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.


Toronto: Rally and March: Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!

July 25, 2008
Canadian Arab Federation
La Fédération Canado-Arabe

ANNOUNCEMENT

July 21, 2008

Rally and March: Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!

Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is the only Western national left in Guantanamo Bay and the first child-soldier to be prosecuted in over a hundred years. Tell Stephen Harper: bring Omar Khadr back to Canada.

When: July 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm
Where: US Consulate at 360 University Avenue in Toronto

After the opening rally at the U.S. Consulate, the demonstration will march past CSIS headquarters on Front Street West, and will conclude at Simcoe Park, on the east side of the CBC Broadcast Centre. The march has been organized by Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, CAF and the Muslim Unity Group. For more information, contact stopthewar@sympatico.ca or 416-795-5863.


Omar Khadr Gitmo Interrogation Video

July 18, 2008
Guantanamo Interrogation Video Released for First Time
http://www.truthout.org/article/footage-guantanamo-interrogation-released-first-time
Colin Freeze and Omar El Akkad, of The Globe and Mail: “Before the rage, the resignation and the tears, came the trust. Teenaged prisoner Omar Khadr seemed sure that his countrymen from Canada had come to Cuba to help him and spoke freely when they asked questions. The teenager realized the obvious. The Canadian agents weren’t there to help. They were there to mine him for information. So he wept.”

Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada: rally and march in Toronto

July 18, 2008

Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!

Rally and march
Saturday, July 26
2:00pm to 4:00pm
U.S. Consulate
360 University Avenue*
(north of Queen West, east side of University)
TTC: Osgoode or St. Patrick

Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is the only Western national left in Guantanamo Bay, and the first child-soldier to be prosecuted in more than a hundred years. Khadr was only 15 years-old when he was captured by US forces in Afghanistan and later transported to the infamous US prison where he has now spent more than a quarter of his life. Khadr faces trial by US military tribunal in October 2008.

Recently released video footage reveals the kind of mistreatment that Khadr has experienced in Guantanamo Bay, where the US has been accused of practicing torture on detainees. Other reports show that Khadr was subjected to extreme forms of sleep deprivation, a form of torture, including a practice called the “frequent flyer program” in which he was woken every three hours and moved to a different cell for 24 hours a day over a three-week period.

Worse still, court documents reveal that the Canadian government was aware of the abuse suffered by Khadr at the hands of US authorities yet continued to assure the Canadian public that he was being well treated.

The fact that Omar Khadr is still being held in Guantanamo Bay is a national disgrace, and an international embarrassment for all Canadians. Despite the growing evidence of Khadr’s mistreatment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shamefully refused to bring Khadr back to Canada. Instead, Harper has said he supports a US military trial for Khadr, and will not seek his release from Guantanamo Bay.

Join us on July 26 to tell Stephen Harper: “Bring Omar Khadr back to Canada!” Demonstrate your opposition to our government’s decision to abandon a Canadian citizen in Guantanamo Bay, and show your support for civil liberties and international law.

* After the opening rally at the U.S. Consulate, the demonstration will march past CSIS headquarters on Front Street West, and will conclude at Simcoe Park, on the east side of the CBC Broadcast Centre.

To endorse, please e-mail stopthewar@sympatico.ca.

Organized by:

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
Canadian Arab Federation
Muslim Unity Group

The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is Toronto’s city-wide anti-war coalition, comprised of more than 70 labour, faith and community organizations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance. www.nowar.ca stopthewar@sympatico.ca 416-795-5863

Please donate! Send a cheque or money order payable to TCSW Canada to:
TCSW, 427 Bloor St W, Box 13, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1X7


US rejects Khadr’s child soldier defence

May 2, 2008
US Rejects Canadian’s Child Soldier Defense
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050208R.shtml
Jane Sutton reports for Reuters: “A Canadian captured in Afghanistan at age 15 can be tried for murder in the Guantanamo war crimes court, a US military judge ruled in rejecting claims that he was a child soldier who should be rehabilitated rather than prosecuted.”