Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member ruthiela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Sophia, NC

    Deep integration' means deep trouble

    Canada Could Become Another Puerto Rico
    Toronto Star, May. 4, 2002
    `Deep integration' means deep trouble
    by David Crane
    CANADA TODAY is under threat. The country's capacity and even existence as an independent nation, able to shape its own political, social and economic future, are at risk.
    But the threat is not external; it comes from within, from academic economists, business leaders, civil servants and politicians who advocate what they call "deep integration" with the United States.
    "Deep integration" means, in reality, subjugating many of Canada's policies to those of the United States - including trade, immigration, energy, water, our dollar, taxation, defence and the environment - but without any corresponding voice in the governance structure - that is, the U.S. government - where decisions affecting many aspects of Canadian life would be made.
    In effect, Canada could become another Puerto Rico, subject to many policies of the United States, but without a serious political voice in those decisions. While Texas, New York, Michigan and California have a say, through the U.S. political system, Canada would have none.
    Canadians would not only become almost powerless in addressing their fundamental future economic concerns, but would also lose the capacity to control the social environment and the ability to adjust to change because social policy would also end up being driven by U.S. policies.
    The Europeans have built an economic and social partnership to address shared problems by creating shared political and administrative institutions. But it would be naïve to believe that similar institutions could be effectively created and made to work genuinely in a Canada-U.S. or a Canada-U.S.-Mexico partnership.
    The United States, as an imperial superpower, acts on the basis of economic and military power, not shared decision-making, and, given the country's great size, would not consider serious sharing of decisions and power with a much smaller country. The United States is instinctively unilateral in its approach.
    If Canada is to pursue "deep integration" with the United States, then logically we should seek political union as well so that Canadians in the different provinces would have some opportunity to influence decisions. But this logical implementation of "deep integration" would also mean the end of Canada as a distinct geopolitical entity and the conversion of our provinces into U.S. states.
    The most recent example of "deep integration" thinking comes from Wendy Dobson, a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. In a study for the C.D. Howe Institute, Dobson urges that Canada advance a "Big Idea" to show the Americans we are still reliable partners in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Her "Big Idea" is "deep integration."
    For "deep integration" to happen, she says, we have to make more concessions; for example, giving the United States whatever access to our energy that our neighbour wants, even if that means dropping our pledge to deal with climate change through the Kyoto agreement.
    As well, we should start talking about how we would price water exports to the United States; take on major new defence expenditures (presumably by buying lots of U.S.-made military technology); give up policies on culture and agriculture, including the Canadian Wheat Board; and so on.
    Dobson has in mind what she calls a "strategic bargain," in which Canada and the United States, over time, would move to a customs union with a common (made-in-Washington?) trade policy toward the rest of the world and the free movement not only of goods and services but also of people and capital. (So much for maintaining Canadian ownership of banks, TV networks or transportation systems.) This would also affect foreign policy: If the United States decided to use trade measures to punish China, attack the Europeans or demonize the Cubans, we would have to follow suit.
    Regrettably, we've heard little political response to calls for "deep integration." The Liberal party is badly divided, with only MPs John McCallum and John Godfrey raising serious concern. Industry Canada's research program advances "deep integration" and the Canadian Alliance champions the idea.
    We clearly need to improve movement across the Canada-U.S. border. But we have no reason to think we have to give up the country to accomplish this. All countries in the developed world are trying to adjust to deep economic and social changes by creating institutions that facilitate more integration but also by creating institutions of governance that allow nations to influence their economic and social environment. Calls for "deep integration" do the opposite by subjecting Canadians to decisions made elsewhere without any voice in making those decisions.
    ---- David Crane is The Star's economics editor. His column appears Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. He may be reached at
    END OF AN ERA 1/20/2009

  2. #2
    Senior Member ruthiela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Sophia, NC
    Continental integration by stealth

    As Ottawa prepares to renew NORAD agreement, a bi-national panel suggests nothing less than the complete integration of Canada's military, security and foreign policy into the decision-making and operating systems of the U.S., writes Michael Byers
    Apr. 28, 2006. 01:00 AM

    They seem harmless enough at first: two mid-level Canadian Forces officers and a mild-mannered bespectacled American consultant explaining the work of their 48-member Bi-National Planning Group to audiences across Canada. Their professed goal is to improve co-operation between the Canadian and U.S. militaries, the better to defend both countries.

    Yet a close reading of their final report released last month, reveals that their actual intent — or at least the intent of the politicians who set their mandate — is far from benign. They seek nothing less than the complete integration of Canada's military, security and foreign policy into the decision-making and operating systems of the U.S.

    In 2002, it was revealed that Ottawa and Washington were contemplating a "combined defence plan" that would have placed our forces under the umbrella of the U.S.'s new Northern Command (NORTHCOM).

