Sandra Finley

Jun 262017


Americans should fear Canada’s economic clout but until formal free-trade negotiations begin, “we keep our heads down and our mouths shut,” says former prime minister Brian Mulroney.


Mr. Mulroney, whose Progressive Conservative government signed the original Canada-U.S. free-trade deal in 1988, said the Trudeau government is well-placed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico but officials should refrain from responding to incremental developments in public.


“What we should do is what we’ve been doing: We keep our heads down and our mouths shut,” said Mr. Mulroney, speaking at a conference on Friday hosted by left-leaning think tank Canada 2020.

“Don’t take the bait. We deal with this at the negotiating table.”


Mr. Mulroney, who is friends with U.S. President Donald Trump and owns a home nearby the President’s in Palm Beach, Fla., has been offering advice to the Trudeau government on renegotiating the trilateral trade deal, with talks expected to start as early as August.


When the process begins, Mr. Mulroney said one of the most important words for Canada’s negotiators is “no.”


“We’re not some pushover little country,” Mr. Mulroney said.


He said Canada has an economy worth almost $2-trillion with 36 million people, which is comparable to the Soviet Union, which has 138 million people.


“Hell, the Americans should be more fearful of us than Russia.”


He praised Mr. Trudeau for putting together a “highly talented and capable team” to handle the trade file, including Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.


“I’ve known Justin since he was two years old,” Mr. Mulroney said. “I warned the Conservatives: Be careful, don’t underestimate this guy. There’s a hell of a lot more there than you fellas give him credit for.”


He also paid tribute to former interim leader Rona Ambrose, who frequently travelled to Washington to meet with lawmakers and advance Canada’s interests on the trade front. She has since joined D.C.’s Wilson Centre as a global fellow.


“There’s no Conservative way to negotiate a comprehensive free-trade agreement with the United States, and there’s no Liberal way to do it. There’s only a Canadian way,” Mr. Mulroney said.


“I think there are times when political parties should lay down their arms and support a national initiative. This is one of them.”


Mr. Mulroney said he spoke with Mr. Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who said the United States was impressed Ms. Ambrose’s Conservatives offered to help the Liberals advocate for Canada’s interests on the trade file.


“We’re going to need all the help we can get,” he said.


During the American election campaign, Mr. Mulroney said both Mr. Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders portrayed trade as hurting the U.S. economy, which created “serious problems.”


“The enemy is not trade. The enemy is technology,” he said, noting when he was in office, there were no cellphones or Internet.


“Now technology and automation are displacing jobs all over the place, and the challenge is to reconstruct the economy.”


While Mr. Trump has pledged to bring back the coal industry to the American Midwest, Mr. Mulroney said that would be a “Band-Aid solution.”


“The answer is not that. It is in a greener economy, and it is in training and retraining of employees to handle new jobs that are being created,” he said.


Speaking to reporters after his speech, Mr. Mulroney said he’s spoken to Mr. Trump’s senior team this week but not the president himself, who is reportedly facing an investigation from special prosecutor Robert Mueller for obstruction of justice relating to questions about Russian interference in the American election.


When asked if the political turmoil south of the border could impact the negotiations, he said “anything’s possible.”


“But this is so important to the United States and to Canada and to Mexico, that my guess is that the governments – when they start at the table – they’re going to want to make certain they conclude an important new agreement,” he said.


Jun 262017

Banksters: Index


NOTE:   Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 23, 2017,  taking the U.S. out of the TPP trade deal.  Canada was a signatory to the TPP.   It was celebrated – – the TPP is dead!   HOWEVER,

See  2017-05-21  RE: NAFTA re-negotiation. Where does the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) stand?



Because the same corporates and bureaucrats are behind the “trade deals” – –  be prepared, the re-negotiation of NAFTA may involve a huge push by them to get into NAFTA the same things, and more, as they are trying to get in the other trade deals.

  1. Delores, publisher of Beyond Banksters, points out, in addition to the bankster clauses, the LIFE SPAN clauses:

CETA: 35 year life (outrageous)

NAFTA, 1994, Jan. 1:  6 month notice to withdraw.   (anticipate attempt to get 35 years?)

2.              Newspapers mention the currency manipulation rules.  Even though Canada and Mexico aren’t currency manipulators, the corporates feel  it may be possible to “springboard” the measures  (from a new NAFTA)  into agreements elsewhere in the world.


