Montebello will host ‘Three Amigos’ summit
Rising concerns about continental integration and opposition to U.S. President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq may bring protesters to Montebello, Que., in large numbers next month when Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with his American and Mexican counterparts.
Thousands of demonstrators turned out in Ottawa the last time Bush visited Canada in 2004. But those opposing Iraq or the tightening of relations among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are unlikely to get very close to the Aug. 20-21 summit at a luxury resort 80 kilometres from Ottawa.
Police are planning to throw up a security cordon extending several kilometres around the meeting. Details are still secret, but the authorities are not leaving anything to chance.
The Ottawa-based Council of Canadians says a public forum on Canada-U.S.-Mexico issues it had planned to hold in a community centre not far from Montebello was blocked by local authorities.
Brent Patterson, the council’s director of organizing, said his group was told by authorities in Papineauville, Que. — six kilometres from Montebello — that police insisted on the use of the community centre as a headquarters for security forces.
The council has rescheduled its Aug. 19 public forum to Ottawa. But Patterson expressed outrage the public can’t seem to get near the Montebello summit when corporate executives have personal access to Harper, Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.