Dawn Paley writes in Edmonton's Vue Weekly that, "When Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day signed the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in Peru on November 21, it was a happy day for Canada’s oil and gas sector..." MASSIVE MOBILIZATIONS AGAINST THE FTA "The Canada-Colombia FTA was negotiated in secret, and the texts of the deal have yet to be made available to the public. As Day’s pen slid across paper in Peru, a massive mobilization of popular movements had taken over the central plaza in Colombia’s capital....Crystal clear among the demands of the tens of thousands mobilizing in Bogotá was the immediate end to all Free Trade Agreements and the economic system these deals represent." CANADIAN OIL AND GAS COMPANIES SUPPORT THE FTA "Along with select exporters, Canada’s extractive industries are among the sectors that could cash in on a free trade agreement with Colombia...More than 20 oil and gas companies from Alberta are currently active in Colombia, including Nexen, Enbridge and Petrominerales." THE FTA DISPLACES WORKERS "Gustavo Triana of the Colombian United Workers Federation, says that, 'What the Free Trade Agreements do is...stipulate that the services and engineering that is today done by [Colombian] nationals will be instead done by foreigners, by bringing in firms and technicians that displace ours, and removing national control mechanisms.'" THE CLC OPPOSES IT "Among the strongest voices of opposition against free trade agreement in North America are labour, especially the AFL-CIO in the US, and the Canadian Labour Congress north of the border. Colombia is the world’s most dangerous place to be a trade unionist. Since 1996, Colombia’s National Trade Union School has recorded the assassinations of 2690 trade unionists. According to Triana, these numbers include 135 workers in the oil and gas sector." WILL IGNATIEFF'S LIBERALS VOTE AGAINST IT? "It is expected that the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will be tabled in Parliament before the spring. Whether or not Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will direct the Liberals to vote against the deal—previous leader Stephane Dion promised during the election campaign that he wouldn’t support the FTA—is unknown." The full article can be read at http://www.vueweekly.com/article.php?id=10915
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