In this week’s episode, Steve lays a cunning trap for Barry. In exchange for agreeing to pass travel and “informal” info about Canadians on to Homeland Security, Steve gets Barry to promise to maybe match $1-billion in Canadian taxpayer dollars to fund some pilot projects sometime in the future that will principally benefit the 40% of Canada-US corporations that rely on a cross-border supply chain. Will Barry take the bait?
Well you can clearly see the advantage to Canada here. If US security dudes are openly operating in Canada, never again will the RCMP suffer the humiliation of delivering a Canadian citizen to the US border so he can be tried and jailed in the US for acts committed and not considered criminal in Canada. So there’s that.
And “informal information exchange” — ie, unsubstantiated spook-thinks about brown Canadians with funny names like Abdelrazik and Arar — has clearly worked out really well in previous informal information exchanges.
From the Canadian Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan:
Canada and the United States have a long history of working together to defend the freedoms and rights of our citizens and to deal with threats to our collective way of life. Cross-border cooperation and information sharing are crucial to these efforts.
See how that works?
None of that old “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” nonsense. It’s all the same thing now — it’s “collective.” And if we have to pitch a few more hippies/troublemakers/brown peoples into the gaping maw of US security paranoia, well that’s just a price we’re willing to pay to keep those trucks rolling back and forth over the border.
Most of the TV and print media commentary in favour of this latest episode of Beyond the Border has come from Canada-US Project luminaries Derek Burney, Colin Robertson, and Fen Osler Hampson, whose Blueprint for Canada-US Engagement appears to be the blueprint for Steve and Barry’s deal. They say it will be very good for Canada and is in no way a threat to our sovereignty, a defence which would be rather more reassuring had Hampson not made a pitch to the Foreign Affairs committee in 2009 in favour of dropping the national border altogether.