11 juin 2007: Non au Partenariat nord-américain pour la sécurité et la prospérité

No to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

(Traduction de la version originale française)

June 11, 2007

On August 21 and 22, at Château Montebello, in the Outaouais region of Québec, the third meeting of the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico – Harper, Bush and Calderon, will take place to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la guerre denounce this partnership among the top business and political leaders of all three countries, because it will not improve the security and prosperity of the people but will work against their aspirations. We call all peace supporting organizations and individuals to protest war and the SPP this August.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was signed by Prime Minister Paul Martin and Presidents Vicente Fox and George W. Bush on March 23, 2005. Then came the second summit in Cancun, in March 2006, where Stephen Harper represented Canada. Media reporting of these meetings ignored the crucial issues at the heart of this « partnership »: the accelerated extraction and delivery of Canadian oil and water resources to the US economy; a deepening of economic partnership with the US conditional to a war driven foreign policy; the pretext of “national security” to justify the secrecy surrounding the precise nature of the discussions and the deals made.

Guarantying and increasing the profits of the largest corporations

In the aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks, George W. Bush declared “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”. That year, the only directive given to Paul Celluci, as he became US ambassador to Canada, was to do whatever he could to bring about a major increase in Canadian military spending. During his term, he repeated relentlessly that, for the US, “security trumps trade”. The message was clear: unless Canada adopted the same “security” agenda as the US, our trade relations would suffer.

It is in this context that in January 2003 the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) launched its North-American Security and Prosperity Initiative, in which it takes a stand in favour of the “smart border”, the secure flow of Canadian energy resources to the US, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), a major increase in military spending and interoperability of Canadian and US armed forces. In April 2004, in a policy document entitled New Frontiers: Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in North-America, the CCCE wholeheartedly embraced Bush’s credo: “The way that we and other countries respond to the relentless threat of terrorism and rogue states has vital implications for global economic growth just as it does for Canada’s future (…). In short, for Canada and for the world as a whole, economic security and physical security have become inseparable.” In April 2003 and 2004, the CCCE held its spring meetings in Washington, inviting several US military and political leaders to participate.

On to War !

Change in the international role of the Canadian Forces (CF) towards offensive operations in partnership with the US military has taken place gradually, over the last 15 years, without any public debate or awareness. In February 2005, it was made official in the Liberal government’s budget, announcing the greatest increase in military spending since the end of World War II (12.8 Billion $ over five years). The following month, echoing the demands of the powerful Canadian corporate lobby and adopting their proposals almost to the word, the SPP was signed. The real significance of this “partnership” would become clearer over the following months.

On April 19 2005, the new International Policy Statement (IPS) of the Martin government announced its intention to increase regular forces by 5,000 members and reserves by another 3,000, as well as to double the rapid deployment capacity of the Canadian military for missions abroad. And in July 2005, it was announced that the Canadian intervention in Afghanistan would move from Kabul to Kandahar, and that starting in February 2006, an extra 1,400 soldiers would be sent to that area. These news were accompanied by declarations by the new Chief of Defence Staff, Rick Hillier, rejoicing at the thought of hunting down terrorist “scumbags” and to see the Canadian Forces finally doing their real job of being “able to kill people”.

Anti-democratic policies

Granting the wishes of Canada’s largest corporations – those who also benefit the most from military and “security” contracts – the Government of Canada has forced on the people a warmaking foreign policy that the majority continues to reject. Furthermore, as was revealed a few months ago, in the name of that same partnership, the goal of increasing fivefold the production of oil in the Alberta tar sands by 2030 has been decided. This makes even more ludicrous the recent Conservative government statements of seriously wanting to address the issue of greenhouse gases and to follow the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol. On this issue, the gap between government policies and the will of the people is even more obvious.

This third SPP summit will bring together a US president whose policies are backed by hardly a quarter of his own people, a Mexican president whose election is highly disputed, and a Canadian Prime Minister heading a minority government. The deals they will make in Montebello, with no parliamentary debate or public discussion, will have no legitimacy. The Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la Guerre therefore call on the people of Québec and Canada to reaffirm their opposition to the warmongering, anti-environmental and anti-democratic policies of the Security and Prosperity Partnership and to protest the SPP summit.

No to the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan
No to the accelerated destruction of our planet
No to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America