Why Should We Indigenous Care about the North American Union?
from the Eagle Watch #21
(You might want to grab a cup of your favourite brew to get through this lengthy report)
Why Should We Indigenous Care about the North American Union?
North American Union, Water Diversion and the Algonquins of Ontario
December 12, 2009
While the corporations of Canada, USA and Mexico are imposed upon us Indigenous, we still have every good reason to be concerned about changes to their structure and their military and trade relations to each other. It does affect us what they are up to right now with NAU (North American Union) and SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership). It's going to lead to more theft and destruction of our territories and resources, including the most precious resource of all, water. This will seriously affect our health and well being. Water is tied to energy, whether it's oil, hydro or nuclear. The USA is the biggest consumer of energy in the world and they cannot supply their own.
The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River watershed has always been a strategic region for many reasons. It contains about 20% of the world's surface freshwater in a time when drought and water shortages are increasing. Many Indigenous nations make their homes along these shores as well as many Foreigners who keep on arriving. Millions of people depend on this watershed for their livelihoods and life sustaining water supply. Unfortunately, our water is also severely polluted with toxic chemicals and nuclear waste. Nonetheless, increasing numbers are casting covetous eyes this way.
In the past, during the fur trade era, colonial entities plundered the land with our help. In many areas, the beaver, a mammal who must live near water, was nearly eradicated by our trapping and hunting. Tribes and nations were torn apart by greed and intrigue, their populations diminished, their cultures destroyed. While they were killing us with warfare, disease and religion, the colonial entities constantly changed their form, fighting amongst each other but never missing an opportunity to use us to do their dirty work. Has anything changed?
Water diversion is nothing new but the modern scale of such projects is a huge threat to Life as vast areas are reshaped and mighty rivers rerouted without concern for consequences. Water woes are turning into water wars all over the planet as rivers dry up. Whatever the actual effects of climate change, water is misused and polluted by remorseless corporate greed. We need to protect and conserve our water for our families and our future generations.
The Kashia Pomo, Indigenous people in California are under attack by the state California Fish and Game Commission over water. In this bizarre twist, Governor Schwarzenegger pretends to be the protector of the environment against Indigenous!
While current water battles between US states - Colorado and Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas, Missouri and the Department of Interior - are confined to the courtrooms, war is breaking out in the volatile areas of India and Pakistan where water is more of an issue than religion. India is experiencing drought while Pakistan depends on water from rivers that begin in India. If India turns off the tap to Pakistan, they could end up in nuclear war since both are nuclear armed. While the US and allies continue to foment civil war in Pakistan, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently returned from India where he was sealing nuclear deals.
Since nuclear plants require huge quantities of water to operate, the idea of building more nuclear plants in India is insane and completely stupid on more than one count. The planners of such madness must want nuclear war to happen there in order to depopulate those growing nations. Nuclear development always has genocidal inclinations as we well know.
NAFTA, NAU and the Algonquins of Ontario
NAFTA, NAU and SPP are trigger words if you want to start the talk about water diversions. These agreements and organizations seem to be working together towards the inevitable, as they see it, of massive water diversions such as from the Great lakes to the USA. They insist that they can make a profit selling and transporting water.
We think that adequate water management and conservation are better ideas. We need to stop polluting the water with mining and energy horrors like the Athabaska oil sands, hydro dams and nuclear reactors. We must learn to live on less and to find alternatives.
To ease public concerns over water, the governments of Canada, Mexico and United States jointly issued a statement in 1993 saying NAFTA creates "no rights to the natural water resources" of any trading partner. But the statement was unsigned and according to some legal experts and the Canadian government's Policy Research Initiative "this statement may have no legal force." Communities harmed by the environmental damage by foreign firms, for example, have no recourse under NAFTA. (Nikiforuk)
A number of big U.S. and Canadian organizations and think tanks support NAU and the SPP. They research and write about water exports constantly. The list includes Washington based CSIS, (Center for Strategic and International Studies), the Brookings Institute, CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), CCCE (Canadian Council of Chief Executives), Policy Research Initiative, Public Policy Forum and the C.D. Howe Institute, a Canadian think tank.
A 2002 C.D.Howe Institute paper specifically addressed water while advocating the "Big Idea" of "deeper integration." Author Wendy Dobson argued that increased energy trade could serve as a model for dealing "with demand pressure on other politically sensitive natural resources such as water."
