Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mr. P3

Another example of the Harper regime planning to implement it's ideology of privatization at all costs is his appointment of Mr. P3 Michael Wilson as Canada's ambassador to the United States.

He is spokesman for the The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships

As he told the Empire Club back in 1987.

Another way that we are getting government out of the way of the private sector is by privatising Crown corporations that are no longer required to meet public policy goals. Privatisation can bring increased vitality to the companies involved as well as to the economy as a whole.

We can stimulate the performance of the economy but we can also insure a greater degree of assurance for those people who are working in those companies. DeHavilland here is probably one of our best examples of success in privatising companies. We've already privatised eight companies, the most recent being TeleGlobe Canada. We're reviewing possible future moves involving such other Crown corporations and Air Canada and Petro-Canada.

In addition to removing government-made obstacles, we've been promoting private-sector growth in a number of ways. One of the first is in the area of investment, so important to creating jobs right across the country. We wanted to make it clear to people both within and outside Canada that Canada welcomes investment and welcomes foreign investment. Our changes to the Foreign Investment Review Agency and the changed mandate for Investment Canada to encourage investment have been very important in the increase of foreign investment coming to Canada in recent months. This little amount of friendliness has gone a long, long way.

Ironically his call for privatization has been the same agenda the Liberals followed, disasterously with the Firearms Registry, the contracting out of DND computer technology and now with their Super National Agency. It the agenda for the Neo Liberal State in Canada regardless of which party is in power. While the Liberals practiced Reinventing Government by stealth the Tories will hasten it as public policy.

Wilson is
Chairman of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. Which calls itself THE VOICE OF THE SHAREHOLDER. Which does not mean Joe or Janey Canuck investor but the corporate investment community. The Big buck institutional investors who are promoting P3's.

The Coalition also introduced its first Board of Directors. Chairman: Mike Wilson, President and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management. Other Board members include: Tony Arrell, Chairman and CEO of Burgundy Asset Management; Morgan Eastman, Chief Investment Officer, OPSEU Pension Trust; Emilian Groch, Executive Director, Alberta’s Teachers’ Retirement Fund; Stephen Jarislowsky, Chairman, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd.; Claude Lamoureux, President and CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; Don Reed, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton Investments; and David Beatty, Managing Director, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance.
He sits on the Board of Manulife Canada which reads like a who's who of the right wing buiness lobby,
Canadian Council of Chief Executives (‘‘CCCE’’),formely the BCNI. Which lobbied during his era as Finance Minister for the FTA and NAFTA. Today they call for the direct integration of the Canadian and American economies. They too will have the ear of the new Ambassador as they did during the Mulroney era.

The corporate financial industry in Canada is a veritcally integrated structure a classic old boys network as Manulife shows. It is this industry which benefited most from Michael Wilsons deregulation during the eighties and ninties. His insight was his reward, he has spent the past twenty years as a scion for that same financial industry.

Wilson is not only proud of his role in getting NAFTA through and the GST but is also proud that the Conservatives went further in their cuts to services and the deficit than either Reagan or Thatcher, which resulted in the economic crash that left Paul Martin with a debt and deficit crisis as Finance Minister.

And Martin merely followed the formula that Wilson had already set in place thanks to a bueraucrat named David Dodge, who is now the Head of the Bank of Canada.

When Dodge moved into the deputy minister's office, he hung a plaque on his door. It read: "Due to current financial constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel will remain off until further notice." It set the tone for his five years in the post-a period of deep, deep budget cuts. When the Liberals came to power in 1993, Dodge intervened to get a reluctant Paul Martin, who coveted the Industry portfolio, to instead take over at Finance. The Tories had abandoned their credo of fiscal restraint; the deficit hit a record $42 billion by the time they were voted out of office. Dodge needed an MP of Martin's stature to get the government back on fiscal track, first of all by reneging on the Liberals' promise to kill the GST.

What Mr. P3 offers Harper is Bay Street credentials he so badly needs now that he is in Ottawa. Oil money got him there, old money will keep him there.

What can we expect from Mr. P3 when he goes to Washington, well this speech from 2003 may give us a clue. It sounds much like the values Paul Martin was spouting during the election. Strangely so. Must be how Finance Ministers think.

Look south to America, look east to Europe, but never forget to look west to China, where the world’s largest and fastest-growing economy is transforming our traditional view of developing and developed nations. For China is both. Yes, most of its 3.1 billion people are incredibly poor compared to North American standards. And yes, Ontario alone does more business with America than China does. But that’s all changing. It’s economy will grow by 7 to 8 per cent this year. And in terms of purchasing-power parity, it is the world’s second largest economy. More important is where China is headed: in the last five years, without much notice by the western media, China has become the low-cost, high-quality production centre of the world.

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