Creekside: North America Next

March 7, 2009

The terminology keeps changing. Deep integration is now ‘plug and play interoperability’. But changing the words will not change the odious Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Alison over at Creekside has an excellent post about this:

A year ago the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Arizona State University $15 million to establish a Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. The border security research centre is led by Rick Van Schoik, director of ASU’s North American Center for Transborder Studies.
Arizona State U presser, Feb. 2008 :
“The establishment of the center by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security follows more than two years of work assembling a team of U.S. universities, Mexican and Canadian institutions, government agencies, technology companies and national laboratories.

[…]

Read rest of Alison’s post here.

Also linked: CathiefromCanada: “Plug and play interoperability”

For SPP watch  articles, visit the Council of Canadians Integrate This! website:

September 26, 2008
Posted by Andrea Harden

President Bush met with leaders and officials from 11 countries in the Western Hemisphere on Wednesday, September 24th in New York to launch the ‘Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas’ initiative. Canada is joined by the U.S., Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru in this initiative. All have free trade agreements with the U.S., or one pending before Congress. In a Washington Post article, Bush hails the initiative as, “a forum where leaders can work to ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly shared.” (more…)

Council of Canadians

CIP Americas Program: Armoring NAFTA: The Battleground for Mexico’s Future

Excerpt:

In April 2007, on the eve of the North American Trilateral Summit, Thomas Shannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, described the SPP’s purpose with remarkable candor: The SPP, he declared, “understands North America as a shared economic space,” one that “we need to protect,” not only on the border but “more broadly throughout North America” through improved “security cooperation.” He added: “To a certain extent, we’re armoring NAFTA.”2

Mexicans and other Latin Americans have learned that adopting the U.S.-promoted neoliberal economic model—with its economic displacement and social cutbacks—comes with a necessary degree of force, but this was the first time that a U.S. official had stated outright that regional security was no longer focused on keeping the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico safe from harm, but was now about protecting a regional economic model. Of course, Shannon didn’t list political opposition as one of the threats to be countered; he simply argued that the new “economic space” needed to be protected against “the threat of terrorism and against a threat of natural disasters and environmental and ecological disasters.” But the counter-terrorism/drug-war model elaborated in the SPP and embodied later in Plan Mexico (known officially as the Merida Initiative) encourages a crackdown on grassroots dissent to assure that no force, domestic or foreign, effectively questions the future of the system.

[… Read more]

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Integrate This! – SPP Watch Update

August 2, 2008

SPP Watch

SPP WATCH makes the links between daily news items, new government initiatives and the ongoing Security and Prosperity Partnership talks between Canada, Mexico and the United States. As well as regular SPP updates, we will continue to post new reports, interviews and multimedia presentations critical of what is sometimes called the “deep integration” of North America.

The Integrate This website will slow down over the summer as staff take their annual vacations and as Stuart Trew, the Council of Canadians researcher/writer who has been administering the site’s content, heads to Toronto to become the Council’s regional organizer for Ontario-Québec. We will continue to post news articles and important reports but not as frequently as we have been over the past eight months.

Harper launches major assault on food safety, fires government scientist; regulatory harmonization blamed
The extent of Harper’s current assault on Canada’s food and drug inspection system is about to dwarf any previous concerns we had with the regulatory harmonization of pesticide residues. The Prime Minister is simultaneously eliminating funding for BSE testing for Canadian producers, offloading federal research facilities to the private sector and academia, and firing government scientists who dare stand up against this widespread deregulation for the sake of corporate profits.

What’s good for U.S. energy security is good for the SPP
A recent U.S. statement confirms the ongoing push for greater North American energy integration that leaves Canada wide open for the worst of an energy gold rush.   In addressing the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington DC, Daniel Sullivan (Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs) calls for more energy integration and dependence on market-based solutions in the face of rising oil and gas prices and the havoc this is wreaking on the U.S. economy.

