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Canada, U.S. & Mexico Merge Commercial Vehicle Inspections Under North American Union N.G.O.

By: David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal

April 20, 2011, p. 1

The New Brunswick Department of Public Safety and Maine State Police have melded their commercial vehicle enforcement divisions with a multi-national non-governmental organization (NGO) that shares jurisdiction with the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is a non-profit corporation incorporated in the District of Columbia. Its purpose is to set commercial vehicle inspection and safety standards within the newly formed North American Union. Law enforcement agencies from the United States, Canada and Mexico voluntarily opt in to the “alliance” by accepting its vehicle inspection standards and inspection stickers throughout the North American Union. The standards are codified, not as law, but as “criteria” in their inspection manual, The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, which is used by law enforcement officers when inspecting commercial vehicles for safety violations within the North American Union.

The North American Union was formed by presidential fiat in March, 2005 when U.S. President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox met at Baylor University in Texas to sign the covertly named “Security & Prosperity Partnership” without the approval of their respective legislatures. While not an overt merger of those three countries’ governments, the merger takes place covertly via enhanced cooperation and information sharing between the respective governments’ agencies, as well as membership within private NGOs, such as the CVSA.

According to their website,, CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. “Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. CVSA member jurisdictions are represented by various Departments of Transportation, Public Utility and Service Commissions, State Police, Highway Patrols and Ministries of Transport. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security.”

“CVSA began as an informal gathering of Western State Agencies that had the responsibility for conducting commercial vehicle enforcement functions. The first meetings of the founding agencies were held in 1980. These meetings highlighted areas of common need and discussed ways in which uniform standards, procedures and methods could be utilized to greatest effectiveness.”

“A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed to establish uniformity and reciprocity of on-highway enforcement and improve the safe operation of commercial vehicles. The MOU was a working agreement which outlined the various minimum inspections and out of service criteria which parties to the agreement would follow. Most importantly, the MOU established that various state and provincial agencies would not only be uniform but would recognize each other’s work in the inspecting of commercial vehicles, their drivers and cargo...Initially the MOU was adopted by seven states and two Canadian provinces in what was known as the Western States Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.”

The MOU is what served as the nucleus to meld the standards of the various agencies together into one common denominator, operating out of one rule book. “By 1982, interest in the Alliance was high in Canada and the U.S. with many additional states across the country becoming members. Also many nongovernmental persons, associations, and companies wanted to play an active supportive role. To accommodate this expanding membership and associate interest, in October of 1982 the By-laws were ratified that created CVSA's bi-national scope and added provisions for associate membership.” With the addition of Mexico, the commercial vehicle inspection criteria for the North American Union were finally realized as plans for a North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) Superhighway were also being developed.

Because three separate countries have agreed to abide by the same rules and criteria, it seems an end-run around their respective jurisdictional boundaries has occurred; where a NGO is formed that allows those three respective countries’ law enforcement to join as “members” who then become “inspectors” and voluntarily enforce the NGO's edicts and “criteria” on commercial motor vehicles through their memorandums of understanding. This effectively makes a multi-jurisdictional North American Union police force de facto, even though each respective law enforcement agency gets to retain its own uniforms, insignia and identity.

Rather than merge all law enforcement together at once, under one banner, the planners of the SPP are using the incremental approach by covertly drafting MOUs between the individual countries' law enforcement and other bureaucracies using private, non-profit NGOs as the nexus point.

According to the CVSA's product literature for their North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria handbook, “The ‘Criteria’ is an important publication that details when an operator or motor carrier is prohibited from driving or operating a commercial motor vehicle for a specified period of time or until the condition is corrected. Knowing which commercial motor vehicle violations have been identified as being the most serious is helpful because it provides necessary focus in properly maintaining vehicles. Additionally, it also helps prevent unnecessary delays and down time in transit as a result of having a driver or vehicle placed out-of-service.”

According to CVSA, approximately four-million commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted every year throughout their Union of North American law enforcement officers by specially-trained inspectors in each state, jurisdiction and province who inspect vehicles based on criteria created by CVSA. “The inspection examines all of the following: driver's license, medical examiner's certificate and waiver, alcohol and drugs (if applicable), driver's record of duty status (as required), hours of service, seat belt, vehicle inspection report, as well as the brake system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, turn signals, brake lamps, tail lamps, head lamps, lamps on projecting loads, safe loading, steering mechanism, suspension, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels and rims, windshield wipers, emergency exits on buses and HM requirements, as applicable.”

“The North American Standard Level I and Level V are the only inspections that may result in issuance of a CVSA inspection sticker decal. To qualify for a CVSA decal, a vehicle must not have any violations of the items contained in this operational policy and North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Inspections must be performed by, and CVSA decals affixed by, North American Standard Level I and/or Level V certified inspectors. The term ‘certified’ as used in this section means the government employee performing inspections and/or affixing CVSA decals must have first successfully completed a training program approved by the Alliance. CVSA decals, when affixed, shall remain valid for a period not to exceed three consecutive months. Vehicles displaying a valid CVSA decal generally will not be subject to re-inspection. However, nothing shall prevent re-inspection of a vehicle or combination of vehicles bearing valid CVSA decals, under the conditions specified in the section titled, ‘Re-Inspection.’”

Lt. Thomas Kelly oversees the CVSA programming within the Maine State Police (MSP) and has confirmed the MSP is an active member of the alliance. However, at the time of this writing he was unavailable for comment and will do so for a follow-up article when he returns to his office.

Representatives to the Maine House of Representatives; Tyler Clark (R-Easton, Fort Fairfield, Mars Hill), Michael Willette (R-Presque Isle) and Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton) were each contacted by this writer for their comments and thoughts about a supra-national, unelected, non-governmental organization writing rules outside of the legislature’s control that are ultimately enforced through corporate fiat by Maine’s law enforcement officers. None of those three area representatives chose to issue a comment, however.

Other plans the SPP has to merge the U.S. Canada and Mexico are to merge the information gathering and sharing infrastructure of the F.B.I., BATF, CIA and other sundry agencies within the U.S. with their counterparts in Canada and Mexico through still more Memorandums of Understanding similar to those executed by the CVSA with their member law enforcement officers. None these agencies, or their NGO nexus points are governed by popularly elected representatives of the people, but instead are governed by a corporate board of directors appointed from within. The SPP also intends to merge the monetary systems of the U.S., Canada and Mexico by bringing all three currencies into parity with each other and quantizing them as a new, North American Union currency—a process that is currently taking place right now with the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar through “Quantitative Easing”, also known as “hyperinflation.”



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