From a business source:

It is against the backdrop of the withdrawal of the U.S. from TPP that NAFTA’s three member nations will negotiate an updated NAFTA IP chapter. The TPP IP chapter will almost certainly be the starting point for negotiations. Canada was instrumental in striking balances between U.S. and developing country positions on key IP issues including pharmaceutical data protection and internet service provider liability for third-party copyright infringement. Expect the U.S. to continue to push Canada to ratchet up its IP protection or, at minimum, to use IP concerns as negotiating leverage for more contentious issues.

Canada is unlikely to capitulate on IP issues this time around. It has already made IP concessions in the course of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, expanding IP protection for pharmaceuticals and signing on to all major IP treaties. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office now indicated it will begin consultations to implement CETA-related changes this summer. Additionally, the Government of Canada has stated it is developing a 21st-century intellectual property strategy, which will be applied not only to NAFTA, but also to ongoing trade negotiations with China, MERCOSUR, the remaining TPP members and others. Canada is far better prepared for a trade-related IP negotiation than it has ever been and may even see fit to push back on TPP concessions.

Jun 262017
Banksters: Index

I think we all “get it”:

  • Infrastructure spending ($188 billion, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), privatization of public assets)
  • The trade deals, most imminent the NAFTA re-negotiation

are part of the same parcel.

(REF:  2016-07-08  Democracy overtaken by Corporatocracy = coup d’état.  Citizens fight to regain democracy = Revolution (insurgency).  Corporatocracy fights to hold on = counter insurgency.

Joyce (Beyond Banksters) talks about clauses in the trade deals that are for the benefit of the Bankster Fraudsters.

I was looking at the “import of clauses” from one trade deal to another.  They keep ratcheting up, whatever they can get.

So, what can be expected to come into the NAFTA re-negotiation from the TPP negotiations?

about the TPP and current status  – – see 2017-06-26  RE: NAFTA re-negotiation. Where does the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) stand?     (Trump took the U.S. out of the TPP.   It was declared dead.  But as of May 21, 2017,  Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is working on Canada and other participating countries – – they will have a TPP without the U.S.  The TPP was initiated under the Conservatives, PM Harper.)

Andre Downs is the Director General of Global Affairs Canada.  He is listed on the “pro-TPP” side of the debate on the TPP.

The public submissions re NAFTA re-negotiation are to be submitted to Global Affairs Canada.

I will be appreciative of any further research on Downs and “his team” (below) – –  a start.

I find his views, as expressed in the youtube, disconcerting – – quite shocking.  What is his background?

WHO IS the Chief Economist / Director General at Global Affairs Canada?
André Downs

What does he think?  

André Downs works as Director General / Chief Economist for Global Affairs Canada.
André can be reached at 343-203-2406

First name
Last name
Director General / Chief Economist
Telephone Number
Alternate Number
Fax Number
Street Address
125 Sussex Drive (view on map)
Postal Code
K1A 0G2
Global Affairs Canada
Trade Analysis

Print employee profile Download vCard

André Downs’s team
Nadine Haddad Executive Assistant 343-203-2405 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa Ontario Canada
Qiang Xu Economist 343-203-2351 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa Ontario Canada
Jun 262017

Banksters: Index

The Trade deals and Infrastructure spending are intertwined.

RE  the TPP:

Excerpts from Wikipedia, in chronological order, 

5 October 2015   Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper indicated he expected “signatures on the finalized text and deal early in the new year, and ratification over the next two years.”[62]

4 February 2016  The finalized proposal was signed in Auckland, New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations.

4 February 2016, at the TPP signing, Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said “There is a big difference between signing and ratifying”. “Consultations in Canada very much will include aboriginal communities, they are a very important part of the national discussion,” she said. “We are committed to a full parliamentary committee study and a full parliamentary debate ahead of ratification.”[63]

23 January 2017    It (TPP) currently cannot be ratified due to U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.  (Trump signed an executive order, withdrawing the U.S. from the TPP).

