NAFTA needs to be changed in light of U.S. bailout: trade lawyer

    OTTAWA, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, party leader Jack Layton announced
that the NDP is prepared to engage the U.S. government to renegotiate the
North American Free Trade Agreement.
    In a statement, Layton said, "As Prime Minister, I will enter those talks
with one over-riding priority - saving and protecting Canadian jobs."
    Responding to the NDP's announcement, international trade lawyer Steven
Shrybman of Sack, Goldblatt Mitchell LLP said, "NAFTA is fourteen years old
and was written at a time when legislators were prepared to embrace free
market policies that dramatically reduce the role of governments."
    "But whether it's the need to regulate financial markets, ensure Canadian
energy security, provide social services such as health care, or address the
challenge of climate change, Canadians understand the vital role that
governments have to play," he said. "It is now time to rethink the basic
architecture of NAFTA to ensure that it serves, rather than undermines these
key societal goals."
    Mr. Shrybman has sought to challenge NAFTA before the Supreme Court of
Canada, and in his public interest practice has represented consumer,
environmental, and labour organizations.
    Recently, he was involved in initiatives to prevent investors from using
NAFTA to promote privatization of Canadian health care with the Canadian Union
of Public Employees (CUPE). Working with the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union (CEP), he urged the National Energy Board to ensure that
energy exports to the United States are regulated to promote Canadian job
creation in the energy sector.

    Steven Shrybman is counsel to the Rideau Institute and represented the
organization and the Canadian Auto Workers in their successful political
intervention through the Investment Canada Act to prevent the sale of
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates' (MDA) space division to a U.S. defence

For further information:

For further information: Steven Shrybman, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP,
c. (613) 858-6842,; Steven Staples, Rideau
Institute, c. (613) 290-2695,

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Rideau Institute on International Affairs

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