NEWS: NDP condemns Harper's push to sell out Canada

OTTAWA – The Harper government must pull out of further talks on continental integration with the United States and Mexico or risk our national sovereignty, says NDP Trade Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster). Julian commented in advance of the February 23 meeting to be held in Ottawa where American and Mexican officials will join Canadian cabinet ministers to push forward the so-called “Security and Prosperity Partnership” (SPP) agenda. Julian was joined by NDP Energy Critic, Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic).

Julian denounced the sellout of Canada.

“The previous Liberal government engaged Canada in a slow merger process with the United States and Stephen Harper is accelerating the agenda,” said Julian. “The NDP demands a full debate in Parliament on this issue. Everyday Canadians have the right to know what is being negotiated.”

Changes to some 300 policy and program areas are being promoted as benign “efficiency” measures. The ongoing extensive consultations in the SPP process will lead to an unacceptable level of regulatory harmonization with the surrender of Canadian energy, immigration, health care, food safety, and environmental policies and to complete military integration with the US.

“Canada is not the gas tank of the United States. NAFTA already locks us into supplying energy to the United States even if ordinary Canadians go without; a North American Union would only make this worse,” said Bevington.

“Canadians should know that the SPP process supports a North American Union (NAU). The NDP rejects the secretive process surrounding these ongoing discussions. Canadians will never support a political ideology which aims at turning North America into a fortress for corporate interests and neglects the interests of ordinary Canadians. Canadian sovereignty is not for sale to the highest bidder and the federal government has no authority to push for a NAU without a mandate from Canadians,” said Julian.

Julian reiterated the NDP’s full support for civil society demands that North American leaders discuss issues vital to the public interest: the growing prosperity gap in Canada, Mexico, and the US; the need for guarantees of universal access to public health services; and for immediate joint efforts to combat global warming rather than North American Integration.