Friday, May 11, 2007

Conservatives storm out of committee meeting...

Yesterday, a professor from the University of Alberta was testifying at a committee hearing on the "Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a 2005 accord by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to streamline economic and security rules across the continent". The professor testified that "the deal, which calls North American “energy security” a priority, commits Canada to ensuring American energy supplies even though Canada itself — unlike most industrialized nations — has no national plan or reserves to protect its own supplies."

So, what happened when the professor testified that the SPP could endanger Canada's energy security by committing us to safeguarding American energy supplies before stockpiling for our own emergencies? The Tory Chair of the committee (Leon Benoit) ordered him to stop testifying, and declared his testimony "irrelevant".

The rest of the committee, realising that the potential effects of the SPP on Canada's energy (and therefore national) security certainly IS relevant to a hearing on the SPP (because they're not idiots) voted to overrule the Benoit's ruling, which they did.

Benoit's reaction? He threw down his pen, unilaterally declared "The meeting is adjourned." and stormed out with three of the panel's four conservatives.

Perhaps realizing that the Chair of a Parliamentary Committee can't just arbitrarily and unilaterally declare a meeting of the committe adjourned ("at press time, parliamentary procedure experts still hadn’t figured out whether he had the right to adjourn the meeting unilaterally") the Opposition members of the Committee continued the meeting (with the lone remaining Tory) and allowed Professor Laxer to continue his testimony into the potential national security implications of the SPP plan.

Canada's New Government: I'm too depressed to even come up with a humourously ironic catch phrase.

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Ti-Guy said...

Now the Conservatives are dragging their hooliganism beyond QP and into committee?

Lovely. I'm so inspired by their commitment to the parliamentary process.

Green Assassin Brigade said...

This is no time for humour anyways. Only pure unadulterated rage can answer the rude, ingnorant, infantile, incompetent government we've been cursed with.

These facts so need to be brought public because even most brainwashed Cons will realize the stupidity of selling our future to the U.S. one barrel at a time.

Most Canadians don't realize we are obligated to ship a fixed percentage of our production to the U.S. regardless of changes in production levels or changes in our demand. We are destined to face shortages years earlier than we should have too, all because of the unwillingness of the Major parties to tell the U.S. to Bugger Off and get their own energy situation in order.

This issue alone, properly explained could destroy the Cons, unfortunately the Libs are the ones who promissed to kill Nafta and did not, and they are the ones who signed the SPP in the first place so arguing against it will look pretty hypocritical.

At best we need to pull out of these deals, at worse rework them to get some flexibility to protect our own needs. The U.S. won't deal fairly on lumber, won't recognize our sovereignty in the artic, try to arrest our business men who dare do business with Cuba. These Rat bastards need to come up with some real incentive if they expect our help in keeping the lights on.

From where I see it now, turning off the flow and letting them freeze in the dark is what they deserve considering how they respect us and trade with us.

One more reason for people to have a serious look at Elizabeth May.

West End Bound said...

A question, because I really don't know:

How would Elizabeth May help in this situation? Is she an ardent SPP or Deep Integration opponent? I'm not aware of her views on this topic.


Lord Kitchener's Own said...

West End,

May recently participated in this conference against SPP, and has promised to make fighting SPP a major component of the Green election platform.

Some have argued that the May/Dion deal makes it hard for her to do this, since the Liberals brought in the SPP. However, the May/Dion deal was a deal about leaders, not party platforms.

I'm actually more interested in where the Liberals now satnd on SPP, given that this was their baby.

janfromthebruce said...

but I am sure aware that the NDP previously, and continues to raise this national concern about deep intergration, not only publically but in parliament and committee. See, Throwing cold water on deep integration: by Peter Julian.

Green Assassin Brigade said...

The Green Party is strongly agaist the SPP on issues of energy, water exports, pressure to revisit missle defence, there is no good reason for this Pact.

I'm hoping we make this an issue stick. It's important for Canada and important for the Green movement to prove we are champions of nationalism, neutrality, self sufficiency and not just enviromentalists.

I hope the libs do make a stand, but building a believable spin 2 years after they signed the deal will take some doing.

Green Assassin Brigade said...

Jan, while having little use for the NDP I do acknowledge their correct stand on this issue.


Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I think one of the hardest things about modern politics is to admit you were wrong.

Opposing something you used to support (or supporting something you used to oppose) immediately leads to attacks of HYPOCRICY, and these days it seems being a hypocrit (or being perceived to be so) is worse than being WRONG.

It's one of those weird contradictions of politics in the modern era, like how in the U.S. it seems it's worse to be one of the people saying that the war in Iraq is lost than it is to be one of the people who actually lost the war in Iraq. It's weird, but true.

West End Bound said...

Thanks for the background, folks. As a US citizen in the process of immigrating to Canada, I'm trying to "get up to speed" on politics.

I was aware of the NDP stand and Peter Julian in particular, but was not aware where the Greens stood. I'm not surprised that they, too, are on the "right" (meaning "correct") side of this issue.