Dobson's November, 2002 report for the Trilateral Commission argues that a prosperous North American economy will need a continental framework linking the following issues: "security, natural resources, economic efficiency and defense." Dobson is a professor at the University of Toronto and a former federal deputy minister of finance.
Deputy ministers are the behind the scenes bureaucrats who wield the power while the ministers are the public figures controlled and manipulated by these deputy ministers and corporate criminals. Deputy ministers remain in office often for many years while the ministers change with elections and party politics.
Another former federal deputy minister of finance involved in North American integration and ultimately water diversion, is Kevin Lynch. Until recently, Lynch was Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. He's an economist and one of those career bureaucrats who inhales the smell of money when he works at a bank and then exhales in the halls of bureaucracy where he quietly wields power and influence. He was Associate Deputy Minister of Industry in 1993 when NAFTA was signed. He has been an executive director at the IMF and sits on many boards including the Bank of Canada and the Public Policy Forum. He started out as an economist at the Bank of Canada.
In September, 2009, the Public Policy Forum (PPF) held a tribute dinner for Lynch in Ottawa where he hobnobbed with John Manley, Frank McKenna (former Canadian ambassador to the U.S.) and Jean Chretien. On the " team" at PPF is Senior Advisor, Lee Allison Howe, wife of Patrick Howe. No relation to C.D. Howe, Patrick is advisor to the Algonquin Negotiation Trust. (See Eagle Watch #6 - What's New at Sharbot Lake?)
Do you think he'll be advising trustees Doreen Davis of Shabots, Davie Joanisse of Antoine and Jerry Lavalee of Pikwakanagan and the Algonquins of Ontario on water sales and management with a little inside info from his wife, Lee?????? Or will he convey messages from the Algonquin Negotiating Reps through his wife to the policy makers in Ottawa?
The connection is just too convenient especially when you look at Lee's two bios, the one at Coreshell's web site and the one at the PPF web site. The bios are essentially the same except for one small detail. She doesn't mention her involvement at PPF in Ottawa on her core shell bio and vice versa, she doesn't mention her partnership with hubby at Coreshell in Toronto on her PPF bio. Why is this? Could it be because her company advises the Algonquins of Ontario while she herself is involved with an organization that shapes Canadian policy on things like NAU and natural resources including water. Is this some kind of a conflict of interest she is trying to hide from someone??
A 2007 Access to Information Act request by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin yielded several Natural Resources Canada documents on "freshwater issues and the natural resource sector" that indicate "bulk water exports" are still on the table. One document, dated January 2006, stated that Canada was "not immune" to freshwater challenges and then explained why: "Ongoing issues, such as bulk water exports, high domestic water use, and climate change, suggest that we must be prepared for a non-linear future when it comes to reconciling uncertain supplies with growing demands." (Nikiforuk)
There are many holes in the bucket of Canadian water "sovereignty" besides what is obvious to us that it is not their water in the first place. Canada already exports municipal water from British Columbia to Point Roberts, Washington and from Coutts, Alberta to Sweetgrass, Montana. That is viewed as a neighbourly arrangement for the efficient delivery of municipal services rather than water export. What happens if somebody turns off the tap?? Or more likely, what happens when the states demand more water?
Bottled water taken from the Great Lakes is sold in containers less than 5 gallons to countries as far away as the Middle East. Bulk water sales have not yet been permitted. Water use licenses are sold to industries which brings things a step closer in the commodification of water itself. There is a pattern slowly developing here. Do you see it? Lawyers are getting ready.
We can rant all we like that water is a public trust but we live in a time when everything is about money. Big business runs government. What can we do to reverse this out of control situation?
These people are dead serious about the future of water.
The North American Future 2025 Project by CSIS Center for Strategic and International Studies
"Juxtaposed to the relative scarcity of water in the United States and Mexico," the Future 2025 Project declared that Canada "had lots of water" and it shared many watersheds along the US border including the Great Lakes. "Because water availability, quality and allocation are likely to undergo profound changes between 2006 and 2025 policy makers will benefit from a more proactive approach to exploring different creative solutions beyond the current trans boundary water management agreements."
When they babble on like that, you know they are up to something very under-handed! They want to hypnotize you before they get more specific about new "regional agreements between Canada, the United States and Mexico on issues such as water consumption, water transfers, artificial diversions of fresh water, water conservation technologies for agricultural irrigation and urban consumption." The three governments would have to overcome bureaucratic and legal obstacles "if the overriding goal of North America is to achieve joint optimum utilization of the available water."
Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, a former senior consultant with Econolynx International in Ottawa, and now director of the Mexico Project for the Center [CSIS] as well as the North American Future 2025 Project, later confirmed that water was obviously on the table: "It's no secret the US is going to need water…It's no secret that Canada is going to have an overabundance of water. At the end of the day there may have to be arrangements." Peschard-Sverdrup also told the Ottawa Citizen that water was "the most sensitive topic in conversations" with the Privy Council Office that advises the Prime Minister and cabinet on government priorities.(Nikiforuk)
Growing water shortage in USA and Mexico
According to the US General Accounting Office (GAO), a Congressional watchdog, 36 of 47 state water managers now expect serious shortages over the next decade under average climate conditions. California is in a state of emergency because of ongoing drought. Nuts, fruit and vegetables are grown in California using extensive irrigation and then shipped all over North America. Much of the organic food sold in Ontario comes from California.
If you pay attention when you're shopping for groceries, you may notice an increasing amount of vegetables and fruits are coming from Mexico. As Mexicans keep heading north for jobs, what is happening in Mexico itself?
According to the Institute Nacional De Ecologia, 100 of Mexico's 188 most important aquifers are now "overexploited" largely due to badly managed irrigation schemes that allow the production of food for the export trade. (Nikiforuk) That means that over half of Mexico is in "severe water stress".
You know things are getting dangerously serious when the military weighs in on the topic.
"There is potential for fracturing some very strong alliances based on migrations and the lack of control over borders…Military planning should view climate change as a threat to the balance of energy access, water supplies and a healthy environment, and it should require a response." concluded a 2007 CNA (Center for Naval Analyses) report by 11 top ranking military officers.
This matter of water is a major reason for the merging of the 3 militaries and police under Pentagon control. The availability of water is tied to energy. The legal waters are dangerously murky with the added potential for declaring a humanitarian crisis.
According to Nikiforuk, Canada now supplies the United States with 24.2 per cent of its total energy needs in the form of natural gas, oil and electricity... the two countries are now linked by 22 petroleum pipelines, 34 natural gas pipelines, and 91 electric transmission lines.
The Athabasca Oil Sands
The biggest and ugliest energy project is the Athabasca oil sands. It is using massive amounts of water to extract huge amounts of an inferior oil (3 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of oil) A vast watershed is being destroyed (the Athabasca River, which feeds the world's largest boreal wetland, the Peace Athabasca Delta. The Athabasca watershed could dry up before these hooligans can extract all the oil. Then they'll want to divert water from elsewhere to do it. While a small number of both Indigenous and colonials are getting jobs out of it and making our objections seem harmful to their interests, most of the oil is piped to the US. The profiteers leave a mess for "Canadians" to pay the bill for the damages for generations to come.
According to Canadian water ecologist David Schindler, "The outcome will not only affect the nation's energy and water security but the livelihood of 360,000 aboriginals in the Mackenzie River Basin".
Ninety per cent of the water processed at oil sand mines ends up as ketchup-thick tailings that are now stored in large impoundments bordering the Athabasca River. The Syncrude Tailings Dyke, for example, is the world's second largest dam, after China's Three Gorges Dam. More than 10 tailings dams containing salts, heavy metals, and toxic hydrocarbons cover a 50 kilometre square area and most are leaking. (Nikiforuk)
In 2003, the Mackenzie River Basin Board wrote, "an accident related to the failure of one of the oil sands tailing ponds could have catastrophic impact on the aquatic ecosystem of the Mackenzie River Basin due to the size of these ponds and their proximity to the Athabasca River".
Myth debunking - We don't have any surplus water
Ninety-nine percent of the water in the Great Lakes is a glacial inheritance and a non-renewable resource.
Animals and trees need water too. For its size, "Canada" has an average amount of water. You can't just divide the water up among the human population and then claim we have huge amounts of "surplus" water. Half of Canada's water flows into the Arctic. This is the water "they" want to divert. Many southern rivers and the Great Lakes are quite polluted. Some 16 nuclear reactors dump toxic tritium into Lake Ontario every day. It cannot be removed by any means known since tritium is a form of water!!! Yet they want to divert water through the Great Lakes to the US! Do they imagine they can even flush away the tritium?
