Sunday, November 13, 2005

Protesting injustice

CBC reports on a creative effort to call attention to the softwood lumber dispute:
Two boys from Alberta and B.C. are organizing a one-day boycott of McDonalds restaurants to pressure Washington over the softwood lumber dispute...

"It concerns all of Canada and I've been interested for some time about justice issues," said Luke, 10, who has set up a website, called We Want Our Money Back, urging a Dec. 3 boycott.

They condemned U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration for refusing to respect several NAFTA rulings supporting Canadian claims that the tariffs were illegal – including a recent one by an international panel whose rulings were supposed to be binding in disputes under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
I'll accept the point of McDonalds Canada that the boycott doesn't seem particularly closely related to the dispute - even if the U.S. lumber producers benefitting from the tariffs don't themselves sell much in Canada, one would think that (say) a hardware chain would at least seem closer to the mark. But if nothing else, the two boys involved are taking more meaningful action than either the federal government or the official opposition have even proposed on the issue.

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