Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

March 21, 2005 14:10 ET

Labour to PM: "Just Say No!"

It's time to stand up for Canada, not gamble it away Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - March 21, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress calls on the Prime Minister to make it crystal clear that the government of Canada rejects the deeper integration with the US proposed by a few corporate CEOs and his former cabinet colleague John Manley.

"Canadian working citizens need to hear that this is not part of his agenda when Prime Minister Martin meets with Presidents Bush and Fox in Texas this week," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "The Prime Minister must make it clear that Canada will continue to pursue independent policies based on our own priorities and values and that we expect the US to live up to its obligations under international trade law."

Georgetti finds it astounding that a deeper relationship with the US is being proposed at a time when it is blindingly obvious that the US has no respect for the trade deals it has already signed and ratified. Canadians are reminded of that every day by our ongoing disputes on softwood lumber and our trade in beef.

Georgetti says the Prime Minister must reject outright this deep integration scheme of this self-appointed Task Force operating to further its own narrow self-interest.

"John Manley and Brian Mulroney have left the democratic arena and do not speak for Canadians. As for the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, we cannot find in any of last year's annual general meetings of shareholders resolutions to sanction its position. It appears they don't even speak for their companies on this issue."

As discussed recently at the House of Commons' Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment, the Canadian working citizens' agenda right now demands a thorough review of NAFTA that includes getting rid of the disastrous Chapter 11, replacing the failed Chapter 19 with something with teeth and re-assessment of NAFTA labour-side agreement in order to bring real fairness and improvement in the North American workplace.

According to Georgetti, the government should direct its efforts toward building fair trade agreements that help sustain and create family-supporting jobs in Canada.

"Canadians want sensible working arrangement to manage our economic links with our largest trading partner and ally. And they also want to preserve and enhance our sovereignty in those areas where it is most important - civil liberties, workers' rights, immigration and refugee policy, culture, defence and foreign policy, energy and the environment, and social policy," says Georgetti.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site: /For further information: Jeff Atkinson, 613-526-7425 or 613-863-1413/ IN: ECONOMY, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL, TRADE

Contact Information

  • Jean Wolff, Director of Communications Department, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7431
    Secondary Phone: 613-878-6040