In spite of former Hydro Quebec engineer Pete Gingras' claims that Quebec can make piles of money selling water, much of that water is severely polluted. Blue-green algae blooms erupted on one quarter of Quebec's lakes in 2007 due to pollution. The St. Lawrence is a cesspool on the verge of ecological collapse.
Canada fails to enforce water laws such as they are and has no national policy on water. Is it because they don't really care or because they are afraid of US muscle? It appears they fear the muscle of big money!
Here's a good example. In 2000, the Ontario Ministry of Environment recorded 1,900 water pollution violations by 200 corporations yet it laid only four charges. Environment Canada noted 3,000 documented violations of federal laws by pulp mills [in Ontario and Quebec] but only proceeded with seven prosecutions.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) doesn't even know what kind of shape half the aquifers are in. While the Ogallala aquifer in the mid western US has dropped by hundreds of feet, Canadian officials and scientists don't know how Canadian aquifers are connected to it.
Some say there really isn't a lot of money to be made on selling water yet you can go into a store and buy a bottle of water. Doesn't that make water a commodity, plain and simple?? There is also a privatization trend in municipal water systems which is being resisted in many communities. However, mayors and councils who have big business behind them, can and do push thru agreements with little or no public consultation of any kind. This situation is especially dire in Native communities that lack clean water and water infrastructure.
We know that the water needs to stay in its natural courses. It's the life blood of the planet. We must take better care of our water. It's essential to our own health.
Since 1993 and NAFTA, many studies including one by the David Suzuki Foundation have found Canada's environmental rating to be poor and continuing to drop compared to many other nations. The Canadian gov clearly doesn't give a damn about the environment. They are more interested in attracting foreign investors.
The gov makes it quite clear that they want to deepen NAFTA for the sake of regional economic development at the expense of national "sovereignty". Given growing water supply problems in the United States, an Industry Canada report by Richard Harris recommended that Canada review its bulk water export policies and " consider how water might be exported with an appropriate pricing policy."
These busy bodies are inching their way toward massive water diversions. In January, 2003,
the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), which represents the interests of 150 of Canada's top corporations, launched the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI) to "accelerate progress on both economic and security issues" including open markets for natural resources.
Paul Desmarais is the head guy at CCCE while his wife Helene is the head of the Montreal Economic Institute which published the Gingras water diversion commentary in July 2009. (See Eagle Watch #2 - Ole Man Pete Never Quits Trying to Flood out Indigenous). She also sits on the board at the C.D.Howe Institute. Paul sits on the board of GDF Suez, a big French water bottler.
In February 2005, the Task Force on the Future of North America endorsed a "bold vision for regional integration." It also highlighted the importance of forging a "resource pact" to allow for greater interregional trade in certain nonrenewable resources such as "oil, gas and fresh water."
"Cousin" John Manley, former Liberal deputy prime minister and deputy minister of finance, was on this Task Force. He has been deeply involved from the beginning in the formation of the NAU and SPP as well as the North American Forum on Integration, based in Montreal. He worked with Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security after 9/11. Manley is a very busy guy who recently gained a lot of weight. He looks puffed up with pride and power these days. Or is he just sick with corruption?
Many of these people are biding their time for the NA water crisis to worsen. Then they will confidently make their moves to profit from other people's suffering. They know they can manipulate their way into winning legal battles. That is unless enough people speak out against their criminal behaviour. It is much easier to stop something before it begins than once it has begun.
We Haudenosaunee and Nishnaabe must form a stronger alliance in our own region to monitor the water and anyone's attempts to sell it and us down river. If there are any honest and caring nonNative people who would like to work with us, we will find a place for their skills.
We welcome your feedback! Forward, post and consider printing for your cyberphobic friends and relatives.
Notes and Sources
Cultural Genocide Disguised as Marine "Protection"
This report has borrowed heavily from Andrew Nikiforuk's "On the Table: Water, Energy and North American Integration", October 16, 2007
41 page pdf available in english or french at this link:
The document has 184 footnotes and links. We have included just some of them. See p. 13 for map of drought areas in USA
(the Program on Water Issues web site has many more relevant articles)
These are the main groups that study NAU:
In December 2001, Eight organizations from Mexico, Canada and the United States form a project on the future of North American Integration: Brookings Institution; Inter-American Dialogue; Mexican Council on Foreign Relations; National Policy Association; Policy Research Initiative of the Canadian Government; the Conference Board of Canada; Public Policy Forum of Canada, and Technological Institute of Mexico.
