SPP deactivated while 'three amigos' promise public consultation on North American agenda



    OTTAWA, Aug. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Opponents of the Security and Prosperity
Partnership (SPP)are celebrating a preliminary victory in reaction to the
announcement on the official U.S. government SPP website that the pact "is no
longer an active initiative" says the Council of Canadians. Two years after
the controversial SPP summit in Montebello - where police agents provocateurs
were exposed trying to subvert the peaceful protest there - opponents of the
SPP have succeeded in making the initiative politically poisonous for
governments to support.
    While the 'deactivation' of the SPP is a significant victory, the Council
of Canadians cautions that opponents of deep integration must remain vigilant,
given that many of the SPP's key priorities - energy integration, regulatory
convergence, security policy harmonization - cropped up in the final leaders'
declaration from the Guadalajara summit this week.
    "Trade and the economy must serve people and communities. The SPP was an
attempt to turn that upside down so that people and communities would have to
serve the interests of large corporations," says Maude Barlow, National
Chairperson of the Council of Canadians."Widespread opposition to this
profoundly undemocratic model of globalization has brought the WTO to its
knees, killed the Free Trade Area of the Americas,and now halted the SPP. It's
time for our governments to abandon this agenda and not just try to rebrand it
again under a new name."
    Another victory can be found in the leaders' promise to hold public
consultations on the North American agenda in all three countries:
    "We recognize and embrace citizen participation as an integral part of
our work together in North America," says the joint statement from Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and Barack
Obama. "We welcome the contributions of businesses, both large and small, and
those of civil society groups, non-governmental organizations, academics,
experts, and others. We have asked our Ministers to engage in such
consultations as they work to realize the goals we have set for ourselves here
in Guadalajara."
    The Council of Canadians is insisting that the governments of Canada,
Mexico, and the US keep this promise to consult publicly and widely, and that
they take a hard look at NAFTA's impact on quality of life, jobs, public
services, energy policy and environmental protections in all three countries.
    "Leaders cannot meaningfully talk about Mexican migration or refugee
applications, let alone the current economic crisis, greenhouse gas
reductions, or food safety problems without bumping straight into the reality
that NAFTA has failed to produce real security or prosperity for the people of
this continent," says Stuart Trew, Trade Campaigner for the Council of
Canadians.
    "North Americans deserve more than platitudes about fighting
protectionism from their leaders," says Trew. "We badly need an open, societal
dialogue on whether the 'free trade' model is in fact a barrier to job
creation, environmental protection, and public health and safety."
    The next North American Leaders' summit is expected to take place in
Canada in 2010.





For further information:

For further information: Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of
Canadians, (613) 795-8685

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