Security and Prosperity Partnership Q&A
18 May 2007 - 11:08am
- What is the SPP?
- How far does integration go under the SPP?
- What does the SPP have to do with 9/11?
- Would Canadians want the SPP if they knew more about it?
- How will the SPP impact Canadians?
- Is it democratic?
- Does Canada stand to benefit from economic integration?
- What about our defence policy – will it be affected?
- Does Mexico stand to benefit?
- Who stands to gain from continental integration?
- Is the SPP a threat to Canada’s freshwater?
- How do we know water exports are being discussed?
- How is the current government advancing the SPP?
- What is the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC)?
- Is the government investing in the SPP?
- Is there another way to boost the economy?
- What is the Green Party position on continental integration?
- Free trade or fair trade?
- homeland security
- the military
- energy and natural resources
- global security and foreign policy
- economic policy
- regulatory policy – environment, health, food safety for expediting cross-border trade
- Foreign policy: Falling into line with US foreign policy objectives diminishes Canada’s role as a peace-maker.
- Domestic policy: Canada’s social safety net is threatened by proposals to harmonize our social policies with weaker US social security policies.
- Sovereignty: Canada’s independence is under threat. The Harper government has signalled its willingness to surrender crucial regulatory powers in the interests of trade. The Smart Regulation initiative will weaken Canadian regulations to facilitate trade with the US. (Proposals to raise Canadian limits on pesticide residues for hundreds of fruit and vegetable products reflect this pressure).
- Human rights: The use of security certificates and the sharing of security information with the US government through the SPP will put Canadians at greater risk of privacy and other human rights violations.
- Environment: Super-corridors lined with oil, gas and water pipelines will carve up arable land and wipe out biodiversity across North America while promoting fossil fuel consumption and development of the Alberta tar sands. Increased fossil fuel dependency increases air pollution and North American emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.
- Security: Canadians will face greater threats as we become more active in the US-led “war on terror.”
- Natural resources: The SPP facilitates foreign corporate ownership and weakens regulations governing our natural resource sector. Canada's energy security is already compromised under the proportionality clause in chapter 6 of NAFTA and is in even greater jeopardy under the SPP. Canada's water is vulnerable to bulk export and diversion through the SPP.
- The case for selling Canadian water is being presented more forcefully in the media by SPP proponents, journalists, business strategists and investors seeking profits in this potentially lucrative market.
- Massive NAFTA Super-Corridors, complete with plans for water pipelines, are in the works.
- Bulk water exports were the focus of meetings of the North American Future 2025 Project. According to documents leaked by a Washington-based think tank, SPP meetings in Calgary on April 28, 2007 were to discuss "water consumption, water transfers and artificial diversions of bulk water" with the aim of "maximizing the policy impact.”
13. How is the current government advancing the SPP? Since March 2005, the Harper government has been advancing the SPP agenda through administrative changes and budgetary measures. Despite the absence of major announcements, several departments have quietly committed to regulatory changes including the harmonization of trade rules and security practices. This incremental approach operates under the radar screen of public scrutiny because the Conservative government knows that Canadians would reject a major agreement that laid out the entire strategy. Cross border working groups have been initiated in many sectors including manufacturing, shipping, transportation, energy, telecommunications, health and the environment, financial services, business development and agriculture. SPP proponents argue that there is no alternative to the SPP. The Green Party of Canada argues for credible, principled alternatives. 14. What is the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC)? The NACC was established in March 2006 by Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President Calderon. It gives business leaders from each NAFTA country direct access to government information and resources. The NACC meets annually with government leaders and engages with senior ministers and officials on an ongoing basis in priority areas. Civil society leaders do not have similar access to senior government ministers and officials. 15. Is the government investing in the SPP? Yes. The federal government has made major investments in border security and infrastructure that paves the way to continental integration with the US and Mexico. In Budget 2007, the Conservatives allocated billions of taxpayer dollars to the construction of multi-modal corridors that will move an ever-increasing share of our resource wealth south of the border. From Budget 2007:
Find out more: Threats to Our Water: NAFTA, SPP, Super- Corridors, Atlantica by Dr. Janet Eaton, PhD.
- $2.1 billion for the national fund for gateways and border crossings.
- $1.26 billion for public-private partnerships including border development.
- $2.275 billion for national priorities including trade-related infrastructure.
- Elimination of the chapter 11 clause with its investor state dispute mechanism;
- Removal of chapter 6 on energy (with its proportionality clause on energy exports);
- A guarantee that bulk water transfers are exempt;
- Eradication of national treatment for foreign corporations; and
- Inclusion of binding social and environmental standards within the trade agreement.
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