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Steven Shrybman speaks to Trade Committee on NAFTA

The Standing Committee on International Trade met this morning to review Chapter 11, the investor-state clause of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Board member Steven Shrybman was there on Parliament Hill to present on behalf of the Council of Canadians.

The audio from this morning’s proceedings is available at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#DT20090324AANOMEE11. You can also access the audio directly by going to http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/parlvu/asx/playlist.aspx?files=/2009/2009-03/00010989.wmv.

The short ‘minutes of the proceedings’ are at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3763202&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2.

On February 9, the Council of Canadians released a bi-national poll, conducted by Environics, that found that over 70 per cent of Americans and Canadians believe energy corporations should not be allowed to sue governments (which current, controversial provisions of Chapter 11 of NAFTA allow) for changes in government policy that protect the environment or otherwise promote the public interest. You can read more about this at http://canadians.org/media/energy/2009/09-Feb-09.html.

Equiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Ecojustice also jointly presented this morning. They spoke primarily about the Dow NAFTA challenge against Quebec’s pesticide ban. You can read more about that at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2008/06-Nov-08.html and at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=138.

To read about the current Chapter 11 cases against the Government of Canada, you can go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade website at http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/disp-diff/gov.aspx?lang=en.