Robert Pastor : "It's time for Canada to take the lead to propose rule-based institutions that permit cows to roam across borders and people to declare: I am not just a Canadian, a Mexican, or a U.S. citizen; I am also a North American."
Pastor, author of Toward a North American Community, director of the North American Forum on Integration, and tireless cheerleader for "a North American consciousness", is at the University of Ottawa today, plumping for letting the little people in on his pet cow-freeing project :
Mr. Pastor said the SPP summit at Montebello this August "offers an opportunity for the leaders to open the process, to invite in more civil society groups," including academics, environmentalists, unions, the media and state and provincial legislators."
Unlike Ron Covais and his co-conspirators in the North American Competitiveness Council who advocate for "integration by stealth", Pastor says : "What we need is something more bold."
Pastor was quite bold himself when he spoke to the Canadian Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade in Feb 2002 on implementation of a common currency :
There are three options for us. Option one is de facto dollarization. That is to say, no government makes a decision, and increasingly Canada and Mexico use the U.S. dollar.Some of the FAIT MPs promptly widdled on the carpet in their gratitude and excitement.
The number two option is de jure dollarization. Three governments all sit down and they decide the dollar makes sense: let's just use a single currency.
The third option is a unified currency. Herbert Grubel has proposed this idea of the amero.
I think it's in the long-term interest of the United States to propose or to discuss a scheme in which all three countries feel there is space for them to define a portion of this larger entity of an amero system, not a dollar system.
See how much better it is to be open and transparent and let "state and provincial legislators" "feel there is a space for them" in the decision-making?
Actually, the mewling sychophantic behavior of the MPs aside, I heartily advocate Pastor's strategy.
Pastor promotes the SPP as NAFTA-Plus.
NAFTA overrides Canadian law for the benefit of corporations to which it affords the rights and freedoms previously reserved for people. It allows quisling business groups like the Canadian Council of Chief Executives an increasingly large say in public policy issues while excluding the public. It advocates the deregulation and privatization of hard-won public services like health and education, promotes intellectual property rights of corporations over the needs of consumers, nullifies control over foreign investment, and guts protection for workers, stakeholders, and the environment.
In 1993, Canadians reacted to the wholesale promotion of Mulroney's corporate free trade agenda by throwing him out on his ass and reducing the Cons to two seats in the House.
So let's hope the Cons listen to Pastor today and Canada is provided with the opportunity to hear them defend this NAFTA-Plus in the House. And the sooner the better.