NAFTA SuperHighway: Get On Board!

By August 21, 2007Trade

With the U.S.-Mexico-Canada summit wrapping up in Quebec today, no doubt the leaders are going back to their respective countries with secret treaty codicils detailing the next steps toward creating the NAFTA SuperHighway. To the extent that these things are ever put in writing, that is…

From the Toronto Globe and Mail:

OTTAWA — It’s a threat that has left-wing Canadian nationalists and right-wing U.S. congressmen in rare and dismayed agreement: a freeway, four football fields wide, stretching from Mexico to northern Manitoba.

Groups on both sides of the political spectrum say the corridor – dubbed the NAFTA superhighway – is a primary goal of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America established two years ago by the leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

At separate press conferences in Ottawa yesterday, the road was held out as an example of the potentially repugnant effects of the trilateral partnership.

There’s just one thing: Officials in Canada and the United States say no plans for any such freeway are in the works. The concept, they say, is part urban myth and part fear-mongering.

Very good, Gloria. Just what we directed you to write.

Actually, to be serious for a moment — and national sovereignty is surely a serious topic — this whole Manitoba to Mexico thing never made much sense. It’s not as if the Prairie Provinces are manufacturing superpowers; Winnipeg’s a big city with industry and rail connections, certainly, but hardly enough to justify a super big freeway. Manitoba does grow industrial hemp, which the entire global economy should really be based on, but that’s a few years away from reality…man.

Is the theory that the Port of Churchill on the Hudson Bay will soon be ice free, opening the continent to shipments of palladium and nickel from Siberia? Or might those long-delayed plans for a Churchill spaceport be back on the drawing board?

Our theory: This superhighway is really all about Maida finally making its claim for global dominance.

UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): A full and serious examination of the superhighway conspiracy theories is at The Nation. Really. Quite a bit about privatization of infrastructure too. If you go in understanding the Nation’s anti-market biases, it’s a fruitful read.

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