This Mon., Aug. 20, the leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico will meet in Montebello, Que., 75 km east of Ottawa, to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The agreement will threaten our resources, our environment or our social programs. That’s why a large civil society coalition, including CUPE, is taking action.
The SPP, presented as an extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), would reshape the institutions of the three countries to increase the power and profits of multinationals. It would turn Canada into a great reservoir of water and petroleum, leaving us at the mercy of the U.S.
It is no coincidence that only 30 representatives from big business, 10 per country, are invited to meet with the three leaders at the Château Montebello, behind closed doors and 10-foot fences. Unions, and community, environmental and human-rights organizations have been excluded.
On Saturday, union representatives from the energy sector will gather in Montreal to challenge the SPP and coordinate their responses. On Sunday at 1 p.m. in Ottawa, there will be a peaceful, family march from Parliament Hill to the American Embassy. Then at 4 p.m., a public forum at the University of Ottawa will bring together eminent citizens of the three countries as well as representatives from Canada’s four opposition parties to discuss the dangers of the SPP. CUPE is one of the organizers of these two events.
Monday will be a National Day of Action Against the SPP, including a peaceful demonstration at the site of the summit. There will be a series of actions across the country, with demonstrations and meetings. This is the time to make our voices heard.