American argument has been that it is an expensive and unnecessary tool, since each country's legal system is more than capable of handling complaints under NAFTA. The Americans have refused to sign an agreement that puts an effective arbiter in place, and the Canadians have said that no agreement can take place without one. Who should be believed?

Fast-forward to Brett Kavanaugh, a sitting appellate judge, sneering in contempt at the idea of the FBI getting a full account of the facts. Or mocking Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., for asking if he had ever forgotten what happened after drinking. What part of this was supposed to engender confidence in the judiciary? What sane person would put their business's fate in the hands of such a man?

And, to be a Supreme Court Justice, you should understand that you are trying to become part of an institution that is much more than the personal ambitions of its judges. A worthy nominee would have asked his confirmation to be paused the second Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusation was made public, in order to let the FBI fully exonerate him. He also would have asked the judiciary committee to release all documents the democrats requested. Most importantly, he would not have shown up at the hearing yesterday screaming that Ford was a pawn of the Clintons.

It will come as news to nobody that the United States has an institutional crisis. But if Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh, Canada should do everything it can to make sure that the toxicity of the American judiciary does not become a Canadian problem, no matter what it means for NAFTA.

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Hatton lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

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