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Whose Canada?

Whose Canada?: Continental Integration, Fortress North America, and the Corporate Agenda

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 592
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  • Book Info
    Whose Canada?
    Book Description:

    Contributors include Sharryn Aiken (Queen's), Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Dorval Brunelle (UQAM), Duncan Cameron (SFU), Bruce Campbell (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, CCPA), Tony Clarke (Polaris Institute), Stephen Clarkson (Toronto), Marjorie Griffin Cohen (Simon Fraser), Kathy Corrigan (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Murray Dobbin (CCPA), Jim Grieshaber-Otto (CCPA), Andrew Jackson (Canadian Labour Congress), Marc Lee (CCPA), Benoît Lévesque (UQAM), Elizabeth May (Green Party), Garry Neil (International Network for Cultural Diversity), Larry Pratt (Alberta), David Robinson (Canadian Association for University Teachers), Mario Seccareccia (Ottawa), Steven Shrybman (Sack, Goldblatt, & Mitchell), Scott Sinclair (CCPA), Steven Staples (, and Michelle Swenarchuk (Canadian Environmental Law Association).

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7719-0
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Acronyms
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
    Ricardo Grinspun and Yasmine Shamsie
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xxi-xxii)

    This book addresses the most pressing issue facing Canadians today – our nation’s future in Fortress North America. Not since 1984, when newly elected Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced to a blue chip business audience in New York City that Canada was “open for business,” has the groundwork been laid for such major structural change in Canada’s relations with the United States.

    The same economic and political elite that advanced the Canada-us Free Trade Agreement twenty years ago is back in full force advancing their ambitious agenda of deep continental integration. The grandiose plan includes a North American common market, trade...


    • 1 Canada, Free Trade, and “Deep Integration” in North America: Context, Problems, and Challenges
      (pp. 3-53)

      Close to two decades have passed since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect (1/1/89 and 1/1/94, respectively), yet they remain central to Canadian public policy and the Canadian psyche. Questions and concerns regarding the scope and depth of our bilateral relationship with the US loom even larger since the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington. This volume spotlights these themes.

      A central objective of this book is to reflect on almost two decades of free trade. Several authors assess progress or deterioration in such key areas...

    • 2 Free Trade Allies: The Making of a New Continentalism
      (pp. 54-73)

      Free trade with the United States has been a recurring theme in Canadian politics since prior to Confederation, and it has always generated considerable political controversy. In establishing the terms of debate, free trade advocates and foes alike look to economics and political economy to help guide their arguments. Appeals are made to national identity, historical destiny, and conceptions of Canadian foreign policy as well as to how free trade affects wealth creation and distribution, and its impact on structural economic weaknesses and regional disparities.

      The debates have pitted diverse social forces against one another, and they use whatever strategies...

    • 3 Corporate Canada: Washington’s Empire Loyalists
      (pp. 74-104)

      Behind the scenes in Ottawa, since the late 1990s Canada’s big business leaders have been quietly mapping out a blueprint for a new deal with the United States. Arguing that “everything has changed” in the wake of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, they started lobbying to achieve new forms of economic union and strategic alignment with Washington. Plans crystallized during 2002 and 2003 as the C.D. Howe Institute called for a “Big Idea” and others for a “Grand Bargain.”

      The strongest political muscle was flexed by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), representing...


    • 4 Paradigm Shift or Paradigm Twist? The Impact of the Bush Doctrine on Canada’s International Position
      (pp. 107-128)

      Many aspects of the catastrophe that struck the United States on 11 September 2001 were not novel. Local terrorism was as old as the perception of political oppression by the militantly aggrieved, and global terrorism had been a reality for two decades. Even global terrorism directed at US targets was well established. What was new about the attacks was the United States’ humiliation at having its own civilian airplanes used as missiles guided by Osama Bin Laden’s adepts, who had been legally admitted to the country by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), having slipped through the fingers of the...

    • 5 “Community of Law:” Proposals for a Strategic Deal with the United States
      (pp. 129-153)

      As we saw in chapter 4, Al Qaeda’s attack shocked the United States into a complete reordering of the policy priorities that had been in place up to 10 September 2001 . For its part, Ottawa felt threatened less by Osama Bin Laden’s jihad than by the Bush administration’s concern about possible incursions of terrorists across its northern boundary. Consequently, the federal government responded with short- and medium-term measures designed to reassure Washington that the transborder flow of goods and people was as secure as public policies and technological wizardry could make possible.

      But alleviating Uncle Sam’s anxieties did not...

