Vive Le Canada FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Category: Main -> About Deep Integration


·  What is deep integration?
·  What is the SPP?


What is deep integration?

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are currently undergoing a process of deep integration with each other.  This means that the differing regulations and policies of the three countries are being changed to become more alike. 

The integration of Canada's economy with the U.S. economy, and with Mexico's economy, is a process that has largely been achieved through different trade agreements. The Canada U.S. Free Trade Agreement made the economies of Canada and the U.S. more integrated; it was followed five years later by the North American Free Trade Agreement, which included Mexico and began the process of continental North American economic integration. More recent agreements such as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America aim to integrate the North American economies further. In May 2005 the trinational Task Force of the Future of North America recommended that Canada, the U.S. and Mexico go even further and complete the process of deep integration, creating a "North American Community".

In Canada, deep integration with the United States is supported by a number of influential groups and individuals. Organizations such as the CD Howe Intitute and the CCCE and individuals such as Alan Gotlieb have advocated plans for deep integration, especially since the events of September 11; these plans are variously referred to as the Big Idea, the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI), the Grand Bargain, and NAFTA plus. These different plans advocate slightly different strategies, but share the same goal of achieving deep integration of the North American economies. They also share several common characteristics, such as recommending a common regulatory framework in North America. Plans for deep integration since September 11 often include a shared defence and security framework to prevent barriers to trade due to security concerns, since the experience of September 11 and afterwards showed how increased security can slow trade at the border.

The various plans for deep integration are being put into action as we speak through new agreements such as the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

Deep integration is opposed by groups such as the Council of Canadians and Vive le Canada because of concerns that deep integration will damage Canadian sovereignty, ie the ability to make unique decisions. Such groups are also concerned that deep integration will lead to the lowering of Canadian regulatory standards on everything from the environment to health to harmonize with U.S. regulations, as well as increased economic dependency on the U.S. 

There is currently no parliamentary or congressional oversight of this process, and there has not been any significant national debate in any of the three countries about whether we really want to eliminate our differences.  Critics charge that this process is so radical and far-reaching that citizens of all three countries should at least be given the opportunity to be educated about the process of deep integration, and then have a say about whether or not it proceeds.

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What is the SPP?

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was signed by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico at the trilateral summit in Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005.  It is an agreement that continues the process of deep integration between the three countries, slowly erasing differences in our regulations and national policy without any parliamentary or conrgessional oversight, and without any mandate from citizens.

It is not a coincidence that the name of the agreement is strikingly similar to the plan for deep integration advanced by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the CCCE, titled the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative. 
The plan was in fact endorsed by the CCC.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership has an official website where you can read fact sheets, news, and press releases. You can also use a comment form provided to send comments directly to the working groups of the SPP.

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