The World Economic Forum runs from January 22-26 in Davos, Switzerland. The Canadian Press reports, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be in Davos this year, but Ottawa is represented by several cabinet ministers including Foreign Minister John Baird and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.” It has also been reported that Trade Minister Ed Fast, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, and Alberta Premier Alison Redford are among the more than 50 Canadian politicians and corporate leaders there.
“(Marois) is hoping to use the prospect of surplus power from Hydro-Quebec to attract investors to the province. …’We want to increase private investment in Quebec,’ she told The Canadian Press. …Despite Quebec’s efforts to attract investment by focusing on hydroelectric power, few concrete projects have emerged. Smelters have so far been the main beneficiaries of special contracts that give breaks on electricity costs. …Marois is scheduled to speak at a workshop in Davos on Thursday on responsible mining. She is also supposed to meet later in the week with executives of various multinationals, including Volvo, Alcoa and Lockheed Martin.”
Last January, Harper did address the World Economic Forum and promoted an agenda to weaken pensions, restrict immigration, further reduce environmental protections, and pursue harmful free trade deals. To read ‘NEWS: Harper’s Davos agenda must be stopped’, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13332. In May, we released the paper ‘Harper at Davos – A Road Not Taken’ by professor, author and Council of Canadians Board member Robert Chernomas. To read that paper, go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15081.
The World Social Forum is also a powerful counter to the World Economic Forum. The Council of Canadians and Blue Planet Project will be participating in the WSF this year. For more on our past interventions at the WSF, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18667 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18606. We are also participating in the General Assembly for a Canada-Quebec-Indigenous Peoples’ Social Forum. For more on that, see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18799.