The Guardian 23 February, 2005

Confidential documents reveal
true business agenda for Canada

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 US, the Mexican Council of Foreign Relations (MCFR), and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).The document, reported on in the Toronto Star, is a summary of the task force's first meeting, which took place in Toronto in October 2004.

Among the proposals 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."

  • "Trilateralised 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 is clear that the task force has plans for a North American common market with common security policies, common immigration and refugee systems, a harmonised border system undermines sovereignty over health and safety standards and a common resource policy that includes trade in Canada' s water at a future time.

    The task force is expected to release its recommendations in April 2005.

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