Canadian & US Green Parties Take on the SPP

Canadian and US Green Parties Take on the SPP!

Overview of GPC Summit with a Focus on the Collaboration Between Green Party of Canada and Green Party US [With photos]

By Janet M Eaton, PhD, International Trade Critic, Green Party of Canada
September 16th, 2007

In winter of 2007 the Green Party of Canada [GPC] Shadow Cabinet began to articulate its position on international trade, NAFTA, the SPP, etc for purposes of an anticipated Spring election which in the end did not transpire. That Platform or Vision Statement is now being translated and should be available soon.

Around the same time while attending United Nations meetings in New York, Green Party of Canada, International Trade Critic, Janet Eaton, was invited, by Julia Willebrand, International Co-chair, Green Party US, to speak to the New York Greens. on a subject Janet had been profiling internationally i.e NAFTA, the SPP, Supercorridors and threats they present to water, sovereignty and a myriad of other concerns. The International and National committee members in attendance asked if Janet would also speak at their annual meeting in July realizing that this was a subject which few in the US had heard about as they immediately tuned in to its critical importance to both parties.

In the meantime Elizabeth May speaking at the “The Integrate This: Teach -in” Ottawa March 31st 2007 evoked a huge round of applause for stating that the Green Party of Canada would scrap the SPP. She went on to say in her panel presentation that the GPC regards the SPP as an attack on our core identify and our sovereignty. See entire teach-in plenary session videos on CPAC our Canadians equivalent of CSPAN.

In May we put up our GPC Website on Why We Need to Take a Closer Look at Continental Integration with 18 FAQs Frequently Asked Questions about the SPP with detailed answers. Janet’s power point Threats to Our Water: NAFTA, SPP, Super-Corridors, Atlantica" already widely seen on the Internet was added to the website.

In July the GPC and GP US began an important and active collaboration when Janet spoke on the SPP at the GPUS annual meeting in Reading Pennsylvania. This was well covered in a GPUS media release and thanks to Mike Feinstein, a long time GPUS stalwart and manager of the Global Greens Website, Janet’s power point presentation on the SPP and Energy implications and part of a media interview ended up on YouTube the day after the event.

Janet Eaton, Green party of Canada, International Trade Critic on the SPP

A most positive outcome of this meeting was the decision for US Greens to respond to GPC ‘s invitation to collaborate in the SPP Counter Summit being planned around the SPP leaders Summit in Montebello Quebec. The US Greens passed a resolution supporting the Canadian Green Party Summit, put the word out to members in the East and began developing a white paper on the SPP.

In Canada we mounted a major effort in August to make the GPC Summit an integral part of the overall events surrounding the SPP Montebello Summit. We alerted our membership with a lengthy newsletter article to identify the issue and encourage members to come to Ottawa August 19th and 20th . With a major effort from our office staff and interns in Ottawa we were able to mount a very successful Green Party Counter Summit on August 20th at St Paul University. See Summit notice, Agenda and Media Advisory above as well as a petition we developed for citizens to send to Prime Minister which has garnered hundreds of hits.

We worked with the International co-chairs Julia Willebrand and Justine McCabe to bring the US perspective into the Teach-In and our two respective Press Secretary’s Scott McLarty [US] and John Chenery [GPC] helped us to get the word out to diverse media outlets with a well crafted joint release.

Julia Willebrand and Justine McCabe, International Co-chairs, Green Party US
In StoptheSPP rally in OttawaAugust 19th, 2007.

The Teach-in provided a sound and comprehensive introduction to the SPP and its implications for Greens. Many of whom were new to the subject of the SPP. Janet’s power point presentation dealt with historical context of continental integration and the origins of the SPP in corporate globalization, free trade, NAFTA and 9-11. She also reviewed the origins of the SPP, its structures, nature, NAFTA Supercorridors, Atlantica, and she the sizable evidence for opposing it.

Ralph Pentland a senior Canadian water policy expert, with several decades of experience, shared his deep knowledge and historical perspective on water policy as it relates to bulk water and his concerns around water sovereignty . Elizabeth provided political insights and wisdom on the SPP drawing on her vast legal and policy knowledge base injecting a note of humour as she described her experience entering into the US Embassy [fortress] to respond to the call of embassy officials to explain the GPC position on the SPP after having heard her speak at the March 31st Teach-in. After lunch everyone attending had an opportunity to join in a very spirited round of comments and questions for the panelists that went on for over two hours. Several GPC Shadow Cabinet members who attended the Green Party Summit retired afterwards to Shadow Cabinet Critic Joe Fosters and had the opportunity to get to know one another better in a more personal setting than the usual e-mail correspondence provides.

