I don't understand this.
In 1987 Canada negotiated a Free Trade Agreement with the US.
In 2013 Canada negotiates a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.
The US and the EU are both very big advanced economies.
Wikipedia confirms my memory of 1987: "The debate in Canada over whether to implement the negotiated agreement was very contentious." It certainly was. Many people saw the 1987 FTA as an existential threat to Canada. I remember some otherwise normal people wearing black armbands when it was clear their side had lost.
So far, I see nothing like the same level of contention and opposition in 2013. Why? Where are the black armband wearers of yesteryear?
Some possible answers:
2. Nobody knew about the Canada/EU negotiations, and it's taking some time for opposition to get organised.
3. The US is a much bigger existential threat to Canada than the EU, so an FTA with the US is a much bigger existential threat to Canada than an FTA with the EU.
4. The black armband wearers of yesteryear think that Canada died as an independent nation in 1987, and it can't die twice.
5. The sky didn't fall in 1987, so the people who were strongly opposed to the FTA with the US have changed their minds in the light of that evidence and are now much less strongly opposed to FTAs, whether with the US or the EU.
My hunch is that 5 is the most important explanation. What are your thoughts?