" Rights of corporations take precedence over rights of democratically elected government and its citizens. Only by speaking out against these deals, will we expose their true nature and harm to our future." — Larry Brown, NUPGE National Secretary-Treasurer.
Ottawa (30 Jan. 2014) — On January 31, people in communities across Canada, the United States and Mexico will be taking to the streets for an Intercontinental Day of Action against unfair trade deals. The date was chosen to coincide with a week of NAFTA@ 20 events in Mexico City sponsored by groups across North America, including RMALC, RQIC, Common Frontiers, the Trade Justice Network, Citizens Trade Campaign, the Institute for Policy Studies and others.
Protests against unfair trade deals will be held across Canada, U.S. and Mexico on January 31
Canadians will be showing their oppositions to these unfair trade deals at events across the country organized by the Council of Canadians. The aim of the events is to raise awareness about the damaging effects of the now twenty-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a deal that not only hurt workers and farmers, but also created new rules for international investment. NAFTA paved the way for other deals, including the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a twelve-nation free trade and corporate rights deal being pushed by the United States.
The Day of Action will highlight how these trade deals enable corporations to challenge public policies and environmental regulations that infringe on corporate profits.
More than 40 communities will be participating in the day, with 14 actions in Canada so far. Council of Canadians chapters (Nanaimo, Vancouver, Commox Valley, London, Hamilton, Toronto and Brant) will be participating in seven of these actions. In addition, the Kamloops chapter has endorsed the day of action.
NUPGE encourages members to participate in Intercontinental Day of Action
"These kinds of trade deals are harmful to Canada, and to Canadians," says Larry Brown, National Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "They are a major part of the international corporate globalization agenda that has done so much to create economic instability, poverty, and huge income inequality around the world."
"Despite what many believe, free trade deals do not automatically increase trade. The more trade deals Canada has signed, the worse our performance has become. Exports to the majority of Canada’s trade deal partners actually grew more slowly than exports to non-free-trade partners, although our imports from free trade partners increased," Brown said.
He added, "What we know though, is that people who dislike government love trade deals. Free trade deals limit the ability of governments to govern the activities of corporations. Rights of corporations take precedence over rights of democratically elected government and its citizens. Only by speaking out against these deals, will we expose their true nature and harm to our future."
Find out how to get more involved
Members of the public are being encouraged to join an organized protest in their community. If one does not exist, create an event. In the U.S., protesters will be rallying outside politicians' offices; in Toronto, marches will be held from and to significant locations (Mexican Embassy); In Vancouver, information and education sessions have been organized; and in San Diego, supporters of the Day of Action will hang banners on highway overpasses to attract attention to the issue.
Contact www.tinyurl.com/tradejustice to register an event or for more information.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE