'You, Me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule' by Paul Manly
June 4th, 2009 - 4:00am
For immediate Release
June 4, 2009
Filmmaker, Paul Manly releases documentary on the Security Prosperity Partnership - ‘You, Me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule’
You, Me and the SPP - Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK3wuCS4q9k
Tilma chapter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hi-z9Tfxb0&feature=channel_page
P3 chapter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3gbEireKj0&feature=channel_page
Independent filmmaker, Paul Manly first grabbed the world’s attention after capturing three police provocateurs attempting to thwart protestors legal rights by inciting violence at the protest against the Security, Prosperity Partnership (SPP) leaders summit in Montebello Quebec in 2007. This compelling footage was posted on youtube where it was seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world and quickly became a national and international news story. Manly, who had started research and preliminary interviews for a documentary about the SPP two months before, was shocked by what he had captured on video but what was even more shocking to him was the scope of the Security Prosperity Partnership and how almost everyone he talked to knew nothing about it.
The Canadian government says “The Security Prosperity Partnership is neither an agreement nor a treaty but a dialogue.” Proponents of the SPP claim that it is necessary to keep goods flowing across borders in the post 9/11 world. Opponents of this secretive ‘dialogue’ claim that it is undemocratic and a direct threat to the sovereignty of the three countries involved, Canada, the United States and Mexico because it bypasses their parliamentary systems and places control of regulatory integration in the hands of large corporations. In addition to harmonizing health, safety, environmental and labour standards, the SPP also includes deep integration of military and security structures between the three NAFTA countries. For example, on February 14th 2008 the Canadian and US militaries quietly signed an agreement that allows these armed forces to cross borders into the neighbouring country in cases of civil unrest, pandemic, natural disasters or other emergencies. Canada has also adopted provisions of the US Patriot Act such as the no-fly-list and data collected by the RCMP and CSIS is being openly shared with their American counterparts.
‘You, Me and the SPP’ features interviews with Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow, Peter Julian, MP (NDP International Trade Critic), Murray Dobbin and Joel Bakan, amoung a host of other opponents of the SPP including economists, lawyers, union leaders and politicians. Manly tried to get interviews with proponents of the SPP, including government ministers and researchers for the Fraser Institute, over an eighteen-month period but nobody who supported the SPP wanted to discuss this process on camera.
In addition to the opponents of the SPP, Manly also interviewed ordinary citizens who have been affected by the SPP agenda including; a retired elementary school teacher who is on the no-fly-list, a citizen who refused to participate in the Canadian census because Lockheed Martin, the world largest arms manufacturer, is part of the census process, a mill worker who has been laid-off because deregulation has allowed forest companies to close mills and export raw logs, and a mother of twins who is concerned about protecting her young children from contaminated products.
‘You, Me and the SPP’ is available on DVD at www.manlymedia.com and through the distributor Vtape in Toronto www.vtape.org The trailer for the film can be viewed on the Manly Media website or on the CanadiansNanaimo youtube channel which also features 20 other SPP related videos including the Montebello police provocateur raw footage.
Some notable quotes from the documentary include:
"... after the shock of Sept 11 ... that crisis was expertly manipulated by our political leaders to push through a range of policies they actually had wanted to push through before Sept 11, but didn’t have the political conditions that made that possible."
Naomi Klein, Canadian award-winning journalist, author
"... what the SPP really represents is a parallel government, so that the important decisions are either made outside of parliament and outside of legislatures ... democracy is slowly being gutted."
Murray Dobbin, Canadian author, journalist
"... the ultimate goal, quite obviously, is to create such tight integration that effectively we only have one North American political, security, military and economic place - that there really are no differentials between this country and the country next door."
Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair, Global Politics and International Law, UBC
"It disturbs us that democracy is actually being stolen away from us under this guise of this corporate, competitive global agenda."
Ken Georgetti, President, the Canadian Labour Congress
The SPP is a dumbing down, a reducing of quality of life, a reducing of standards, and there is absolutely no indication in any of the documents we've been able to obtain through hard pushing through access to information, and through diligent work, not a single indication that we're looking for a higher standard anywhere.