Saturday, 12 May 2007

TILMA: Canada West Foundation and Canadian Federation of Independent Business misleading people when they omit important facts

I recently did an interview with National Post columnist Kevin Libin on the potential negative impact of the anti-democratic B.C./Alberta Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). You can read the resulting column by clicking here.

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?


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