Friday, 30 March 2007

Saskatchewan to hold public consultations on TILMA

The Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix are reporting that the Saskatchewan NDP provincial government has decided to hold public consultations regarding the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

According to the article, Sask. Party Leader Brad Wall is now critical of the government.

But Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall -- a staunch proponent of the province getting in on the deal -- questioned why that consultation hasn't already happened and accused the government of dragging its feet on the issue.

"This deal was announced last spring," he said in an interview.

"The government doesn't seem serious about this at all."

In other words, Brad Wall would have signed onto it already - WITHOUT ANY INPUT FROM THE CITIZENS OF SASKATCHEWAN. He would have signed the deal without exposing the details to the light of public scrutiny and before signing away the democratic rights of the citizens of this province.

Had he been Premier he would have signed the deal in SECRET in the back rooms along with his buddies, Alberta's Ralph Klein and B.C.'s Gordon Campbell.

TILMA is the most anti-democratic abdication of responsibility that has ever been signed by any government in this country. It is a massive assault on democracy and it ties the hands of government to act in the "public interest".

TILMA turns citizens' democratic rights over to the elite in the corporate board rooms of the nation. Unelected, unaccountable, unrepresentative, unacceptable.

See this legal analysis by Steven Shrybman of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Rejects TILMA

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) has rejected the BC/Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

The following is posted on the SUMA website under the highlights from their March 23-24 Board of Directors meeting held in Regina:


"SUMA Policy and Communication Services presented a draft report on the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement. Based on the information, the board of directors has several concerns about the potential impact for urban municipalities. A motion was passed that SUMA oppose Saskatchewan’s involvement in this agreement. However, should the province choose to begin negotiations to sign the agreement, then SUMA strongly believes that urban municipalities need to be at the negotiation table as an order of government. If this request is not supported by the province, then urban municipalities will demand a full exemption from the agreement."

Bush on Global Warming

Olbermann: Special Comment on Tom Delay

Williams launches ads assailing Harper over equalization pledge

Good for Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams.

"There's no greater fraud than a promise not kept" - Stephen Harper campaign material.

Meanwhile the Saskatchewan Government will not participate in a the Williams' advertising campaign.

And by the way, can somebody put a muzzle on Conservative Maurice Vellacott? Or get the guy some help, he's obviously suffering from a serious illness.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

SFL challenges Sask Party misinformation on TILMA

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Trade Committee Chair, Gary Schoenfeldt recently set the record straight regarding the Sask. Party's allegations that the SFL has not analysed the TILMA (Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement).

Schoenfeldt wrote a letter to the editor of the Regina Leader-Post challenging Sask. Party Deputy Leader, Ken Krawetz for comments Krawetz made in his letter to the editor regarding TILMA which appeared in the same paper two weeks earlier.

What these two letters clearly illustrate is that when it comes to TILMA, the SFL is miles ahead of the Sask. Party.

We welcome a comprehensive and broad based public consultation on TILMA and I invite Mr. Krawetz to debate representatives of the SFL on this "so-called" agreement in a public forum.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Exploitation of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

From: (Calgary Sun) - see the 2nd story here

"A Mexican farm worker who had a bad experience working on a farm near Provost has gone back home.

Armando Garcia flew back to his wife and two children Wednesday after parishioners at the Catholic Church in Provost raised money for his plane ticket.

His friend in Edmonton, Miguel Herrero, said he's appalled Alberta's labour code provides no protection for farm workers. He's trying to raise additional money for Garcia to help him get back on his feet after his bad experience in Canada.

Alberta Employment is investigating claims that the temporary foreign worker didn't get the medical coverage he was promised, wasn't paid extra for overtime and had so many deductions from his paycheque that he was getting paid less than $1 an hour."

Lou Dobbs interview with Robert Pastor on Secret Meetings in Banff amongst other things

More on Deep Integration with the U.S. and those who support sacrificing our democracy for the benefit of the Corporate Elite.

U.S. Bush administration allies want Canada along with francophone Quebec “erased” by 2010

From The Canadian National Newspaper:

"The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) which advises the U.S. Bush administration is calling for the “erasure” of Canada by 2010. Quebec as it exists today, in relation to its civil code, and other francophone cultural protections, is also to be “transformed” by 2010 under Anglo-American control. The Stephen Harper government reportedly further confirmed the terms of this “erasure” in Cancun, Mexico, under secondary provisions of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” (SPP). It is notable that neither “separatists” nor “federalists” in the current Quebec provincial elections have sought to debate the imminent destruction of the Quebec social and cultural fabric under an Anglo-American agenda.........."

