Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dear Stephen: What do you plan on fucking up next?

And now that the Harper government has thoroughly screwed us over regarding softwood, what's next on his list of "Things to give away to the Americans?" Ah, there it is:

In Ottawa, the Tory hope is that, with softwood out of the way, Harper and Bush can concentrate on issues like global security, water exports, ...

Excellent -- water exports. Yes, let's make sure that, now that the Americans control our softwood policy, they can pretty much have their way with our water:

Contrary to the reassurances of federal politicians, Canada's water resources are not protected under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). They were protected under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which gave Canada complete control over its water, but in signing NAFTA the federal government in effect yielded control of the country's water to the United States...

Now that the GATT has been superseded by NAFTA, however, Americans are given the same rights as Canadians to our water. NAFTA cancels our right to tax water exports to the U.S., overrides the constitutional right of the provinces to control the water within their boundaries, and accords U.S. corporations the right to sue the federal government if it--or a province--fails to respect the terms of NAFTA. Nowhere in NAFTA is there any wording that gives Ottawa or the provinces the right to limit or embargo water exports to the U.S...

Inevitably, sooner or later, the Americans will invoke their NAFTA rights to take substantial quantities of water from Canada. NAFTA denies our federal and provincial governments the right to stop such exports.

And if there are any possible legal protections for Canada in the existing treaty, I think we can rest assured that Stephen will track them down and have them taken out and shot. 'Cuz that's just the kind of guy he is. Republican.


Anonymous said...

Water is covered under seperate treaties, in which our water rights have already been given away to the US. NOT NAFTA. It was purposly left out.

Boundary Waters Treaty - Signed 1901, revamped 1950's, Still in effect today

Columbia Basin Treaty - Signed 1961, No specified termination date, but either Canada or the United States can terminate the Treaty any time after 16 September 2024, provided a minimum ten years written notice is provided.

Anonymous said...

The deal Harper has cobbled together in his rush to curry favour with Bush is an appalling one, for the reasons mentioned, and others.

When Harper takes this deal to Parliament, it deserves to be altered. The Bloc, NDP and Liberals have the majority of the seats in Parliament, and it is the duty of their MPs to act in the interests of Canada and their constituents.

If the Liberals allow this deal to go through (either by ineptitude – such as the last budget debacle, or disorganization – due to the leadership campaign absorbing so much of their efforts), then they deserve to be punished by the voters come the next election.

If course, if by their conduct Liberal MPs (especially the contenders for leadership of the party) show that their failure to stand up to Harper on yet another rushed exercise, springs from cowardice, then the voters should take note of this, and not grant them a government minority or majority until they acquire some intestinal fortitude.

This softwood deal is more of a test of the calibre of the Liberal leadership contenders, than of Harper. We have measured Harper, and he is wanting.

Now let us measure the Liberal Party, and see if they deserve the votes of Canadians.

Anonymous said...

The alternative to the craven New Tory party's capitulation to Bush on the softwood issue is very simple.

The NDP, Bloc and Liberals have the majority votes in Parliament. They could agree to pass legislation which would direct the government to table the following revised proposal with the Bush government:

1. Term - The term should be ten years, with no early termination possible unless both sides agree, and the Canadian government is to agree only if a majority of MPs through a free vote (on a non-party basis) in Parliament for an earlier renewal.

2. Automatic renewals - Renewal period should be for automatic five year periods, unless notice of termination is given by either side 12 months before the end of a term (and the Government of Canada would need a majority vote of MPs to give such notice, through a free non-party vote).

3. Payment - Full payment of the $5 billion (yes, that is right, the amount owed under the applicable laws), plus interest on overdue amounts at 5% p.a..

4. No litigation - American lumber companies to agree not to litigate the settlement.

5. Reaffirmation of NAFTA - American government to reaffirm its commitment to the NAFTA treaty.

6. Failure of US to agree -

a. Should the US government not agree to this proposal, then Canada to continue with litigation.

b. Canadian government to fund such litigation by Canadian companies.

c. If the USA takes steps to penalize lumber imports from Canada due to failure to reach agreement as above, the Canadian government is to appoint a Royal Commission with a mandate to review what steps should be taken by the Canadian government to uphold the NAFTA, including whether to terminate the NAFTA (what is the point of an agreement with a government which does not honour its commitments?).

d. Royal Commission to report by February 28 2007.

e. Canadian government to review the findings of the Royal Commission and take such steps as the majority of MPs agree to through a free non-party vote.

f. Canadian government would use taxpayers money to assist Canadian companies who needed assistance due to the non-payment by the Americans of the debt they are refusing to pay.

So, you see: the answer is really simple. All you need is a bit of backbone as the Prime Minister of a country which entered into a treaty with another government in full expectation that the other government would honour its obligations, and not welsh when it suited it.

Our MPs would be in a position where they could reflect the views of their various constituents, as the later votes would be a non-party vote on the issues set out above.

Who will take the lead to stand up for Canada?

hahajohnnyb said...

Of course you Canadians enjoy American agricultural produce, and understand that all of that produce has come thus far from ground water that will likely run out in the next 20 years. At which time American food exports will decrease dramatically, at a time when the World's population will be one billion people greater than it is today. Reduce food supplies and the cost of food is going to increase. As a result many people in 3rd world nations will starve and many other will be thrust into ever deeper poverty as they struggle to afford food.

Unless the infrastructure is started now, this will be a reality and no one doubts this point. Unless, Canada co-operates with these current water issues, Canada will no doubt become responsible for the greatest mass starvation the world has ever known.

In such an event would war against Canada be out of the question? No. Because it will be Canada's current greed that will be the greatest killers of mankind and the primary cause of hardship around the World.