Dismantling a Nation: Canada and the New World Order


190 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-895686-14-8
DDC 320.971




Reviewed by David E. Smith

David E. Smith is a political science professor at the University of
Saskatchewan and the author of Building a Province: A History of
Saskatchewan in Documents.


“The central argument of this book,” in the words of its authors,
“is that neo-conservatism is incompatible with the continued existence
of Canada as we have come to know it.” The titles of the four
principal chapters indicate the direction of their argument:
“Neo-Conservatism in Canada: Importing a Foreign Model”;
“Dismantling the Keynesian Welfare State”; “The Neo-Conservative
Constitutional Agenda”; and “Embedding the Neo-Conservative
Doctrine: The Canadian Political Economy and Continental Free Trade.”
So, too, does the language they employ (e.g., “unabashed pursuit of
economic growth”; “legislative erosion of ... postwar [policy]”;
“free trade [as an] ideology”; and “assault upon the static

One does not have to be apologist for the Mulroney government (which is
depicted here as the political handmaiden of neo-conservatism in Canada)
to voice mild dissent at the symmetry of the argument. By the authors’
own account, some unravelling of postwar social policy was evident
midway through the Trudeau years, and yet this had nothing to do with a
neoconservative political agenda. And the link between continental free
trade and the economic provisions of the reform package that led to
Charlottetown is more complex than this book suggests. Nevertheless,
while some readers will dispute its contentious thesis, they cannot
quarrel with the quality of its research or the clarity of its


McBride, Stephen., “Dismantling a Nation: Canada and the New World Order,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 2, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13313.