because the AHA is a US based, US focused lobbying organization/affinity group?
I belong to several professional societies that have "American" as the first word in their acronyms, and at various points are now or have previously belonged to other societies that are set up to represent and advocate for their members, promote and advance their craft, etc. None of them, as far as I have ever been aware, would adopt this stance, even in spirit, on issues, and they all welcome Canadian and other foreign membership. I would be very disappointed if this is the strongest argument used to defend eliminating the Canadian entry site.
Given the size and growth rate of the AHA, they might want to consider doing what other national organizations of this size does and go to regional divisions. There is clearly a geographic element to the issue of entry sites and this is the kind of thing that is easier handled within a division.
I can understand the challenges Tom has put forth, but I think the resolution is short-sighted. Canada does present a unique situation, but it sounds like they have a strong and motivated support system and put forth some reasonable suggestions to consider. I don't buy into the argument about an unfair statistical advantage either, particularly since the region was expected to fill their slots. Sticking with the fairness issue, if you're going to have regional competitions in the first round, then you should require people to enter their particular region to keep people from shopping for "weaker" regions or homebrew clubs from flooding multiple regions, etc.
If one wanted to argue slot statistics, I think the need to cap the number of entries is more telling. Based on the average, it looks like each person who entered the competition entered about five beers. I would be interested in hearing what the median entry per person was as well. I recall reading that one of the medalists entered something like 50 beers! It will be interesting to see whether this increases the number of people entering this year. The Ninkasi goes to the person with the highest point total, but I think they ought to give mention to the person with the highest points per entry.