canada: Page 1
Bush admin was working on North American Union ("integrating" U.S., Canada and Mexico into one community) - 05/06/11
A few years ago, one of the biggest conspiracy theories concerned a North American Union, an attempt to join the U.S., Canada, and Mexico together in some sort of community similar to the EU. An endless series of establishment hacks claimed that there was no such plan and that it was all just a paranoid fantasy.
# In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.
# Immigrant households’ use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Their use of cash and housing programs tends to be similar to native households.
# A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.
# Immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, even before the current recession. In 2001, 50 percent of all immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program, compared to 32 percent for natives.
# Households with children with the highest welfare use rates are those headed by immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent).
# The states where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62 percent); Texas, California, and New York (61 percent); Pennsylvania (59 percent); Minnesota and Oregon (56 percent); and Colorado (55 percent).
Some immigrant-advocacy groups criticized the report, saying it was engineered to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment by making an unequal comparison between immigrant households, which tend to be low-income, and all native households, including low-income and high-income households.
Immigrant households use welfare programs at about the same rate when compared with the low-income native households, said Jonathan Blazer, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center an immigrant-advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
Since that appears to be the best argument that opponents can offer, CIS's report must be solid. Why are we allowing millions of poor people to immigrate here when we already have more poor Americans than our social welfare programs can apparently handle? Especially since the future for those poor immigrants and their children doesn't look very promising, as even Obama admits? What's going to happen to our social welfare programs as the children of those poor immigrants and their children retire?
For years, the establishment has tried to tell us that concerns about a North American Union were just crazy talk. Yet, on Friday, the U.S. and Canada established a "Shared Vision for Perimeter Security", a common security perimeter designed among other things to "accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries". In the case of Canada we (at least currently) don't need to worry too much about millions of Canadians wanting to move to the U.S., but the same can't be said of similar efforts that might be planned with Mexico: around 39 million Mexicans would move to the U.S. if given the chance.
While the "shared vision" says it respects the "sovereign right of each country", the agreement will help blur the line between the two countries and cost each sovereignty. For an example, see the issue of Mexican trucks on U.S. roads as mandated by NAFTA.
Further, both countries agreed to the "shared vision" with executive orders rather than with decisions by the U.S. Congress or the Canadian parliament. And, talks leading up to the agreement were secret and the announcement itself was designed to be propagandized.
Note that Obama is simply continuing what George W Bush started with the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (formerly at spp.gov). In fact - while you never heard about it from rightwing bloggers and pundits - Obama indicated his interest in continuing the SPP before the election.
While the leftwing in Canada is generally on the correct side of this issue, the leftwing in the U.S. has been trained to reflexively respond to any concerns with childish mockery. And, those like the tea partiers who pretend Obama's a far-left transformative figure should try and explain why he's continuing a very establishment-friendly proposal that Bush started.
 From whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/04/
Note that in the third paragraph below the people who live in the U.S. and Canada are seemingly an afterthought. Note also the use of biometrics and the mention of "harmonizing existing programs". The latter was one of the goals of Bush's SPP.
To preserve and extend the benefits our close relationship has helped bring to Americans and Canadians alike, we intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries. We intend to do so in partnership, and in ways that support economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity...
...We intend to work together in cooperation and partnership to develop, implement, manage, and monitor security initiatives, standards, and practices to fulfill our vision. We recognize that our efforts should accelerate job creation and economic growth through trade facilitation at our borders and contribute directly to the economic security and well-being of both the United States and Canada.
...We intend to work together to engage with all levels of government and with communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, as well as with our citizens, on innovative approaches to security and competitiveness.
...We value and respect our separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy, civil liberties, and human rights and provide for appropriate recourse and redress.
We recognize the sovereign right of each country to act independently in its own interest and in accordance with its laws.
...To increase security, counter fraud, and improve efficiency, we intend to work together to establish and verify the identities of travelers and conduct screening at the earliest possible opportunity. We intend to work toward common technical standards for the collection, transmission, and matching of biometrics that enable the sharing of information on travelers in real time. This collaboration should facilitate combined United States and Canadian screening efforts and strengthen methods of threat notification.