May 2017  The other 11 TPP countries agreed in to revive the deal without US participation.[18][19]


2017-05-21   Canada, other countries will move forward on new Trans-Pacific Partnership after U.S. withdrawal.   CP, Toronto Sun

2017-05-26  (last update)    The Globe and Mail published  The ABCs of TPP.   I don’t get it.  The U.S. is shown as one of the members.   I did a search on the page for the word “Trump”.  There is no match.  Did the G&M, Report on Business section, not know that Trump took the U.S.  OUT of the TPP?    No wonder people are confused. 

Continuing, the Wikipedia info:

The U.S. International Trade Commission,[20] the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the World Bank and the Office of the  Chief Economist at Global Affairs Canada  (WHO is he? scroll down at   found that the final agreement would, if ratified, lead to net positive economic outcomes for all signatories,

while a heterodox analysis by two Tufts University economists found that the agreement would adversely affect the signatories.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

Many observers have argued that the trade deal would have served a geopolitical purpose, namely to reduce the signatories’ dependence on Chinese trade and bring the signatories closer to the United States.[30][31][32][33]

Jun 262017



Canada and 10 other countries agreed this weekend to re-evaluate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial trade deal that has been assumed dead since the U.S. pulled out in January.


However a Canadian group opposed to the TPP says the deal should not be revived.


Trade officials said the deal would change significantly without American involvement, although leaders from the 11 remaining countries are still figuring out what a revised trade plan would look like.


In its current form, the partnership requires U.S. participation before it can go into effect. But a revised TPP wouldn’t be as simple as taking the U.S. out of the existing deal: each of the 11 remaining countries will have to re-evaluate its own trade needs absent of American involvement.


Ministers attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Hanoi, Vietnam this weekend discussed taking another look at the terms of the deal. Officials from the countries involved, which include Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Singapore, among others, have agreed to present assessments to their leaders when they meet for an annual APEC summit in Vietnam in November, which will also include U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Since the U.S withdrawal, Japan and New Zealand have been spearheading efforts to revive the deal. Both countries have ratified the agreement and moved forward on legislation related to the deal. But Canadian officials stress that even the countries most enthusiastic about the previous agreement understand that it must be significantly altered before it can move forward.


New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said the remaining countries are open to others joining provided they accept the trade agreement’s high standards on labour and environmental protection. He said the door remains open to the U.S., even after President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in January, saying he prefers bilateral free trade deals.


Supporters of the agreement argue that opening the Canadian economy to foreign markets could benefit sectors including forestry, manufacturing and agriculture, especially production of canola, beef and pork. But there are also concerns about intellectual property provisions, including patent extensions, as well as the potential for job loss within Canada.


Sujata Dey, trade campaigner for the social action organization The Council of Canadians, called the TPP “a huge corporate power grab” that should be abandoned completely rather than re-worked. The group takes particular issue with the policy’s investor-state dispute settlement, which allows companies to sue governments over any regulations that reduce their profits.


“These trade agreements are old-school because our world problems have changed,” Dey said, citing environmental crises. “Until we stop copying and cutting the old trade agreement that we’ve been doing for the last 30 years, it’s not going to be a trade agreement that works for our new reality.”


In response, a Liberal government official who did not want to be named indicated that the concerns of Canadians will be taken into account in formulating a new deal. Trying to sell a new version of the TPP to the public that doesn’t include free and progressive fair trade would be an uphill battle for the federal government, he said.


The China-led 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will meet Monday in Hanoi to further discussions on a separate deal seen as an alternative to the TPP. It is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.


With files from the Associated Press



Jun 262017

Banksters: Index

RE   Re-negotiation of NAFTA (1994, Jan.1), triggered by the Trump Administration on May 17th, 2017:

90 day Notice, required under American law for the Administration’s negotiation of a trade deal, was given by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

to Congress, May 17, 2017.

Re-negotiation between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada cannot begin until at minimum, 90 days after May 17  (August 18).

June 21, Trade Rep Lighthizer softened earlier statements by Trump.  Trump had demanded that negotiations be completed by the end of the year.  Lighthizer:

“We’re certainly not going to have a bad agreement to save time… My hope is that we can get it done by the end of the year, but there are a lot of people who think that’s completely unrealistic.”

Complication for pro-NAFTA entities:  Mexico’s presidential election in July 2018.  Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the current front-runner in the polls, is a populist, left-wing NAFTA critic.



The Liberals succumbed to public pressure:   submissions from the public will be received by Global Affairs Canada until  July 18.