Majority of Canadians would renegotiate NAFTA, says Angus Reid poll
You’d never know it from the lengths our federal and provincial governments are going to in defence of NAFTA, but most Canadians think we should renegotiate the free trade and investment pact, says a new poll by Angust Reid.

Plan Mexico, SPP about “armouring NAFTA,” says Avi Lewis
Journalist and human rights activist Avi Lewis, commented on Plan Mexico and the Security and Prosperity Partnership this week on U.S. radio program Democracy Now.

Put on the EDL brakes
From the speed at which provinces are introducing so-called enhanced driver’s licences, you’d think they were a universally acclaimed technology (Passport Alternative Approved In Sask. – B.C. and online editions, July 31). But as a public forum in Toronto this month showed, there is much skepticism among Canada’s privacy commissioners, consumer groups and the public.

Industry Week magazine contrasts European vs. SPP approach to chemicals regulation
A new article in Industry Week magazine offers an interesting and brief explanation of Europe’s new chemicals regulation laws (the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) legislation), and how they differ from the North American approach being developed through the Security and Prosperity Partnership.

“Any harsh treatment endured by Khadr is Canada’s responsibility,” says lawyer Kuebler
As reported by CTV this week, new documents and video footage “suggest Canada was aware of the harsh treatment that Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr was being subjected to in Guantanamo Bay at the hands of U.S. military interrogators.” But Prime Minister Harper still says the government knew nothing and has no intention of interfering, or in asking that Khadr be allowed to return to Canada.

For more information on the SPP, please visit www.IntegrateThis.ca.


Canada Day – Another view: “Will the USA Invade Canada?”

July 2, 2008

Regardless of what you think about Canada-US relations, this piece written by Carlton Meyer for Sanderson Research Associates Ltd. is thought-provoking reading for Canadians as we reflect on our country’s past, present and future on this Canada Day. Is Myer’s view inconceivable, improbable, impossible? Is it far-fetched? Or could it be a possible scenario as the USA faces its worst crisis since the Great Depression? According to Carlton Myer this invasion of Canada has already begun.  I tend to agree …

Will the USA Invade Canada?

By Carlton Meyer
Jul/17/2007
Active ImageCanada is now considered an unimportant good neighbor by the superpower to its south. A recent effort to create a “North American Union” (NAU) with Canada, the USA, and Mexico is a semi-secret effort by industrialists in these three nations. The goal is similar to the “European Union” in that it would allow low-cost Mexican labor and abundant Canadian energy reserves to fuel the huge industrial machine of the USA and create the world’s greatest economic power. The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the cornerstone of this union.

Few Americans know that Canada is the leading source of imported energy to the USA. They are the biggest source of foreign oil, natural gas, uranium, and even electricity. As energy costs recently doubled, Canada is becoming wealthy, at the expense of its southern neighbor. This has weakened Canadian support for a NAU. The obnoxious foreign policy of President George Bush has nearly derailed it.

Battle of Lake Erie, 1812

The USA invaded Canada during its war with Britain in 1812. It was thought the conquest would be easy, but Canadians did not welcome their “liberators” from the south. In the 1930s, the U.S. military developed a detailed 94-page document called “Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan – Red” for invading Canada. The plan called for the U.S. military to launch a surprise attack to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting the Canadians off from their British allies. Canadian power plants near Niagara Falls would be seized as the U.S. Army invaded on three fronts — marching from Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, charging out of North Dakota to grab the railroad center at Winnipeg, and storming out of the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy seizes the Great Lakes and blockades Canada’s ports.[1]

That invasion plan was scrapped as World War II began. Canada is now considered an unimportant good neighbor by the superpower to its south. A recent effort to create a “North American Union” (NAU) with Canada, the USA, and Mexico is a semi-secret effort by industrialists in these three nations.[2] The goal is similar to the “European Union” in that it would allow low-cost Mexican labor and abundant Canadian energy reserves to fuel the huge industrial machine of the USA and create the world’s greatest economic power. The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the cornerstone of this union.

