Canada’s Secret Government: Who is the Power Behind the Throne?

Global Research News Hour episode 226

If you can call the Prime Minister or the Industry Minister up and say, ‘I’d like to see you tomorrow,’ and boom it happens, that’s just as good, if not better than donating a million dollars to a campaign with the implied understanding that its going to buy something.” – Morgan Duchesney (from this week’s interview.)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

We often hear about the American Deep State or secret government, undermining the will of the electorate and influencing policy in ways that favour for-profit interests.

We rarely hear about a Canadian Deep State. Are there power players driving the decision-making in Ottawa behind the scenes?

There are policies where there is virtually no difference regardless of the party in power.

Both Liberals and Conservatives support NAFTA. Both advocate for Canadian involvement in NATO and ‘humanitarian interventions.’ Both scorn Russia for its perceived wrongdoings. Both champion pipelines carrying oil from the Alberta tar sands to markets abroad.

One possible explanation for this harmonization might rest in the influence of permanent systemic fixtures and players whose influence dominates policy discussion.

This week’s installment of the Global Research News Hour tries to move beyond the personalities and the partisan rhetoric and catch a glimpse of the true power brokers within Canadian society.

Our first guest Morgan Duchesney shares his research into a group formerly known as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. It represents major business interests, largely branch plants of US corporations. They first came to prominence in the 1980s in the context of the debate over the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. Just as a union empowers its component members, this entity speaking for a united business lobby has enjoyed exceptional influence over governments for decades. Duchesney, author of The Canadian Council of Chief Executives: Northern Oligarchy” shares his research in the first half hour.

Our second guest, Yves Engler, addresses the militaristic course embraced by the Canadian government. While acknowledging the influence of the United States, there is also a group called the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) which has had role to play in propagandizing governments and the public in matters of foreign affairs.

Our final guest speaks more to the structure of financial power when he evokes the role played by Canada’s pension funds in fostering a shift toward privatization in infrastructure spending. Kevin Skerrett mines two decades of research and offers some clues as to the effect an reach of Canadian pension investment both within and beyond the country.

Morgan Duchesney is an Ottawa based freelance writer and martial arts instructor. His articles appear on the site He is also a frequent contributor to the Victoria Standard.

Yves Engler is a Montreal based political activist and writer specializing in dissident perspectives on Canadian foreign policy. He has been referred to as Canada’s Noam Chomsky, and has authored close to a dozen books over the last decade including his 2016 book A Propaganda System – How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation (published by Fernwood).

Kevin Skerrett is a research officer with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and co-editor of The Contradictions of Pension Fund Capitalism published by Cornell Press.


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

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Articles by: Michael Welch and Yves Engler

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