North American Union, Listeriosis, TILMA & the Stephen Harper Party

A trip through some blog posts has my neural pathways click-click-clicking! Be forewarned, this is a click-heavy post!

It all started with Alison@Creekside, talking about Stock Day and the hook-up with the Conference Board of Canada, Bell Canada, Microsoft and the RCMP for discussions on the server in the sky, that whacked-out plan for a surveillance society.  It’s a plan which flows from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), that nasty piece of work cobbled together by the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE – those poor, poor millionaires) and the Mexican Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales (Comex, a group sponsored by Exxon Mobil, and boasting affiliation with none other than Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of Economics).

After civil society defeated the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a piece on the path to North American Union, the CCCE worked with the CFR and Comex on another way of making change.  They proposed, in 2003, the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI) which identifed five key areas of work:

Wholehearted action on these began when the SPP agreement was signed by former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, US President George W. Bush and former Mexican President, Vincente Fox, in 2005.  It has been lovingly tended by PM Harper, President Bush and Mexico’s President Calderon.

On my blogging journey, when I got to Larry Hubich‘s post discussing the Stephen Harper defence strategy that’s absent from the Conservative platform, I thought SPP.  He sent me over to Owls and Roosters, for more on the $490,000,000,000 defence plan.

In the sidebar at OnR, I noted a piece about TILMA, the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement that puts investment ahead of people.  Get this!  A re-elected Stephen Harper government would force TILMA on the provinces.  From page 16 of Stephen Harper’s de-sweatered platform:

A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will work to eliminate barriers that restrict or impair trade, investment or labour mobility between provinces and territories by 2010… We hope to see further progress, but are prepared to intervene by exercising federal authority if barriers to trade, investment and mobility remain by 2010.

And guess where talk of labour mobility barriers first appeared.

Yup!  The CCCE! It’s in the section on regulatory efficiencies:

  • As part of this effort, three issues of significant sensitivity must be addressed: the use of trade remedies within a de facto integrated market; regulatory restrictions on access and ownership in major industries; and impediments to the mobility of skilled labour.

Given what’s happening on Wall Street right now, it would make more sense for Canada to race away from markets more integrated with the USA!  But Steve, like Noah of the Old Testament, is staying the course.  In fact, Canada should have run away from the North American integration a long while ago.  That might have prevented 20 recent deaths.  From the same regulatory/economic efficiencies section:

  • With respect to standards, inspection and certification procedures, our two countries should be able to apply a principle of “tested once” for purposes of the Canada-United States market. Examples of such areas are the consumer and industrial goods sector, food safety and pharmaceuticals.

Food safety, huh?

But wait! There’s more.

I had to travel back to Alison@Creekside, in 2006, where she quoted a Maclean’s article (note the changed URL),

This is how the future of North America now promises to be written: not in a sweeping trade agreement on which elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucracies and regulators.

Incremental changes, huh?

One more bit from that Maclean’s article.  Ron Covais, president of the Americas for the arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and a former adviser to US Vice President, Dick Cheney, said of the 2006 SPP meeting, “We’ve decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes because we won’t get anywhere.

Democratic process is such a pain, isn’t it?

Government by stealth; the Stephen Harper Party’s strength.

Can you stand more, dear reader?

Go ahead, watch this without me; I’ve had enough for one day!

Crossposted at rabble.ca/election

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The SPP lacks democratic approval

Last summer, Linda McQuaig (Part I and Part II) spoke of the “sophistication” of the business elite in their soft-peddling of continental integration through the Security and Prosperity Agreement (SPP).  The deal has been kept quite quiet and the work of moving it forward is ongoing via various business leaders, politicians and bureaucrats.

McQuaig’s focus is North American Energy Security which, in essence, is an agreement that Canada guarantee an energy supply to the USA.  The catch is that we must do that before we take what we need!  Why would Canada agree to ensuring the US supply before ensuring our own?  As McQuaig says, there are about 10 years of regular oil supplies left in Canada.  Are we too nice, offering it to the US first?  Or, too stupid?  Yes, there’s the Alberta tar sands, but that über project has garnered a huge outcry from ecological organizations, northern peoples, environmentalists, and even a few politicians, such as former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and the Mayor of the Alberta boomtown, Fort McMurray.

Are we, as Canadians, really prepared to give over our own energy security, the ecological integrity of our beautiful north and the well-being of our northern and First Peoples so that the business elite can continue to line their own pockets?  Do we really want to continue fueling the USA’s wars?  Furthermore, are we willing to let this carry on without the due process of our democratic institutions?

In August 2007, Prime Minister Harper refused to accept letters on this matter from 10,000 concerned Canadians.  In the April 2006 Throne Speech, Mr. Harper promised to present “significant international treaties” to a vote in Parliament.  In the last session, he did not do so.  Did he lie to Canadians?  And why, as we learned from US President Bush’s State of the Union Address earlier this week, is our Prime Minister is continuing to forge ahead with the SPP?  He has plans to meet with Presidents Bush and Calderon this April in New Orleans.  But he will do so without the consent of the Canadian people, despite promises — not to mention the obligation — to do so!

Should you so wish, you can tell the Prime Minister how you feel about this lack of democratic process.  The Council of Canadians have been following the developments on the SPP very closely.  It was the organization that forced some media attention onto the issue last summer.

If we truly treasure democracy then we are obliged, as responsible citizens, to speak out when it is being circumvented or abused.  This, I think, is one of those times.  If you do nothing else, at least inform yourself on this important issue.  It will change your life, one way or the other.