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Representatives of major unions of the energy sector from Canada, Mexico and the United States met in Montreal on August 18 to denounce the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). They confirm that the SPP is a reckless integration plan pushing aside basic democratic principles and sweeping the global ecological crisis under the rug.

Their assessment concludes an assembly attended by CUPE, along with broad civil society coalitions, and intended as a response to the Bush-Harper-Calderón summit on 20-21 August in Montebello, Quebec.

Unions and their allies pointed out that the three heads of States will keep the door closed for everyone, save big business representatives from the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). “Given that the future of North America is under discussion, our government should be listening to the public and not just to a few profit-motivated corporate CEOs”, said Rick Arnold of Common Frontiers, a Canadian network of union, church, environment, international development and student organizations.

This biased process shapes an integration model tainted with George W. Bush’s obsessions for law and order, corporate demands and militaristic methods. But true security for the nations, stemming out of democratic rights and ability to channel resources towards local and sustainable development, is jeopardized by the SPP. With deregulation, privatization and by giving the United States veto over continental energetic resources, the SPP would hike rates and lower wages in the energy sector, as well as finishing off the Kyoto Protocol. Above all, by losing all effective means of public control, nations would be deprived of their energetic sovereignty.

To push further their own model for social and democratic development, unions from the energy sector and their allies agreed to strengthen and expand hemispheric ties, towards a just and more humane integration.