She was joined in her paean to the joy of Trilateralism and the new contientalism by former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda. Both of them criticized the 'secrecy' of the meetings between the Three Amigos and their Corporate Counterparts.
KIM CAMPBELL:We have the world's longest undefended border, and there is a concern to create a security perimeter that will create confidence on both sides of the border that those movements can pass relatively quickly, that there's trust in the documentation, trust in the broader security system. And we've had to deal with that.Of course its hard to have open discussions when the agenda for Trilateralism and the New Contientalism is being pushed by the Corporate Elite.
It's something that predates 9/11, but the 9/11 brought it into very, very high profile. And I think we have to recognize we have in Canada, you know, the nationalists who are concerned that any kind of collaboration, any kind of harmonization of standards is the thin edge of the wedge of Canada losing its identity. And I'm amused to see that there are people in the United States who think that, you know, what they call "socialist Canada" is somehow going to come down and corrupt them.
But the fact of the matter is, our three countries are the world's largest trading region, the largest energy market. We really have an extraordinary future together, if we can find ways of dealing with the impediments for the movements of the things that we want to move and ways of ensuring that the public is confident that their security and that their standards of well-being are assured.
And I think one of the ways of doing that is to take this process -- this is the third summit in this security and prosperity partnership process -- is maybe to take it a little bit even more public and get the debate more open, because I think President Bush has been a bit quiet about it, even Prime Minister Harper. I don't know how President Calderon is dealing with this in Mexico. He's got a new government.
But these are important issues. And if we don't get them right, we really will lose the competitive battle, but also lose a lot of opportunities for prosperity and for security.
Building a trilateral relationship
RAY SUAREZ: Well, Professor, you heard the prime minister talking about the roles security has played in the trilateral relationship since 9/11. Is this a concern that is equally shared on both sides of these borders? Or is this a question of two close allies responding to what's seen as an American need, an American agenda, American wishes to toughen up both borders, north and south?
JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, Ray, I wouldn't want to speak for the Canadians, obviously. I think in Mexico we've been very forthcoming and very cooperative with the United States since 9/11 on security issues. Some of the things the Americans have asked for, we have done with great difficulty. Others we have suggested and they have accepted. And so I think we've come a long way.
But I agree completely with Prime Minister Campbell, Ray, that this could be a lost opportunity, this summit in Montebello, unless the three leaders really decide that they have nothing to be ashamed of in saying that they want to work towards a North American economic union, towards a North American security perimeter, towards a North American energy market.
If each one of the three leaders because of their domestic weaknesses get so scared of saying anything, of doing anything, of even moving an inch off just boiler-plate rhetoric, then this will be a huge lost opportunity. President Calderon has a lot to say about immigration, has a lot to say about drug enforcement, a lot to say about security.
President Bush has to understand that he has to combat his extreme right-wing in the United States which opposes any type of greater cooperation with Canada and with Mexico, because if he doesn't, they will eventually get to him and the Congress the way they got to him on immigration.
And Prime Minister Harper, I think, also perhaps should be a bit more forthcoming with a more trilateral vision of the relationship, instead of continuing to insist, as many Canadian prime ministers have in the past, that Canada has a better deal dealing bilaterally with the U.S. instead of trilateralizing the relationship, so to speak.
So I hope they really use this summit to move forward instead of standing still and being terrified of what their respective oppositions in the three countries would do to the three leaders if they were more forthright and clear about what they want.
You can't have authentic Trilateralism without Tripartitism, that is a balance between the interests of government, business and the missing partner in all this; labour and civil society.
The leaders will meet on Tuesday morning with the North American Competitiveness Council, a collection of 30 business leaders, 10 appointed by each country, who advise the leaders.
The Council was created in 2006 and is one of the only tangible results of the SPP process to date.
The group, whose Canadian executives include Dominic D'Alessandro of Manulife Financial, Paul Desmarais Jr. of Power Corporation, and Michael Sabia of Bell Canada, will present a progress report to the leaders.
It is the Council that is a main source of contention for critics of the SPP, who argue the North American governments are consulting only corporate leaders and ignoring labour leaders, human rights experts, environmentalists and even legislators.
"The problem with this process is that there has been no public consultation, and no parliamentary debate in any of our three countries," says Meera Karunananthan, a spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians, one of many activist organizations planning to attend the protests in Montebello.
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