Three days till Bush lands in Montebello. Here’s how you can help stop the SPP!

In just three days, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderón will arrive in Montebello, Quebec to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

They’ll be discussing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). But we don’t know what’s on the agenda for their meeting. Since the SPP was first agreed to in 2005, all of the discussions surrounding it have been held behind closed doors, away from the scrutiny of Parliament and the public.

The SPP is a wide-ranging agreement that will radically change the laws that govern the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the human rights and civil liberties we enjoy.

While large corporations like Lockheed Martin, Scotiabank and Home Depot have been intimately involved in the implementation of the SPP, Canadians have been left in the dark.

But the opposition to the SPP and deep integration has never been stronger. The Council of Canadians’ offices have been flooded with phone calls for the last few weeks. People want to know what they can do to protest against the Montebello summit and promote a better vision for the relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Thanks to public pressure, the RCMP and Quebec police appear to have eased security restrictions to allow a peaceful protest to take place close by the Chateau Montebello.

Over the next few days, thousands of activists and concerned citizens will be gathering in Ottawa, Montebello, and in 28 other communities across Canada, to say “no” to the SPP.

Here are the latest details about protest plans across Canada:


IN OTTAWA:

Sunday, August 19, 1:00-3:30 pm:
Public rally against the SPP
Parliament Hill

The Council of Canadians will be participating in a family-friendly rally, sponsored by the Outaouais-Ottawa Stop the SPP Coalition, on Sunday August 19, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council, will start the rally off on Parliament Hill, followed by a March to the U.S. Embassy and back.

Sunday, August 19, 4:00 pm:
Public forum on the SPP
Marion Hall, 140 Louis Pasteur, University of Ottawa

Following on the heels of the massive rally on Parliament Hill, civil society leaders will be joined by members of every opposition party to discuss the ramifications of the SPP for Canadians, Americans and Mexicans.

Speakers:

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians
Gustavo Iruegas, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Legitimate Government of Mexico
Michèle Asselin, Fédération des femmes du Québec / RQIC
Michael Byers, author, Intent for a Nation: What is Canada for?
Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army colonel, anti-war activist
(TBA, a speaker on tri-national energy issues)

Political panel:

Bonnie Brown, MP, Liberal Party health critic
Serge Cardin, MP, Bloc Québécois trade critic
Peter Julian, MP, New Democratic Party trade critic
Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party
(Conservative MPs have been invited, but to date have declined)

Come and find out what they are not telling you about the SPP! Click here for more details about the forum, and to download posters and handbills.


IN MONTEBELLO:

The Council of Canadians has been working with the Ottawa-Outaouais Stop the SPP Coalition to plan a family-friendly protest in Montebello on Monday, August 20. Buses and cars will be leaving Ottawa at 9:30 a.m. and returning at 4 p.m. Groups are asked to come with creative visuals, banners, costumes and noisemakers. Food is being arranged. Get the full details at www.stopspp.ca.


ACROSS CANADA:

National Day of Action against the SPP
The Council of Canadians will be organizing a National Day of Action Against the SPP on August 20. This will allow people across Canada to “plug in” to the resistance at the Montebello summit. Council of Canadians’ chapters will be organizing public forums and community picnics, lobbying of Members of Parliament, distributing handbills, and speaking to the media. We’ve already confirmed that events will be taking places in 28 communities across Canada. Click here to see information about events across the country as details develop.


Transportation:

From Ottawa to Montebello: The Outaouais Ottawa Stop SPP coalition is organizing buses and carpools from Ottawa to Montebello on Monday, August 20. Click here for more information.

From Toronto to Ottawa: The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is organizing buses to get to Ottawa for the demonstrations. Buses will depart from Toronto on August 19 at 7 a.m. To book a seat please contact bushbus2007@gmail.com or call 416-795-5863.

From Montreal to Ottawa: Collectif Échec à la guerre is organizing buses from Montreal to Ottawa, leaving at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 19. Contact info@echecalaguerre.org or 514-490-0040 for more information.

If you are organizing transportation from other cities, please email pwoolridge@canadians.org, and we will post the information on our website.


Posters, pamphlets and reading material:

Visit www.IntegrateThis.ca, to download fact sheets, pamphlets and posters to distribute at demonstrations and events in your community. Don’t forget to check out our brand-new citizens’ guide to the SPP, Behind Closed Doors: What they’re not telling us about the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Visit often, because we’re always posting new information.


Stay connected!

If you can’t attend our public forum in Ottawa on Sunday at 4:00 p.m., you can tune in online. Visit www.canadians.org or www.integratethis.ca to watch live streaming video from the event. If you don’t make it to your computer in time, don’t worry! We’ll be making DVDs available to Council chapters in the near future.


Keep us informed:

Are you organizing or planning to attend an action in your community? Bring your camera with you, and send your photos to pwoolridge@canadians.org, so we can post them on our website. Or drop us a line and tell us about the creative protests and inspiring discussions you participated in.


Join the Council of Canadians today!
Founded in 1985 by a handful of citizens including Farley Mowat, Pierre Berton and Margaret Atwood, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s pre-eminent public watchdog organization. The Council receives no money from government, corporations or any political party. To preserve our complete independence, we ensure that almost all our revenue
comes from generous individuals like you.

Join the Council today, and help us prove that a better Canada is possible.

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