Atlantica: Harper, MacKay and the man from Portland
Fall, 2007, Vol, 13, No. 49
AT a conference in Halifax in June, a new six-person body called the Atlantica Council was introduced: three Atlantic Canadian corporate executives, one state trade manager from Portland, Maine, the president of the Atlantica Center for Energy and the president of Memorial University. At the same conference, Peter MacKay, Minister for ACOA, handed over $548,000 to the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce to fund this Council.
The second planned activity will be to develop "the Atlantic Gateway, a multi-modal, ocean super-port and international highway designed to lure Asian shipping companies away from overcrowded western ports via the Suez Canal" - to the US.
Since this report, the media has been abuzz with speculation of large windfall grants forthcoming from the Harper Government to finance the expansion of the port of Halifax and other infrastructure for the mega-project.
In other words, the forces behind Atlantica are seeking to annul unspecified "laws and regulations" of "various governments" and this is directly related to facilitating Atlantic Gateway. From this it is clear that the Atlantica Council is essentially demanding that "laws and regulations" of Canada be streamlined with that of the US so as to expedite maximum transport in the minimum amount of time, better compete with other international trade routes and enrich themselves. In other words, sovereign Canadian "laws and regulations" are to be vetted and amended to facilitate US and transnational corporations and private gain.
Furthermore, the determination of what "laws and regulations" that governments "will need to change" is outsourced to a completely unelected and private body, the Atlantica Council.
Nay more, along with the three home-grown executives, this unelected private body includes the man from Portland with a vested interest. That a US citizen is being given co-responsibility to "determine the laws and regulations that the various governments will need to change" is either criminal, corrupt or an act of national betrayal.
Who is making Canadian sovereign law? All US and other corporations are required to follow Canadian sovereign law without exception. Canadians and their political and legal institutions are responsible for all affairs, including commerce, that transpire within this country. The leading representatives of the Government of Canada, Messrs. Harper and MacKay, are handing over Canadian sovereign "laws and regulations" to a US citizen and a tiny elite to "determine." They should be held to account.
In June the media was all over youth, 20 of whom were arrested, for allegedly breaking the rule of law in protests against Atlantica. Where is its outrage and courage now? If the rule of law is to mean anything, why are these colonial deals not discussed openly and publicly right from the outset? Or is there more to follow?
1 Chet Wesley, "Rise of the Atlantica elite?; Responsibility for drafting policies passes to appointed group," Nova Scotia Business Journal,http://novascotiabusinessjournal.com/
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