    • 6 Fortress North America: The Drive towards Military and Security Integration and Its Impact on Canadian Democratic Sovereignty
      (pp. 154-179)

      “This is our time,” President George W. Bush told his war council when they assembled in the White House’s underground bunker just twelve hours after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. “Get the troops ready” (Fournier 2002). Days later, as the war plans were being laid for the attack on Afghanistan, Bush used his 20 September speech to the special Joint Session of Congress to issue his challenge to governments around the world: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” (Bush 2001). The stark choice...

    • 7 Risking Rights: An Assessment of Canadian Border Security Policies
      (pp. 180-208)

      Both historically and today, times of real or perceived crisis have often exacerbated social conflicts, producing a backlash against “outsiders.” Well before the emergence of the modern nation-state, the Romans rounded up and killed defenceless aliens as a stark warning to the barbarians pressing against the border of their empire. From the past century alone, the mass deportations of “foreign-born agitators” in the wake of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 , the 1918–21 Palmer raids and antiimmigrant legislation enacted following a series of explosions in US cities due to the mounting “red scare,” and the internment of over...


    • 8 From Leaps of Faith to Hard Landings: Fifteen Years of “Free Trade”
      (pp. 211-233)

      This chapter evaluates the impacts of increased economic integration with the United States in the wake of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and against the backdrop of the “great free trade debate” of the late 1980s. The first part briefly summarizes the key issues raised in the debate, when proponents claimed that the CUFTA would boost long-term economic growth with minimal impacts on the Canadian social model, while critics expressed concerns about the loss of needed economic policy levers and the dangers of “downward harmonization” to the us social model. The...

    • 9 Critical Macroeconomic Aspects of Deepening North American Economic Integration
      (pp. 234-258)

      A number of economists, especially those who have been influenced by the work of Robert Mundell and his followers, view the process of economic integration, both commercial and monetary, as a natural and irreversible tendency in the world economy today. The pattern of post-Bretton Woods trade “liberalization” has, indeed, entailed a revamping of trade relations in favour of large international trading blocs such as the European Union (EU) and the North American free trade zone. At the same time, deepening trade links have generated strong pressures within these commercial trading blocs in support of greater monetary integration and the establishment...

    • 10 All Pain, No Gain: Canadian Labour in the Integrated North American Economy
      (pp. 259-279)

      The increased benefits from the Trade Agreement will start to be realized shortly after the implementation of the Agreement on January 1 , 1989. Prices for a wide range of consumer goods will begin to decline, expanding the purchasing power of Canadian households. Investment in plant and equipment will expand as Canadian firms move to take advantage of their enhanced access to the huge us market place. Increased consumer and investment spending will lead to stronger economic growth and more job creation. Department of Finance estimates of the impacts of the Agreement on employment over the government’s medium-term fiscal planning...

    • 11 The Costs and Benefits of a Canada-US Customs Union
      (pp. 280-296)
      MARC LEE

      Pressures for deeper integration between Canada and the United States appear across a number of policy dimensions, including border security, defence policy, and immigration, as other chapters in this volume have pointed out. However, economic issues, in particular Canada’s trade and investment relationship with the United States, carry a great deal of weight for Canada’s proponents of deeper integration. To the extent that Canada might agree to common policies of a more political nature, these would likely be the outcome of a negotiation in which Canada’s principal aim is to keep the border open to bilateral trade.

      While the North...


    • 12 An International Bill of Rights for Foreign Investors
      (pp. 299-316)

      During the past decade or so, international trade agreements have been dramatically expanded to encompass areas of law, public policy, and government services that had previously been matters of strictly domestic concern. Today, international trade agreements contemplate and rule upon such wide-ranging matters as investment, procurement, public services, intellectual property, and domestic regulation, including environmental protection. Indeed, so broad is the reach of these new regimes that virtually every sphere of domestic economic and social policy is now potentially subject to their rules, no matter how tenuously those policies relate to international trade in any conventional sense. Moreover, unlike the...

    • 13 Impact of Trade Agreements on Subnational Governments
      (pp. 317-342)

      This chapter considers the impact of trade agreements on provincial and local government policy, with a focus on educational and municipal services. These impacts operate within the context of many forces: the principles and the provisions of the trade agreements themselves, the agreement negotiating process, economic globalization and US hegemony, Canada-US relations, and political and power relationships within Canada. Most important, however, trade agreements and their impacts are shaped by the ever more insistent, cohesive, and powerful corporate forces demanding the increased free flow of trade and the privatization of services.

      Canada has a long, sometimes uneasy, but generally beneficial...

    • 14 Trade Treaties, Privatization, and Health Care Reform in Canada
      (pp. 343-370)

      The Canadian health care system is at a crossroads. Although it is a defining feature of modern Canadian life and our most valued social program, its condition could soon become unstable as it is eroded through steady, incremental commercialization. This chapter argues further that Canada’s trade treaty obligations risk making such incremental changes effectively permanent by foreclosing important options for future reform. These trade treaty risks are not the only challenge facing the Canadian health care system, but no serious proposal to reform Canadian Medicare can afford to ignore them. They are a potentially corrosive and destabilizing influence that must...

