Thursday, 31 May 2007
TILMA: Northwest Territories Association of Communities passes resolution urging Territorial Government not to sign trade agreement
Opposition to the agreement signed in secret between the Premiers of Alberta and B.C. continues to grow as more and more organizations and ordinary citizens read and become familiar with this anti-democratic TILMA scheme.
What is also abundantly clear is that the corporate elite, and the main-stream media they control, will continue to ramp up their campaign of misinformation, distortion of the facts, and fear mongering in attempts to justify this massive assault on democracy.
Friday, 25 May 2007
TILMA: Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall's shameless promotion of trade deal at Leader’s Dinner in Saskatoon and Regina
Check out his latest installment by clicking here.
It's clear, given the chance, that the Sask. Party would sacrifice the democratic rights of the province's citizens in favour of pandering to the "good old boys" in the corporate boardrooms of companies headquartered outside of Saskatchewan.
Just read what they are saying about TILMA.
Thursday, 24 May 2007
There's a lot more to TILMA than just the fact it prevents cities from giving Tax Breaks to Businesses. That's the least of our worries. In fact, if that was the only thing TILMA did, I'd say "sign the sucker" - certain businesses have been getting a free-ride for too long already anyway.
But that's not all TILMA does - TILMA strips away Government's ability and responsibility to regulate and legislate in the public interest and it hands control of our democracy over to the corporate boardrooms of trans-national companies. It does this by giving corporations the ability to sue governments for up to 5 million dollars, if the corporation thinks some action by government impairs their ability to make a profit.
There isn't a company on the planet that would sign an agreement that gave that kind of control to their workers.
How about that, how about we sign an agreement that gives workers the ability to sue the companies where they work for $5 million dollars per employee if the company closes up shop and moves to Mexico?
After all, such an action by a company, because they can pay workers sweat-shop wages in certain countries, is a barrier to workers in Canada. It's a barrier to our ability to invest our time and labour to make an individual profit. It violates a workers' individual ability to trade, to invest, and (as a result) to his/her own labour mobility.
TILMA is a Massive Assault on Democracy. KNOW TILMA!
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Click here for more details, including video clips and photos.
The show is advertised as a documentary about the unionization of the global corporate giant - Wal-Mart - in small town Saskatchewan (Weyburn).
After you view the video above - check out this link on the EU/US Merger: New Global Order By Stealth
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Gary's letter challenges the StarPhoenix for their use of scare tactics to try and convince readers that the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) is good.
But of course, they can't name the benefits of this anti-democratic agreement - because there are none that are worth the cost. Just like they can't (or won't) name any of the "so-called" barriers they are proposing to get rid of with this agreement.
What I've said in the past bears repeating here:
"Any political leader who would sign an agreement that reduces and relegates democracy to the status of some irritating exemption in a corporate bill of rights (i.e. TILMA) does not deserve to hold the office to which he or she has been elected.
It is totally irresponsible and it is a betrayal of trust for any politician or any elected leader to abandon democracy in an attempt to placate a narrow ideological special interest (i.e. Trans-National Corporations). TILMA is a massive assault on democracy" - Larry Hubich, April 26, 2007.
TILMA: City of Regina identifies potential impact; report says trade agreement “vague and general,” may weaken standards and regulations
The eleven page report analyses the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) and discusses what the potential effects on the City of Regina would be if the Province of Saskatchewan was to sign on to the anti-democratic trade agreement.
While the report attempts to diminish the potential negative impacts of TILMA, it offers no guarantee that what opponents of TILMA are predicting won't in fact materialize. Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters" blog has done a more comprehensive analysis of the Regina City Soliciter's Report.
TILMA strips away the right and responsibility of City Councils to act in the best interests of the citizens of the city. This "so-called" trade agreement is a Massive Assault on Democracy.
Sunday, 20 May 2007
The Spin Doctors over at the corporate media are working overtime to please their masters.
