TORONTO, June 15, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor National President, Jerry Dias, spoke at a Town Hall in Toronto, calling on the federal government to not ratify the current Trans Pacific Partnership, but think boldly about trade.
"There is no reason to further grapple with the ratification of the TPP, the answer is a no brainer because this trade deal has significant negative consequences," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "The federal government needs to have the chops to support fair and reciprocal trade that helps to build Canada and a sustainable future."
The public Town Hall, organized by Global Affairs Canada, is part of a series of public consultations on the TPP conducted by the federal government across the country. Participating in the panel discussion, moderated by International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, was also Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa and Daniel Schwanen, Vice President of Research for the C.D. Howe Institute.
To a crowded room Dias said, "As a union that supports trade and views trade as a development tool, it's frustrating to see that so few modern trade agreements, like the TPP, have anything to do with trade." Caution was also expressed by Dias about the extraordinary powers that the TPP will grant to private investors and corporations whom will have the ability to challenge domestic laws and policies, and limit democratic decision-making in Canada.
Outside the Town Hall meeting was a community festival and demonstration organized by Council of Canadians, Leadnow, Open Media, Unifor and others. In a passionate speech Unifor Director of Telecommunications and Toronto Area Director, Naureen Rizvi, said to demonstrators, "A fair trade future starts by stopping the TPP, and stopping the TPP starts with our federal government. So let's keep the pressure on." The coinciding event included street theater and several community speakers.
Unifor pledged to continue to be active and speak out against ratification. "Canada needs a trade model that both supports increasingly interconnected economies, while fostering local communities, in a fair and sustainable way," said Dias
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. For more information about Unifor's position on the TPP, visit unifor.org/tpp for English, and unifor.org/ptp for French.
For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative, Denise Hammond at [email protected] or (cell) (416) 707-5794