Tom Harris sent over this letter he and his wife had published in the Ottawa Citizen today:
On behalf of many of the ordinary residents of the nation's capital, we would like to welcome President George W. Bush to Canada.It is important for us to remember that America has friends like this in Canada and all over the world -- there even are some in France. Unfortuantely, one sometimes gets the impression that almost everyone living abroad hates us. This is not so. Only the stupid ones do. (Just kidding with that last sentence. Mostly.)
Many of us admire the way he has stood up to international terrorism and, while we may not agree with his actions on every front, we would like to reassure him that many, many Canadians are strongly supportive of the enduring alliance between our nations and feel nothing but goodwill towards his country and its fine citizens.
As my wife and I proclaimed in a sign we held up when President Ronald Reagan visited Ottawa in the 1980s, our two nations are indeed "Friends in freedom."
Sadly, because of the hundreds of protesters who are being bused to Ottawa from universities in Toronto and other locations to "unwelcome Bush" in "two days of mass protest and creative resistance" (to quote organizers), the media focus will undoubtedly be on the problems caused by an unrepresentative but very vocal few. Groups such as the Communist Party of Canada (who have booked their own bus to travel from Toronto to Ottawa to protest the visit) do not represent us or anyone we know.
Unfortunately, most ordinary Ottawa residents simply cannot afford the time away from their busy lives at work or at home to come out and demonstrate our support for the United States.
Mr. Bush should be assured that he has an enormous well of popular support in the silent majority of hardworking citizens in Canada and throughout the world.
Tom Harris and Laurie Lemoine