Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Harper Not Just Americanizing, But Abolishing Canada
By Susan Thompson

For all the continuing concern among Canada’s progressives that Harper is Americanizing this country, it’s unfortunate that there has been silence about the fact that if he has his way, this country as we know it will soon no longer exist.

Plans are on track to establish a North American Union (NAU), a new political and economic entity that would take over governance from the existing countries of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. This is the actual end goal of “deep integration”, also known as the “Big Idea” orGrand Bargain”, as has been made clear in publications from Robert Pastor’s book Toward a North American Community to the Council on Foreign Relations’ trilateral task force report “Building a North American Community”. It doesn’t seem to matter that the Canadian public remains largely unaware of the plan and its consequences. Nor has it been approved by the U.S. Congress; as Republican Congressman Ron Paul has written, “Congressional oversight of what might be one of the most significant developments in recent history is non-existent. Congress has had no role at all in a ‘dialogue’ that many see as a plan for a North American union”.

But political elites in all three countries, in partnership with representatives of giant corporations such as Lockheed Martin (Canada just contracted the build of our census system to Lockheed Martin), have been working hard to keep making headway despite what the public may think. ...

Harper, of course, is not solely to blame. He was the merely the last Canadian Prime Minister to sign on to the plan, issuing a Leaders’ Joint Statement with the U.S. and Mexico in Cancun in March, but every successive Prime Minister since Mulroney has played his part regardless of party affiliation.

The sad fact is it hasn’t seemed to matter if we’ve had a Liberal or Conservative PM—all have been just as willing as Mulroney to sing the praises of the U.S. administration, and just as willing to sign away Canadian sovereignty on the latest in a long series of dotted lines. Mulroney kicked things off by signing the original FTA, although he was acting on the advice of a Royal Commission chaired by former Liberal Minister of Finance Donald S. Macdonald. Chretien signed NAFTA without changes despite his Red Book promise to renegotiate the agreement. And Martin fulfilled his role as an “amigo” to the U.S. at the Waco Summit in 2005, signing the Security and Prosperity Partnership Initiative, the foundation for NAFTA-plus and a future North American Union. Harper has only had to pick up where they left off, although there is little doubt he has been more than willing to do so. Nor has it been any different in the U.S., where it hasn’t mattered whether it was Republicans or Democrats in power—every President since Reagan has been on board.

Considering the unpopularity of the Bush administration and its policies in the U.S. itself, not to mention Canada, and around the world, erasing the borders between our countries and adopting U.S. policies at this time will likely create economic, political and military insecurity in this country rather than the security the “dialogue” promises. In the end it would also mean the loss of any unique policies and therefore identity that Canada has had, including everything from our past emphasis on multilateralism in foreign affairs to our public health care system. We will finally become America Lite, even as the U.S. itself also concedes its sovereignty and the democratic rights of its own citizens.

For more information on progress toward a North American Union (NAU), see http://www.vivelecanada.ca/staticpages/index.php/20060830133702539

Susan Thompson worked for U.S. advocacy organization MoveOn.org before founding Vive le Canada.ca, an alternative media and activist website with the goal of protecting and improving Canadian sovereignty and democracy, in 2003. She was a candidate for the NDP in the last two federal elections and has also worked as a freelance journalist for several years.


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