The flawed methodology and baseless support relied on by the Ottawa Citizen has been responded to and criticized by a couple of folks from the labour community:
Larry Brown from the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) in: Beware downside to latest trade deal.
Erin Weir from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in: What Internal Trade Barriers?
TILMA strips away Government's ability to regulate and legislate in the Public Interest. It is a Massive Assault on Democracy. KNOW TILMA!
The StarPhoenix editorial was entitled "TILMA gives clout to Sask" and as Kuchta points out - that editorial was seriously lacking in balance and credibility.
There is fear mongering going on around the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) alright - but that fear mongering is coming from the likes of the corporate elites and the special interest groups they control. Aided and abetted by the mainstream media they own.
If you're looking for a counter balance to the corporate manufactured hysteria around TILMA you'll only find it on blogs such as this one, "Owls and Roosters", "Relentlessly Progressive Economics" and a few others.
Get educated, read the agreement for yourself, and KNOW TILMA!
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Oh there are "scare tactics" being employed alright. But they are not being employed by people who oppose TILMA.
These "scare tactics" are being used by the pro-multi-national corporation types who are attempting to blackmail Saskatchewan into signing this anti-democratic so-called trade agreement by threatening that if we don't sacrifice democracy and sign on - the world will pass us by.
It's just so much more of the constant barrage of negativity coming from certain elements of the business crowd. They oppose community, they oppose public interest, they oppose democracy, they oppose unions, they oppose medicare, they oppose crown corporations, they oppose anyone making a decent living, they oppose any increase to the minimum wage, they oppose improving the lot of those most vulnerable in our society.
And they support secrecy, backroom deals, war and George W. Bush.
Monday, 14 May 2007
Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters" blog has prepared a comprehensive report and analysis of the resolutions debated at the LMLGA regarding TILMA.
More questions raised about the legitimacy of the Anti-Democratic TILMA.
Saturday, 12 May 2007
TILMA: Canada West Foundation and Canadian Federation of Independent Business misleading people when they omit important facts
Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters" blog has submitted a letter to the editor in response to Libin's column.
My opening comment to Libin in the interview was this: "To set the record straight, the labour movement is in favour of Trade, we are in favour of Investment and we are in favour of Labour Mobility. What we are opposed to is TILMA, because it's not about any of those things". I pointed out examples of how labour, unions, and our members invest heavily in small, medium, and large businesses - through our pension plans, labour sponsored venture capital, and our own personal savings and RRSP's.
The telephone interview lasted approximately 1/2 hour and covered many areas, including the broad and sweeping nature of TILMA, and how it usurps the democratic responsibility of governments (at all levels, provincial, municipal, etc.). And how TILMA strips away government's ability to act, legislate and regulate in the public interest. The column leaves the impression that those of us who oppose TILMA are just crazy lefties.
I didn't expect any different orientation from the National Post, it's just that these right wing rags never point out the fact that workers, through their pensions and other financial instruments, have invested HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars in small, medium and large enterprises and businesses.
The millions of union members in this country play a huge role in keeping the economy humming. And we contribute in a very significant way to our communities and to society.
To us, Democracy is more than some "irritating exemption" in some corporate oriented trade agreement. An agreement that was signed in secret - in the backrooms - without public consultation, without public input, and without public oversight.
What are they hiding?
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Johann Hari: The real scandal at the World Bank - The Bank is killing thousands of the poorest people in the world
Here are the opening two paragraphs:
"While the world's press has been fixated on the teeny-weeny scandal over whether the World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz helped to get his girlfriend a $300,000-a-year gig next door, they have been ignoring the rancid stench of a far bigger scandal wafting from Wolfie's Washington offices.
This slo-mo scandal isn't about apparent petty corruption in DC. It's about how Wolfowitz's World Bank is killing thousands of the poorest people in the world, and knowingly worsening our worst crisis - global warming - every day."
