NEWS: NDP wins first parliamentary hearings on SPP

From behind closed boardroom doors into the public eye, demands Julian

OTTAWA – The Standing Committee on International Trade will hold the first ever hearings on the so-called "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) of North America thanks to the efforts of NDP International Trade Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby - New Westminster). Julian is pleased that he succeeded in bringing this before the committee and that the members will have the opportunity to study the North American deep integration project that has until now been discussed only behind closed boardroom doors. The televised hearings will be held on April 26, May 1st and 3rd, 2007 in Ottawa.

“This is the only the beginning,” stated Julian. “We must have a full and accountable public debate and expose the entire agenda around the SPP. The NDP will continue to push for full parliamentary oversight and public disclosure of SPP”.

The SPP was launched in March of 2005 by the former Martin Liberal government, who played a lead role in creating the SPP, also called deep integration. The SPP is a trilateral initiative to fast-track the integration of Canada and Mexico with the United States. The SPP is now being pushed more aggressively by the Harper Conservative government.

The NDP has been the only party in Canada’s Parliament to oppose the deep integration agenda and to propose an ethical and fair trade model.

“NDP MPs have been fighting all manifestations of the SPP at different levels. More than a dozen NDP MPs have played a very active role in fighting this agenda and trying to bring the negative impacts of the push for deeper integration policies to light,” said Julian. “What is being discussed is nothing less than the future of this country. And average Canadians from coast to coast to coast believe our country has a right to exist independently. We can play a key role both in North America and the world as a proud and sovereign nation.”

The SPP is an agenda that stretches across most ministries in the federal government, aiming to harmonize Canadian social, economic, and security policies and institutions with those of the U.S., and to deregulate or reduce regulation in more than 300 different policy areas. Recent manifestations have shown that vital issues, such as bulk water exports, water diversion, Canada-U.S. border issues and much greater sellouts of Canada’s energy resources to the U.S. are part and parcel of this agenda that has been championed by the Canadian Council for Chief Executives and kept away from the public eye.

“The NDP will not stop until a full parliamentary debate and review takes place,” said Julian. “These hearings are only the first step to that goal.”