In order to promote mobility between our two countries, we expect to work towards an integrated United States-Canada entry-exit system, including work towards the exchange of relevant entry information in the land environment so that documented entry into one country serves to verify exit from the other country.
...We aim to build on the success of current joint programs by expanding trusted traveler and trader programs, harmonizing existing programs, and automating processes at the land border to increase efficiency.
...We intend to work together to defend and protect our use of air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace, and enhance the security of our integrated transportation and communications networks.
...The United States and Canada intend to establish a Beyond the Border Working Group (BBWG) composed of representatives from the appropriate departments and offices of our respective federal governments.
...We intend for the BBWG to report to their respective Leaders in the coming months, and after a period of consultation, with a joint Plan of Action to realize the goals of this declaration, that would, where appropriate, rely upon existing bilateral border-related groups, for implementation.
The BBWG will report on the implementation of this declaration to Leaders on an annual basis. The mandate of the BBWG will be reviewed after three years.
 From "Canada kept U.S. border talks under wraps: document" (link):
OTTAWA - The federal government deliberately kept negotiations on a border deal with Washington secret while it planned ways to massage public opinion in favour of the pact, according to a confidential communications strategy.
The 14-page public relations document recommended that talks keep a "low public profile" in the months leading up to the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. At the same time, the government would secretly engage "stakeholders" - interested parties such as big business groups and others - in a way that respected "the confidentiality of the announcement."
At least two provincial cabinet ministers and a number of other government officials and employees are under the control of foreign countries as part of espionage schemes, Canada’s top security official said Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview on CBC’s The National, CSIS director Richard Fadden said foreign powers are infiltrating Canadian political circles and influencing public servants, fuelling a growing concern about economic espionage in Canada...
...The report said that Mr. Fadden has alleged that about five countries are casting their hands into Canada’s political sphere, including Chinaand countries in the Middle East.
Gallup: Americans more favorable on Egypt than Mexico; 62% of young favorable on China; more - 02/19/10
Gallup asked Americans whether their "overall opinion" of various countries was favorable or not, and the results are here. First, it needs to be pointed out that asking for someone's opinion of a whole country should be meaningless: is the opinion about their current leadership, what they'd be like if the leadership changed, or what?
Canadian comedian tries to embarrass Sarah Palin; fails; shows abysmal level of debate in U.S. - 11/27/09
Mediaite offers "Canadian Comedian Fails Miserably In Trying To Embarrass Sarah Palin" (link):
During a book signing event in Columbus, Ohio, Canadian Comedian Mary Walsh ambushed (Sarah Palin) with camera crew and microphone to seek her thoughts on the Canadian health care system (and ostensibly embarrass her as well.)
While the event security detail prevented a meaningful interview, Palin did provide some basic comments consistent with her conservative position. While many websites are now presenting this video clip as evidence of her naivete, the video actually acquits Palin quite well, and makes the comedian look far more foolish than her target. Perhaps more stunning is that this clip has received a lot of play on numerous news sites, despite the fact it comes from a comedy show.
However, neither of the above stress that this is yet another marker on the road to Idiocracy. Instead of asking political leaders tough questions about their policies - policies that affect hundreds of millions or billions of people - about all we get is one dumb stunt after the other.
There are a lot of forces working towards the current situation, including: entertainers want to get ratings no matter what; partisan hacks and authoritarians/borderline fascists don't want politicians to be asked questions at all; liberals who think the height of argumentation is asking questions in the style of the sleazy Mike Stark; and conservatives/libertarians who think the height of argumentation is throwing a tantrum in the tea parties style.
In case anyone else realizes how dangerous the path we're on is, help promote the question authority plan.
Obama admin will reduce number of Border Patrol agents at Mexican border, increase at Canadian border - 09/28/09
Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border... (Border Patrol Director of Media Relations Lloyd Easterling) said on Tuesday that in fiscal 2009, 17,399 Border Patrol agents have been deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border. In fiscal year 2010, the Border Patrol plans to decrease that by 384 agents, leaving 17,015 deployed along the Mexican frontier. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Canada border will be increased by 414, from a fiscal 2009 total of 1,798 agents to a fiscal 2010 total of 2,212.
"Well, some of the 9-11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know."
The Canadian ambassador corrected him as he had done with Napolitano:
"As the 9-11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9-11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. No 9-11 terrorists came from Canada."