BTW:  I think it’s important to know WHO our representatives are (e.g. the Simon Reisman story in the original NAFTA).   WHO is the Director General of Global Affairs Canada?  scroll down at

Hi Dave,

To send a submission re re-negotiation of NAFTA,  the link is:  a quick and easy form letter

Click on it, then partway down on the left side you’ll see “SUBJECT”  and the content of the email.

You can make changes to it,  or just send it the way it is.

Fill in your information  and then hit the “submit” at the bottom.

– – – – – – – –

Subject: Big news on NAFTA

APPENDED, from Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians.   You’ll see a link – – it’s easy to ADD YOUR WEIGHT by just clicking in.  There is a deadline.  July 18.   And it is Big News.

As you will know, Trump has opened re-negotiation of NAFTA.  From the earlier history of NAFTA and trade deals, beware the snakes.

Skip this, if you already know it:  The Trade Deals are doing a number on us.   (FTA = Free Trade Agreement)


Not familiar #1?   NAFTA Chapter 11    (Investor-State Dispute Settlement, ISDS)

2015-01-14   FTA’s Chapter 11 Makes Canada Most-Sued Country Under Free Trade Tribunals, Huffington Post


Not familiar #2?     a nasty tale.   Water and the FTA.

All the drafts of the FTA included an Exemption for Water, at the insistence of Canadians.   What happened?   Artificial hype – – the deal HAS to be signed by midnite, or it all collapses.  Convenient – – next day, people going through the text of the signed agreement cannot find the Exemption for Water. – –  oh!  At the 11th hour it had to be abandoned, otherwise the Americans would not sign the deal.

Simon Reisman was the chief negotiator for Canada under Conservative PM Mulroney, the men responsible for giving away the free trade Exemption on Water.

BUT THEN!  Reisman addressed the Old Boys’ Club in central Canada, telling them of the riches to be had by selling water to the U.S.   His words were recorded in the book, “To the Last Drop”, 1986, by Michael Keating.  Keating was a Globe & Mail reporter with an international reputation for the quality of his work.

Keating put a damper – dump on the drinking and dining (celebration of the “disappeared” exemption for water?) in the club of the oligarchy.   Rest assured that he subsequently suffered for his transgression, he was punished.

(I read Keating’s book when we were fighting to stop the boondoggle Meridian Dam in Saskatchewan – – because it was so obviously a boondoggle for tax-payers.   (2006-04-27   Water. Wrap-up statement, Proposed Meridian Dam. Battle won.)

At the time, I hadn’t a clue about the role of a Meridian Dam in water diversion to the U.S. and the offering of “equity interests” in water.  Lake Athabasca lies on the northern border of Saskatchewan, in the watershed that drains via the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea.  The plan is for that water to be re-directed, to flow south through a series of dams in Saskatchewan to the U.S. border, and on down into the U.S.

Earlier, the Rafferty-Alameda Dam had been rammed through without (required by law) an environmental impact assessment, by the same Conservative Government (PM Mulroney) that removed the exemption for water.   We called that dam a boondoggle; it didn’t make any sense to us, at that time.

REF:  2008-02-17   Water: Highgate Dam in context of water shortages in the U.S., response to Maggie. Includes water under Free Trade Agreement, etc.

From To the Last Drop:   our Chief negotiator for NAFTA, Reisman, told the Oligarchy that the balance of power on the North American continent would shift because Canada has the water resources that the U.S. wants.  The infrastructure costs seem insurmountable, but the Americans want the water so badly, that they’ll cover those costs (he got that wrong – – Canadians will be paying Infrastructure costs, if all goes according to plan).   He concluded:   all we have to do is to —

put a meter on a tap at the 49th parallel and collect the royalties (and dividends if you are an investor) as the water flows south. 

I tracked down Keating, after reading his book (mentioned) while we were fighting the Meridian Dam, because I had some questions.

Water diversions take water from one watershed and move it to another.  I didn’t ask Keating about the Rafferty-Alameda, because I did not yet understand that, in addition to (talked about in the book)

  • the Grand Canal to re-direct water, James Bay down through the Great Lakes to the American east  (taking water from the Hudson Bay drainage basin)
  • the Rocky Mountain Trench  to send water to the American west   (The Columbia River, in the southern part of the Trench, flows south from BC into Washington state, goes west to form most of the border between Washington and Oregon, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.  The Columbia has the greatest flow of any North American river entering the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to these two diversions, there are plans to divert from the (I don’t believe it is mentioned in To the Last Drop):

  • Mackenzie River, by re-directing water from Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan south through a system of dams to the U.S.  (diversion from Beaufort Sea Watershed).

