Exposing the Continentalist Agenda

THE TORONTO STAR, Monday, November 8, 1999
U.S. `would reshape Canada' if Quebec splits

Will demand equal role in negotiations, experts warn

By Kathleen Kenna
Toronto Star Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - A ``cold-blooded'' America will demand an equal - and even the primary - role in future negotiations if Quebec separates, and could wreak even more damage on an already fractured nation, political experts warn.

``A divided Canada will have a tough time standing up to American vital interests,'' three McGill University professors state in a new analysis. ``While high-level American policy-makers truthfully say they prefer a
united Canada . . . separation may be accelerated or exaggerated by powerful American players,'' the trio warns in a foreign policy paper to be published this month.

``The final outcome (will be) a North America redesigned in accord with American public and private directives . . . There will be a `what hit me' look on the faces of many former Canadians.''

Canadian and Quebec leaders are naive to insist it won't happen, co-author Tom Velk told a weekend forum at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He's an economics professor at McGill and co-director of its North American studies program.

``Although Quebec separatists want the future of their province to be decided by Quebeckers, and Canadian federalists insist the rest of Canada (ROC) must have a voice as well, they both forget that American vital interests require that America have a prominent, if not dominant, place at the table upon which any new plan for the political re-organization of
North America will be drawn up,'' Velk told a forum on Canada's future.
America will do everything it must do to protect its national security,
economic and other interests - even use force if necessary, he said.

``If the U.S. is asked by the federal government, because they have lost control over their troops, or if it's asked by Quebec, because they fear an invasion, or if the request is put in terms of terrorism, then the American military, order-keeping, law-enforcing agents may very well take a role,'' Velk said in response to questions about U.S. troops entering Canada if separation involved violence.

``A great power does not allow its border states to fall into serious instability.'' Current Canada-Quebec debate about separation glosses over America's critical interest in the 320 treaties, thousands of political agreements, ``tens of thousands of private, cross-border contracts and hundreds of thousands of daily exchanges of people, money, goods and securities,'' Velk said.

In addition to two-way trade of $1 billion (U.S.) a day between the two nations, they share ``the costs and benefits of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of common assets, liabilities, responsibilities and opportunities'' affected by Quebec separation, he said.

All of this will be on the table at any separation talks, and ``Americans will call the tune,'' Velk warned. Negotiations with the U.S. will be long and painful despite any Canadian urgency in a separation crisis, Velk insists in a report co-written by political scientist Harold Waller and historian A. R. Riggs.

``The American negotiating style, driven by self-interest, will be potentially cold-blooded,'' they write in a paper entitled, U.S. Foreign Policy and Canadian Fragmentation: Balancing vital interests during a crisis.

Powerful lobbies, unions and diverse interests - from big business to the White House to a divided Congress - will demand a role in talks that must cover everything from water, energy, transportation and air space to boundary waters and the integrated North American defence system. The experts speculate ``parts of Canada may be sold off in bargains with American and local interests before far-off Canadian claimants have a chance at it."

``If negotiations on (Quebec) independence ever do occur, the U.S. . . more than ever before, will be in a position to shape the destiny of a continent in a manner best suited to the protection of its own interests.''

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