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Canada's Deep Integration Into a North American Union

Dana Gabriel | June 5, 2007

It makes no difference if it is a Liberal or Conservative government in power because for the last 20 years plus both parties have been pushing for the same agenda of deeper integration with the United States. The same people who brought you the Canada-U.S. FTA and NAFTA are busy creating a North American Union. The Signing of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America would not have been possible without the tireless work of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, which was co-chaired by former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley. He is just one of many influential politicians and business elites who are working towards deeper integration. Last week, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, David Dodge, said that a North American single currency was a real possibility. Both the FTA and NAFTA have lead to the corporate takeover of Canada where power, profit, and greed come before our best-interests. While other countries are distancing themselves from the U.S., Canada is doing the opposite. Defending Canadian sovereignty has been misinterpreted by many as protectionism and anti-Americanism. The NAU agenda is moving forward despite no mandate, or any awareness from the general public. Deep integration and harmonization into an NAU could lead to Canada losing control over its own natural resources. This agenda is a full assault on Canadian institutions, it's culture, values, and its national sovereignty.

The CCCE was founded in 1976 and is Canada's leading business organization made up of 150 top executives. It is essentially a think tank dealing with public policy, which has intimate connections to both the Liberal and Conservative parties with many of their recommendations being implemented. They were one of the leading forces behind the development and promoting of the FTA and NAFTA and have called for the reinvention of North American borders, while pressuring the government to further merge our military and security with the United States. In April of 2004, they released the paper, “Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in North America.” It called for deeper North American integration and the need for more U.S. bilateral deals. Many of the recommendations put forth by the CCCE's own Security and Prosperity Initiative later became part of the SPP. People like its Chief Executive and President Thomas d'Aquino and John Manley have been hard at work, setting the stage for a NAU. They would have us believe that enormous benefits will be brought about through deeper integration. In a sense they are right-- some Canadians will benefit, but it will be the elite and multinational corporations, along with those who have connections-- not you or me. Some putting forth this agenda might even believe that they are serving the best interests of all Canadians, but their motivation is suspect and must be questioned.

After prime minister Jean Chretien stepped down in 2003, Manley announced his intentions to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party. He later dropped out, sensing defeat, and Paul Martin became leader and prime minister. Manley retired from politics and did not run in the 2004 federal election, but still had aspirations of one day becoming leader and prime minister. He has always been a strong proponent of deeper integration, and this has continued beyond his political life. As the minister of foreign affairs, he is credited with easing strained Canada-U.S. relations, and developed a good working rapport with Colin Powell and Tom Ridge. He was given the task of further securing Canada after the 9/11 attacks, and in 2001 was named Time Magazines “Canadian News Maker of the Year.” In December of 2001, he met with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, and the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration, a 30-point plan, was signed to ensure the secure flow of goods and low-risk travelers across the border. Some of the recommendations were common standards on biometric identifiers, shared custom data, and integrated border and marine enforcement. In June of 2002, they both met again to discuss the progress made.

In April of 2003, the Action Group on North American Security and Prosperity was created to further advance the process of deeper integration. The group was made up of many CEOs who met with Manley and Ridge to discuss new initiatives. In April of 2004, the CCCE held meetings in Washington D.C. to advance North American integration with Manley in attendance along with many CEOs and Condoleeza Rice. In October of 2004, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) launched the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, co-chaired by Manley with Thomas d'Aquino and Robert Pastor, considered by many to be the “Father of the North American Union,” as directors. In attendance at many of the task force hearings were some high-level Canadian politicians, including the public works minister Anne McLellan. Many referred to its agenda as NAFTA plus. In March of 2005, Manley's task force released, “Creating a North American Community,” with many of its recommendations becoming part of the SPP, also signed on the 23rd of that month. In May of that same year, the CFR, in association with the CCCE, published the report “Building a North American Community.” It has been widely speculated that one of the reasons that Manley did not run in the November 2006 Liberal Leadership race was his further commitment to deeper integration.

In September of 2006, the North American Forum was held in Banff, Alberta, Canada and was a follow-up to the CFR's sponsored Independent Task Force on the Future of North America. There were no press releases or journalists permitted at the meetings. Despite the lack of transparency, Manley who took part in the discussions said it was, “not part of a nefarious plan to yield sovereignty to the U.S. It was just some informed private citizens and government officials having a conversation.” In spite of his best assurances, it is a big deal when powerful, influential politicians, military leaders, and corporate elites meet in private to discuss plans to further advance a North American Union. The forum was co-chaired by former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed. Also in attendance was the CCCE's president Thomas d'Aquino, the minister of public safety Stockwell Day, Canadian defense minister Gordon O'Connor, and former Liberal deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, along with other prominent Canadians. American heavy weights included then secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Pastor, and George Shultz, who also co-chaired the event. Discussions centered around the borders, immigration, a North American energy strategy, national security, and the integration of military command structures. They also discussed ways to keep the agenda of deep integration secret. It is only because of documents released through the Freedom of Information Act that we have this knowledge. Ron Covais, an executive for Lockheed Martin who attended the meeting, stated in reference to the SPP, “we've decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes because we won't get anywhere.” It is through working groups and executive agencies that deep integration into a NAU is being achieved. By putting the power in the hands of bureaucrats, oversight is being avoided, along with the scrutiny and debate legislation would create. These meetings are a perfect illustration of the shear arrogance and total disregard the global elite have for the people. This was a turning point for many Canadians waking up to the NAU agenda-- it was a realization that they were being betrayed by their own leaders.

The NAU agenda is stripping down sovereignty with the democratic process and power being removed and handed over to the corporate elite. Globalization is still very unpopular throughout the world as many support national sovereignty. The global elite know that the NAU will be a tough sell, but they are patient, confident, and committed to this agenda to the bitter end. Deeper integration and further deregulation and privatization will be devastating for most Canadians, but will benefit the global elite. It is clear that some in the Conservative government, including prime minister Stephen Harper, support deeper integration. The obscure, but relevant Canadian Action Party and its leader Connie Fogal have been busy exposing the NAU. As of late, the NDP have been speaking out against it as well, most notably it's trade critic, Peter Julian, who was responsible for the recent hearings held on the SPP. The Green Party also recently warned of the SPP and a hidden agenda for Canadian water. The silence of the Liberals and Conservatives is traitorous. Complacency is inexcusable, and even those not actively participating in this process will be held responsible for the destruction of a sovereign Canada. It is time for Canadian politicians to come clean on where they stand on the North American Union.

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