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N. American integration to 'disappear' Canada?

Don’t miss Jerome Corsi’s brand new book exposing plans for a North American Union, “The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada.”

The conservative minority government of Canada’s Stephen Harper, under the banner of “deep integration” with the United States, is pushing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, agenda by advancing a new law directed at Canada’s provinces.

Titled “The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement,” or TILMA, the new law would make it possible for a Canadian company to challenge Canadian laws in the provinces that block the company’s NAFTA aspirations.

Murray Dobbin, a Vancouver author and journalist critical of SPP, voiced his objections to TILMA in an article entitled, “The Plan to Disappear Canada – ‘Deep Integration’ comes out of the shadows.”

Dobbin argued that the secretive trilateral bureaucratic working groups organized under the auspices of SPP are “harmonizing” virtually every important area of public policy with the United States, including “defense, foreign policy, energy (they get security, we get greenhouse gases), culture, social policy, tax policy, drug testing and safety and much more.”

The problem, as Dobbin sees it, is that “to ‘harmonize’ Canadian public policy with the U.S. requires massive deregulation across the country.” But since much of the regulation in question is provincial or municipal in Canada, the federal government in Ottawa has no control.

“That’s where TILMA comes in,” Dobbin writes. “I have to admit it’s clever, if they ultimately get away with it. Prepare the country for assimilation into the U.S. by promoting an agreement that claims to be about domestic, inter-provincial trade.”

TILMA allows companies who feel that provincial laws and regulations harm their NAFTA rights to demand up to $5 million in compensatory damages for each violation.

When fully implemented, Dobbin argues, “TILMA would allow challenges to the location and size of commercial signs, environmental set-backs for developers, zoning, building height restrictions, pesticide bans and green space requirements in urban areas. It also would allow challenges to restrictions on private health clinics, halt stricter rules for nursing homes and almost certainly overturn the current ban on junk food in British Columbia schools.”

The controversy over SPP broke into the mainstream in Canada last month when Tory Member of Parliament Leon Benoit walked out of a House of Commons International Trade Committee hearing in protest of a leftist professor who wanted to air his objections to “deep integration” with the United States.

The professor, Gordon Laxer, a political economy prof at the University of Alberta and the director and co-founder of the Parkland Institute, was about to explain to the committee his theory that SPP involves a U.S. grab of Canada’s energy resources, when Benoit adjourned the meeting and bolted out of the room, preventing the Canadian mainstream press from hearing and reporting the professor’s arguments.

Not to be subdued, Laxer published his suppressed testimony in the Globe and Mail, a newspaper that bills itself as “Canada’s national newspaper.”

Laxer began his article by claiming he had spent several days preparing his testimony and two more days traveling to Ottawa for the hearing. He charged Benoit’s behavior was “prompted by a secret guidebook for Conservative chairmen, designed to interrupt witnesses challenging government positions.”

Many Eastern Canadians could end up freezing in the dark, Laxar was prepared to tell Canada’s Parliament, by complying with “harmonized” energy regulations dictated by the SPP working groups.

“Many Eastern Canadians heat their homes with oil,” Laxar argued. “Western Canada cannot supply all of Eastern Canadian needs, because NAFTA reserves Canadian oil for Americans’ security of supply. Canada now exports 63 percent of the oil it produces and 56 percent of its natural gas.”

In a speech posted on YouTube.com, Laxar links SPP “deep integration” to an argument that Canada’s multi-national corporations are pushing the Canadian government to support the U.S. war in Iraq, a war Laxar sees motivated by a U.S. desire to grab Iraqi oil.

“The U.S. military runs on oil and gets much of it from Alberta,” Laxar told his audience.

Arguing Canada under SPP is becoming a “resource colony of the United States,” Laxar asserted, “NAFTA gives the U.S. unlimited access to Canadian energy. Canada must export the same proportion of energy, two-thirds of our oil and almost 60 percent of our natural gas, even if Canadians are running short during an Arctic cold front.”

The point of NAFTA and SPP, according to Laxar, is to allow the U.S. to grab Canada’s oil on the cheap.

Charging the government of Alberta receives revenue as little as 25 cents a barrel for oil from Canada’s tar sands, Laxar encouraged shouts from the audience to “Abrogate NAFTA!”

In a 2005 speech to an International Forum on Globalization symposium at the Fifth World Social Order Forum in Brazil, Laxar claimed, “Corporate elites in Canada, many of whom work for foreign-owned transnationals, no longer want Canada to be a separate country in North America. They continually pressure Canada to support U.S. aggression abroad, so they can maintain access to the U.S. market.”

Laxar says “integration and harmonizing” proceeding under SPP are threats to Canadian sovereignty.

“Corporate elites and their political allies pressure Canada to adopt U.S.-style, private-for-profit health care, U.S. immigration and refugee policies, and guarantee exports of Canadian energy resources to the U.S., even when Canadians face shortage,” he told the IFG forum.

Laxar has also objected to the closed-door meeting roundtables of Canadian business and corporate elite being held in Calgary by the Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, as part of their “North American Future 2025 Project.”

The real goal of the project, Laxar claims, is “more about integrating Canada and Mexico into the American way of doing things. It’s also about getting our energy and water, and Canadian participation in U.S.-led, pre-emptive wars.”

WND has previously reported two activist groups, the Council of Canadians and the Coalition for Water Aid, are protesting the CSIS research project, titled “The North American Future 2025 Project,” saying it will involve a massive grab by the U.S. of Canadian fresh water, estimated to be one-fifth of the world’s supply.

WND has also reported that the CSIS, chaired by former Sen. Sam Nunn and guided by trustees including Richard Armitage, Zbigniew Brezezinski, Harold Brown, William Cohen and Henry Kissinger, is planning to present its “North American Future 2025” final report to the governments of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. by Sept. 30. The report is expected to recommend the benefits of integrating the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one political economic and security bloc.

As WND reported, Canadian activists are preparing to protest the third summit meting of the SPP. The summit is scheduled for Aug. 20 and 21 in Montebello, Quebec, at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort.

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