Canadian Sovereignty at Risk

A few months ago I wrote about a secret meeting that had taken place between high-ranking officials of the Canadian and American governments, with a view to creating a more integrated continent. This stealth North American union project (known as the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP) is heating up again, though more attention is being paid in the States than here in Canada. Some American legislators are speaking up about the plan’s threat to national sovereignty, as well as the fact that it’s being negotiated undemocratically, in secret.

If the United States government is concerned about a loss of national sovereignty, we should be even more so.

This issue is receiving renewed attention now because of a planned visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff this Friday, along with Mexican officials. That visit will be followed up with a trip to Canada by George Bush in June.

Canadians should be paying far more attention to the prospects of deep integration with the United States. This is a country that no longer believes in the right to a fair trial, and that has still not apologized for deporting one of us — Maher Arar — to be tortured. There are things on which we can cooperate, but for the sake of human rights and national sovereignty, the US version of “security” is not one of them.

Or, if there’s nothing to worry about, then there’s no reason to keep having these discussions and meetings in secret.

6 thoughts on “Canadian Sovereignty at Risk

  1. Beautifully put. I hope to hear more from the Green Party on this critical issue.

    This is a horrendous deal that must be stopped. Dissolving our sovereignty with any nation would be a big deal, and one most Canadians would not support. If a stealth maneuver were taking place to merge us with a relatively peaceful, just and benign nation – like say Sweden – were taking place, Canadians would rightly be indignant, and in fact furious. To be witnessing a stealth maneuver to merge Canada with what has now become – by any reasonable definition – a fascist state, is simply beyond words.

    Habeas corpus has been suspended in the U.S. In the new America, freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment is now gone. Harvard law students have conducted a mock funeral for the U.S. Constitution. By any rational definition, The United States has ceased to be a constitutional democracy. By any reasonable definition, the United States has become a fascist state. Is this the kind of nation we want to form deeper alliances with? Would we wish to be submerged into any other nation, particularly one that has moved so clearly into fascism?

    Aside from these most obvious points, it would be unwise in the extreme to form a deep integration with a nation many times our size both demographically and economically – it would be an unequal and thus, for us at least, undemocratic union.

    Beyond this, the giant U.S. economy is a sinking ship. The U.S. dollar is sinking. Central banks around the world are divesting themselves of U.S. currency. And we are going to tie ourselves to a sinking ship?

    The U.S. corporate elite want this merger in order to secure access to the biggest oil reserves in the hemisphere – the Canadian tar sands – and in order to secure access to a flood of cheap Mexican labour. It is their hope that they will be able to compete with the rising giant of China by doing so. Oh, and the suspension of basic rights and freedoms is also considered necessary – security from the risk of authentic, functioning democracy breaking out. This is the SPP in a nutshell.

    Only the corporate elite support this insane and anti-democratic plan. No-one else wants this. We only have to make known what is happening. The public is being kept in the dark because the business “leaders” know, and have said directly, that it would never fly if it were put through Parliament or Congress. That is our strength. All we need to do is to make this issue know. It will die if exposed to the light of day.

    Add to this mix the fact that a council of 30 CEO’s, representing some of the biggest corporations on the continent, is to rule this union (via the NACC, or “North American Competitiveness Council”), and will “brief” Parliament and Congress after decisions have been made, and it is no surprise that this is being done in stealth mode. No-one in their right mind – in any of the three nations – would support this; except of course, the head of the biggest corporations, who are pushing it through for the sake of quarterly profits.

    Security for whom? Prosperity for whom? This is a Security and Prosperity Partnership of the corporate elite, by the corporate elite, for the corporate elite. We need to be talking about this. This needs to be a major election issue. This needs to be stopped.

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