August 15th, 2007 – Indymedia.org writes: From August 20-21, 2007, George Bush (President of the USA), Stephen Harper (Prime Minister of Canada) and Felipe Calderon (President of Mexico) will be in Montebello, Quebec, just 90 minutes from Montreal.
They are meeting at the Chateau Montebello, as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), also known as the “Three Amigos,” Summit. They claim to be talking about security and prosperity, but many critics are calling the SPP “NAFTA on steroids”.
The People’s Global Action Bloc (PGA-Bloc) is a coalition of various anti-capitalist groups from Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver who will be organizing actions in Montebello and across Canada from August 19-21 to show their resistance to the SPP.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was founded in March 2005 at a summit of the Heads of State of Canada, the US, and Mexico. SPP is not an official treaty; it is not an official law; rather, it is being presented as a vague ‘dialogue based on shared values’.
The North American Forum sponsored one of the various secretive meetings in Sept 2006 in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada. When asked by the media if he was in attendance, Stockwell Day (Public Safety Minister of Canada) refused to confirm he was there, but said that even if he was, it was a “private” meeting that he would not comment on.
The SPP is a NAFTA-plus-Homeland-Security model. The founding premise of the SPP is that an agenda of economic free trade and national security will result in human prosperity. Yet opponents of the SPP claim that the so-called “prosperity” of previous free trade agreements such as NAFTA have only brought corporate prosperity, with increasing rates of poverty and displacement for the majority of people.
The People’s Global Action Bloc (PGA Bloc) has called for 3 days of actions to disrupt the SPP summit in Montebello. August 19th will be a day of creative resistance and popular education against the SPP in the Montebello area. August 20th will be the day of disruption of the SPP summit, beginning at noon in Montebello, and continuing through until August 21.
Parallel to the demonstrations, there will also be a self-managed protest camp just outside of Montebello in the village of Notre Dame de la Paix. The Camp is an open collective life zone fostering reflection and creation in order to allow committed individuals and groups to bring their actions together for the development of a society based on solidarity.
The Ottawa based Stop the SPP coalition, as well as the Council of Canadians, also plan on holding family-friendly demonstrations in Montebello on August 20.
WHO IS BEHIND THE SPP?
“No item – not Canadian water, not Mexican oil, not American anti-dumping laws – “is off the table”; rather, contentious or intractable issues will simply require more time to ripen politically.”
– Leaked Minutes of a 2004 meeting of the Task Force on the Future of North America
The North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was launched as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) in June 2006. It is the only formal advisory board to the SPP and is made up of 30 corporate leaders from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico with ten advisors from each of the SPP signatory states.
Minutes from a January 10, 2006 tri-national Public-Private Sector Dialogue on the Security and Prosperity Partnership” reveal exactly why the NACC was created – to “engage substantively and pragmatically on trade and security issues without undue deference to political sensitivities.” A September 13, 2006 story in Maclean’s magazine describes NACC as a “cherrypicked group of executives who were whisked to Cancun [Mexico] in March by the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and asked to come up with a plan for taking North American integration beyond NAFTA.”
The NACC has become the concrete reality emerging from proposals by corporate think-tanks such the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Consejo Mexicano De Asuntos Internacionels (COMEXI) to have a trilateral corporate body which would advise the three governments on issues ranging from military integration to securing energy resources to controlling migration.
In Canada, the CCE is a CEO organization whose corporations administer in excess of C$2.1 trillion in assets. In January 2003, CCCE launched its North American Security and Prosperity Initiative to increase investment and capital flows, integrate security agreements and military defence, and expedited means of resource (oil, natural gas, water, forest products) extraction. This has essentially become the template for the SPP. In short, the NACC, representing private corporate interests, has been “institutionalized” as a policy-making body, thus formalizing and deepening the existing patterns of influence that corporations already have.
Stop the SPP Coalition, Ottawa
Block the Empire Montreal (www.blocktheempire.blogspot.com)
People’s Global Action (www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp)
CKUT community radio, Montreal (www.ckut.ca)
Centre des Medias Alternatives du Quebec (www.cmaq.net)