|NDP targets Security and Prosperity Partnership trade deal
'Harper is telling people that there’s no room for them at the table,
and that’s not right.' - Jack Layton The
National Union of Public and General Employees | October 30, 2007
The National Union of Public and General Employees | October 30, 2007
Ottawa (30 Oct. 2007) - As part of a national campaign to stop the Conservative government's sellout of Canadian sovereignty, the New Democratic Party has formed a working group to oppose the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). “Canadians have already felt the devastation that came from the softwood sellout and the ongoing privatization of our public services,” says Peter Julian, the NDP's International Trade Critic.
“They don’t want to see Harper take us any further down this road,” adds the MP from Burnaby-New Westminster.
“The people whose families are dealing with the consequences of these misguided policies are the same people who are being shut out of the decision-making process,” adds NDP Leader Jack Layton. “Stephen Harper is telling people that there’s no room for them at the table – and that’s not right.”
In 2005, the Martin Liberals committed Canada to a trilateral political and economic framework to harmonize Canada’s social, economic and security policies and institutions with those of Mexico and the United States.
All talks so far have gone on behind closed doors. Even elected MPs have been kept out of the discussions. Despite the secrecy, the SPP is known to involve more than 300 policy areas, including pesticide use, food safety and air safety, civil liberties, human rights and environmental protection, as well as oversight from Washington over security decisions and energy policy.
Stopping the SPP
NDP activities to stop the SPP include a national series of public forums (launched in August) to speak out and inform Canadians. The party is also applying pressure in the Commons and its committees to expose the dangers of the SPP.
As well, NDP MPs are working with labour unions and civil society groups to hold the government accountable and to advocate for meaningful public consultation, plus full debate and vote in Parliament.
Events have been held so far in Moose Jaw, Regina, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Fredericton, and Halifax. More are planned in Winnipeg, Victoria, Hamilton, Kamloops and other cities.
“Each and every member of our caucus is going to do their part to make sure that the voices of ordinary Canadians get heard,” says Layton.
“That’s what the Stop the SPP working group is about. We have a mandate from Canadians to stand up to Harper and to protect Canadians’ rights to make sovereign decisions about the direction this country is taking on the issues that matter to them.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE