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It was surprising that bilateral relations with the U.S. did not play a more prominent role during the recent Canadian election considering that both countries are pursuing a trade and security agreement. In fact, the issue did not really surface until the dying days of the campaign
After winning a much coveted majority government, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are moving ahead quickly with perimeter security and regulatory harmonization negotiations.
In the final week of the Canadian election campaign, consumer advocate and four-time candidate for President of the United States, Ralph Nader warned about Canada-U.S. deep integration. In an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he raised concerns over the lack of transparency regarding talks between the two countries on a trade and border security deal.
Nader cautioned that a, “North American Security Perimeter Agreement will wrap many Canadian concerns — your Arctic, water, energy, anti-monopoly and foreign investment reviews — in a bi-national security blanket.”
He added, “The corporatist lobbies and what President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address 50 years ago — ‘the military-industrial complex’ — will favour this lucrative and anti-democratic initiative.”
Nader also explained in his letter to Harper, that, “Canada’s prudent bank regulation prevented a Wall Street style collapse of your economy.” North American deep integration is a corporate-led agenda designed to foster privatization and deregulation.
On Canada-US “Deep Integration” by Ralph Nader / April 30th, 2011 April 27, 2011 Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2 Dear Prime Minister: The on-going negotiations, under excessive secrecy, regarding “deep integration” between the U.S. and Canada — countries of vastly unequal bargaining power — have received too little attention during this election period.
The serious issues and consequences of any forthcoming agreement to Canadians deserve immediate public discussion among the candidates prior to the May 2 election. Inasmuch as you are both the protagonist and the chief negotiator with the Obama administration, it is your responsibility to inform the Canadian citizenry about the general frameworks, directions and any subordinations of sovereignty that are on the table.
Additionally, you can certainly disclose what is off the table and the general timetable for concluding the deliberations and announcing the proposed agreement. Voters in a democratic society are rightfully irritated to find that a subject of such gravity excluded from public debate before Election Day.
Canadians do not want a fiat accompli shorn of any public knowledge and participation. Such a process reveals a deep concentration of power in the executive that tears away the pretense of the deliberative parliamentary democracy that Canada holds out to the world.
The designs of “deep integration” are reflected in your interest in purchasing F-35 fighter jets (already estimated at $29 billion by a Parliamentary office) that has no Canadian defence rationale but serves to help bail out the Pentagon’s procurement mess with Lockheed-Martin’s delayed, troubled and way over budget aircraft. The early tangle of “deep integration” within the framework of a proposed North American Security Perimeter Agreement will wrap many Canadian concerns — your Arctic, water, energy, anti-monopoly and foreign investment reviews — in a bi-national security blanket to the disadvantage of both the Canadian and American people.
The corporatist lobbies and what President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address 50 years ago — “the military-industrial complex” — will favour this lucrative and anti-democratic initiative. Such a Perimeter Agreement would place Canada under further pressure to forego its leading peacekeeping role — now at its lowest ebb — in favour of joining what is becoming open-ended, unconstitutional and unlawful military adventures by the U.S. government overseas. Involvement in the Afghanistan war could be only the beginning of this dismaying Canadian turnaround.
As an economist, you must know what the post-war Canadian Consensus has meant to the well-being of all Canadians –such that your country has often led the world in overall standards of living. You know that this understanding in the past received support from Liberals, Conservatives and the New Democrats. “Deep integration” will further the contrary corporatist uber alles philosophy that marks what has become known as the Washington Consensus.In a contest under deep integration, you don’t have to wonder which will prevail, especially given your own strong predilections in favour of an ideology of corporate globalization, militarism, privatization and de-regulation so identified with the Washington Consensus.
Since you are known to be proud of your views and what Harper’s Canada would look like, how can you not share forthrightly the scenarios you are conjoining between Ottawa and Washington so that the Canadian voters can register their response? Our corporate-hi-jacked government in Washington is not known for its sensitivity to the notion of Canadian independence. But having co-authored the book Canada Firsts in 1993, I learned that many Canadians treasure their sovereignty and associate it with making possible many advances long in your land that are still not prevalent in our country.
Canada’s prudent bank regulation prevented a Wall Street style collapse of your economy. Please recognize your peoples’ right to know now about what is going on in these deliberations over “deep integration.” Sincerely yours, Ralph Nader Washington, DC
Originally posted by Kharron
reply to post by jude11
I am worried about another potentially destructive thing they will come up with.
With the new union, the suspension of our American only Constitution and a chance for those in power to draft a new one. Scary, huh?
Originally posted by Chewingonmushrooms
Man I love Ralph Nader, one of the true for the people "politicians". His track record speaks for itself.
Originally posted by Bobaganoosh
Another case of too little too late. I like nader, too bad I'm. One of a miniscule bunch. Its gonna happen now, bye bye canada, usa, freedom.
Originally posted by fenceSitter
I think US and Canadian politics suffer from the same major problem - lack of a decent choice. I figured Harper would win - but a majority I didn't expect. I think that is thanks to Ignatieff being an even worse choice. Traditional Liberal voters either went to NDP or Conservative and the amount that went Conservative was enough for a majority.
Now that Harper has much more control I think it will be even more important for all Canadians to dig deep and get all the info possible on issues like Nader's letter addressed. I've heard too many people saying a majority is good for Canada - 'now things will get done'. Sure things will get done faster - that doesn't mean good things though. I truly think that it is in all Canadian's best interest to keep Harper under the microscope for the next 4 years.
Originally posted by Buddha1098
The NAU is all about getting our fair share of the resources in the Arctic.
Of course we'll be worse off and we won't get our fair share of our own resources.
Originally posted by Buddha1098
reply to post by jude11
We have our fair share for now. Until Russia and or the US decide they want it. Russia is already said they would go to war for the arctic resources according to Wikileaks. What do you think our chances would be in a war with Russia? Well we have our Nato allies to help us right? Aligning ourselves strategically with the US ensures that the US alone gets access to our resources as opposed to just using our Nato alliance which means Europe gets access too.
Harper's gambit is to align himself with the US to get more of our resources for ourselves. But much like what we do with the Tar Sands, we will give most of it away to foreign oil companies so still won't get our fair share. Hope that clears up the apparent contradiction... it makes perfect sense in my head.. =)