One of Reisman’s taps at the 49th parallel, is the Rafferty-Alameda Dam.  It is in place.   It did not make sense to us.   But it made sense to Mulroney, Reisman, and their cronies.

AND NOW!   The Liberals have enlisted Mulroney’s assistance in the re-negotiation of NAFTA!  2017-06-16   Mulroney’s advice to Trudeau on NAFTA: head down and mouth shut, Globe&Mail

The Canadian Establishment and the Corporate interests south of the 49th, were salivating and still are, over the “blue gold” freed up by dropping the exemption for water in NAFTA.  (Oh gee whiz!  we had to do it if we wanted to get that deal.)

The outrageously expensive infrastructure (large dams, canals, etc.) to deliver the water for “equity interests” and exploitation, will be paid for by citizens.   Privatize the benefits, and hand-off the costs.

You will see when you add your weight to the NAFTA resistance in Canada – – a specific “request” re water.  We maintain our civility.


Not familiar #3?  Recent Trade Deals will end publicly-owned, central banks (the Bank of Canada).  We are to be completely dependent on the international banking cartel (interest rates 9% instead of 1%, with user fees on top of interest – – the Canada Infrastructure Bank).  At a time when Canadians are to purchase $188 billion dollars of Infrastructure over a 12-year period.

Fiona McMurran wrote a good letter to Senator Pratte.  (2017-06-13   Banksters & Infrastructure Spending: Letter to Senator – – once we privatize public assets, under CETA rules, we cannot reverse the privatization if it turns out to be detrimental)


Because the same corporates and bureaucrats are behind the “trade deals” – –  be prepared, the re-negotiation of NAFTA may involve a huge push by them to get into NAFTA the same things, and more, as they are trying to get in the other trade deals.

See  2017-06-26  What attempts will be made to import clauses from other trade deals into the re-negotiated NAFTA?


Not familiar #4?  Canada has to maintain percentage diversion of oil and gas to the U.S., no matter what Canadian needs might be.  You will see a paragraph regarding correction of that when you add your weight.

I remember thinking at the time:   God!  What happened?  WHO negotiated this “DEAL of a Lifetime, for Canadians”?  Mexico is one of the signatories,  they got a WAY BETTER deal than Canadians got.

When you read what Simon Reisman said to the Old Boys about water,  you know that he was not representing the public interest of Canadians.

When you read that the Prime Minister at the time, Brian Mulroney, shortly after he was finished with politics, went to sit on the Board of ADM (Archer Daniels Midland, the big “Merchant of Grain”, people who wanted the Canadian Wheat Board GONE because it interfered with their control of food crops, people who wanted unfettered access for North American grains  – – read GMO crops – – – into the European Union – – – read CETA – – – and you know the answer to WHO negotiated this “DEAL of a Lifetime, for Canadians”?


Don’t know #5?   Intentions of the Corporates, article in Maclean’s Magazine.    2006-09-13 Maclean’s Magazine interview, President of the Americas for Lockheed Martin Ron Covais, Meet NAFTA 2.0


As Maude notes,  more than 11,000 Canadians have signed on to voice their concerns about NAFTA.

(We are so polite.  Thankfully writing to you is silent.  What I’m thinking is not so polite.)

Anyhow,  EVERY ONE OF OUR SIGN-ONS is important and we need more.   Please help spread the word.

BTW,  the Council of Canadians,  coordinator of resistance to being screwed (if only by the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses), operates entirely on donations.




From: Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians Sent: June 21, 2017   Subject: Big news on NAFTA


Dear Sandra,

I have great news to share! With NAFTA talks expected to get underway in just 56 days, the Trudeau government has finally opened public consultations.

And it wouldn’t have happened without you.  Until now the Trudeau government has remained relatively silent on its plan to renegotiate the massive trade deal. But because you joined the Council of Canadians in pushing for public consultations on NAFTA, the government finally listened.

Thank you for taking action and speaking up when it mattered most!  But the window to act is a very short one.

