Bush, Harper amused by SPP critics
[PoliticsWatch updated 4:30 p.m. August 21, 2007]
|Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S.
President George W. Bush converse outside Le Chateau
Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President George W. Bush
described some of the critics of the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership
(SPP) as comical at the close of a two-day summit in Montebello,
Security was high at the summit site and on Monday some
protestors trying to disrupt the meeting of North American leaders
clashed with police who used tear gas to disperse the
The SPP is the target of critics from the left and right side of the
political spectrum. They argue the process is secretive and designed to create a North American union with a common
currency and even a North American Superhighway.
"I'm amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to say what takes
place," Bush said at the leaders' closing press conference.
"It's quite comical actually when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are saying on TV about this."
Bush said summit critics were using old-fashioned political scare
tactics "where you lay out a conspiracy and force people to try to prove it doesn't exist."
While on a world stage, Harper used the press conference to mock
summit critics, including Liberal leader Stephane Dion and
NDP leader Jack Layton.
|Prime Minister Stephen Harper and
Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
On Friday, the Prime Minister's Office told
PoliticsWatch that Dion should "stop with the conspiracy theory"
after the Liberal leader alleged at a news conference that Canada
and the U.S. were involved in discussions on bulk water
Harper used a similar tone when speaking with reporters on Tuesday.
"A couple of my opposition leaders have speculated on massive water diversions and superhighways to the continent
maybe interplanetary, I'm not sure, as well," Harper said at
the summit news conference.
"There were reports of a former prime minister lurking in the hallways. I have yet to see
him," he added in a reference to a Canadian Press story that
reported Layton said former prime minister Paul Martin had
been invited to the summit.
Harper said the leaders discussed practical and pragmatic issues
related to the trilateral trading relationship.
This includes mundane items, such as a CEO who Harper said earlier
told the leaders he wanted to standardize jelly bean ingredients in
Canada and the U.S.
"Is the sovereignty of Canada going to fall apart if we standardize the jelly
bean?" the prime minister asked. "I don't think so. Maybe Mr. Dion thinks so."
|U.S. President George W. Bush is greeted by
Governor General Michaelle Jean upon arriving at Ottawa
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said there
were "several myths about this meeting."
"Some are more jovial and funnier than others," he
The summit closed Tuesday with Harper announcing the leaders had
agreed that they must "identify and stop unsafe goods from entering our countries, especially those designed for our
Canada and the U.S. have recently had a string of recalls of
counterfeit and contaminated consumer goods from countries such as China.
Meanwhile, Canada and the U.S. have been unable to bridge their
differing opinions of Canada's claim on the Northwest
"We believe it's an international passage way," Bush said.
"Having said that, the United States does not question Canadian sovereignty over its
Arctic islands and the United States supports Canadian investments that have been made to exercise its sovereignty."
Harper again reiterated his commitment to promote an Arctic
"Canada is fully committed to strengthening its Arctic sovereignty on every level -- not just military, but economic, social environmental, any other method, any other
means," he said.
The next so-called Three Amigos summit will take place at Bush's
Crawford Ranch in Texas in 2008. It will be the last such summit for
Bush, the longest serving of the the three North American
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