Napolitano: ...Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.The "millennium bomber" who tried to blow up LAX did come over the Canadian border. However, the 9/11 terrorists did not; they came here on visas as described at the first link. See "Visas for Terror".
(Neil Macdonald of the CBC): Are you talking about the 9/11 perpetrators?
[Napolitano]: Not just those but others as well. So again, every country is entitled to have a border. It's part of sovereignty. It's part of knowing who's in the country.
It's also worth noting that those linked to terrorist groups have come over the Mexican border. See this, this, Chapter 3 of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report, this, and the Diversity Visa Lottery. I might have read more government reports on this than Napolitano, and that's not a good sign.
UPDATE: It was all just a crazy dream: link. The Canadian ambassador spoke out against her remarks, then Napolitano issued a statement saying she knew the 9/11 hijackers didn't come over the Canadian border, then Canada says apology accepted but they still want a meeting. Then, she said:
"The fact of the matter is that Canada allows people into its country that we do not allow into ours," she told a Canadian participant who asked her to explain why the Canada and Mexico borders should be treated equally. "That's why you have to have a border and you have to have border policies that make sense."
"I want to also, by the way, thank some of the Canadians who came over the border to campaign for me during the election... It was much appreciated."
If anyone has accounts of Canadians campaigning for our new, supposed U.S. president please leave a comment. And, note that the Obama campaign was helped by a large number of sockpuppets, including those who were from foreign countries. Note also the still unresolved Obama money issue, in which he received millions of dollars in questionable donations no doubt including foreign citizens.
A large part of the stimulus bill will go towards "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects involving heavy construction. And, that's going to require a lot of cement. In 2007, it looks like the U.S. used about 110 million metric tons of portland cement, at the same time as importing almost 23 million metric tons of cement and clinker (Portland Cement Association, link):
About 83% of cement and clinker imported in 2007 came from five major countries: China, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea. Imports from China in 2007 declined to 7.5 million metric tons down 41.0% from 2006 levels
Your assignment: find out how much cement we'd have to import for all those stimulus-related projects, and calculate how much more China will be making off us.
Memo on Barack Obama senior advisor's meeting with Canadian government on NAFTA (Austan Goolsbee) - 03/03/08
For instance, on February 29, Goolsbee said "It is a totally inaccurate story... I did not call these people and I direct you to the press office."
Now, let's turn to the memo:
"[Goolsbee] was frank in saying that the primary campaign has been necessarily domestically focused, particularly in the Midwest, and that much of the rhetoric that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy... On NAFTA, Goolsbee suggested that Obama is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favour of strengthening/clarifying language on labour mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more 'core' principles of the agreement...Goolsbee, now admitting that the meeting took place, says they've mischaracterized his comments. There's certainly the possibility that he could be right: the Canadian government might be attempting to harm Obama's chances by releasing an inaccurate memo. That needs to be considered.
...Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign... He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
But, the fact that both Goolsbee and the Obama campaign haven't exactly been straightforward about this issue, and the fact that in general Obama is more or less a fake, carry more weight.
UPDATE: The tale of competing people who can't be trusted continues, as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says, "I certainly deny any allegation that this government has attempted to interfere in the American election". And, the Canadian Consulate says:
The Canadian Embassy and our Consulates General regularly contact those involved in all of the Presidential campaigns and, periodically, report on these contacts to interested officials. In the recent report produced by the Consulate General in Chicago, there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA. We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.UPDATE 2: For perhaps the first time ever, the MSM has decided to ask Obama some tough questions. Why they'd start doing it now is unknown. However, he was asked not just about NAFTAGate but about his links to Tony Rezko as well, and it's now being presented as him "tangling" with the press who asked him a "barrage of questions" (link). There's video here.
UPDATE 3: A CBC report is here. Per the reporter, "the Canadian Embassy reviewed the diplomatic cable which was sent and acknowledges that they might have misrepresented the advisor". Who to trust?
UPDATE 4: "The Leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, called today for the resignation of the Canadian Prime Minister's Chief of Staff over improper intervention in the US Democratic Primary race." The video here includes an unctuous reply from Stephen Harper.
