Saturday, May 26, 2007

Canadian Coma

Remember when one of the objectives of the "Independent Task Force on the Future of North America" was to "launch an educational project to teach the idea of a shared NA identity in schools"?
That objective seems to be coming along rather nicely, thanks to The North American Forum on Integration, a Montreal-based non-profit promoting deep integration.

In April we had the 6th Student Organization of North America Conference:
Highlights of the Conference included : Embracing our North American Identity

And just wrapping up yesterday in Washington DC is another NAFI project, the 3rd Triumvirate, a North American Model Parliament for students from Canada, Mexico, and the US.

According to their website, their main objectives : "To develop their sense of a North American identity" and "To identify the elements of the North American agenda which would allow consolidation and reinforcement of the North American region".
This year's themes : creation of a customs union, water management, human trafficking and telecommunications.

Water management ?

The students for the mock parliament were divided into three groups : legislators, lobbyists, and journalists.
One of those student journalists was really doing her job. From her report regarding a resolution in which Canada would give up 10% of her customs duties in exchange for US 'protection' or access to Canadian resources:

Canadian Coma
An editorial by Eléonore Bernier-Hamel

The Canadian delegation of the Triumvirate in the Customs
commission has been successfully exploited by the United
States and has
agreed to a very questionable proposition.

I went to see the Canadian delegates to ask them if they
were happy
with the resolution. I didn’t have a clue because
they remained silent during
the commission and they always
voted in the same way as the others.

The Americans made it clear at the beginning
of our commission: they
would ask either for significant monetary
contributions for enforced security
or for access to Canadian
natural resources. Canadians had accepted the
rules: they were ready to give up one or the other.

I could sense
the nervousness of the American delegates
and I tried to understand the nature
of their concern. I found out that they wanted
the resolution to be finalized as quickly
as possible because they were stunned by
the silence of the others, especially the Canadians,
and they were afraid to see them
waking up and refusing what appeared to
be unacceptable.

The press conference
on Thursday was framed as if the resolution had
been a
success for everyone.

I would have failed
my readers had I not reported this. As a
Canadian –Québécoise-
I am wondering why this country has to pay for the rude
of the US government towards the Middle-East and the
problem that comes from this. The Canadian government refuses
participate in the missile defence program as the American
government wished
after 9/11; why should Canada now accept
to finance a plan of national
security that covers the entire
territory of North America?

Go, Eleonore! You can read the rest of her report here.

Sounds just like life, isn't it?
Nice to see a little spunk from a student journalist in a mock parliament at a conference which, incidentally, included a former Canadian ambassador to the US, a conference whose only purpose is to promote the NAU.
Would be nice to see rather more of her particular spunk out here.

Note : I'm personally not against some eventual form of North American Union.
I just don't see how we can currently avoid it being, in Ann Coulter's happy phrase, "America rolling over and crushing Canada in her sleep".

(Cross-posted at The Galloping Beaver)


Anonymous said...

Really appreciate how you stay on top of all this deep integration stuff, Alison.
For all your hard work and your diligence - thank you.

I had no idea Canadians were targetting children with this crap!

Anonymous said...

yup, get 'em while they're young, eh? ugh.

Anonymous said...

'I'm personally not against some eventual form of North American Union.
I just don't see how we can currently avoid it being"


Alison said...


It all depends what happens in our respective countries over the next how ever many decades : how fast the US devolves into a banana republic, how completely we follow it, whether the corporatism on both sides of the border - and corporatism doesn't recognise those borders - takes a full turn into fascism, whether we eventually have to make common cause with like-minded Americans to fight it.

But for now we have to fight deep integration with everything we've got and use the border to protect ourselves because we can't negotiate effectively with the corporations through the sockpuppet governments in either country.


Anonymous said...

Given what you've written about NAU up till now, I'm surprised at your leaving the door open, however slightly, to some future scenario in which it becomes desirable.
Do you really mean that it's just inevitable?

Alison said...

Oh, Anon, I don't know.
At the end of writing my umpteenth post against the NAU, it occurred to me that a NAU makes geographic sense, if not cultural and political sense, and then I thought how given enough time, geography will probably triumph.

We are a long ways into a NAU already you know, whether people like to admit it or not. Nationalism has so far not been effective against it.

Anonymous said...

Alison, more ammo...

Keep up the good work.

thwap said...

This stuff is absolutely terrifying.

Alison said...

You know what terrifies me about it, Thwap? Most people I know, not all but most - smart, awake, compassionate people - couldn't give a toss.

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