Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

November 16, 2009 15:43 ET

Media Advisory: Say Bye to Buy Local

Trade deals threaten local economies

CUPE Ontario and Council of Canadians speaking tour on trade arrives in Kingston on Tuesday, November 17

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2009) - In the midst of the 'Buy American' local procurement controversy, 'Say bye to buy local,' will arrive in Kingston on Tuesday, November 17. The Kingston event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Days Inn Hotel, 33 Benson Street.

The Ontario speaking tour will then proceed to London, and Hamilton. The events, featuring Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow and Michael Hurley, 1st Vice-President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario will reveal how secret trade deals are threatening local economies, communities, jobs and the environment.

"In times like this, we need our local, provincial and federal governments to be innovative and responsive to the communities they represent, as well as the international community we are all part of," says Hurley. "We need them to recognize, like so many people already do, that many of the solutions to all these crises are going to be local solutions."

'Say bye to buy local' is focusing on three specific trade agreements that will have significant impacts on Ontario communities: The proposed Canada–U.S. bilateral procurement agreement covering subnational governments; the Ontario–Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement that Premiers McGuinty and Charest negotiated in secret and signed on September 11, 2009; and, the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, negotiations which started in Ottawa on October 19. 

"We are currently suffering multiple crises – an economic crisis that threatens our jobs and livelihoods, an environmental crisis that threatens our habitat, and an energy crisis that demands we move away from fossil fuels and a reliance on long-distance trade," says Barlow. "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."

The impact of these internal and international agreements 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.

Contact Information

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