"The Plan to Disappear Canada" in yesterday's Tyee outlines ten recent developments in deep integration that have received media coverage.
As author Murray Dobbin points out : it's good that our media is finally giving it some tentative attention but it's bad that it's taken them so long to notice that The Big Idea is already well underway.
Several people have emailed it to me along with their comments, which mostly run to the "those fucking Americans" variety, and it's this idea that deep integration is someone else's fault that I'd like to address here. Specifically I'd like to hear a lot more about complicity from certain "fucking Canadians".
Mulroney gave us the 1989 Free Trade Agreement, Chretien gave us NAFTA, Paul Martin the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and Harper - Harper's knees are covered in callouses and his lower jaw has gone numb.
In their April 2004 position paper "New Frontiers - North American Security and Prosperity Initiative", the Canadian Council of Chief Executives bragged :
"The Council was the private sector leader in the development and promotion of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement during the 1980s and of the subsequent trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement. North American economic integration is now well advanced and irreversible."
The 2005 Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, also a Canadian initiative, included :
- John Manley, Task Force Canada Chair, former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Finance Minister
- Tom D'Aquino, Chief Exec of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives
- Tom Axworthy*, former Chief of Staff to Trudeau
- Jim Dinning, former Alberta Finance Minister, lost to Stelmach in leadership bid
- Wendy Dobson, Pres. C.D. Howe Institute, Ass Deputy Minister of Finance of Canada
- Pierre-Marc Johnson, former Quebec Premier
- Michael Wilson, former Canada Finance Minister, ex-Minister of International Trade, and Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.
who, along with their US and Mexican counterparts, variously advocated and signed off on :
- a North American brand name, "portraying NA as a club of privileged members"
- a North American security perimeter - "Security issues trump all other issues."
- an educational project to teach "a shared NA identity in schools"
- a North American passport.
- a feasibility study on North American currency union.
- an integrated NA electrical grid
- a NA "resource pact allowing greater trade and investment in non-renewable resources, such as oil, gas, and fresh water"
- the complaint that "Governance has not kept pace with economic realities and is preventing further integration."
(*Tom Axworthy appended a dissenting view, disagreeing with creating one security perimeter and also with moving bulk water exports and cultural protections from national to NA jurisdiction.)
Plus Smart Borders and the Smart Regulations harmonization with US regs and the Fire Sale of Canadian companies.
So please, let's admit that Canadian corporations and think tanks and politicians have more than met "those effing Americans" half-way here. However horrified we may be at the idea of hitching our wagon to the stars and stripes of the war-mongering imperialistic plutocracy to the south, let's at least admit it's Canadians who are selling off our wagon.