Comunidad del pacífico en perspectiva - Volumen 2

THE MAIN THRUST OF CANADA'S RELATIONS WITH THE COUNTRIES OF THE PACIFIC RIM Árthur E. Blanchette l. Developing Relations with the Pacitic It was in the 1640's that the first Canadian move towards the Far East oceurred. It produeed a misunderstanding whieh is stiU on our maps and which eame about in this way. Not long after Montreal was founded in 1642, the early Frech explorers -like Christopher Columbus, Balboa, and others before theril who were moved by the desire to find a westward passage to the rieh and fabled East- pushed beyond Montreal along the Sto Lawrence Rí– ver. They soon came up against a narrowing in the river with vi– gorous rapids, beyond which the Sto Lawrence broadened and see– med to stretch endlessly westward. These hardy pioneers believed that they had found the celebrated passage to the east so they ga– ve this rapids side the name of Laehine (China), which still exísts today. It is now an industrial city on the outskirts of Montreal. The first tangible eontact between Canada and the Far East took plaee much later in the form of fur and ginseng exports, from what was then New Franee and is now mainly Quebec, to China vía merchants in Franee during the latter part of the 17th and the early years of the 18th century. This trade continued to grow well into the 19th eentury. Indeed, that early trade seems to have set the pattern for our economic relations with many countries of the Pacific Rim for all time. It is one of our regrets that, with the exception of some eountries like Australia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, our exports to the countries of the Pacific Rim are still predominently raw materials, a problem to which 1 shall return later. Like the Latin American eountries of the Pacific, Canada has been generally slow in establishing a broad and sustained rela– tionship with the Far East. Canada has had certain experienees in common with Latin America whieh have brought this about. 89