News Article

Press release: Put the SPP to a vote, say prominent Canadians

By staff, Council of Canadians

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OTTAWA, Oct. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Maude Barlow, David Suzuki, Ken Georgetti, Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh are sending Prime Minister Stephen Harper a letter today demanding that his upcoming Throne Speech include a commitment to submit the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) to a vote in the next parliamentary session.

They are calling on Stephen Harper to make good on his earlier promise "to submit significant international treaties for votes in Parliament" by bringing forward the SPP for parliamentary debate and a vote in the House of Commons.

So far, only 30 CEOs from North America's richest corporations, including Lockheed Martin, Bank of Nova Scotia, Chevron, Power Corporation and Merck, have had any meaningful input. Only they have been invited to annual closed-door meetings of SPP leaders and ministers, such as the one that took place in Montebello, Quebec in August.

Labour, environmental and social justice groups argue that the SPP, launched in 2005 by the governments of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, has already led to lower standards in a number of different policy areas.

The partnership's stated goal of making North America safer has been called into question by the Canadian public due to some of the its more controversial initiatives such as Canada's "Passenger Protect" no-fly list, and the harmonization of pesticide residue limits and toxic chemical regulations.

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