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Protests planned at 3rd SPP summit

The third Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit meeting is scheduled for August 20 and 21 in Montebello, Quebec, at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort.

Canadian activists are already planning to protest the SPP summit, although the planned meeting has received almost no mention in the U.S. mainstream media.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to host the Quebec summit which Mexican President Felipe Calderon and U.S. President George W. Bush are planning to attend.

In a news conference announcing the SPP summit, Harper issued a statement claiming that, “We share a continent with the United States and Mexico, and our people, our economies and our security are closely interconnected.”

Already, Canadian groups opposed to the SPP agenda of North American “deep integration” are organizing to protest the meeting.

The SPP meeting in Quebec is ironic, given that Quebec has been a hotbed of French nationalism since General Charles de Gaulle famously proclaimed “Vive le Quebec Libre!” in a 1967 visit to Montreal’s Expo.

Quebec is home to L’Alliance Canadienne Pour La Paix (Canadian Peace Alliance)> a leftist group adamantly opposed to Canada participating in the SPP.

Condoleezza Rice at conference

An article on the Alliance for Peace website calls for protests during the Quebec SPP meeting, proclaiming that group members should lay out the “unwelcome mat” for Bush, Calderon, and Harper.

The Alliance for Peace argues “these 3 neo-liberal amigos” plan to discuss a SPP agenda that will deliver Canadian oil and water resources to the U.S. economy, while deepening an economic partnership with the U.S. that is “conditional to a war-driven foreign policy” that is attempting to draw Canada into the U.S. war with Iraq.

In calling for peace protests to the SPP August meeting in August, the Alliance for Peace notes that the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a group often compared to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has pushed for an increase in Canadian military spending and a greater “inter-operability” between Canadian and U.S. military forces.

The Canadian Peace Alliance together with the Collectif ?chec ? la Guerre called on the people of Qu?bec and Canada to protest the SPP meeting “to reaffirm their opposition to the warmongering, anti-environmental and anti-democratic policies of the Security and Prosperity Partnership.”

In French, the website of Collectif ?chec ? la Guerre (Collective Defeat to the War) proclaims that the Quebec summit will be held by three unpopular leaders – Bush whose popularity is at an all-time low, in large part because of the war in Iraq and the administration’s insistence upon passing an unpopular immigration bill, Calderon, whose election against a progressive opponent was hotly contested, and Harper, who heads a minority government.

The Collectif ?chec ? la Guerre called on the population of Quebec to oppose the anti-environmental and anti-democratic North American SPP policies and to protest Canada’s continued involvement in the SPP. Until now, the Collectif ?chec ? la Guerre has largely focused activities on opposing the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

To set the stage for protesting the SPP August summit, the Council of Canadians held a March 30-April 1 “teach in” titled, “Integrate This! Challenging the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.” The 1960s-style teach-in was co-sponsored by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Labour Congress.

An “Integrate This!” brochure on the Council of Canadians website proclaims that SPP “is moving Canada quickly toward a continental resource pact, a North American security perimeter, and harmonized military and security policies.”

The brochure argues that SPP working groups “composed of bureaucrats and corporate leaders are quietly putting this ‘partnership’ into action, and to date only industry ‘stakeholders’ have been consulted.”

The brochure stated, “At the Council of Canadians, we believe that citizens have a right to know about major government initiatives that could change the food we eat, the civil liberties we enjoy and the social programs we depend upon.” The brochure objected that secrecy surrounding the SPP’s implementation “has left the public in the dark.”

Connie Fogal, the leader of the Canadian Action Party, has also endorsed the protests being organized for the August SPP meeting in Quebec.

In a notice posted on the Canadian Action Party website, Fogal clearly states that, “I urge all of you to make every effort possible to join these demonstrations in Ottawa or Montebello.” She argued that, “If we fail to mobilize sufficiently, the three amigos will think they have a blank cheque.”

WND previously has reported that the Canadian Action Party flew the Canadian flag upside down during its 2006 convention, as a sign of distress and resistance of the integration of Canada with Mexico and the United States into a North American Union regional government.

WND also has reported that Canadian activists have protested “The North American Future 2025 Project” being undertaken by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank that plans on presenting their research results to the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament before the end of the year.

Canadian activists have argued that a major goal of the CSIS study is to identify Canadian oil and fresh water as continental “North American natural resources” which under SPP could be diverted to the use of U.S. cities without fair compensation to Canada.

In February, Secretary of State Rice led an SPP “ministerial meeting” in Ottawa, Canada, with Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa.

In all, the meeting involved ministers from the three countries, including Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada.

In a little reported final press conference, Rice noted that the SPP ministerial meeting covered the following topics: “how to meet public health problems, how to resolve environmental threats, how to respond to natural disasters, how to secure dependable supplies of clean energy and how to combat criminal organizations.”

“I very much look forward to the future work of the SPP,” Rice told the press conference. “It has been a very good working year for us since our heads of state met and I think we have a very good agenda ahead of us and I look forward to continued work.”

A State Department statement noted that the February SPP ministerial meeting in Ottawa was intended to set the stage for the third SPP summit meeting with the “leaders” – Bush, Calderon, and Harper – scheduled for Montebello, Quebec, at the Fairmont Le Ch?teau Montebello resort in August.

SPP was announced at the first SPP summit, held in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005. The second SPP summit was held in Cancun, Mexico, in March 2006.


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