BACK-ROOM MANIPULATIONS IN FREE TRADE DEAL
I know what was negotiated in the Free Trade deal and how the deal was done because my executive secretary is Shelley Ann Clark, who worked as the executive secretary to Germain Denis, the third highest-ranking negotiator. This is how the deal was done: Simon Reisman and Gordon Ritchie went to Washington and gave away Canada and as they were giving away Canada they were at the time preparing a briefing book on a computer which appeared simultaneously on a computer in Ottawa. Mulroney and Denis worked together and Shelley Ann Clark was the secretary working between the two of them.
There was one hitch. Although the Federal Government did not legally need the permission of the Premiers, politically, Free Trade would have been impossible to sell unless the Premiers were on side. So two Premiers were bought by Mulroney: the Premier of Alberta and the Premier of Saskatchewan. They became Mulroney's moles within the Premier's camp.
Their job was to go around and identify the acceptable bottom lines in terms of textiles, agriculture, mining, subsidies, unemployment insurance, health care - all of the things that affect our sovereignty. What would the Premiers be prepared to sacrifice? The two moles would then bring the info to Denis whose job it was to brief the Premiers approximately eight times during the negotiations.
How was this done? Since there were a bunch of Premiers who would have disagreed fundamentally if they knew what was really happening, and you knew what their bottom lines were, Premiers' briefings were always given at 50 O'Connor on the seventeenth floor. At midnight the night before a briefing, Shelley Ann Clark would be told to come into Denis' office - only he and she would be in the office - and call up the briefing books on the computer. She would then be ordered to re-name a copy of the entire briefing book negotiated that day to The Provincial Briefing Book. Denis would then take the notes he had got from the Premiers about the bottom lines and go through the main document paragraph by paragraph.
Here are some examples. He would come to the section on 'Water'- build a Grand Canal, build dams, move water to the US, - and he would say, 'Delete that paragraph and insert a line that says 'free-flowing water is not included in this deal. ‘Textiles?' If it said we have given up sixty percent, change it to twelve.' Ms. Clark would change it to twelve. Agriculture? 'Cut back on the production of turkeys forty percent. Write in eight.'
And they would go through the entire book like that. At the end - at about three o'clock in the morning - they would produce ten copies. Every page of each new copy was numbered, so that if a page went missing or was copied in any way, they would know which Premier would have done it.
Not that they were given a chance to do this! The Premiers would arrive for the briefing session, always complaining about not having been given the books ahead of time. 'It is too sensitive,' they were told, 'here's the Briefing Book.' At the end of the session, Denis would pick up the Briefing Books, and Shelley Anne Clark would shred nine of the books and keep one, so that Denis would remember what lies he had told when he would have to change the books next time.
Kralik: The reason why he changed the percentages of the cutbacks in productions was to make it look favourable.
Kealey: And acceptable, politically, to the Premiers. That they were not giving away what they were giving away. And once it is given away, how can you ever get it back?
Kralik: What they were negotiating, with relation to textiles, turkeys, or whatever was a kind of smoke-screen cover for the big Grand Canal?
Kealey: Everything in there was doctored. There were two key issues that we didn't hear anything about: the integration of Canada into the United States, and the movement of water through the Grand Canal. Those are the two key issues. How do you do that without anybody knowing? On 3 October 1987 the Free Trade Agreement was signed in Washington. A thirty-three page summary was delivered to Parliament. The original text has never been seen by the public. A year later a legal document of some fifteen hundred pages detailing the ramification of certain items was made public and is used by lawyers today. But what is not known, what has not been seen is the original Free Trade Deal which is at least two hundred and some odd pages long. Because Shelley Ann Clark knows what she knows, and because of the contacts that she now has, she is a threat to the government. Last December (1992) they sent her home on full pay.
Kralik: Laid off.
Kealey: No, not laid off. She has her full pay. She was told, 'Go home. We don't want you talking to people.' What they didn't know then, was that home for her meant, in July 1993, becoming my executive secretary.
Kralik: What a bonus! That is great!
Kealey: They haven't touched her in any way because they were afraid. She still has her top security clearance, but when she went to the archives and asked to see the Free Trade Documents she was given an index which she skimmed through and questioned: 'There's no Premier's Briefing Books here?' The guy answered: 'Well it's possible. We didn't get everything. We don't know. We just get what we get.' So she said, 'May I see the Free Trade Deal?’ “Oh, no,' he resumed,' under the Statute that governs access to information, ninety-five percent of the Free Trade Deal has been declared a security problem for Canada and is not being made available to the public. Even with your top security clearance, you could not get it unless you had the O.K. from the Deputy Minister of External Affairs.' So she said, 'You know who I am and that's not possible: he would never give it to me.' She was told, 'In any event the Free Trade Deal is in canisters 16 miles outside of Ottawa and is not to be seen by Canadians for thirty years.’ ‘This doesn't make any sense in a democratic country,' she said, 'Why can the people not see it? I know what is in it and it's a danger to our national security all right. It gives the country away and thirty years from now it is going to be too late. The implementation schedule ends at 2005. The Grand Canal must be in place and Quebec must be separate.'