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editorial

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)Cliff Owen/The Associated Press

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has given Canadians, and the current federal election, something both have long been seeking: a new national dream worthy of the 21st century.

It's time to build a wall – the higher the better – along our 8,891-kilometre border with the United States.

Mr. Walker proposed the plan, sort of, this past weekend. Asked whether the U.S. needed to erect ramparts across the Canadian border, he averred that it was a "legitimate" idea. Of course it is.

There is a tendency to look disdainfully upon the politics of the Great Republic to our south. But good ideas know no borders, and that goes doubly for great ideas. And so, before the Americans can start erecting a barrier against a world allegedly set on stealing their jobs, Canada must steal their architectural blueprints.

Walls have demonstrated their usefulness throughout history, from the Ming dynasty to Game of Thrones. More importantly, this is precisely the infrastructure plan Canada's economy so badly needs. It will benefit every region of the country. It creates jobs in industries from construction to the visual arts (walls need to be painted). It brings badly needed economic development to distressed rural areas. It will spark technological innovations.

We'll need to muster all our finest engineering minds, cartographers and fencing contractors. The Rockies and the Great Lakes pose a bit of a logistical challenge. And Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories – the unfortunate, borderless five – would of course have to be compensated. The federal equalization formula will also have to be tweaked to reflect a new reality of have-walls and have-nots.

Canada must also learn from past mistakes. The concrete monstrosity built to circumscribe West Berlin was of limited aesthetic merit, and ultimately proved inadequate for the job. (Mr. Walker's fellow candidate Donald Trump might say it was built by losers.) And China's wall wasn't quite great enough to forestall northern invaders. But they weren't built with superior Canuck know-how.

It's time to rekindle the indomitable spirit that inspired a fledgling country's founders to challenge the impossible and dream of a railway linking two oceans. Let us build the Great Wall of Canada.