Global Affairs Canada is only accepting comments from Canadians until July 18. And to make matters worse, the government is doing a poor job of letting the public know about these consultations.

That’s why the Council of Canadians is stepping in to make it simple for people to participate. I’m proud to report that we’ve just set up a quick and easy form letter that gets submitted directly to consultations.

People can customize their letters to get their personal NAFTA concerns officially on the record. With only 28 days to go before the July 18 deadline, it’s critical that we flood the consultations starting now!

More than 11,000 people have already submitted their concerns. But our goal is to more than double that to 25,000 by July 18.

And you can help us reach that goal right now. Will you chip in donation to help the Council urgently spread the word far and wide about these NAFTA consultations?

Thanks to generous donations from supporters like you, we’re close to finishing production on a series of educational videos that highlight key problem areas in NAFTA that must be addressed at the renegotiation table.

These videos will alert people across the country about what’s at stake with NAFTA and drive them to flood the consultations with comments before they close.

But we’ve stretched those donations as far as we can. Now we need to urgently raise $12,000 to get these videos promoted online – and, if we can raise enough – even on TV.

Your donation will also help the Council’s amazing grassroots network of 60 community chapters to organize lobby actions targeting MPs in key ridings to keep the pressure on locally right through the summer.

If you and just 199 others each chip in $60 now we’ll have enough to kick this critical next stage of the campaign into high gear!

U.S. President Donald Trump has been clear that he intends to rewrite NAFTA to put “America first.”

NAFTA has already been a bad deal for people and the planet. And we can’t sit by and let Trump make it even worse.

This is our chance to send Prime Minister Trudeau to the negotiating table with a clear mandate from the people: Stand up to Trump and protect Canadians jobs, farmers, the environment and our democracy.

Please give what you can to help. And if you can’t donate right now, you can still help by sharing our NAFTA consultation letter with your friends and family to spread the word.

Thank you again for all you do.

Maude Barlow Honorary Chairperson

Other ways to donate: You can securely donate online, by PayPal, by phone at 1-800-387-7177, or by mail at the address below.

The Council of Canadians operates with no corporate donations or government funding, and always has. Our public advocacy work is proudly 100 per cent independent and sustained by generous donations from people like you.
The Council of Canadians, 300-251 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1X3 1-800-387-7177 | | Facebook Page | @CouncilofCDNS Unsubscribe | Email preferences View in browser

Jun 242017

MONTEVIDEO – The situation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent the last five years holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, represents a historic injustice, Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa told EFE on Friday.“It’s one of the great disgraces, injustices, and abuses in recent history,” Correa, who left office last month after 10 years in power, said in an interview in Montevideo.

“If we had done a tenth of what Sweden did, or what Great Britain is doing, we would already be in front of the (International) Criminal Court in The Hague and be denounced on all sides. But as it’s them, nothing happens at all,” the Ecuadorian said.

The Australian citizen sought refuge at the Ecuadorian mission in June 2012 after losing a battle in the British courts to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors had been seeking to question him about rape allegations dating back to 2010.

Assange, who denies all the accusations, said that once he was in Swedish custody the United States would pressure Stockholm into handing him over for prosecution based on WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents.

Ecuador granted Assange’s application for political asylum, but the UK government continues to deny him safe passage to the government, even after Swedish prosecutors’ announcement last month that they were closing the investigation.

Correa told EFE that his administration “never wanted” to obstruct the Swedish investigation, but only to “guarantee due process” for Assange, who “was threatened even with death by certain groups in the United States, where they had a law that included the death penalty if he was deported to that country.”

Ecuador does not seek “to justify what (Assange) has done,” Correa said.

Following Sweden’s decision to end the probe, British police said that they would arrest Assange if he left the embassy, as he still faces charges of failing to surrender to the court that was hearing the extradition case.

“Now it turns out that for a minor offense that he violated his bail terms, Great Britain says that if he leaves the embassy they’ll arrest him. This is truly an attack on human rights,” Correa said.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa has said that her government has had diplomat contacts with the UK, including a meeting with the British ambassador in Quito, in pursuit of a solution to the issue.

Jun 162017

Banksters: Index

Adam Smith to PM, Fin Min, his MP June 2017

Feel free to use whatever you want, copy paste even, no attribution necessary.  😊

I want my letter spread far and wide. 



