Sign peace treaties but never free trade deals

Frank Touby —

Canada probably should avoid entering into any treaties. The only exceptions would be those where we declare peace between ourselves and possible opponents. But trade deals? Out of the question!frank1

Currently our ruler in Ottawa, the secretive fan of oligarchy Stephen Harper, is about to impose upon us a European version of NAFTA, the evil mess which the Rightly Despised Brian Mulroney forced down our throats with lies that it would enrich us all.

Steve can do this almost by his lonesome. Just decide. Like George W. Bush, he’s “the decider” when it comes to your future and that of your children.

NAFTA has been a curse and a plague. It demolished our once-thriving auto industry, sent our manufacturing jobs to cheapo Mexico and the redneck U.S. south where poverty-level wages and lack of job benefits attract factories that once were ours. Even earlier we had lost our steel industry to Asia.

NAFTA was founded on lies and so are the next two schemes that would subject you to the whims of foreign corporate oligarchs who can push you around in what you’d like to think is your own country. But it’s not yours. It’s Steve’s and he’s planning to sell you out with, first, a European Free Trade pact sending your jobs to low-wage Euro nations. Your factories where you and your family work will be able to compete against low-wage nations like Moldova, Albania, Romania where annual incomes, along with seven other EU nations, are well below $15,000. There will be bargains galore for Canadian buyers…if they’ve got any money.

Next Steve will force a Trans Pacific Partnership so the rest of your jobs can go to Asian slave zones.

“Free trade” sounds so welcoming, so liberal. So UnTory. But it’s not at all UnTory in today’s vernacular. Oligarchy is the new Tory. It also seems to be likewise in Liberal-speak.

We know your Harper Government® is keen on saving your tax dollars. That’s why they sold out Canada’s clothing industry to buy uniforms for federal employees from overseas. Why pay a Canadian full price when a perhaps under-age slave-labour foreigner in a rickety sweatshop can do it for pennies?

Now that’s conservative!

Another special thing about making a trade deal with Europe is that you’ll be contributing to the elegance of the EU elite bureaucracy who are fully exempt from paying taxes and who live like royalty.

Forget the fact that a growing movement within many EU member nations is to extract themselves from the outrageous scam. Harper want us in bed with the EU.

We, too, can have vice-presidents galore living the high life with special bonuses and elaborate perks as if they were Hydro executives. You’ll recall that Tory deep-thinker Mike Harris (now a “fellow” of the Fraser Institute Think Tank) invented yet another level of Hydro officialdom on his doctrinaire right-turn road to making it a totally private sponge for taxpayers’ money.

In 1998, he invented a “market” in electricity. No longer was it to be a government responsibility. Next, Ontario Hydro was re-organized into five huge companies, each with a board of directors, vice-presidents and all the trappings of business schemes that have a captive public market. He planned to sell two of the corporations to investors, making them answerable not to the citizens who made Hydro happen, but to those hoping to scrape the cream from a public obligation to provide electricity.

It’s a sale of the “commons,” and some people who claim to be conservative think that anything serving the public mustn’t be in the hands of government.

Keep in mind that something the people own, like our electricity, will in the wrong hands go to private corporations. It’s always right-wing lunatics who make that happen. Their idea is that government should exist to protect the corporations that own everything while the public own nothing.

In Bolivia, thanks to demands by the wicked World Bank, people had to pay Bechtel Corp. for drawing water from their own wells or collecting rainfall on their roofs. That was eventually overthrown, with great agony and effort, but you see how corporatist lunatics like some we may have in Canada can and do think.

What we lose in all this talk about “rationalizing” the commons by placing them in the hands of corporations that will exploit us is our sovereignty as a nation.

The foreigners push us around in what used to be our own country. Is that conservative? Hardly. It is Conservative, and to a great degree Liberal, since the differences between the two parties is becoming blurred. Both are bribed by the same corporate interests and must pander in order to fund and win elections.

We’re not in as bad a shape as the U.S., but we could be headed in that direction.

There the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations, which can’t go to prison for crimes they commit, are otherwise exactly the same as real people.

They have “free speech” and can pump billions of dollars into campaign war funds to control elections and whatever, if anything, remains of American democracy.

Free trade deals let foreign corporations push us around in our own country. Is that really how you want to live? It is better to have no foreign trade than to be enslaved by anyone.