Policy Research Initiative, Sustainable Development Briefing Note:
Is Water A Tradable Commodity? January, 2007 p.3http://policyresearch.gc.ca/..doclib/SD_BN_Water%20Tradable_..e.pdf
[PRI]... concludes that until the status of water under existing trade agreements "is tested in a court or tribunal" its future remains "uncertain." Canada "needs to be prepared for a potential legal challenge regarding export."
In April 2007 the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Conference Board of Canada convenes a round table on "The Future of the North American Environment 2025." The agenda includes "regional agreements between Canada, the United States and Mexico on issues such as water consumption, water transfers, artificial diversions of fresh water..."
"Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn have been closely involved for several years with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, a self-described "moderate" counterpart to the Hoover Institution on the Beltway, formerly affiliated with Georgetown University. Currently, Nunn is chair of the CSIS Board of Trustees. Both he and Kissinger have served for several years as 2 of the organization's 13 counselors, the vast majority of whom are
former cabinet-level national security officials."
California's Nuclear Nexus: A faux disarmament plan has roots in the Golden State's pro-nuclear lobby
see also: http://csis.org/homepage
C.D.Howe Institute paper Shaping the Future of the North American Economic Space. (C.D.Howe was a Canadian politician involved in the Manhattan Project.)
Richard Harris, North American Economic Integration: Issues and Research Agenda, Industry Canada Research Publications Program, Discussion Paper Number 10, April 2001, 27-31 http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/..epic/site/eas-aes.nsf/en/..ra01809e.html
North American Forum on Integration
http://www.northamericanforum...org/ - When you click on this link it then goes to this one:
Just who are they trying to kid???
D.W. Schindler, W.F. Donahue and John P. Thompson, Future Water Flows and Human Withdrawals in the Athabasca River, Running Out of Steam? Oil Sands Development and Water Use in the Athabasca River Watershed: Science and Market-Based Solutions, Munk Centre for International Studies and Environmental Research and Studies Centre, University of Alberta, May 2007
NAU North American Union and Water Quotes
"North Americans are ready for a new relationship that renders this old definition of sovereignty obsolete." According to Pastor "the future of the world community requires integration."
As former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed puts it, "The reality is that fresh water is more valuable than crude oil." In November 2005,Peter Lougheed, the former Premier of Alberta and a champion of free trade, warned in a Globe and Mail commentary that "the United States will be coming after our fresh water in three to five years."35 He argued that water scarcity would soon dominate the US agenda and that senior US politicians would ask "What about Canada? They have lots of excess water and we have the free-trade agreement. Let's demand they share their water with us."
"Water is an energy issue, and both water and energy are issues of national security."
Sandia National Laboratories Seehttp://www.sandia.gov/energy-..water/nexus_overview.htm
"Canada's freshwater resources are less available than we think," according to Gilles Rheaume, vice president of policy for the Conference Board of Canada.
The Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance, a broad based group dedicated to the free flow of trade goods, put it this way: "The process agreed to be undertaken is to be mostly regulatory (not to require legislation) and…the things to be done are those that make sense for business."
While it is probably not subject to existing trade agreements, until it is tested in a court or tribunal, the status of water under trade agreements remains uncertain.
In January 2004, Paul Michael Wihbey, former vice president of the Liberal Party of Canada, wrote that "Canada can ill-afford to sit on the sidelines as water becomes a traded commodity in the global marketplace."
Wihbey later described the blanket condemnation of "profitably sharing an abundant, completely renewable resource" as a "political form of superstition." Wihbey predicted that "bulk water exports will take place from Canada – Manitoba, Newfoundland, Quebec and British Columbia – in two to five years."
"While a previous note in this series suggested that bulk water export is not currently economically viable, Canada nevertheless needs to be prepared for a potential legal challenge regarding export, particularly of boundary waters, and ensure that the complexities of this issue are addressed appropriately through the recognition of different categories of water use."
Is Water a Tradable Commodity? Sustainable Development Briefing Note from PRI
US ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci asked in a CBC radio interview, why water should be "off the table" when Canada is already selling the United States its oil, gas and uranium.
Other Search Terms
Global Water and Energy Strategy Team (GWEST)
North American Competitiveness Council