This exemplary letter by young Canadian Adam Smith is indeed about the “Wealth of Nations“!

(The Wealth of Nations is ” the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith first published in 1776.”   Quotes are often taken out of context, with zero reference to the parts that weave in morality.   But back to contemporary Adam Smith – – my appreciation to him!)


Jun 132017

Banksters: Index

In a sign that Independent senators are continuing to assert that independence, some in the Red Chamber are attempting to force the government to split off the infrastructure bank from the budget implementation bill, threatening to delay not only the creation of the bank but the government’s budget plans.

Independent Quebec Senator André Pratte, one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first Senate appointees, introduced a motion in the upper house Tuesday that would remove the bank from Bill C-44, the budget bill, in order to allow further study in the fall.

The proposal, the latest example of the Senate defying the will of the Trudeau government, is strongly opposed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who has said the bank is integral to ambitious infrastructure spending plans.

While the government, and its point man in the Senate, Peter Harder, might be opposed to the move, Pratte said he is comfortable he has enough votes from his fellow Independents, and some Liberal and Conservative senators, to split the bill. Debate on the motion will begin tomorrow.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shrugged off the motion Tuesday.

“Obviously, I’m not going to speculate on what might happen, what could happen. We’re proud we have a newly independent, less-partisan Senate that is taking a responsible and serious look at what is put forward by the House of Commons. We’ll always listen.”

In an interview with CBC News, Pratte said he has serious concerns about the bank and the risk it would pose to taxpayers. “The government fails to give clear answers to what the risk level will be,” he said, adding Morneau hasn’t been clear on just how much initial money will be pumped into the $35-billion federal fund intended to help build projects through public-private partnerships across the country.

A recent appearance by Morneau before the Senate’s banking committee was confusing and simply prompted more questions, Pratte said.

“That absolutely needs to be clarified before we give the green light,” he said. 

Critics argue the bank will lead to more user fees, higher tolls and the prospect that Canadians will be left on the hook if projects such as bridges and light-rail lines don’t provide the kind of returns investors had expected. Infrastructure Minister Amerjeet Sohi has insisted that will not be the case.


Project details exempt from Access to Information

Pratte, a former journalist with La Presse, is also raising red flags about wording in the legislation that would shield the bank’s projects from federal Access to Information law, as private companies could deem that information “privileged,” making it difficult for the public and the media to scrutinize a particular project. Pratte said this is untenable.

The proposed governance structure would also give federal cabinet the powers to fire the bank’s CEO and senior leadership at will. “This raises the concern that politicians will get involved in the daily business of the bank. For private partners, this is worrisome, and that’s why there needs to be an in-depth study. This is why we need more scrutiny.

“We need to set up the bank in a more independent fashion.”

Lastly, Pratte is concerned the bill treads on provincial jurisdiction, pointing to wording in the legislation that would allow the bank to be deemed an “agent of the Crown,” allowing some projects to be exempt from provincial laws and/or municipal regulations.

The Quebec senator conceded the government has said it would not do such a thing, but he is still worried the clause could be exploited by future governments.

“All relevant provincial and territorial laws will apply for all projects in which the bank invests. There are no special exemptions for the bank or for bank projects. We have sought counsel on this, and that is absolutely clear,” Morneau told senators late last month.

Time ticking ahead of summer break

Pratte said the Senate and the committees tasked with studying the bill will have only a few sitting days to sift through a 300-page budget before Parliament rises for the summer break. “These are complex questions that you cannot solve or find solutions to in a few hours at committee, you need more time. I don’t think delaying the creation of the bank by a couple of months will have a major impact on infrastructure expenditures.”

(Some Senate committees have been conducting pre-studies of the budget, and many senators have expressed similar concerns with the infrastructure bank.)

A spokesperson for Morneau told CBC News Tuesday that while “the Senate has an important role to play in the legislative process … C-44 is our budget plan. Its goal is to create good middle-class jobs, dynamic communities and a resilient economy. We will continue to work with the Senate and pass this bill which will help Canadians across the country.”

“The minister was pleased to appear at [committee] to discuss key elements of the bill in detail, and senators agreed that his testimony contributed to their understanding of our plan.”