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
TILMA: Professor Eric Howe; the potential risk to Aboriginal people and programs, social policy and non-profit organizations in Saskatchewan
Thanks very much to Joe for taking the time to do this important work of exposing the Anti-Democratic TILMA.
Friday, 4 May 2007
In a further critique of the Conference Board's analysis of the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), Weir points out "serious practical problems" with the survey conducted by the Conference Board to back up it's analysis of the supposed economic benefits of TILMA.
The Conference Board of Canada simply can't add. There are a number of glaring mathematical errors - which indicate sloppy work. Also, the CBoC's methodology and assumptions are seriously flawed.
As Weir said in commenting about the survey sample used by the CBoC:
"First, more than three-quarters of private-sector entities did not respond to the survey, which suggests that alleged inter-provincial barriers are not an important issue for Saskatchewan business. More generally, this low response rate casts doubt on the survey’s validity.
Second, most of the private-sector organizations surveyed are industry associations or chambers of commerce, which are ideologically committed to deregulation via TILMA and other means."
Hardly a neutral and unbiased analysis of the potential impact of the TILMA scheme. The provincial government "should demand a refund" indeed.
Thursday, 3 May 2007
"As noted in December using 2002 figures, Saskatchewan imports more from its prospective TILMA partners than it exports to them. The 2003 figures are now available: Saskatchewan’s trade deficit with Alberta was $2.1 billion and its trade deficit with BC was $0.4 billion.
Since there are currently no significant barriers to inter-provincial trade, signing TILMA would not significantly increase inter-provincial trade flows. However, if TILMA functioned as promised and facilitated greater inter-provincial trade, the consequence would be larger trade deficits for Saskatchewan. Others things being equal, this change would reduce Saskatchewan’s GDP and employment.
The countervailing argument, and indeed the orthodox economic argument for free trade, is that higher productivity will increase GDP. However, higher productivity does not create jobs. If productivity gains increased Saskatchewan’s GDP despite higher trade deficits, the result would not be greater employment. Even on a purely theoretical level, the Conference Board’s claim that TILMA would increase both GDP and employment in Saskatchewan is suspect.
In his review of the Conference Board’s work, Dr. Helliwell writes (pages 11-12), “it is surprising to see the Conference Board report, which is intended to show the long term equilibrium consequences of TILMA, reporting a net increase of 4,400 jobs. I gather that this was done by taking the presumed 0.92% provincial increase in GDP and calculating the number of workers it would take, on average, to produce that much GDP. But since the gain in GDP is coming from productivity increases, the increase in GDP is not based on hiring more workers but on reducing the number of workers required to produce a given amount of GDP.”"
Wednesday, 2 May 2007
Would such an action taken by a municipality or city in either B.C. or Alberta violate the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA)?
You tell me.
The agreement says:
1. Each Party shall ensure that it's measures do not operate to restrict or impair trade between or through the territory of the Parties, or investment or labour mobility between the Parties.
A “measure” includes any legislation, regulation, standard, directive, requirement, guideline, program, policy, administrative practice or other procedure.
Now "water" is listed as "exempt" - BUT the agreement defines "water" as:
water means surface and ground water in liquid, gaseous, or solid state, but does not include water packaged in containers with a capacity of 20 litres or less.
Leader-Post Reporter, Neil Scott, has filed this story.
They (the government) are inviting submissions on these topics, with a deadline for submissions being May 31, 2007.
I think both concepts merit serious consideration.
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
TILMA: Conference Board of Canada impact assessment for Saskatchewan shows flaws similar to BC report; private sector cites just three “barriers”
His comprehensive and clear analysis challenges many of the assumptions used by the Conference Board of Canada (and other supporters of the scheme) in their arguments.
It exposes gaping holes, misinformation, fabrication and numerous outright errors.
And for all you Rider Fans out there - I said, "TILMA is Bad" -- not TILLMAN is bad!