Saturday, May 26, 2007

Canadian Coma

Remember when one of the objectives of the "Independent Task Force on the Future of North America" was to "launch an educational project to teach the idea of a shared NA identity in schools"?
That objective seems to be coming along rather nicely, thanks to The North American Forum on Integration, a Montreal-based non-profit promoting deep integration.
In April we had the 6th Student Organization of North America Conference:Highlights of the Conference included : Embracing our North American Identity
And just wrapping up yesterday in Washington DC is another NAFI project, the 3rd Triumvirate, a North American Model Parliament for students from Canada, Mexico, and the US.
According to their website, their main objectives : "To develop their sense of a North American identity" and "To identify the elements of the North American agenda which would allow consolidation and reinforcement of the North American region".
This year's themes : creation of a customs union, water management, human trafficking and telecommunications.
Water management ?
The students for the mock parliament were divided into three groups : legislators, lobbyists, and journalists.
One of those student journalists was really doing her job. From her report regarding a resolution in which Canada would give up 10% of her customs duties in exchange for US 'protection' or access to Canadian resources:

Canadian Coma

An editorial by Eléonore Bernier-Hamel

The Canadian delegation of the Triumvirate in the Customs Union commission
has been successfully exploited by the United States and has agreed to a very
questionable proposition.

I went to see the Canadian delegates to ask them if they were happy with
the resolution. I didn’t have a clue because they remained silent during the
commission and they always voted in the same way as the others.

The Americans made it clear at the beginning of our commission: they would
ask either for significant monetary contributions for enforced security or for
access to Canadian natural resources. Canadians had accepted the American’s
rules: they were ready to give up one or the other.

I could sense the nervousness of the American delegates and I tried to
understand the nature of their concern. I found out that they wanted the
resolution to be finalized as quickly as possible because they were stunned by
the silence of the others, especially the Canadians, and they were afraid to see
them waking up and refusing what appeared to be unacceptable.

The press conference on Thursday was framed as if the resolution had
been a success for everyone.

I would have failed my readers had I not reported this.
As a Canadian –Québécoise I am wondering why this country has to pay for
the rude attitude of the US government towards the Middle-East and the security
problem that comes from this. The Canadian government refuses to participate in
the missile defence program as the American government wished after 9/11; why
should Canada now accept to finance a plan of national security that covers the
entire territory of North America?

Go, Eleonore! You can read the rest of her report here.

Sounds just like life, isn't it?
Nice to see a little spunk from a student journalist in a mock parliament at a conference which, incidentally, included a former Canadian ambassador to the US, a conference whose only purpose is to promote the NAU.
Would be nice to see rather more of her particular spunk out here.
Note : I'm personally not against some eventual form of North American Union.
I just don't see how we can currently avoid it being, in Ann Coulter's happy phrase, "America rolling over and crushing Canada in her sleep". Or coma.
(Cross-posted at Creekside)

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