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Paul Martin's Choice: Stand up for Canada, or give in. Alfheim - 29/04/2004 10:39:47 PM

Tomorrow, Prime Minister Paul Martin will be in Washington for his first state visit with the President of the United States. Canadians, wary of George Bush's political beliefs and agressive foreign policy, will watch the new prime minister's every move. Knowing this, and with a looming elextion in mind, Paul Martin will likely publicly commit to little beyond future meetings and a brief photo-op.

However, to find out what is really going on, Canadians need to look byond the public radar screen. Last week, in a less publicized move, Canada's big business lobby group, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) also travelled to Washinton where it met with officials and business leaders to promote NAFTA-Plus, the next step toward economic and military continental integration.

Not since 1984, when newly elected prime minister Brian Mulroney ("As much as a moron as his son, Ben, is turning out to be" - Me) announced to a bluechip New York business audience that Canada was "open for business" have we seen the groundwork being laid for structural changes of such magnitude to US-Canada relations. The C.D Howe Institiute calls it the "Big Idea" and has produced thirteen papers promoting it in the past two years. The Fraser Institute calls it "Economic Union." The CCCE has published a major report called the "North American Security and Prosperity Initiative" linking Canada's future prosperity to dramatically increased integration into the US orbit.

The implications of these plans for Canadian soverignty and democracy are profound, and yet very few Canadians know anything about them. Essentially, they call for Canada to abandon independent positions in the areas of foreign and security policy, natural resources and border regulation in order to protect Canadian business interests. The CCCE is calling for a "North American Defence Alliance" that would commit Canada to George Bush's missle defence system (which senior officials admit is the precursor to the weaponization of space), ensure Canada's support in pre-emptive wars like Iraq, place a substantial part of Canada's military under US command, and abandon our historic committment to multilateralism in favour of American unilateralism. This also entails adoptiing a US-defined security permimiter around North America.

The CCCE, along with former American ambassador to Canada James Blanchard, is also promoting a "Resource Security Pact" which would require giving up all remaining regulatory authority over our oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, uranium, primary metals, forest products, and agriculture. Given that Canada has already lost control of its energy under NAFTA's proportional sharing provision, it is difficult to understand how much more energy Canada can give away. But the big business community is eager to try.

The CCCE along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, is also pushing for a common North American approach to standards, testing, qualifications, regulations, labelling, procurement and environmental protection. Both advocate a "tested once" policy so Canada would not be able to set different or higher standards than those in the US. This would affect every aspect of Canadian life, including environmental standards, consumer protection, and health and safety inspections.

All of these and other sensitive areas are already under early negotiation between US and Canadian goverment officials, even though Canadians have not had an opportunity to debate them or even know such talks are taking place. Liberal MP Scott Brison has indicated in recent speeches that he supports border harmonization. As it deliberates on the thorny issue of Canada-US relationships, the Martin government would be wise to pay attention to a recent poll of continental integration by Iposos-Reid conducted on behalf of the Council of Canadians. Three quarters of Canadians believe our limited military spending should be used to enhance peacekeeping and conflict resolution rather than in combat beside American forces, and 7 in 10 are opposed to Canada's participation in the US missile scheme. Other polls show that Canadians strongly support the government's decision to stay out of the war in Iraq.

And astounding 90% want an independent energy policy, even if it means our exports to the US would be reduced. And 901% of Canadians want Canada to maintain the ability to set its own environmental, health, and safety standards, even if it means reducing cross-border trade with the US. On the eve of his visit to Washington, Paul Martin has a choice: Stand up for the Canada Canadians want, or give in to a well-funded big business agenda that would undermine Canadian sovereignty, foreign policy, and control over our resources for years to come.

Maude Barlow - The Chronicle Herald.
Thursday, April 29th, 2004.


*eye twitch* The Canadian people, it's good to see, still have their heads on properly, but this entire governmental idea of full integration into America has me fuming. F*ck big business, I will be forced to take up arms if this ridiculousness continues. Or, I shall move to England or Australia, far away from those business and American bastards. No offence to you citizens, of course. The goverment really should be aware of the polls, especially with the rising surge of Canadian nationalism, and Anti-Americanism, particularly among today's young voters.

Amid the unification and rightward shift of the Conservative and Liberal parties, the NDP should do something more than complain. It's time to unify the left of center political groups. Most of us want a goverment which is concerned with health, education, the environment, the social safety net, and Canadian soverignty, not one dedicated to making the corporate priorites, making the rich richer, and deeper integration with the US. Past experience has shown the NDP will not alone get the mandate to govern the country; but if disaffected politicans of all stripes would join them to form a new Social Democratic Party, we might be able to vote for a government who puts the people first.

Edit - This is why I vote NDP.




On an island where no one lives,
We build a treehouse together.

-----

This message last edited by Alfheim on 4/30/2004 at 12:06:10 AM.




