Harper is selling us lock stock and barrel, and according to blogger Creekside:
And remember all of this has been done with no input from anyone. Harper's secret agenda has certainly been exposed. This will mean a lot of jobs lost in this country and the beginning of the end of our public healthcare, which has now been made part of NAFTA.
"Because the president cannot rely on Congress to pass the legislation ... sources say the agreement as structured would allow the White House to use executive power to treat sectors of the Canadian economy as American by claiming supply chains are so integrated they cannot be separated.
While Canadian government officials declined to comment, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative distributed copies Thursday of the Canada-U.S. agreement for review by members of an industry advisory committee."
... Stockwell Day has been pushing the provinces towards this since last June, even though many US cities and states sensibly have laws restricting their contracts to their own domestic contractors, and now much of Obama's US-only stimulus spending has already been spent.
Labour groups and others are pushing hard to encourage the provincial governments to reject the deal. But I just wonder with all the talk about not reducing transfer payments, if this wasn't the way Harper blackmailed the provinces into signing on. You know there has to be something afoot.
According to CBC:
Reject 'Buy American' deal: labour groups
February 11, 2010
Cupe is also warning against accepting the deal:
Canadian labour groups are urging provincial governments to reject a deal that would temporarily exempt the country's firms from the U.S. "Buy American" policy — warning Canadians would lose more than they gained.
Last week, federal government officials managed to convince U.S. legislators to amend their controversial "Buy American" program to allow Canadian firms access to bid on potentially lucrative stimulus projects. Officials within U.S. President Barack Obama's administration have approved a pact that would exempt Canadian firms from some of the controversial "Buy American" legislation. (Associated Press)
The federal government trumpeted the deal as a major win, but the labour groups — in releasing a leaked version of the agreement at a news conference at the Ontario legislature on Thursday — condemned the plan.
"This is a deal under which we give and they take," international trade lawyer Steven Shrybman told journalists at a news conference at Queens Park in Toronto.
Only a few agencies in Ontario would be exempt from the deal, including Metrolinx, Ontario Power Generation and the Ontario Power Authority, Infrastructure Ontario and Waterfront Toronto.Not so Tony Clement. But remember he has been orchestrating a lot of these deals, that involve our natural resources. All without debate or input.
CUPE says local commitments such as bottled water bans, local food procurement policies and fair wage polices would be made illegal under the deal.
Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario, says the deal gives away far too much in return for far too little.
"This deal would limit the power of the provincial government to harness all the possible economic levers at its disposal to deal with the economic crisis," Hahn said in a release.
"The race to sell off or give away our province needs to end and the premier should not sign this deal."
Speaking at the International Auto Show in Toronto on Thursday, Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement dismissed the proposal's critics, calling it a "precedent-setting deal".
"It confirms we're important to U.S. trade that we shouldn't have these punitive sanctions," he said. In addition to Washington and Ottawa, 37 U.S. states have already signed off on the deal, he noted, so he urged Ontario and other provinces to do the same.
"We've set the precedent that we are special, we are important, and I believe that precedent will stand," he said.
IS THIS REALLY YOUR CANADA?