- Frances Russell rightly asks whose freedom is supposed to be protected by free trade agreements such as CETA:
Once Canada signs CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with Europe, federal, provincial and municipal governments will suddenly find their hands and feet tied. Suddenly, they will experience real push-back from foreign multinationals should they try to use their historic right to maintain civic, provincial and national autonomy in governmental decision making.- And William Amos and Carissa Wong discuss the importance of putting the public interest ahead of the profit motive when it comes to Canadian water.
Simultaneously, Canada’s sub-national governments will suddenly discover they have lost the ability to protect the environment, create well-paying, long-term jobs and assist their marginalized citizens unless they are prepared to pay a hefty profit to some private corporation through what is now known as public-private partnerships.
CETA — and indeed all “free” trade deals being crafted in this era of global corporate rule, neo-conservatism and privatization — are, in the famous words of Canada’s leading humanitarian thinker, Sen Eugene Forsey “the greatest ever romp of the rich to skin the poor in history.”
As the details of what Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed off on last week start to trickle out, Canadians should be appalled and angry.
- CBC reports that Alberta isn't interested in applying its own law to allow First Nations to speak about tar sands developments which may contaminate their traditional land and water. And Martin Lukacs takes note of the Elsipogtog fracking protests as the front line of a growing movement, while Daniel Wilson looks at the roots of the protest.
- Of course, your corporate overlords aren't taking too kindly to First Nations' efforts to assert their rights. Which is why the Cons are siding with abusers to sweep aside records detailing the horrific mistreatment of First Nations children and ensure that the Truth and Reconciliation commission can't achieve either of its nominal purposes - while the Sask Party ignores continued calls to stop their racist attack ads.
- But in an all-too-rare piece of good news, Lori Culbert reports that B.C.' Therapeutics Initiative will survive the corporate tag team of Christy Clark and big pharma - at least for now.
- Finally, Klint Finley discusses the Madison Project's effort to move away from the opaque, top-down governance style epitomized by the Cons and Sask Party through open, participatory drafting of legislation.