The government could also challenge the motion on the grounds that the Senate does not have the right to alter a spending bill, which could prompt the Speaker to rule on whether Pratte’s move is out of order. Pratte said Tuesday he believes a motion to divide the bill is well within the rules.


Jun 132017  

3:28 minutes total

At the 1:03 minute mark:

. . .   Privacy is not enshrined or protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Privacy protection is really only something which we’ve agreed to foster because it’s the right thing to do.

– – – – – – – – –


RE statement (June 11): “Privacy is not enshrined or protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms


Good grief Michael Enright!   Did you check your statement with CBC lawyers?

The case law (R. v. Plant) associated with Section 8 of the Charter (protection against undue “search and seizure”) protects the privacy of our personal information, and for good reason:

R. v. Plant, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 281

In fostering the underlying values of dignity, integrity and autonomy, it is fitting that s. 8 of the Charter should seek to protect a biographical core of personal information which individuals in a free and democratic society would wish to maintain and control from dissemination to the state.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

That may be enough information for your listeners.   For your benefit, I add this that I wrote in June 2016. It directly and horrifically links the Right to Privacy of Personal Information to detailed files on citizens as used by the Nazis and collaborationist governments.   (It was personal information in Census files in the U.S. that enabled the Japanese internment during WW2, also.)

Canadians have the Charter Right for a very good reason – – PLEASE do not do anything to undermine it!:


I did not know about the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup  in Paris, 1942.  Many French people were likewise in the dark.

Bless Tatiana de Rosnay for her compelling novel, Sarah’s Key.  She says:

I was . . .  appalled by what I discovered concerning the Vel’ d’ Hiv’ Roundup, especially about what happened to those 4,000 Jewish children, and I knew I had to write about it. I needed to write about it. . . .  writing Sarah’s Key took me to Drancy and Beaune La Rolande, places around Paris which have a dreaded past that cannot be forgotten despite time going by.

I hope I do not see everything through the lens of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Censuses & Surveys, and the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information!   For 13 years (2003 – 2016) I have hammered on the fragility of democracy, the reason we need to defend to the death, the Charter Right to Privacy of personal information.

Citizens cross over from civility and thoughtfulness for others, to barbarity, some in short order.

Tatiana de Rosnay says (Author’s Note at the beginning of  Sarah’s Key):

. . .  It (the novel) is my tribute to the children of the Vel’ d’Hiv’.  The children who never came back.  And the ones who survived to tell.

My Tribute:

The removal and extermination of those children was made possible by detailed census files (ref:  IBM and the Holocaust).  The appalling treatment of them was done by otherwise ordinary people.   From their blood came the Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information that we have today in Canada.

Does the Charter Right just wither and slither out through our fingers?   why?  because we are slovenly and ignorant?   . . .

Can’t we understand:   the depravity of the perpetrators and collaborators sixty years ago has not changed  (how about Lockheed Martin, number one Contract Interrogator at American offshore prisons? – – Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo . . . ).   The detailed files on citizens are being constructed  (Lockheed Martin in charge of the “steerage” for the censuses, Lockheed Martin with its specialty in Surveillance).

The lives of those 4,000 children, their mothers and fathers, were worth something, surely.   But only if we are willing to act on behalf of the legacy of those children.

EXCERPT  from the letter to PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL at bottom of   Official correspondence reveals lack of scrutiny of MI5’s data collection 

There is a connection not mentioned in the article.    You may know it, but  just in case you don’t!

The issue of surveillance enabled by collection of personal data through censuses and continuously on-going surveys is

additional to what is happening through “Security” forces and legislation regarding police powers.

The involvement of Lockheed Martin Corp in the data base at the  UK Office for National Statistics is a vehicle for loss of Privacy of personal information (surveillance), if the UK situation is similar to the Canadian.

You might be interested in Glenn Greenwald’s TED Talk on the subject:  The surprising reason you should care about privacy,

= = = = = = = = = = =

Michael Enright – –  I hope your statements,  Privacy is not enshrined or protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Privacy protection is really only something which we’ve agreed to foster because it’s the right thing to do.  – – generate a storm of protest.

Let us not go down the path described by George Orwell in The Animal Farm.   Forgetfulness of how democracy works,  the importance of our Charter Rights, the fact that it is only citizens who will, in the end, defend them.   We stand on guard.

Best wishes,

Sandra Finley