Photo credit: Martine Chatelain
Yesterday morning, the Council of Canadians joined a rally outside the annual Conference of Montreal to protest the elite gathering, the Charest government’s economic policies, and the province’s role in pushing forward a sweeping free trade agreement with the European Union. The Quebec coalition against user fees and the privatization of public services (Coalition opposée à la tarification et à la privatisation des services publics), which is made up of over 130 Quebec labour and civil society groups, organized the rally.
Council of Canadians Board member and Montreal chapter activist Abdul Pirani, present at the rally, stated, “CETA is a deregulation and privatization accord that needs a full airing out before the Harper and Charest governments can take the negotiations any further. The era of free trade has not been good for developing countries, for workers, students or the environment. It has widened inequality within Canada and globally, and it has constrained what publicly elected governments can do to address bigger problems such as climate change, poverty and food shortages. Why given this track record is Canada negotiating the biggest free trade deal this country has ever seen, with an EU government pushing more privatization and deregulation?”
Council of Canadians Board member and Inverness County, Nova Scotia chapter activist Anne Levesque was also present at the rally.
Our media release on it can be read at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2011/06-Jun-11.html.