The Security and Prosperity Partnership: it even sounds nasty
I can’t believe I was fired from my advertising job.
Canada’s water is on the trade negotiating table despite widespread public opposition and assurances by Canadian political leaders, said Adèle Hurley, director of the University of Toronto’s Programme on Water Issues at the Munk Centre for International Studies.
A new report released Sep. 11 by the programme reveals that water transfers from Canada to the United States are emerging as an issue under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The SPP – sometimes called “NAFTA-plus” – is a forum set up in 2005 in Cancún, by the three partners, Canada, United States and Mexico.
Heh. Widespread public opposition. They should call Australia – we know how far that gets you.
The SPP is comprised of business leaders and government officials who work behind the scenes and are already responsible for changes to border security, easing of pesticide rules, harmonisation of pipeline regulations and plans to prepare for a potential avian flu outbreak, Nikiforuk writes.
“The SPP is run by corporate leaders; governments are irrelevant,” said Ralph Pentland, a water expert and acting chairman of the Canadian Water Issues Council.
Pentland envisions a future where, in response to ongoing drought problems in the United States, the SPP will make arrangements to dole out millions of dollars of public funds for private companies to build pipelines to transfer water from Canada.
Massive water diversions from Canada do not make economic or environmental sense, according to water experts. Far better and cheaper is to improve water efficiency and eliminate waste. The United States and Canada lead the world in water consumption and are extraordinarily wasteful, Pentland says.
Moreover, most of Canada’s water is in the far north, not near its border with the United States. And even the transboundary Great Lakes are at their lowest levels in 100 years due to climate change, notes Nikiforuk.
Also interesting, while we’re busy concerning ourselves with the price of oil and the relative cost-effectiveness of sapping it from moronic sources:
Most of Canada’s oil comes from the tar sands, a 125-billion-dollar capital project in the boreal forest of northern Alberta province. One million barrels of oil flow south each day to the U.S. making Canada its largest supplier.
However, it takes three barrels of freshwater to produce one barrel of oil from the tar sands, says Nikiforuk.
Under NAFTA rules, Canada cannot reduce its energy exports to the United States, according to Gordon Laxer, director of the Parkland Institute, a research network at the University of Alberta. “The U.S. is the most energy wasteful nation on Earth. And Canada is sacrificing its environment to feed America’s addiction to oil,” Laxer said in an interview.
I hate NAFTA. I really do. Sadly, what will be worse is all the protectionist electioneering we can probably expect (on both sides), in the coming year.