    Opposition to the plan quickly led to its being shunted out of view and into the newly created Bi-National Planning Group (BPG). Based at the headquarters of NORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, the planning group was intended to devise counterpoints to critics' concerns, while postponing formal decision-making until a more politically opportune moment.

    Today, two Canadian elections later, the authors of the BPG report can hardly believe their luck. Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have only a minority government, but there is little doubt he desires closer ties with Washington.

    The BPG recommendations are far-reaching. They aim at "enhanced co-ordination and co-operation among our foreign policy, defence and security organizations" at "the level (although not necessarily the form) of co-operation that now exists in NORAD."

    In NORAD, the defence of Canadian and U.S. airspace is assigned to a single command which, while supposedly based on the equality of the two countries, is always headed by a senior U.S. officer.

    The BPG is, in actuality, advocating co-operation at the level of a single, U.S.-dominated command for all of Canada's territory and our surrounding seas. Under this plan, the entire Canadian Forces, unless deployed overseas in operations not led by the U.S., could find themselves under American "operational control" with Americans making all key day-to-day decisions.

    Not to worry, the BPG assures us calmly: "Command" will remain in Canadian hands. And that's true, insofar as Canadians would retain responsibility for administrative tasks such as hiring, promotion and pensions.

    The BPG also recommends closer co-operation in security and foreign policy: "Canada and the U.S. must continue to act as partners; indeed ... the partnership must be expanded, to shape the future of North American defence and security, using all of the instruments of diplomatic, economic, informational and military power."

    It is in the context of information-sharing that the BPG recommends the immediate extension of NORAD into the maritime domain as part of next month's renewal of the NORAD agreement.

    Ottawa intends to follow this recommendation when it brings the new NORAD agreement, complete with a provision on maritime surveillance sharing, before Parliament in one or two weeks.

    In normal circumstances, the instantaneous sharing of information on ships approaching North America might make sense.

    In an age of sea-launched cruise missiles, approaching vessels could pose security threats on timelines that are too short for conventional communication protocols.

    But the BPG changes the circumstances by indicating that maritime surveillance sharing is intended as a forerunner for much closer co-operation:

    It calls the upcoming NORAD agreement renewal "an important step toward enhancing the defence and security of our continent. To continue this momentum a `Comprehensive Defence and Security Agreement' is the logical next step ... "

    The BPG presents four alternatives for the new agreement. The first is an expanded NORAD responsible for "all-domain warning" — in the air, at sea, on land and in cyberspace — but with its response capability limited to the air. This new, surveillance-focused NORAD would exist in parallel with Northern Command and the recently established Canadian-run Canada Command.

    The second alternative involves a NORAD command that would provide both "all-domain warning and response to asymmetric threats and attacks." Under this approach, NORTHCOM and Canada Command would continue to exist separately with "the capability to respond unilaterally to threats against their respective countries."

    However, in reality, the single command would prevail in most defence matters on the North American continent, including armed responses at sea and on land. It would also, inevitably, be dominated by the U.S., a fact which the BPG admits would generate "concerns over sovereignty."

    The third alternative gives primacy to NORTHCOM and Canada Command and demotes NORAD to a "Standing Combined Task Force" responsible for providing "bi-national, all-domain awareness and warning" to each national command and, "where appropriate, a combined and co-ordinated response to threats and attacks against Canada and the United States."

    As the BPG explains, this alternative "relies upon the ... commitment of those commands toward a continental approach to defence and security." But don't be misled: It still envisages a comprehensive system for surveillance sharing as well as "combined" responses.

    The fourth, most ambitious alternative involves "a truly integrated approach to continental defence and security through a deliberate melding of defence and security functions." This would be achieved by "establishing a single organization responsible for all-domain, bi-national warning and execution in the realms of defence and security."

    This fourth alternative — full integration — is presented as the ultimate goal of improved co-operation."

    The BPG report thus reveals that expanding NORAD to include maritime surveillance sharing is intended to create momentum toward complete military, security and foreign policy integration.

    It is part of a deliberately fostered trend that includes Canada's involvement in the U.S.-led counterinsurgency in southern Afghanistan, the instantaneous sharing of NORAD aerospace surveillance for U.S. missile defence, and the Harper government's support for Bush administration foreign policies on climate change, nuclear proliferation, and the Middle East.

    We are being subjected to continental integration by stealth. Indeed, the BPG report warns of a "small but vocal minority" concerned about Canadian sovereignty and recommends the use of an "incremental" approach.

    Beware the gentle proponents of closer military co-operation. Canada, once proudly independent, is in danger of allowing itself to be suffocated in America's embrace.

    Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. ... 8256290204
    END OF AN ERA 1/20/2009

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts