September 04, 2009
FREE TRADE SELLOUT BY MANITOBA NDP, By Darrell Rankin, September 1-15, 2009, issue of People's Voice
(The following article is from the September 1-15, 2009, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers and overseas readers - $50 per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 133 Herkimer St., Unit 502, Hamilton, ON, L8P 2H3.)
As the economic crisis drives millions deeper into poverty, the Manitoba NDP is strengthening the same policies that led to the debacle in the first place. At a recent meeting in Regina, provincial premiers pledged support for "a broad reciprocal procurement liberalization agreement with the United States."
According to the Winnipeg Free Press (Aug. 11), local business leaders fully support NDP Premier Gary Doer and his concessions on free trade. Doer now supports reducing interprovincial trade barriers and was eager to list the many areas where all (yes, all) restrictions on bidding were removed during his mandate.
NAFTA is being re‑negotiated in the wrong direction, removing protections put in place by local governments that have been in place for many generations. It will wipe out local businesses on both sides of the border, hand greater monopoly power to the giant, mainly U.S. transnationals, and undermine Canadian sovereignty.
Far from being a solution to the present economic crisis, removing existing trade barriers (as opposed to building new ones in the name of "protectionism") is the response one might expect from someone being bullied into submission.
U.S. imperialism is busy erecting new barriers not so much as a defensive measure (because of the U.S. economy's size), but as a weapon to force spineless Canadian premiers to drop their economic defences, selling out Canada in the process.
The new NDP Premier from Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, was also at the premiers' meeting. What a shameful meeting Doer and Dexter had in Regina, the founding home of the CCF‑NDP.
(Darrell Rankin is the Manitoba Leader of the Communist Party of Canada.)
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