Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ottawa

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ottawa

June 19, 2009 12:19 ET

CUPE Resolution Backs "Buy Canadian"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - CUPE's National Executive Board has passed a resolution supporting local procurement policies for municipal and provincial governments. The union also urges local governments to reject any proposals for a new sub-national trade agreement that would limit the democratic right of provinces and municipalities to set their own local purchasing policies.

In response to "buy America" provisions in the U.S. stimulus package, the Harper government and some private business groups have been asking for a new free trade deal that would include municipal and provincial procurement markets.

"CUPE has long advocated for strong communities, and strong communities require strong local governments," said CUPE National President Paul Moist "Letting local governments set their own purchasing policies provides great economic, social and environmental benefits. It promotes jobs in the community, diversifies local economies, increases tax revenues, and encourages communities to buy locally. We need to think about what's best for communities."

"Locking local governments into free trade agreements drastically reduces their ability to set purchasing policies which promote local community development," added Moist.

CUPE also supports a "buy Canadian" policy as a better response to "buy America".

"The U.S. government has had "buy America" laws in place since 1933," said Moist. "So why is it such a surprise - or such an issue - that the U.S would include them in its stimulus package?"

"Giving a preference to our domestic industries just makes sense during tough economic times. It is a more community-focused solution. It would create jobs and provide new markets right here in Canada," said Moist.

"Buy Canadian initiatives - such as the City of Toronto's choice to award a contract for new streetcars to Bombardier in Thunder Bay - just make sense. It will benefit thousands of Ontarians. We should be using our tax dollars to stimulate our economy."

CUPE National represents 590,000 members across Canada. CUPE represents over 150,000 workers in the municipal sector.

To read the entire CUPE resolution, go to:

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