Screening: You, Me & the SPP

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Date: Monday, Oct. 19, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Gas Station Theatre, 445 River Avenue, Winnipeg
Admission: Donation
Sponsors: Hosted by the Winnipeg Chapter of The Council of Canadians, sponsored by the Manitoba Federation of Labour
Help promote this event: Poster – 792 kb

What do secrecy, police provocateurs, an assault on democracy and infringements on citizens’ rights have in common? The Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Filmmaker Paul Manly will be attending a Winnipeg screening of his documentary, about the Security and Prosperity Partnership You, Me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule as part of a 34 city national tour.

The Canadian government says “The Security and Prosperity Partnership is neither an agreement nor a treaty but a dialogue.” Following the shock of 9/11, right‐wing political and business leaders have pushed the SPP agenda. Negotiating away from public scrutiny, they say it is the way to keep trade flowing between the United States, Canada and Mexico. You, Me and the SPP exposes the corporate agenda of the SPP and reveals that this secretive agreement is about much more than trade.

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; 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 countries.

No proponents of the SPP were willing to take part in on‐camera interviews for You, Me and the SPP, which features interviews with Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow, Murray Dobbin and Joel Bakan, among a host of other opponents of the SPP including economists, lawyers, union leaders, and politicians.

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.

Manly has created an extremely thorough introduction to a set of issues that will increasingly affect every Canadian. As the film progressed, I was shocked at my own ignorance about the SPP and TILMA and their implications and I am indebted to this film for the research and revelations it presents.
– Mark Achbar – Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation

What the SPP really represents is a parallel government, so that the important decisions are 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

SPP Dead?

In August of 2009, the US government declared that the SPP is no longer an active initiative but almost all of the various parts of this corporate agenda have either been implemented or are moving forward under separate programs and it is widely anticipated that a more extensive rebranded SPP 2.0 will be unveiled soon. The SPP stands out as a prime example of the willingness of the corporate elite and their political cronies to sacrifice democratic principles and civil liberties in favour of corporate control and monopolization.

The national tour is sponsored by the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.

Information about the film, including a list of screening dates, the trailer, and additional videos can be viewed on the film’s website.

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