The Surete du Quebec has admitted that the three "black bloc"-style protesters at the recent Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting in Montebello were in fact police officers as a union leader has previously claimed. However, the Quebec police claim that they weren't there as "agents provocateurs" but were in fact there to prevent violence. For the backstory, see Les agents provocateurs at SPP protest in Canada?
A group convened by the Migration Policy Institute in partnership with Manhattan Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which published "Immigration and America's Future:A New Chapter" ( link) in [[September, 2006]]. Supports a "new, secure Social Security card" (possibly a national ID card) and "path to legal status for unauthorized immigrants" (a massive amnesty for illegal aliens).
As of creation time, this is the list of those involved:
...from Sept. 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, [Canadian] Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and [Canadian] Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with U.S. and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum.Much more at the link.
According to leaked documents, the guest list included such prominent figures as U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mexican Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora and Canadian Forces chief General Rick Hillier, although we have no final confirmation of attendees.
The event was chaired by former U.S. secretary of state George Schultz, former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe.
Despite the involvement of senior North American politicians, organizers did not alert the media about the event. To make it worse, our government will not be issuing a public statement and refuses to release any information about the content of the discussions or the actors involved...
...The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives - the elite club of Canada's richest CEOs - and the Canada West Foundation, an Alberta think-tank that promotes, among other things, closer economic integration with the United States.
The focus of the event was on North American security and prosperity. Not surprisingly, this included topics such as "A North American Energy Strategy," "Demographic and Social Dimensions of North American Integration" and "Opportunities for Security Co-operation" — all topics where the public interest is at odds with that of big business elites...
UPDATE: In addition to those above, WND has more participants:
former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey, former Immigration and Naturalization Services Director Doris Meissner, North American Union guru Robert Pastor, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Energy Secretary and Defense Secretary James Schlesinger ... The only media member scheduled to appear at the event, according to documents obtained by WND, was the Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady.And:
...In June, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America made one of its most visible and public moves since it was first announced last year. In Washington, June 15, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Mexican Economy Minister Sergio Garcia de Alba and Canadian Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier joined North American business leaders to launch the North American Competitiveness Council. It was a major development that showed the March 2005 meeting was no fluke – and that the plans announced by the three national leaders then were continuing to take shape. The NACC was first announced by Bush, Harper and Fox.
The U.S. executives involved in the NACC include: United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman Michael Eskew; Frederick Smith, chairman of FedEx Corp.; Lou Schorsh, chief executive of Mittal Steel USA; Joseph Gilmour, president of New York Life Insurance Co.; William Clay Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors Corp.; Raymond Gilmartin, CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.; David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron Corp.; Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of General Electric Co.; Lee Scott, president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Robert Stevens, chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp.; Michael Haverty, chairman of Kansas City Southern; Douglas Conant, president of Campbell's Soup Co. and James Kilt, vice-chairman of Gillette Inc...
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, together with their counterparts from the United States and Mexico, today released the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Report to the three North American leaders. The report outlines progress of collaborative initiatives between Canada, the United States and Mexico in such vital areas as security, the economy, transportation, the environment, and public health.It goes on, including this bit of familiar language:
"This report to Prime Minister Harper, President Bush, and President Fox marks the significant progress that our three countries have made under the SPP to build on our important North American partnership," said Minister MacKay. "It's a tribute to the positive, collaborative relationships that our government has developed with Mexico and the United States, and to our common commitment to work together to build a safer, more secure and economically dynamic North America."
"Thanks to our crucial work Canadians and North Americans will be protected from security threats by smart and secure borders that promote the movement of low-risk trade and travellers within North America," said Minister Day. "For example, under the Security and Prosperity Partnership, officials are developing security standards for travel documents which will be used for cross-border travel under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)."
To provide a uniform agreement between local offices of the Governments of the United States and Mexico, officials from both countries signed on June 27 an agreement to implement a pilot program in El Paso and Chicago, for the safe, humane, and orderly repatriation of Mexican nationals.UPDATE: The White House, via Condi Rice, Michael Chertoff, and Carlos Gutierrez (Commerce) has received notice of the progress being made: whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/20060907-9.html
Last week Canada joined Europe in fulfilling Orwell's nightmare: "Canada signs protocol to fight 'cyberhate'" (cnn . com/2005/WORLD/americas/07/08/canada.cybercrime.ap/). According to Canada's Justice Minister Irwin Cotler: