Saturday, February 10, 2007

Notes from the Anschluss

Remember that secret "deep integration" meeting held in Banff last September?

A total news blackout accompanied the week long conference - nothing in the news while it was going on but for this one local Banff paper, who have updated their scoop here. At the time, some small amusement was provided by Stockwell Day who first asserted that there was no meeting and then later admitted that there had indeed been one but it wasn't a secret.

Now, courtesy of US Freedom of Information laws and the gods of irony, Canadians have access to some notes from those meetings.
From the Ottawa Citizen :

Canadian, U.S. and Mexican officials held secretive meeting on integration

"Canadian, U.S. and Mexican politicians discussed using "stealth" to overcome public resistance to the integration of the three countries at a confidential meeting last year, according to documents just released under U.S. Freedom of Information laws.
Top military brass, corporate executives and diplomats also attended the meeting in Banff, Alta., where participants discussed everything from the harmonization of food and drug standards, to common immigration policies, and the pooling of energy resources.

The secret guest list of the North American Forum included then-U.S. secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld, Canadian Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, Pengrowth Corp. CEO James Kinnear and Lockheed Martin executive Ron Covais.

Presentation outlines for the forum acknowledge that the concept of North American integration - which some call a "North American Union" - is unpopular, and note that it might be tough to sell as a concept.

"While a vision is appealing, working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and bring more people on board ('evolution by stealth')," the notes said."

Well, that explains all the secrecy quite well, doesn't it?.

"But, former finance minister John Manley, who attended the meeting, said the forum 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 on how best to co-operate to ensure their citizens enjoyed a safe and prosperous future."

Reassuring words. Or rather they would be had John Manley not been the Canadian Chair on the Task Force on the Future of North America back in 2005. You know, the one that called for one currency, one security perimeter, one passport, and a resource pact for oil, gas, and fresh water. To be fair to Manley, he did append some dissenting opinions on sovereignty to the final report before it was delivered to the Washington think tank who commissioned it.

Anyway back to this "partnership" thingey....

Council of Canadians has expressed concern that :
"Most of the 300 policy recommendations within the accord may not require legislative changes."

So there's your "evolution by stealth".

Banff attendee Ron Covais, President of the Americas for Lockheed Martin and a former Pentagon adviser to Dick Cheney, explained it this way to Macleans :

"This is how the future of North America now promises to be written: not in a sweeping trade agreement on which elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucracies and regulators.
"We've decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes," says Covais. "Because we won't get anywhere."

"Covais figures they've got less than two years of political will to make it happen. That's when the Bush administration exits, and "The clock will stop if the Harper minority government falls or a new government is elected." "

So let's stop the damn clock.

Security and Prosperity Partnership web page at the White House.

12 comments:

skdadl said...

Well said, Alison, and thanks for the updates. Let's hear it for the Banff Crag and Canyon, too.

Mes Amis said...

Alison, I know, I'm just repeating what's been said a hundred times before but...

Scary stuff that.

With such stalwart Canadian compatriots looking after our best interests why do I think most of us will be left at the station when the United States of North America express pulls out?

We've seen the results of dealing with our most munificent and moderate friends from the south.
With nearly 10 times the population and 15 times the economy how could we even approach a semblance of parity when it comes to integration?

Integration.
A warm 'n fuzzy abstraction if there ever was.
Yeah, we'll all join together in a big loving embrace. Share in a sip of the milk of human kindness. We'll be bestest friends forever.
Oh yes, yes, don't stop!
I feel so good inside I could almost kiss a Republican.

Almost.

Haven't we had those warm 'n fuzzies before?
Didn't we go into certain trade issues in a wide eyed, innocent manner?
A - just gotta get a few things ironed out here, hate to bother you old chap - openness and lack of guile?
I hear our soft wood exporters' bums still hurt after that one.

Like a naive dormouse watching a cat approaching and thinking it will have a new friend to play with, I can see no other prospect for us if we go down this road.
Who are they trying to fool?
Forget integration, it will be consume, digest and excrete all that is Canada.

I don't intend to be disparaging of Americans as a people.
I find most are just like us, generous, caring and compassionate.
But just like any good neighbours, you know what they also say about good fences.

If an unelected body takes it upon themselves to go behind closed doors and put my country up on the table to be sliced, diced and then sold to the highest bidder, I'll choose to back away.
We can't win in this high stakes game when the other side has most of the chips and can keep on raising until we're broke.
That's the way they play, their terms, their conditions and habit of changing the rules during the game.

Mark said...

Just rain down here at Snug Cove this am, now it's a Scottish Mist.

Our PM and the rest of the sorry bunch are hitching us to a fallen star called the USA when we should be connected to the rising one in the East, you know, the star that owns almost half the USA already.

For those that still haven't figured it out, Mish has a recent post outlining how the scam works:
Global Economic Analysis

RossK said...

Like skadl I too am cheering loudly for the Banff C&C, Aaron Paton, who wrote the original and the updated pieces, and Chris Foote, the citizen taxi driver that made a fuss about all of this in the first place.

As for CanWest and the Ottawa Citizen that came in a day late and a few months short, well, not so much.
.

the rev. said...

Oh Alison, don't be so pessimistic. I'm sure there's enough room in North America for Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to all maintain our distinct identities, languages and cultures. the U.S. has a long tradition of adding other cultures to it's own to the benefit of both - just look at the wonderful things they did with the Sioux (knock,knock)....Just a second, there are a group of Americans at the door, at least they all seem to have stars and stripes lapel pins on, Hang on.

Hi, what can I do for you. Ouch, leggo my neck! Hey, get that thing away from me! No! No! Not Bill O'Rei...AAAHHH!!!

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

Seriously, seal the fucking borders and start jamming the television transmissions before its too late and the House of Commons looks like a Republican version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"....I mean, do we want to see a day when some gang of ignorance-is-bliss Reaganaut, born-again, free-market worshipping Phillistine take over the reins of power in Canada?......
...Oh, hello there Mr. Harper, hiya Stockwell, how's it going,eh?
Ouch, leggo my neck! Hey, get that thing away from me! No! No! Not Bill O'Rei...AAAHHH!!!

Ian said...

"working on the infrastructure"?
"stealth by evolution"?

How is it that these phrases being applied to Canadian sovereignty is really big news?
Aside from the Ottawa Citizen link here, I find no mention of this in the major papers.

And where the hell are all the bloggers?
This is news.

Ian said...

I'll try that again...
"How is it that these phrases being applied to Canadian sovereignty is not really big news?"

bigcitylib said...

Good to see Stockwell is on the case.

Holly Stick said...

Did you see that the Council of Canadians reports there will be another meeting on integration this month?
http://www.canadians.org/media/DI/2007/09-Feb-07.html

Alison said...

Holly's link

Thanks, Holly.
Not sure CoC really made their case that this is what this particular meeting will be about, but I think it's safe to assume that all trilateral meetings now take NAU for granted at the very least.

West End Bound said...

Hey, thanks for the Security and Prosperity Partnershiplink . . . I had posted about this meeting several times in our blog, but did not have the White House connection. The plot gets deeper and deeper . . . Hence the No Deep Integration banner on our blog as it is on yours. . . .

Thanks!

Holly Stick said...

Your link to the Crag & Canyon doesn't work now; was it this article?
Link here

And babble has a conversation about this, with some links about the Feb 23 meeting:
Link right here

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