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Saturday, July 14, 2007

RCMP, U.S. Army block public forum on the Security and Prosperity Partnership

The Council of Canadiana - July 13, 2007
The Council of Canadians has been told it will not be allowed to rent a municipal community centre for a public forum it had planned to coincide with the next Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec on August 20 and 21.

The Municipality of Papineauville, which is about six kilometres from Montebello, has informed the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the U.S. Army will not allow the municipality to rent the Centre Communautaire de Papineauville for a public forum on Sunday August 19, on the eve of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Leaders Summit.

“It is deplorable that we are being prevented from bringing together a panel of writers, academics and parliamentarians to share their concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canadians,” said Brent Patterson, director of organizing with the Council of Canadians. “Meanwhile, six kilometres away, corporate leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada will have unimpeded access to our political leaders.”

As well as being shut out of Papineauville, the Council of Canadians has been told that the RCMP and the SQ will be enforcing a 25-kilometre security perimeter around the Chateau Montebello, where Stephen Harper will meet with George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón on August 20 and 21. According to officials in Montebello, there will be checkpoints at Thurso and Hawkesbury, and vehicles carrying more than five people will be turned back.

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. The organization works to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, safe food, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.

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One of the concerns of the Council of Canadians is food safety. Their website explains the impact the SPP has on food safety. INTEGRATE THIS - Challenging the Security and Prospertity Partnership of North American - Call to Action against the SPPI Aug. 19-21 Backgrounders & Factsheets

Putting our food at risk: The Security and Prosperity Partnership is lowering food standards in Canada
People want to know that their food is safe and healthy. But a recent agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico—the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America—is putting our food at risk.

What is the SPP?
The Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP, is a broad plan for continental economic and security integration. Leaders from each country agreed to the SPP, without any public debate, in March 2005.

How does the SPP affect food?
Part of the SPP agenda involves developing common North American standards on how food is produced, how it is inspected, how it is processed and how it is moved from one place to another.

Aren’t common standards a good thing?
Common food safety standards developed in the public interest might be a good idea. But the SPP is not about raising food standards. It is about removing “trade irritants” and deregulating the food industries.

How can food standards be “trade irritants”?
A 2006 SPP report identified stricter pesticide residue limits in Canada as a “barrier to trade.” So Canada is raising pesticide limits on hundreds of fruits and vegetables in an effort to merge its policies with the United States.

What can I do to stop the SPP?
You can tell your Member of Parliament that the quality of your food is more important than removing “trade irritants” under the Security and Prosperity Partnership! And you can join with the Council of Canadians in demanding an end to the SPP.

For more information about the Council of Canadians, or its campaign against the SPP, please sign up to receive updates below or call us at 1-800-387-7177.

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