See full column here.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

A couple of good documents on TILMA

Here are a couple of good documents that expose the truth about the Alberta/BC Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement: (both are in PDF format - Adobe Reader required)

Facing the Facts about TILMA - Council of Canadians

Red Alert: It's time to stop waltzing with TILMA - NUPGE

Thursday, 22 March 2007

$8B Sask. budget rolls out subsidies for seniors, grads

Why is it, that when a government spends money on seniors, students, low income citizens, and social infrastructure the Sask Party calls the budget "desperate" "reckless" and "unsustainable"?

But when the government doles out Millions of Dollars in tax cut expenditures to the wealthy, and profitable multi-national corporations it's not a problem?

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Plan for 12-year-olds in bars shot down

AFL President - Gil McGowan

This is absolutely beyond belief. Kids should be in school, not working in bars and strip clubs.

It is being reported by that the Alberta Conservative Government had agreed to allow 12-year-old children to be employed working in bars. That is until the Alberta Federation of Labour blew the whistle on the deal.

It appears that the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association has been badgering their conservative friends in the Alberta government to loosen up the Child Labour Laws even further to allow the CRFA's members to hire kids in bars.

This is the same organization (the CRFA) that cries poverty and squeals like a stuck pig everytime there is even a remote hint of an increase to the minimum wage.

This kind of corporate behaviour, and government sell-out, is reprehensible and shameful. What's next for the likes of Mr. von Schellwitz and his group?

Monday, 12 March 2007

University of Saskatchewan needs to refocus it's priorities

I think that the University of Saskatchewan should start paying attention to issues that are important to the citizen's of this province. Like being a decent employer, and negotiating fair and equitable settlements for all of the people who work there. After all this cheque for $100 Million is compliments of the people. (The cheque was signed by Premier Calvert, and presented to U of S President, Peter MacKinnon.)

We need the U of S to get re-connected to it's roots as the "People's University".

Regulators file charges against Dunn, 3 other former Nortel execs

Corporate corruption and more corruption? Check out the story here.

This kind of corporate behaviour seems to be all too frequent.

The Growing Gap just keeps growing!

The Growing Gap between those that have, and those that don't just continues to keep getting larger and larger.

Check out the Growing Gap web-site at:

Criminal complaint against Harper over huge EI surplus

Congratulations to the Saskatchewan Joint Board of RWDSU (Retail Wholesale Department Store Union) for filing a criminal complaint against the Stephen Harper Federal Government for inappropriate use of Unemployment Insurance funds.

To read about the complaint see the NUPGE Web Site. Click here.

Fox News: Libby Found NOT Guilty

So Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media will do whatever they think is necessary to defend the liars and cheaters - just as long as they are defending "their own liars and cheaters".

Remarkable! Watch this:

Sunday, 11 March 2007

B.C. farm workers want safer transportation after fatal crash

More on the fatal van crash in B.C. Those in charge of the employer/company who risked these worker's lives should be found guilty of criminal negligance causing death, and should go to jail.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Corporate Welfare Bums

So now we have to "pay" oil companies to go green? Aren't oil companies making any profit? I thought Exxon recently reported a quarterly profit of $10 Billion US. If the Federal Government has an extra $155 Million lying around maybe they should give it to starving children instead of oil companies.

U of S protest targets board's alleged secrecy

The administration of the University of Saskatchewan is out of control. No transparency, no accountability. Who's in charge of this mess???

Sask Party says: TILMA contains no threat to labour

Sask. Party labour critic and deputy leader Ken Krawetz has come out on TILMA.

What Mr. Krawetz letter doesn't say is that TILMA strips away citizen's and their government's democratic right to regulate and legislate in the public interest. In other words, TILMA is the most "anti-democratic" corporate investment deal we've seen yet.

His suggestion that everything is protected (by virtue of being excluded) reveals that his comments are based on a superficial analysis of the agreement. On the other hand, we (the SFL and others) have done indepth analysis of the agreement. We've looked at the so-called "potential benefits", and they are certainly not worth sacrificing democracy for.

So, it's clear - the Sask. Party supports TILMA. In spite of Krawetz's weak attempt to alleviate the concerns of TILMA's critics - his party would sign on to the agreement in a heartbeat.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Van packed with farm workers crashes in B.C., killing 3

This is the kind of thing we can count on, if we sign on to TILMA. Lowest common denominator. Worker's rights, and their health and safety are sacrificed for the convenience of Trade, Investment and so-called Labour Mobility. It's exploitation and abuse of workers - in this case farm workers.

In 2001, the newly elected Liberal government did away with a program that routinely inspected the vans. Since then, four people have died and more than 30 have been injured in accidents involving the transportation of farm workers in B.C.

"If we just leave things to allow people to self regulate, this is what happens," Angela Schira of the B.C. Federation of Labour said Wednesday.

Allowing this kind of situation to exist and to occur anywhere in this country is so offensive that it is almost beyond comprehension.