Active ImageHowever, the free movement of cheap labor from Mexico resulted in angry opposition from American workers. Legal obstacles have been evaded by encouraging illegal immigration. Current immigration laws are rarely enforced and the number of illegal immigrants is now so great that they openly hold political rallies and make demands. As a result, NAU leaders are attempting to squeeze a second amnesty law through the U.S. Congress to provide legal status to this cheap labor. This will ensure that millions more Mexicans flood across the lightly patrolled border and depress wages further, thus boosting profits with what NAU leaders call the “free movement of labor.”

Few Americans know that Canada is the leading source of imported energy to the USA. They are the biggest source of foreign oil, natural gas, uranium, and even electricity. As energy costs recently doubled, Canada is becoming wealthy, at the expense of its southern neighbor. This has weakened Canadian support for a NAU. The obnoxious foreign policy of President George Bush has nearly derailed it.

As energy prices continue to rise, economic growth and prosperity in the USA will stall, and then decline, while Canada enjoys an economic boom. This will result in envy and plots to secure Canada’s energy wealth for all North Americans. Mexico will soon need Canadian energy as well since its oil reserves are rapidly depleting and are projected to run out in a decade.[3]

Active Image

Meanwhile, a direct military confrontation is possible as the “Canada Canal” opens. While the media is full of stories about global warming, there is little convincing data. Since scientists are unable to predict the weather one week from now, one must doubt their projections of what may happen two decades from now. Nevertheless, arctic ice is melting and the long-sought “Northwest Passage” through Canada’s frozen north is now navigable for a few weeks each summer. Some scientists predict that all artic ice will melt within a couple of decades, keeping this route open year around. If ice continues to melt, this passage will become a transit route for ships trading between Europe and Asia. Commercial ships can shave off some 2500 miles from Europe to Asia compared with current routes through the Panama Canal. In addition, most modern container ships are too large to transit the Panama Canal, which is expensive and requires up to two weeks anyway.

Active Image

Active ImageMoreover, melting ice will allow practical access to arctic energy reserves that Canada claims. Huge energy reserves are suspected in this region, yet there is no road or rail access. As ice melts and the sea emerges, long dormant territorial disputes have arisen. Two years ago, Denmark, which rules Greenland, was angered by a visit of Canada’s defense minister, Bill Graham, on disputed Hans Island. He stayed for a short while, examining a new Maple Leaf flag planted by Canadian servicemen there, and an old flag left by a Danish naval party three years earlier. Denmark dispatched the naval cutter Tulugaq and threatened to land more men. However, as tensions rose, the rival claimants agreed to discuss the dispute at the United Nations.[4]

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said that six to eight Navy patrol ships have been assigned to guard what he says are Canadian waters. A deepwater port will be built in a region the U.S. Geological Survey estimates has as much as 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Harper proclaimed:

“Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake; this government intends to use it. It is no exaggeration to say that the need to assert our sovereignty and protect our territorial integrity in the North on our terms have never been more urgent.”[5]

Ambassador David WilkinsMeanwhile, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins criticized Harper, claiming the Northwest Passage as “neutral waters.” The U.S. Navy has sent ships and submarines through the passage in recent years without Canadian permission. It seems inconceivable that the USA would use this as an excuse to invade Canada, but if energy prices double yet again “something” may happen as the CIA shifts its misinformation and political manipulation machine to secretly destabilize the Canadian government. They could argue the area is not inhabited by real Canadians, just the indigenous Inuit. Perhaps a “Free Inuit” movement will appear, secretly backed by the USA. The few thousand Inuit could become wealthy and may eagerly sign whatever oil contracts they are presented. The long-standing “Stephen Harper” movement could be used to divide Canada and blame trouble on the French-speaking Canadians that dominate the province of Quebec. Should Quebec become independent, this would split Canada.

