Monday, September 18, 2006

Now the Water!

Soon enough Canadian will again hate the way they voted!
Cellucci was the negotiator who skinned us in Mulrony's Free Trade. Mulrony's negotiator is Harper's representative to the US on Trade. 2 plus 2 still adds up!

You better get onto your MP right away and let him know what you think about putting bulk water on the trade table for softwood lumber treatment. This is the move Klein was counting on! (not sure how long they will allow this blog up!)

Cellucci wants water on table
Ex U.S. ambassador wants resource included in trade talks
Mike De Souza, CanWest News ServicePublished: Monday, September 18, 2006
OTTAWA - A former American ambassador is pushing for a fresh debate on bulk water exports from Canada to quench the growing thirst of the American south and midwest.

Paul Cellucci, who was replaced by David Wilkins after stepping down as U.S. ambassador to Canada in March 2005, is suggesting water be included in the same category as other natural resources exported as Canadian commodities on the market.

"It wasn't an issue when I was ambassador, but it was one I always found puzzling that it was completely off the table," said Cellucci in an interview.
He argued water is a renewable resource, as opposed to such non-renewable Canadian exports as oil, natural gas, uranium and coal, adding that the two countries will be forced to confront the issue.

But a citizens organization that has fought for more protectionist measures for Canada in free trade agreements warns American officials are quietly laying the groundwork for bulk exports that could deprive Canadians of their resources.
"We live next to a super power," said Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "The super power is getting mighty thirsty."

At present, Canadian provinces allow water to be exported in bottles, while there is a ban on bulk exports on boundary waters shared with the United States. However, Barlow said Canada would lose control over the resource under the North American Free Trade Agreement, if any province or territory opens the door to bulk sales of water to U.S. regions facing record droughts.
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government developing a national water strategy, Barlow stressed she wasn't suggesting Canada close the door to sharing its resources with countries in need.

But Cellucci said it is an important economic issue since the Canadian and U.S. markets are "inextricably connected." He said a severe drought in southern American states would have a significant impact on the Canadian economy.
Some experts say it's unlikely the U.S. would bully Canada into exporting its water, since that could affect the ecosystems and resources of the northern states.

"There are going to be environmental impacts on both sides of the border if we start mega-scale diversions," said Joseph Rasmussen, the Canada research chair in aquatic ecosystems at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. "They don't want those impacts any more than we do."

Gretchen Hamel, a spokesperson for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said the issue is brought up every few years, but there are no negotiations or proposals on the table.

According to federal government estimates, Canada has the third-largest supply of fresh water on its territory behind Brazil and Russia.
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