NDP MP Peter Julian undertaking cross-Canada tour (with many union stops) to raise awareness of SPP.
Dateline: Monday, January 14, 2008
CUPE and other union activists will soon be hearing more about the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), an agreement signed in 2005 by Presidents Bush and Fox, along with then-Prime Minister Paul Martin, that could have a profoundly negative impact on Canadian sovereignty.
On January 18, federal NDP International Trade Critic Peter Julian will be speaking in Nelson as part of a cross-country tour to help raise awareness about the (SPP). Julian hopes to hear from as many individuals and organizations as possible, in communities across the country, about how they are being affected and will be affected by this Agreement. He will take peoples comments back to Ottawa. The evening will be hosted by Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior.
The SPP will have profound consequences on Canada’s existence as a sovereign nation and its ability to adopt autonomous and sustainable economic, social, and environmental policies. The tour challenges the Harper governments assumptions of prosperity, which have led to increasing disparities of wealth and power in Canada, Mexico and the US.
Watchdogs say the SPP would require Canada to lower working standards and wages and endorse US foreign policies.
The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and many other organizations in Canada have pointed out serious concerns around many facets of this Agreement being instituted through regulatory changes, changes in standards and secret agreements outside the public’s and elected representatives’ control or view.
In brief, watchdogs are saying the SPP seeks to affect our communities and country by:
- Securing US control of our water and resources
- Lowering working standards and wages
- Endorsing US foreign policies, wars & security measures
- Harmonizing regulations to hurt our health, food & environment.
Public support to stop the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America is growing. We need to broaden the circle of concern among Canadians.
What can you do to help to make a positive difference? Plenty! You have influence in your community, you have family and friends. You belong to groups and organizations.
- Before you can effectively promote to others, you need to understand what it is, why it exists and why you feel it is important.
- Working with your local organizations, help organize public forums with a panel discussion on SPP with members of your community, include a question-and-answer session; organize community picnics with your neighbours to help ensure that your community is getting informed and that they have their say on the SPP.
TAKE ACTION — You can help.
- Contact your MP and give him/her basic information on the SPP to teach him/her what is going on and ask that he/she answer your concerns directly. You can lobby your local politicians with letters with the intent to demonstrate the depth of feeling, via emails, faxes; distribute handbills. Let your local MP, MLA or MPP that you expect ACTION on their part.
- Speak to your local media. Writing a letter to the editor of a local or national newspaper. Voice your opinion and call attention to this issue. A letter to the Editor is another effective grassroots way of helping balance the coverage if a newspaper is biased in any way and or not covering this issues at all, and it may show your neighbours that they are not alone in holding an opinion, giving them more courage to speak out or take action themselves. Your MP, MLA or MPP’s staff likely read this page of the local paper to help determine how constituents are reacting to an issue. A timely and convincing letter to the editor can also push a newspaper to give an issue more or different coverage.
SIGN THE PETITION — AND GET OTHERS TO SIGN ON TOO
- Please find a link to a copy of the petition form below. Get the support of your friends, neighbours, people you work with and get them to sign the petition. When you have as many signatures as you can get, mail the petition (postage free) to Peter Julian’s Parliamentary Office in Ottawa.
WRITE A LETTER OF SUPPORT
- You and/or your organization are invited to write a letter of support about this issue and send it to Peter Julian’s office.
- You are also invited to write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org), Stéphane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca), Jack Layton ( Layton.J@parl.gc.ca) and Gilles Duceppe (Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca) expressing your grave concerns on this issue.
As you know, the SPP would have profound consequences on Canada’s existence as a sovereign nation and its ability to adopt autonomous and sustainable economic, social, and environmental policies. The NDP challenges the Harper government’s assumptions of prosperity, which have led to increasing disparities of wealth and power in Canada, Mexico and the US.
The NDP is spearheading the call for a transparent and accountable public consultation process, parliamentary debate and vote on the SPP agenda in the House of Commons. In Parliament, with the full support of Jack Layton and the entire NDP caucus, NDP Trade Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) is succeeding in exposing the push by stealth for deep integration under both the Liberal and Conservative governments.
Peter Julian hosted the second Tri-National Forum for a People-Centred Approach to Trade in Ottawa on June 5, 2006, which included legislators and civil society representatives from Canada, the US and Mexico. He has filed a number of Access to Information requests with regards to the SPP and has succeeded in holding the first ever parliamentary hearings on the SPP at the Standing Committee on International Trade last spring. We are starting to expose this agenda but this is the first step in what will be a long struggle so we will need your support.
On August 2, 2007, the NDP launched its national tour to halt further implementation of the SPP agenda. We have been holding public forums to speak out on the SPP, and to ensure everyday Canadians get informed and have their say. www.peterjulian.ca/video
Labour Unions and civil society organizations share the NDP’s call to the Harper government to halt to stop further implementation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) with the United States and Mexico until there is a democratic mandate from the people of Canada, Parliamentary oversight, and consideration of its profound consequences on Canada’s existence as a sovereign nation and its ability to adopt autonomous and sustainable economic, social, and environmental policies, and urge the Government of Canada to conduct a transparent and accountable public debate of the SPP process, involving meaningful public consultations with civil society and a full legislative review, including the work, recommendations, and reports of all SPP working groups, and a full debate and a vote in Parliament.
Stops included: Halifax, Fredericton, Sault-Ste. Marie, Moosejaw, Regina, Hamilton, Kamloops, Victoria, Winnipeg. Peter will be holding many more, including stops in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and various parts of BC, including a forum in Burnaby-New Westminster in January 2008.
Please follow this link to Peter Julian’s web page. There you will find his Motion, submitted a second time at the Standing Committee on International Trade, since July 2007, following the prorogation of the House of Commons at the beginning of the Fall Session. Peter has tabled a comprehensive question on the Order Paper with regards to the SPP, which the government must reply to within less than 45 days now.
For further reading on this subject please follow the links below.