Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario
Council of Canadians

Council of Canadians

November 18, 2009 14:08 ET

Media Release: Say Bye to Buy Local Comes to Kingston

CUPE Ontario, Council of Canadians speaking tour on trade arrives in Kingston

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2009) - 'Say bye to buy local,' the sixth stop on an eight-city speaking tour featuring Council of Canadians National Chair Maude Barlow and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario 1st Vice-President Michael Hurley, arrived in Kingston last evening.

Before an audience of nearly 100 at the Days Inn Hotel, Hurley and Barlow revealed how several interprovincial and international trade deals, currently being negotiated behind closed doors, are threatening local economies, communities, jobs and the environment.

"Ontarians have a right to discuss and debate these agreements, and to have the power to modify, expand or cancel them if they're not in the province's interests," Barlow told those in attendance.

The impact of these internal and international agreements, she warned, will be broad and often incompatible with social goods, such as stimulating local economies, maintaining a universal and publicly-funded health care system, and protecting the environment.

"As Ontarians, we are all affected-when our elected politicians lose their ability to make the best decisions on behalf of their constituents and let the business community set the agenda on their terms-we all lose," said Hurley.

Following their presentations, Barlow and Hurley took part in a wide-ranging, thirty-minute question-and-answer session with the audience. Among the topics raised were strategies to counter the secret trade deals currently under negotiation, lobbying politicians and how to build coalitions that focus on the public interest rather than narrow corporate interests.

The speaking tour proceeds to London and Hamilton.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Michael Hurley
    1st Vice-President
    CUPE Communications
    Kevin Wilson