[14-Feb-05] Confidential task force document
reveals true business agenda for Canada
OTTAWA - A confidential document from the Task Force on the Future of North America confirms the Council of Canadians' worst fears: Canada's business elite are planning to push the country toward deeper integration with the United States, including abandoning protections for culture and fresh water.
The task force is a joint project of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) in the U.S., the Mexican Council of Foreign Relations (MCFR), and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). It is co-chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Tom d'Aquino, Chief Executive of the CCCE. The document, reported in today's Toronto Star, is a summary of the task force's first meeting, which took place in Toronto in October 2004.
"The agenda is a virtual carbon copy of the CCCE's North American Security and Prosperity Initiative, which Tom d'Aquino has been selling since 9/11. If you think this is just an external task force with little influence, think again. One recommendation, an annual Summit of the three countries' leaders, has already been implemented," says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
Among the "contentious" issues discussed in the document are:
* Eliminating current NAFTA exemptions for culture and certain sectors of agriculture.
* "Crafting a North American 'resource pact' that would allow for greater intra-regional trade and investment in certain non-renewable natural resources, such as oil, gas, and fresh water."
* Creating an integrated North American electrical grid that combines freer trade and investment with "some form of joint oversight and regulation."
The document also calls for:
* A "North American brand name" - one suggestion is to portray North America as a sort of "club of privileged members." The North American identity is also to be reinforced through the education system.
* A "North American security perimeter," extending from "Mexico's southern frontier to the Arctic Ocean, incorporating air, land and sea boundaries."
* "Common exclusion lists for people from third countries."
* A "North American passport."
* "Trilateralized customs and immigration" procedures.
* A "one inspection, one test and one certification procedure" for North America.
* "Increased consultation on monetary policy, with the understanding that some form of North American currency union could become feasible in the future."
"It's clear that what this task force has in mind is a North American common market with common security policies, common immigration and refugee systems, a harmonized border system so that we will not be able to have independent health and safety standards and a common resource policy that includes trade in Canada' s water at a future time when we have been softened up to accept it," says Barlow.
The task force has also met in New York and Monterrey, and is expected to release its recommendations in April 2005.
The Council of Canadians has just wrapped up cross-Canada hearings on Canada-U.S. relations. A final report from the hearings will be available in March 2005.
Click here to download the confidential document in PDF format.
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