Friday, February 23, 2007

"Canada is not the gas tank of the U.S."

Hey Canadians - wake up! It's Feb. 23, Condi's here, and it's time for another gnu-gov installment of Security, Prosperity and Peace For Our Time Partnership.
In addition to Condi, attending the meeting today will be Peter MacKay, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and their Mexican counterparts.

The North American Competitiveness Council, these guys, will deliver 50 recommendations to the SPP ministers.
I'll just bet they will.
From Canadian Press :
"It's not often governments have to put out a press release reassuring their citizens they're not selling out their sovereignty."

"The SPP is legal and in no way violates the Constitution or affects the legal authorities of the participating executive agencies," reads the U.S. Security and Prosperity Partnership website.

MacKay addressed the concerns earlier this week.
"It's ensuring that Canada's sovereignty, Canada's interests and Canada's prosperity and security are going to be advanced through this partnership and through these very open and high-level dialogues," he said.
Still, the Canadian government provided no official briefing on what was expected from the meetings."

Heh. By "open", Stockboy is presumably referring to his public denial of the existence of the Banff SPP meeting in September, later followed up by his clarification that it wasn't actually "secret".
Typically, the Americans are rather more straight forward about it :
"We're working on a trilateral initiative on energy..." Tom Shannon, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said Thursday.

NDP Energy Critic, Dennis Bevington :
"Canada is not the gas tank of the United States. NAFTA already locks us into supplying energy to the United States even if ordinary Canadians go without; a North American Union would only make this worse."

and NDP Trade Critic Peter Julian :
"The Harper government must pull out of further talks on continental integration with the United States and Mexico or risk our national sovereignty.
Canadians should know that the SPP process supports a North American Union (NAU). The NDP rejects the secretive process surrounding these ongoing discussions. Canadians will never support a political ideology which aims at turning North America into a fortress for corporate interests and neglects the interests of ordinary Canadians. Canadian sovereignty is not for sale to the highest bidder and the federal government has no authority to push for a NAU without a mandate from Canadians,” said Julian

Julian is calling for a public debate.
You may remember him calling for one on the softwood lumber deal after a US negotiating lawyer informed us we were being sucker-punched. He also called for one on the Banff meeting.

Don't be looking to the Libs for any help on this - they're the ones who started it.
So, bloggers, start your engines.
Steve reading aloud from a tabloid in the House and bringing a whole gnu nuance to the poo-flinging more commonly known as Question Period is certainly rivetting stuff. But he was a dick the day before and will still be one tomorrow, so let's not be so diverted by that little Punch and Judy Show that we miss what's going on behind the curtain.

Both the links above, CP and NDP, are well worth a read.
With many thanks to Holly Stick for the nudge and the links.

LATE NIGHT UPDATE : MSM coverage of SPP implications of today's meeting
Nothing on CBC TV News or website, except for a pic of a protester being escorted away with no explanation as to what she was doing.
Nothing in the major dailies either but for this from the Hamilton Spectator :
"OTTAWA Top North American ministers deflected criticism that they had consulted only big business for their talks on trade and security rules, suggesting there are "different venues" for public interest and labour groups to raise concerns."

Different venues for public interest than our elected officials?
And what would those be, pray tell?
Legs on this south of the border though : Lou Dobbs on CNN
Anyone hear of any coverage up here?

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