In February of 2011 the BC Government released a request for proposals to conduct a feasibility study for a British Columbia Foreign Trade Zone Program. While “Foreign Trade Zones” (FTZ) will be explored across the province, a specific proposal is being developed within the Pacific Gateway Strategy that has pushed for port and highway expansion from Delta Port throughout the lower mainland.
“Foreign Trade Zones” are also referred to around the world as Free Trade Zones or Special Economic Zones. They section off land to create the ideal investment climate for industry and business. In other words, allowing corporations to establish their own standards and laws within a specified zone avoiding any public influence over such things as social and environmental policy. Though “Foreign Trade Zones” have existed since the 1970s, mostly as duty free zones, their recent proliferation has established investment environments going beyond what corporations have secured in Free Trade Agreements. The federal conservative government has committed to examining the current policies to make them “internationally competitive”.
These zones attempt to establish: 100% foreign ownership; 0% corporate taxes; the removal of employment standards; expansion of temporary labour programs; and removal of environmental standards. Finally, the proposal in Delta raises more questions about the sale of BC Rail, the Agricultural Land Reserve in Delta, the Tsawwassen Treaty process, the Gateway Highway & port expansion and the next phase of struggle against globalization/colonization.
Join us in Vancouver or Delta for a short presentation and discussion about what is being proposed, what has already happened and what we can do to stop it.
In Vancouver: Tuesday, June 28th @ 7:00 pm, Vancouver Community College, Downtown Campus, corner of Dunsmuir & Hamilton St., Room 420 (take elevators to 4th floor)
In Delta (Ladner): Wednesday, June 29th @ 7:00 pm, Ladner Pioneer Library, 4683 51st Street
These events are hosted by the Council of Canadians. Both events are free. For more information, call 604 340 2455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.