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VIEW: ‘Trade tsunami threatens sovereignty’, say Barlow and Ryan

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and Ontario Federation of Labour president-elect Sid Ryan write in the Toronto Star today that, “Unknown to most Canadians, our federal and provincial governments have been busy preparing for the next level of unregulated trade and investment agreements, all aimed at one thing: opening up ‘subnational procurement,’ which was left out of previous trade deals such as NAFTA.”

“This amounts to at least $100 billion of public money spent annually by the provinces and municipalities on everything from social services, road construction and water systems, to maintaining a safe and clean environment.”

“Transnational corporations have long sought to eliminate the ability of governments to favour local companies and workers when public funds are spent to build schools and hospitals, stimulate the local economy, hire health-care workers, or even buy food for local daycare centres.”

Their op-ed discusses the three new deals: the Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and the Harper government’s response to `Buy America’.

Barlow and Ryan conclude, “This ‘perfect storm’ of new trade deals now on the horizon obliterates local democracy and counters the global movement to fair trade, sustainable local economies, local food production and protection of natural resources. They must be stopped.”

The full op-ed can be read at http://www.thestar.com/mobile/comment/article/731437.