Why should this be of interest to Kossacks??
Because the deal, negotiated by Bush and his Canadian lackey, Harper will see $450 million funnelled straight past Congress and the US treasury, and will go instead, directly to the Bush Whitehouse.
During questions following Feldman's presentation, NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster/Burnaby) noted the "quite a staggering revelation that the funding of $450 million would be, if I understand it, under the control of the White House; Congress would have no say and Canada would have no say as to the use of that money. And, hence, in a mid-term election year we would be giving $450 million to a massive political fund."
"This is in my view an historic, unprecedented, astounding intrusion into American politics. We searched all the way back to the Revolution and found nothing like it in American history. And the question that I came this morning to put is, "Will the Parliament of Canada accept responsibility for possibly tipping the balance in American politics in preserving the control of Congress by the president's party?" This softwood lumber agreement is an historic moment in part because of that proposition, and it's up to this Parliament to decide whether it will accept the responsibility. That responsibility cannot be shifted and, indeed, that money inevitably will go to shore up the electoral aspirations of the Republican party through the president -- it's not going to be touched by Congress -- it's going through an escrow fund. And these are questions that could impact American politics for generations and impact relations between Canada and the United States for generations to come. And that is entirely in the hands of this Parliament."
Here's a link to Elliot Feldman's report on the www.thetyee.ca
The Canada/US Softwood Lumber deal - which has been vociferously blasted by Canada's opposition parties, the Canadian lumber industry groups and business analysts - has come after years of futile NAFTA rulings which consistently found in Canada's favour, and Canada had no reason to capitulate now.
Although Washington has finally agreed to return $4-billion of the more than $5-billion in punitive duties that it has collected from logging companies over the past four years, that money will go to the giant trans-national and American logging corporations such as Weyerhaeuser for example, which are out there, destroying Canada's forests. Canadian taxpayers will get zilch, and so apparently, will Americans
It should be of great interest and concern to all Democrats and to all Americans that Canada has apparently become the primary financier of Republican election campaigns in the upcoming November elections
There's another article at www.rabble.ca on this issue