Meanwhile, NAU operatives could instigate political scandals and possible terror attacks to create fear and uncertainty among the Canadian people. NAU backed political candidates could push for an independent energy-rich Western Canada, or direct annexation for these western provinces to become new states in the USA, all in the interest of security of course. Or, perhaps NAU promoters will toss a billion dollars into a political campaign for Canada to submit. Recall how easily the British have always suckered peaceful Canadians into joining in their European wars. Any Canadians who protest their loss of sovereignty would be labeled “extremists nationalists” and subject to arrest for organizing “terror groups.”

Such actions may seem extreme, but the USA spends over $40 billion a year on “intelligence” agencies that are experts at manipulating foreign governments through bribery, blackmail, mass misinformation, and even assassinations.[6] These people will not sit back as their nation’s economic power collapses when wealth flows across its northern border, especially if it results in severe budget cuts to their secretive organizations. Most large North American corporations operate in both the USA and Canada, and they will use their influence to see that “free trade” includes equal access to Canada’s energy resources at a “fair” price. The media conglomerates could ensure that most Canadians are unaware or even supportive of exporting their natural resources at below market rates. It will be interesting to watch this invasion of Canada unfold, as it has already begun.

_________________________________________________

[1]Raiding the Icebox; Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada“; Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2005.

[2] An excellent list of recent “North American Union” agreements can be found at “Source Watch “.

[3] International Energy Outlook 2007, Chapter 3, EIA.

[4]Canada flexes its muscles in dispute over Arctic wastes“, Telegraph U.K., August 8, 2005.

[5]Canada Tightens Grip on Disputed Arctic“, AP, July 9, 2007.

[6]Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” John Perkins, 2005.

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IntegrateThis! – SPP Watch Update

June 7, 2008

SPP Watch

SPP WATCH makes the links between daily news items, new government initiatives and the ongoing Security and Prosperity Partnership talks between Canada, Mexico and the United States. As well as regular SPP updates, we will continue to post new reports, interviews and multimedia presentations critical of what is sometimes called the “deep integration” of North America. The site is updated regularly so visit often.

Canada’s beef industry wants to adopt weaker U.S. feed ban rules
According to a Canadian Press article this week, Canada’s beef industry is pressuring the Canadian government to adopt weaker U.S. feed ban rules. (more…)

Ontario working on provincial ID card with Homeland Security approval
Mere weeks after learning that Quebec will be producing “enhanced driver’s licences” (EDLs) by years end to cooperate with U.S. border security demands, Canadian Press reports this week that Ontario will offer similar provincial ID cards for non drivers. (more…)

Premiers Charest and Doer to address 2008 NASCO conference; progress made to Ontario-Quebec trade corridor
Quebec  Premier Jean Charest will give the closing address to the 2008 NASCO conference starting today in Guanajuato, central Mexico, and is expected to describe his vision for continental economic integration, according to La Presse canadienne today. Manitoba Premier Gary Doer will give an opening address to the conference, giving the annual meeting to discuss North American trade corridors a distinctly Canadian feel. (more…)

B.C.-Washington State “enhanced driver’s licences” are “very invasive,” says Ontario privacy official; Province to hold public hearings July 16
According to the Montreal Gazette today, “While Quebec’s privacy commission is being kept in the dark on a proposed enhanced driver’s licence (EDL), or Permis de conduire plus, Ontario’s Information and Privacy commissioner, who has been part of the EDL process in that province since 2006, is calling a public forum on the issue for July 16.” (more…)

NAFTA+ business plans hurting Mexican workers, says journalist
An essay in the Fort Worth, Texas Star-Telegram this weekend by Mexican journalist Anne Vigna describes the impact NAFTA has had on workers in her country. While uglier than Canada’s free-trade history with the United States, the reality is similar in many ways. (more…)

Does Ignatieff support a Canadian energy strategy?
In his Globe and Mail column today, Lawrence Martin asks how much sense it makes that “energy-abundant” Canada imports 40 per cent of its oil from foreign markets. He also reports that Liberal Michael Ignatieff is wondering the same thing. (more…)

For more information on the SPP, please visit www.IntegrateThis.ca.