Deep Integration – Questions and Answers

INTEGRATE THIS! A Citizen’s Guide to Fighting Deep Integration
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Stuart TrewWhat is “deep integration?”

Deep integration is the harmonization of policies and regulations that govern the foods we eat, the items we buy, and how we live. It is the formation of a new North America that effectively erases the border between Canada and the United States in the interest of trade north of the border and to appease security
concerns south of the border.

Who is pushing this agenda?

Big business interests on both sides of the border are pushing for stronger economic and political ties between Canada and the United States. Led in Canada by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), an organization representing Canada’s richest 150 corporations, and supported by national and regional
right-wing think tanks like the C.D. Howe Institute, Fraser Institute and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, corporate groups are lobbying the Canadian government to get rid of border restrictions and policy differences with the U.S. in order to maximize their profits.

How is deep integration happening?

The Canadian government made a clear commitment to deep integration with the U.S. by signing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). In March 2005, former prime minister Paul Martin, along with U.S. President George Bush and former Mexican president Vicente Fox, agreed to take steps toward regulatory harmonization, a continental resource pact (which could open up access to Canadian resources like energy and water) and a “North American Security Perimeter.” Following the signing of this agreement, government representatives began working even more closely with corporate Canada, to find ways to merge commerce, trade, immigration, food safety and many other policies and regulations.

What is the state of integration?

A “progress” report in June 2005 revealed that representatives of all three countries were considering: electricity and gas collaboration; establishing a North American food safety coordinating mechanism; developing compatible immigration security measures; and sharing terrorist watch list data, among many other things. In March 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formalized the involvement of corporate Canada in the SPP by helping create the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), a group of 30 CEOs from all three countries whose recommendations on continental economic integration will avoid all
public scrutiny.

Why should we be concerned?

The deep integration agenda is being implemented without debate or input from the public. The SPP was signed without the backing of Parliament, and without the general knowledge or acceptance of the Canadian public. Government committees and working groups continue to forge ahead with this big business agenda, and if it continues, the public will only find out about the details after the deals are signed.

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