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Paul Martin's Choice: Stand up for Canada, or give in. - 29/04/2004 10:39:47 PM 235 Views
Perhaps you would be less against this - 29/04/2004 10:45:16 PM 47 Views
I seriously doubt it. - 29/04/2004 10:52:18 PM 31 Views
Sorry I dont have much sympathy. - 29/04/2004 10:57:43 PM 32 Views
Ack! - 29/04/2004 11:03:23 PM 27 Views
What a silly comment - 30/04/2004 10:27:47 AM 13 Views
egocentric imperialist swine. - 29/04/2004 11:42:00 PM 24 Views
Heh. - 29/04/2004 11:43:51 PM 17 Views
i never said i didn't. - 29/04/2004 11:53:03 PM 13 Views
I didn't say you didn't. - 29/04/2004 11:57:00 PM 11 Views
i never said you said i didn't. - 30/04/2004 12:00:20 AM 9 Views
You implied as much. - 30/04/2004 12:02:40 AM 9 Views
oh, i believe. - 30/04/2004 12:07:28 AM 8 Views
Quite right. - 30/04/2004 12:10:50 AM 9 Views
Yeah come to Australia - 30/04/2004 12:13:02 AM 9 Views
Silly Aussie. - 30/04/2004 12:17:42 AM 9 Views
yay! - 30/04/2004 12:16:42 AM 7 Views
Yeah, you probably can't get rid of them. - 30/04/2004 12:18:38 AM 7 Views
sounds like fun. - 30/04/2004 12:22:23 AM 7 Views
I'd prefer a penninsula. - 30/04/2004 12:25:10 AM 8 Views
yes! - 30/04/2004 12:38:30 AM 8 Views
You've touched a cord with me here Greg - 29/04/2004 11:46:32 PM 23 Views
Actually I dont - 30/04/2004 11:30:53 AM 8 Views
He better stand up, or I'll boot his bottom - 29/04/2004 10:49:39 PM 15 Views
Excellent. That's my locale. - 29/04/2004 10:53:51 PM 11 Views
of course its just the job issue - 29/04/2004 10:58:54 PM 9 Views
Yeah, it sorta sucks. - 29/04/2004 11:04:58 PM 8 Views
well, maybe I'll try english - 29/04/2004 11:10:41 PM 6 Views
I'll show you around if you ever make it up. - 29/04/2004 11:15:31 PM 6 Views
yes yes, it was nice - 29/04/2004 11:20:02 PM 6 Views
Yes, and Canada is always the right direction. - 29/04/2004 11:24:31 PM 6 Views
yes yes it is *NM* *NM* - 29/04/2004 11:30:07 PM 4 Views
Oop. - 29/04/2004 11:35:30 PM 6 Views
oops *NM* - 29/04/2004 11:55:49 PM 4 Views
No worries. *NM* - 30/04/2004 12:06:32 AM 3 Views
I hope your side wins. *NM* - 29/04/2004 10:58:20 PM 5 Views
Yeah.... bastardos. *NM* - 29/04/2004 11:08:04 PM 3 Views
What??!! No Way! - 29/04/2004 11:52:00 PM 15 Views
I fully agree. - 29/04/2004 11:58:22 PM 9 Views
Also silly - 30/04/2004 10:48:22 AM 9 Views
Not Silly, patriotic - 01/05/2004 12:45:13 AM 7 Views
I have a different definition of patriotic, I'm afraid - 01/05/2004 02:03:49 AM 7 Views
Hmmm.... - 02/05/2004 04:45:51 PM 4 Views
As much as it sucks - 29/04/2004 11:52:16 PM 24 Views
I dunno... - 30/04/2004 12:01:33 AM 13 Views
I really hope it doesn't - 30/04/2004 12:11:33 AM 9 Views
L.O.L - 30/04/2004 12:16:57 AM 20 Views
Re: L.O.L - 30/04/2004 12:29:31 AM 13 Views
Sad to say but Conservative policies mean more $$$ - 29/04/2004 11:53:40 PM 27 Views
Yes, but most people here aren't too concerned with that. - 29/04/2004 11:59:38 PM 17 Views
Yeah 9-11 happened here - 30/04/2004 12:16:32 AM 15 Views
I know, thus begins American fascism. - 30/04/2004 12:23:10 AM 11 Views
Just admit you're just a political and economic satrapy of the US - 30/04/2004 12:27:31 AM 31 Views
American. *NM* - 30/04/2004 12:31:22 AM 4 Views
Never!! - 30/04/2004 12:33:43 AM 22 Views
Yes. Let's give him to the Jewish. - 30/04/2004 12:34:32 AM 19 Views
Your books cost more too...haha! - 30/04/2004 12:51:42 AM 18 Views
no country would willingly do this - 30/04/2004 12:50:26 AM 20 Views
Unabashedly proud American here - 30/04/2004 09:17:31 AM 17 Views
F*cking eh! - 30/04/2004 06:43:21 PM 5 Views