Learn about the NAFTA-Plus-Homeland Security Model
Thursday July 5 @ 6:30 pm
Rhizome Café, 317 E. Broadway
With films “New World Border”, excerpts from “Fourth World War” and speakers
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was founded in March 2005, in Cancun, at a summit of the Heads of State of Canada, the US, and Mexico. Broken down, the SPP is NAFTA-plus-Homeland-Security model. The founding premise of the SPP is that an agenda of economic free trade and national security will result in human prosperity.
Yet we know that the so-called “prosperity” of previous free trade agreements such as NAFTA have only brought corporate prosperity, with increasing rates of poverty and displacement for the vast majority of people. For example, despite government rhetoric, the Economist Intelligence Unit (affiliated with The Economist) has reported that the implementation of NAFTA in Mexico has “failed to create even one formal job in net terms.” We also know that the “War on Terror” and the beefed-up national security apparatus has exacerbated insecurity and brought terror on the lives of millions of people locally and globally through immigrant raids, border militarization, foreign troop occupations, and repression of civil liberties and resistance movements. A September 2006 report in The Independent found that the “War on Terror” has “directly killed a minimum of 62,006 people, created 4.5 million refugees, and cost the US more than the sum needed to pay off the debts of every poor nation on earth.”
SPP is not an official treaty; it is not an official law; rather, it is being presented as a vague ‘diaologue based on shared values’. Therefore it has been able to escape any public scrutiny and will never be debated in the House of Commons. There have been several meetings for the SPP, including a summit in March 2006 in Texas and a preparatory meeting in Ottawa in February 2007, all of which were held behind close doors. On August 21st 2007, the three Heads of State will meet for a third tri-national Summit to forward the SPP agreements in Montebello, Quebec. People in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Quebec City have already begun organizing to confront this Summit in Montebello, to confront the agenda of SPP and the agenda of George W Bush, Stephan Harper, and Felipe Calderon.
No One is Illegal Vancouver joins the calls to organize against SPP to demonstrate our indignation and resistance to this next attack on the interests of the people by those who think they are masters of our lives and destiny. We know that the real face of SPP is to further an agenda of corporate free trade, border militarization, criminalization of migration, privatization and theft of indigenous land and resources, repression in the name of national security, impoverishment and displacement, and cooperation in war and occupation. We will be launching a campaign to oppose the SPP and invite all those in resistance to the SPP to build a diverse movement to actively participate and coordinate actions, events, disruptions, teach-ins, creative resistance, and more as part of these continental days of action.
SPP is a direct continuation of the colonialist and capitalist politics that perpetuate and accelerate the carnage, pillage, and destruction of the planet. Laura Carlsen of the International Relations Centre Americas Program explains, “SPP has three fundamental objectives. The Bush administration wants to create more advantageous conditions for transnational corporations and remove remaining barriers to the flow of capital and crossborder production within the framework of NAFTA. It wants to secure access to natural resources, especially oil. And it wants to create a regional security plan based on “pushing its borders out” into a security perimeter that includes Mexico and Canada.”
Under this framework of security and prosperity, the following initiatives are currently being recommended and/or being undertaken:
§ Integration of military and police training exercises, cooperation on law enforcement, and the expansion of The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) into a into a multiservice joint naval and land Defense Command.
§ Expand temporary worker programs as a means of ensuring low wages and labour exploitation.
§ Adoption of coordinated border surveillance technologies with major contracts provided to military suppliers; coordination of no-fly lists; development of a North American Border Pass; and the use of Biometrics. The Canadian Biometrics Group is predicting that the North American biometric “market” would rise to US $2.6-billion by 2006.
§ Integration of refugee policies. The Safe Third Country Agreement, implemented in December 2004 between the US and Canada, has resulted in at least a 40% decrease in refugee applications in Canada. Under the United States-Mexico “Voluntary Repatriation Program” more than 35,000 persons have already been deported.There is also a pilot project to share information on refugee and asylum claimants based on a comparison of fingerprint records.
§ Harmonization of health and environmental regulations to lower standards and development of a North American alternative to the Kyoto Protocol.
§ Beginning of the privatization of Mexico’s nationalized oil sector; fivefold increase in tar sands production in Alberta; and full “development” of Canadian energy resources, already being actively opposed by the Lubicon, Dene, and other indigenous communities.
§ NAFTA Superhighway, a corridor several hundred metres wide including rail lines, freeways and pipelines from Mexico to the Canadian border.
In Canada, the major lobby for SPP comes from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), a CEO organization and Canada’s ‘premier business organization’. In January 2003, CCCE launched its North American Security and Prosperity Initiative with initiatives to increase investment and capital flows, integrate security agreements and military defence, and expedited means of resource (oil, natural gas, water, forest products) extraction. With the launch of SPP in 2005, the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was created. Harper appointed the Canadian membership of the NACC in June 2006: Dominic D’Alessandro (Manulife Financial); Paul Desmarais, Jr. (Power Corporation of Canada); David Ganong (Ganong Bros. Limited); Richard George (Suncor Energy Inc.); Hunter Harrison (CN); Linda Hasenfratz (Linamar Corporation); Michael Sabia (Bell Canada Enterprises); Jim Shepherd (Canfor Corporation); Annette Verschuren (The Home Depot); and Rick Waugh (Scotiabank).
Join us in rejecting the SPP! SPP= three governments Securing corporate Profits and Prosperity for the rich!