The Toronto Star reports today that, “The New Democrats are urging Parliament to trump the United States by establishing a Buy Canadian plan to protect jobs across the country. NDP MP Peter Julian today introduced a private member’s bill, the Made in Canada Procurement Act, which would give Canadian companies and industries priority on all government procurements and services.”
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meanwhile, is in Washington trying to convince Capitol Hill lawmakers to relax the Buy American rules when it comes to doing business with Canada, the United States’ largest trading partner.
Julian’s private member’s bill requires the federal government to give a preference to Canadian companies in the transfer of money to the provinces, municipalities and private companies, or in the direct purchase of goods and services.”
In a media release issued today, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “All of Canada’s major trading partners, including the United States, Europe and China, have ways to prioritize national companies when spending public money on major projects. There’s no reason Canada should not be doing the same when the potential for job creation and economic growth is so promising. The Made In Canada Procurement Act is a welcome alternative to secretly negotiating new procurement agreements with the U.S. and Europe that threaten local and democratic solutions to the economic crisis.”
Trade campaigner Stuart Trew adds, “The Harper government has offered Canadians nothing but fear-mongering and anti-protectionist rhetoric against ‘Buy American’ policies in the United States while seeking out new ways to forbid provinces and cities from spending public tax dollars for infrastructure and other major purchases locally.”
The Toronto Star article is at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/697120. The Council of Canadians media release can be read at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2009/17-Sept-09.html.