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February 27, 2007

Globe & Mail

Canadian, U.S. and Mexican government ministers met Friday in Ottawa to discuss the trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The SPP has been making news lately, but for all the wrong reasons. Conspiracy theorists are claiming that it is a secret plan for continental integration.

The irony is that an overarching plan — secret or otherwise — is precisely what the SPP lacks. It is little more than a hodgepodge of bilateral and trilateral working groups on issues such as border security, food safety, migratory birds, and so on. Most of these groups existed long before the SPP was announced in 2005.

When the SPP was created, the groups were organized into two broad clusters — security and prosperity — and a new mechanism was created to oversee their activities. The goal was to nudge their work forward by requiring them to deliver semi-annual progress reports to ministers from all three countries.

These reports, thick as the Halifax phone book, are mind-numbing...

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

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