Canadian Council for the Americas

Canadian Council for the Americas

January 08, 2008 14:30 ET

Canadian Council for the Americas: Minister Blackburn to Address Business Leaders on Free Trade Agreements With Colombia and Peru

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 8, 2008) - On Wednesday, January 9, 2008 Federal Labour Minister Jean Pierre Blackburn will deliver in Toronto his first public speech on the Harper government's new strategy for addressing polemical labour issues in the Americas. His speech will focus on key provisions of the free trade agreements being concluded by Canada with Colombia and Peru.

The Harper government has made the Americas a foreign policy priority. The free trade agreements with Peru and Colombia are the building blocks for Canada's rejuvenated policy in the Americas and will provide Canadian business with a strategic edge in investment and trade in both of these fast growing economies.

Labour rights concerns have forestalled the passage of the US free trade agreement with Colombia. In Canada, opposition to the agreements has been forming for several months based on concerns about the murder by paramilitary forces of labour leaders in Colombia. Minister Blackburn will discuss the features that distinguish Canada's unique approach, its implications for future free trade agreements and why the free trade agreements can be used as implements to improve labour rights in both countries.

The speech will be hosted by the Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA) (, the premier Canadian forum for discussion on commercial and political issues in the Americas of interest to Canadian business, policy makers, academics and NGO's. This is the first of a series of speeches by senior decision-makers and thinkers from the hemisphere hosted by the CCA. In addition to presenting major speeches, the CCA is the premier Canadian centre for business to business meetings concerning opportunities and issues related to investment and trade with the region.

The breakfast event will be held at the Albany Club, 91 King Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1G3 from 7:30-9:15 am on January 9. It is open to the public at a cost of $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Council for the Americas
    Ken Frankel
    (416) 356-3143
    Canadian Council for the Americas
    Mary Anderson
    (416) 595-5333 ext. 24