    • 15 Free Trade and Deep Integration in North America: Saving Canadian Culture
      (pp. 371-390)

      Twenty years ago, a blue ribbon panel of US industry representatives chaired by Thomas H. Wyman, chairman and CEO of CBS Inc., conducted a survey of leading executives and trade associations that sought to identify “the major problems the motion picture and television, pre-recorded entertainment, publishing and advertising industries incurred in exporting their products and services.” The final report, tabled with the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in September 1984, is important because it explains to a great extent the negotiating posture of the United States in subsequent trade talks and in bilateral relationships. The various measures...

    • 16 Free Trade and Quebec Models of Development
      (pp. 391-406)

      In this chapter we bring to light the effects of free trade on the two models of development implemented in Quebec since 1960. First, we establish the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on the first-generation model, that of the “Quiet Revolution”; second, we examine the free trade option in relation to a second-generation model perfected and implemented since the 1980s by Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) and Parti Québécois (PQ) governments (up until the elections of spring 2003). We argue that the free trade option has led to two interrelated sets of social practices: one that led to collaboration between...


    • 17 Breaking the Free Trade Addiction: An Intervention on Environmental Grounds
      (pp. 409-438)

      Imagine that it’s Friday afternoon, around four o’clock. You are getting ready to leave for the weekend when the lights in your office go out. You peak out your office door and see that the entire floor is dark and heads are gophering up inquisitively from cubicles. You make your way out of the building, head down the stairs, and emerge into the chaotic and confused streets of downtown Toronto. More than the building, more than the block or the city, entire grids have gone down, and all is dark. All around you is chaos: people trapped in elevators and...

    • 18 Imperialist Regulation: US Electricity Market Designs and Their Problems for Canada and Mexico
      (pp. 439-458)

      On 14 August 2003 the worst blackout in Canadian and US history knocked out power to over 50 million people, closed down main financial and industrial centres, and shut down more than 100 power-generating facilities. This massive power failure in the US northeast and Ontario demonstrated the unreliability of the US grid system and ramped up calls within the United States to further integrate the North American electricity market under the control of the US regulator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Security of the system is the justification for increased integration, but a significant impact of such integration would...

    • 19 Pipelines and Pipe Dreams: Energy and Continental Security
      (pp. 459-480)

      The idea of a Fortress North America in energy is not a recent one. It occurred, in the first instance, as a solution to a problem in social engineering. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s a variety of individuals and organizations advocated the pooling of the resources of the North American continent, giving American resource consumers unlimited access to Canadian supplies of energy in return for guaranteed access to the vast American market. To some, it was simply a matter of engineers reorganizing the physical and social assets of North America. The idea that the continent’s resources – notably its water...

    • 20 Of Harvard Mice and Prairie Farmers: Canadian Patents on Life
      (pp. 481-498)

      This chapter deals with the theme of Canada-US integration from a particular vantage point: that of changes that have been made to the Canadian legal regime to bring it into conformity with trends established in the United States. I show that many Canadian laws that relate to the patenting of life forms have been brought into conformity with US legal norms and trends and that only determined resistance by Canadians has held back change in some important cases. As with the other chapters in this volume, the protagonists are governments, transnational corporations, social forces, and private citizens, and once again...


    • 21 Challenging the Forces of Deep Integration
      (pp. 501-528)

      Sensibly discussing a strategy for democratic resistance to “deep integration” in Canada is really no different – except for strategic and tactical details – than discussing resistance to the broad neoliberal agenda, the Washington Consensus model, and the “facts” on the ground that this agenda and consensus have helped establish. For the most part this is an exercise in coming to grips with the material and ideological context that we are facing. In other words, we need to examine the material social, political, and economic reality of Canada after twenty years of structural adjustment by both Tory and Liberal (and provincial) governments,...

    • 22 Managing Canada-US Relations: An Alternative to Deep Integration
      (pp. 529-546)

      The end of the Cold War and, more recently, the attacks of 11 September 2001 changed the way US policy makers view the world and the way the world views the United States. For the Bush administration, aggressive unilateralism and coalitions of convenience take precedence over multilateralism and international law, except when US interests deem otherwise. Military and economic agendas are two sides of the same coin: removing threats to US access to the world’s energy supplies and other resources, if necessary through pre-emptive wars; prying open markets and entrenching free-market rules and investor rights for us multinationals in trade...

  13. About the Contributors
    (pp. 547-552)
  14. Index
    (pp. 553-566)