Conservatives refuse to debate SPP at public forum

    OTTAWA, Aug. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conservative Party is the only major
federal party to refuse an offer to participate in a public forum dealing with
Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) on the eve of the Leaders' summit in
    The Council of Canadians, one of the key organizers of the August 19
event in Ottawa, has received confirmations from the Liberal Party, the New
Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois, who will all be sending MPs to
participate in a political panel at the public forum. Elizabeth May, the
leader of the Green Party, will also be participating.
    "The opposition is acknowledging that the SPP has to be discussed with
the public," says Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
"We've issued four separate invitations to Conservative MPs, all of which were
    "If the Conservative government believes the SPP is so beneficial to
Canada," argues Barlow, "why aren't they willing to discuss its merits and
bring it to the House for a vote?"
    The public forum was to take place at a community centre in
Papineauville, six kilometres from the Chateau Montebello where Prime Minister
Stephen Harper will be meeting with U.S. President George Bush and Mexican
President Felipe Calderrn. The Municipality of Papineauville later informed
the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the U.S.
Army would not allow the municipality to rent the Centre communautaire de
Papineauville for the event.

    About us:

    Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada's largest citizens'
organization, with members and chapters across the country. The organization
works to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on
fair trade, clean water, safe food, public health care, and other issues of
social and economic concern to Canadians.

For further information:

For further information: Meera Karunananthan, Media Officer, (613)
233-4487 ext. 234, cell: (613) 795-8685,

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