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]

Advertisements

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.


Neoliberalism and the State

July 28, 2008

Left Streamed – A 10 minute Production:

Neoliberalism and the State

An Interview with Bryan Evans and John Shields

An assessment of the Left today must begin with an analysis of neoliberalism. Over the past two decades neoliberalism has come to dominate public discourse and the modalities of the state in one country after another. The ascendancy of neoliberalism has occurred through a series of interconnected transformations that began with the economic turmoil of the 1970s, the rise of New Right governments across the 1980s, and the deepening internationalization of the circuits of money and industrial capital, modes of communication and governance structures in the 1990s.

Neoliberalism has come to mark an historic turning-point in the balance of power, the social forms of economic and political power and the patterns of everyday life in capitalist societies. Bryan Evans and John Shields, from Ryerson University in Toronto, here discuss some of the features of neoliberalism, particularly as it relates to Canada and North America.

www.socialistproject.ca/video/#ls1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((( Left Streamed ))))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Produced by the Left Streamed Collective. Viewers are
encouraged to distribute widely. Comments on the video and
suggestions are welcome – write to info@socialistproject.ca

For more analysis of contemporary politics check out
‘Relay: A Socialist Project Review’ at www.socialistproject.ca/relay
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~