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Peterborough chapter information table at Purple Onion Festival emphasizes trade-investment agreements

Liberal MPP Jeff Leal (to the right in jeans) looks at information being shared by chapter activists Roy Brady and Kathryn Langley.

The Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter had an information table at the 6th annual Purple Onion Festival in Millennium Park yesterday.

The Peterborough Examiner has reported, “The Local Food Month anchor event celebrates local produce, food security, arts, entertainment, wellness and community. As it continues to grow in its sixth year, festival organizers added three new elements for 2016, including a Craft Beer Garden, Art of the Leaf and an Eat Local Challenge Food Wall.”

And promotion for the festival highlights, “Come with friends and family – dress in purple or not. Meet your local farmers and the Purple Onion Mascot too. Write your Eat Local Challenge Action on the wall. Dance for the Climate, sample delicious local food served by local chefs. Enjoy all day entertainment from local artists and jazz bands and buy locally grown food from local farmers. Sit in a brand new electric car or hybrid or hop on an e-bike to get a feel for where personal and public transportation vehicles are heading. Buy some art from local artists. There will be a Craft Beer Garden sponsored and served by the Canoe and Paddle Lakefield.”

Chapter activist Roy Brady tells us, “Our emphasis, besides several of our printed resources, was on the impacts of trade-investment agreements, globalization and neo-liberal policies on the development of local food and economy. The bristle board clippings at the rear and sides represent our values and work.”

He adds, “We also had a two-sider on neoliberalism, more complex than our other resources. Here are the points we put on a 8 1/2 x 14 handout (well designed and formatted by chapter activist Kathy Langley):

  • We need more local and less global trade and investment.

  • TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) are trade-investment agreements that will challenge ‘Local Food and Employment Policies’.

  • Trade-investment agreements have often ‘discouraged’ governments, including municipal, from passing localized policies  –  THE CHILL EFFECT.

  • Trade-investment agreements provide strong investment protection which threatens LOCAL food, health, investment and environmental policies.

  • It is profoundly anti-democratic for “secret tribunals” to decide compensation for large corporations against ‘local’ policy-making. Yes, it has happened often.

Fifteen members of the chapter were present at yesterday’s festival.

The Peterborough chapter has been actively opposing the sale of their city-owned electricity distribution utility to Hydro One, has called for electoral reform, opposes indefinite immigration detention, has rallied for local hospital food workers, is in solidarity with the Grassy Narrows First Nations whose community is suffering from mercury poisoning, has been key in local Leap Manifesto organizing, has challenged Islamophobia and racism, sponsored four films at the ReFrame International Film Festival this year, co-hosted a public forum on the structural, systemic and cultural barriers to inclusion, and so much more!