As the Canadian government’s public consultation on perimeter security and regulatory harmonization proceeds behind closed doors, critics have organized a Facebook page for “Canadians Against the Perimeter Agreement” and an on-line petition calling on the Harper government to provide more information to Canadians before proceeding further in talks with the Obama administration.
(As I have written before, the US process has been somewhat more open, with submissions posted on a Commerce Dept. website.)
The text of the petition says:
To: Government of Canada
We, the undersigned, being members of the Facebook page Canadians Against the Perimeter Agreement, believe that the vast majority of Canadians are largely unaware of the implications of the Perimeter Security Agreement. For this reason, we strongly urge that your government not proceed further, until it has been thoroughly discussed in the House of Commons and until all Canadians have been educated as to its full implications.
The secrecy surrounding these negotiations, the incremental, executive-level approach to making these changes to our country’s trade and, far more importantly, its security laws, as well as your government’s refusal to let Canadians know exactly what is involved, is of immense concern to us.
This is a hugely complex agreement with profound implications for Canada and her citizens. All Canadians must, therefore, be given the information they need in order to fully understand it.
We feel that your government’s failure to provide Canadians with all necessary information about such an important issue shows profound contempt for its citizens and is just one more example of its tendency to deliberately withhold information from us, in this case, information that is critically important to our country’s future as an autonomous nation.
We believe the Perimeter Security Agreement will have extraordinarily serious and weighty consequences for Canada’s social, economic and political sovereignty. In addition, many legislative components are possibly in violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly information sharing.
Such broad-reaching agreements are generally implemented using a treaty and we also urge your government consider negotiating a treaty with the US government, instead.
Once again, we strongly recommend that your government provide Canadians with all the information they require, in order to fully assess the many serious implications of the Perimeter Security Agreement, before proceeding any further.
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