In a strongly worded warning to all Canadians, (after Stephen Harper reneged on his promise over resource revenues and circumvented the intent of the Atlantic Accord contract), Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said, "Be careful, if he can do it to us he can do it to you".
There may never have been a more prophetic statement made by a Canadian politician.
Bend over grit your teeth folks because you're about to "have it done to you" in a big way.
Williams' words might just prove far more accurate than anyone thought at the time.
Next week, on August 20 and 21, Stephen Harper, George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon will spend a couple of days quietly sequestered at a hotel in Montebello, Quebec, a location that will not be open to the public or the press. No cameras will be permitted inside and public discussion of what takes place in those meetings will be tightly controlled and managed by the three leaders.
While camped out at the Chateau Montebello, a luxury hotel in Quebec, the three will discuss what is being called the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" or SPP. While SPP is officially being spun as little more than an opportunity for the three amigos to discuss security and prosperity many critics are calling the SPP a case of NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement) on steroids. SPP was initiated in March 2005 at a summit of the Canadian, US, and Mexican leaders.
The SPP exists only as a verbal entity and is not found in any official treaty or identified in any government legislation. Instead SPP is based on private discussions between the leaders themselves and closed door meetings with big business, lobbyists and political insiders.
From the Canadian perspective, the SPP is a means of completely overhauling Canadian business, military and social programs without having to adhere to normal democratic processes or contend with unwanted public scrutiny.
Since none of what is discussed or agreed upon during SPP meetings is ever reflected in official documents the public has no idea what is being done behind the scenes and no opportunity to have a say in the nation's future. A future which, if SPP proponents like Stephen Harper have their way, will see Canada suffer massive job losses and lead to the destruction of the of social programs and benefits we all depend on.
One of these secret meetings took place in Sept 2006 in Banff Springs, Alberta. When asked by the media if he was in attendance Public Safety Minister, Stockwell Day refused to confirm or deny his attendance. He instead said that "if he was there" it was a "private" meeting that he would not comment on.
"No item - not Canadian water, Mexican oil, or American anti-dumping laws - "is off the table"; rather, contentious or intractable issues will simply require more time to ripen politically."
- Leaked Minutes of a 2004 meeting of the Task Force on the Future of North America
The North American Competitiveness Council, (NACC) was launched as part of the SPP program in June 2006. It is the only known advisory group to the SPP and the only "tangible" component of the SPP itself.
The NACC is made up of 30 powerful, hand picked and influential corporate leaders from the three nations along with a few "special" advisors. According to recent reports the minutes of a January 10, 2006 "Dialogue on the Security and Prosperity Partnership" meeting reveal that the NACC was created to "engage substantively and pragmatically on trade and security issues without undue deference to political sensitivities."
In other words, the intention of the NACC is to move the SPP agenda forward without public knowledge, involvement or intervention. They are tasked with, "making it happen" by circumventing legislative requirements and the democratic processes itself.
In 2006 Maclean's magazine reported that the NACC is a "cherry picked group of executives who were whisked to Cancun [Mexico] in March by the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and asked to come up with a plan for taking North American integration beyond NAFTA."
The public is largely unaware what this organization is up to or even of its existence, let alone that Stephen Harper is actively working toward tighter security, military, financial and corporate integration with the U.S. and Mexico than ever before.
The dream of the SPP is a North American integration that far exceeds current trade agreements and will lead to the erosion of trade unions, lower wages and limited control over resources such as petroleum, water, minerals, forest resources, etc and the like. It will also lead to an intertwining of Canada's military with that of the U.S, widespread job losses and the erosion of federal programs such as universal healthcare in an attempt to more closely align with U.S. policies and programs.
Currently Stephen Harper and his cronies are playing their cards very close to their chests. With a minority government it's his only option. Many observers believe that should the Prime Minister win a majority in the next election the SPP will move toward full implementation of its agenda at a much faster pace.
The whole situation makes me wonder if Harper's refusal to let the Atlantic Provinces retain the benefit of their natural resources might actually have been decided at one of these secret SPP meetings. I guess we'll never know, nor will know when or where the next shoe might fall.
Like Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said, "Be careful, if he can do it to us he can do it to you".