Saturday, September 09, 2006


September 8, 2006

Ministers’ report shows alarming trend in North American politics, says Council of Canadians

Ottawa – A report released yesterday by the trade and foreign affairs ministries of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, shows the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) gives big businesses broad ranging powers that undermine the public interest, according to the Council of Canadians. A follow-up to the meeting of the leaders of the three countries that took place in Cancun in March 2006, the report applauds the SPP’s “formal role for the private sector” in setting the agenda for North American economic integration.

“While the SPP has formalized the power of large corporations by creating theNorth American Competitiveness Council, the Canadian public and civil society have been left out of these negotiations,” says Jean-Yves LeFort, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Even our members of parliament have been excluded. If Maxime Bernier and Peter MacKay were truly interested increating an agreement that would benefit all Canadians, they would have included us in the process.”

Largely ignored by the media, the North American Competitiveness Council will allow corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Wal-Mart and Suncor to shape a broad range of policies including border security, immigration and a new continental approach to foreign affairs.

The Council of Canadians demands that Canada cease all further participation in the North American Competitiveness Council and the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and that Stephen Harper consult with Canadians in a meaningful way on Canada-U.S. relations.

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