Media Advisory - G8/G20 People's Summit in Toronto will call for 'system
change, not more of the same'

TORONTO, March 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Three months from today the 2010 People's Summit will begin in Toronto, and is inviting people from across Canada and around the world to come to Toronto to challenge the policies of the G8 and G20 this June.

On the weekend before the official G20 Summit, the People's Summit will take place at Ryerson University in Toronto. The People's Summit will educate, empower and ignite positive change, through a wide array of workshops, presentations, skills training and cultural events. Planning for the People's Summit has been underway for several months, and is the latest counter-summit in a long lineage of grassroots responses to international summits.

"The people of the world are demanding system change, not more of the same economic, social, and environmental injustices that are perpetuated by the G8 and G20," says Marya Folinsbee, coordinator of the G8/G20 People's Summit. "And so the People's Summit will have more legitimacy in representing the aspirations of the people of the world than the G8 and G20 can ever claim."

"The Canadian government, host of the G8 and the G20 Summits, has lost credibility on a broad range of issues that do not reflect the opinion of the average Canadian, such as on climate change, foreign policy and now maternal health," says Dylan Penner, a People's Summit spokesperson and media officer for the Council of Canadians. "People in Canada and around the world have lost faith in this government."

"The G20 wants to maintain the status quo for its own benefit. The rest of the world wants change," adds Folinsbee. "The People's Summit is building solidarity across movements to ensure all voices are represented, and unlike the G8 and G20, this is what democracy looks like."

The People's Summit will bring together people from all walks of life working for solidarity, self-determination, human rights, a people's economy, justice, peace, a healthy planet, and transformative social change against current economic policies.

The steering committee of the People's Summit includes the Council of Canadians, Canadian Labour Congress, Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario, Canadian Peace Alliance, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), CUPE Ontario, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Greenpeace, Ontario Council for International Cooperation, Polaris Institute, Rainforest Action Network, Toronto Community Mobilization Network, and the United Church. The website of the People's Summit is www.peoplessummit2010.ca.

Following the People's Summit, a week of G20 protests will take place throughout Toronto, between the 21st and 27th, organized by the Community Mobilization Network, a network of Toronto-based organizations of people of colour, indigenous peoples, women, the poor, the working class, queer and trans people and disAbled people. For more details visit www.g20.torontomobilize.org.

SOURCE Council of Canadians

For further information: For further information: In Toronto: Marya Folinsbee, (905) 218-5131, coordinator@peoplessummit2010.ca; In Ottawa: Dylan Penner, Council of Canadians, (613) 795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org

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