With a federal election in full swing, anti-American attitudes have once again sprung to the surface among Canada’s political class. In December, Prime Minister Paul Martin took a swipe at the United States for failing to yield to the “global conscience” on the perceived global warming crisis. The U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, responded with a thinly veiled rebuke, saying Canada offers “little in return” and added: “I understand political expediency, but the last time I looked, the United States was not on the ballot for the Jan. 23 election.”

Such back-and-forth remarks appear to be further damaging some already-strained relations between the Canadian government – which recently recognized same-sex “marriages” – and an America that is governed by far more conservative politicians. Right-wing American pundit Tucker Carlson recently compared Canada to America’s “retarded cousin,” saying: “You know, he’s nice, but you don’t take him seriously.” He also said that “anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York.”

While much of the media coverage of this spat has focused on trade, defence issues and bilateral relations between the two countries, a less-reported story would be the growing antipathy among American social conservatives – the bedrock of the Republican party – towards Canada. This is especially in light of Martin’s recent claim that Canadians who would not “defend the Charter” to uphold same-sex “marriage” are unfit for public office.

Speaking to The Interim, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women For America calls Canada a sort of “canary in a coalshaft” in terms of enacting the radical left’s agenda on life and family issues. “You guys really have it tough – I can’t even imagine,” she said, noting that Canadian politicians have successfully enacted abortion and gay “marriage” rights without any notable public opposition. Wright argued that while the American public pays little attention to Canadian affairs, many American judges are influenced by foreign court decisions and such victories for the left “may embolden our (own) opponents.”

Bill Saunders, of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council, largely agreed with Wright’s assessment, saying: “Generally speaking, we’re pretty discouraged with Canada” and that “things are even worse in Canada than here – the courts seem even more out of control.”

Asked if he could offer any advice to Canada’s beleaguered social conservatives, Saunders said that Canadians must find a way to “rein in” our Supreme Court. Wright, meanwhile, praised the work of The Interim and other pro-life voices. “I think what you’re doing is one of the most important things – educating and informing people,” said Wright, adding: “With a little perspective, Canadians might realize the country is perceived as extreme.”