An Open Letter to Jay Hill

Dear Mr. Hill,

I am writing to you out of my concerns regarding the Harper Conservatives? planned ?Security and Prosperity Partnership? and my understanding that many others share my concerns. This plan for regulatory harmonization between Canada, the USA, and Mexico is moving us toward a North American Union and away from local, responsible government.

First, I am troubled by the lack of democratic transparency and accountability in the integration process. Since March 2005, without public input and with little public awareness, our government has been moving quickly to establish a continental resource pact, a North American security perimeter, and common agricultural and other health, safety, and environmental policies. Working groups that are made up of top level bureaucrats and corporate leaders in strategic sectors have simply been putting this agreement into action. Our elected representatives in the House of Commons have not even been kept in the loop and the matter has not come before Parliament for open debate and a vote.

Second, I am concerned that this integration with the USA represents an abandonment of genuinely conservative political values in favour of liberal ideals. With the intention of benefiting all Canadians, the establishment of a continental trade zone with a North American security perimeter will actually further centralize and distance our government. This kind of ultra-liberal, free-trade integration will mean that more and more decisions that affect our everyday lives will be made from further and further away. Quite simply, plans for regulatory harmonization, integration of the energy sector, and a possible shared external tariff will make uniquely Canadian policies on energy, agriculture, defence, and the environment impossible.

The August 21-22 meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, George W. Bush, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Montebello, Quebec is an ideal time for Conservative MP?s to remember their populist conservative roots under Preston Manning and represent our concerns regarding integration. Therefore, I ask that you adopt the following policies of the Green Party of Canada and ensure that this Conservative government becomes more democratically accountable:

1.Denounce the 25-kilometre security perimeter that is designed to prevent protestors and critics from getting anywhere near this August 21-22 meeting in Quebec;

2.Ensure that this matter is openly debated and voted upon in the House of Commons;

3.Hold an open and public referendum regarding the current plans for integration with the USA.

This so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership is already affecting our lives. Earlier this year, the harmonization of the rules regarding pesticide residues has meant that Canada now allows higher levels of pesticides in our food. The idea of creating a North American no-fly list has meant that Canadian air travelers have been prevented from boarding their flights if their name resembles a name on the US officials? list of people who may possibly be a threat. The plan for a five-fold increase in Alberta tar sands production means that we cannot reduce our greenhouse gas emissions or ensure that we are engaged in sustainable economic development.

Therefore, I ask that you act quickly and decisively to ensure that the government in Ottawa becomes open, responsive, and accountable to the Canadian voters regarding this plan to integrate with the USA.

Jared Giesbrecht, Green Party Candidate

Prince George ? Peace River