The collaboration of our two parties in pulling off a very successful Teach-In and dialogue with GPC members within such a very short period of time was a stellar achievement. Julia and Justine provided invaluable input on how SPP related issues are perceived by Greens in the US which led at the end of the day to the realization that we need to continue to collaborate on the SPP and especially on issues like bulk water exports , super corridors, and in sharing of updates on the timeline implementation of this plan for deeper continental integration.

The day before our GPC Summit, Elizabeth, Janet, Julia, Justine and many other Green Party members including some GPC Shadow Cabinet members were on Parliament Hill for speeches from the Stop the SPP organizing committees members speaking from the steps of Parliament.


On Parliament Hill - listening to speeches from the Organizing groups.
Later in the day we attended the SPP Forum at the University of Ottawa organized by the Council of Canadian and other national NGOs where Elizabeth gave, what some have said was, her best political speech ever on a political panel, along with reps from the Liberals , the Bloc Quebecois, and NDP. . Photos and speeches are on line on - See Council of Canadians homepage.

Green party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May, on the left speaking on the political panel during the Council of Canadians Public forum at OttawaUniversity August 19th.

See Video highlights from the SPP public forum in Ottawa on August 19, 2007.

Janet took part in a media event to expose the plans for bulk water under the SPP- paddling with Maude Barlow, and the Raging Grannies down river towards Montebello which attracted not only considerable media attention but military helicopters and police launches as well. This can also be seen on the above website just under the speeches.

Green Party of Canada’s Janet Eaton, second from front, paddling with organizers down the Ottawa River towards Montebello to publicize the need to stop bulk water exports.

All the attention on stopping bulk water exports and Super corridors both before and during the Montebello summit led Canada’s Prime Minister Harper to deny any intention of bulk water exports. As the CTV Video news coverage reported it seemed that water exports were not on the agenda, and indeed that the Harper government, like many before it, are opposed to bulk water exports. CTV’s David Aiken concluded: “.. the protesters can claim a measure of victory - Canada’s fresh water assets are still Canada’s fresh water assets - and there’s no Super highway being built from Mexico to Winnipeg …..

President bush, Prime Minister Harper and President Calderon
At Montebello Press Conference

The family friendly protest in Montebello carefully orchestrated by organizers to ensure a peaceful rally was marred by ‘agents provocateurs’ discovered when union leader Dave Cole realized that three large men with bandanas over their faces and rocks in their hands were police. See the entire confrontation between Coles and the three Quebec Police officers masquerading as protesters on YOU Tube video:

Stop SPP Protest - Union Leader Dave Cole stops provocateurs

This revelation was a gift to the organizers of the StoptheSPP events and opponents of the SPP. The news of the ‘agents provocateurs’ spread like wild fire through government offices and streets of Ottawa, into the living rooms of the nation, and amongst citizens far and wide across Canada and beyond. There was also intense coverage in national and local newspapers of this confrontation.

The Green Party of Canada was quick to issue a press release demanding accountability and an inquiry, pointing out the link between this event and the secrecy surrounding the SPP: 23.08.2007. Unmask the Montebello provocateurs and their bosses, says Green leader Elizabeth May

Janet also participated in a press conference in Nova Scotia which saw seventeen groups including two political parties, coming out to oppose this threat to our right to protest and oppose the SPP.

In the meantime, Julia and Justine have written a report which is on Green Line, the monthly e-newsletter of the Green Party US. Janet has written an article upon request for the US Green Party website on the SPP with contributions from Mike Feinstein.

Both parties are looking to build on our successes, and plan to engage in further collaboration. And in Canada we know we must build on this momentum to make the SPP into a defining issue for the next election, by offering not only our analysis of why we must stop the SPP but also our vision for the future which lies in stark contrast to a world defined by the SPP, free trade and globalist free market economics.


II ) SPP Related Analysis General Impacts and Implications of the Backlash

  1. Effectiveness of the Montebello Summit
  2. Results of the general movement against the SPP - US Conservative backlash
  3. Importance of revisiting NAFTA and showing that it never worked.
  4. Importance of the Water Issue - exposure and backtracking

GPC role in bringing attention - Power point, press releases, Ralph Pentland and followup since the Summit - Munk Centre meetings,

  1. Importance of Super corridors - exposé , backtracking and subversion

Quote - Harper’s lies about Suerp Corridors denying they exist at Summit - transcribe from CTV Coverage of Summit clip in Canoe tape video - Contrast with
Canada preparing ports for NAFTA Superhighway
Building 'free trade gateway' between Asia, North America