Oppose Harper's Quick Passage
of Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreeement.
Harper government with the support of Michael Ignatieff's Liberals is
expected to push for a quick passage of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade
Agreement (CCFTA), as the first order of business, when Parliament
reconvenes this coming Monday, September 14th.
CCFTA bill was stalled from achieving a second reading in May of 2009
by the combined actions of opposition MPs from the NDP, Bloc Quebecois
and social movement forces both in Canada and Colombia. The CCFTA is a
key component of Harper's neoliberal free-trade agenda for Canada and
the region and he wants to pass it prior to the expected fall election.
of the CCFTA bill will require Liberal party support. We urge you to
contact/email Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Foreign Affairs
Critic Bob Rae and key Liberal MPs of the Standing Committee on
International Trade-CIIT. If you cannot contact them directly, speak to
their assistants and directly express your concerns:
Urge them to:
Not to ratify the implementation of a free trade agreement with the the
Alvaro Uribe government which has the worst human rights record in the
hemisphere, the second largest number of internally displaced after
Sudan and the highest number of unionists murdered.
Respect the recommendation of Parliament's Standing Committee on
International Trade which clearly outlines that the CCFTA bill should
not be implemented prior to an independent, third party human rights
1- Michael Ignatieff, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ON, Tel: 416. 251.5510, Fax:
416.251.2845; Tel: 613.995.9364, Fax: 613.992.5880 IgnatM@parl.gc.ca
2- Bob Rae, Toronto Centre, ON, Tel: 416.954.2222, Fax: 416.954.9649, Tel:
613.992.5234, Fax: 613.996.9607
3- Maria Minna, Beaches-East York, ON, Tel: 416.467.0860, Fax: 416.467.0905 Tel:
613.992.2115 Fax: 613.996.7942
***Here is list of Liberal MPs that are Members of the CIIT
John Cannis, Scarborough Centre, ON Tel: (416) 752-2358, Fax: (416)
752-4624; Tel: (613) 992-6823, Fax: (613) 943-1045
1- Scott Brison, Kings-Hants, NS
Tel: (902) 542-4010, Fax: (902) 542-4184, Tel: (613) 995-8231, Fax (613) 996-9349
2- Mario Silva, Davenport, ON Tel: (416) 654-8048, Fax: (416) 654-5083; Tel: (613)
992-2576, Fax: (613) 995-8202
***Here are 12 Lib.MPs that won in 2008 with under 5% margin:
1- Ujjal Dosanjh, Vancouver South, BC, Tel: 604.775.5323; Fax: 604.775-5420; Tel:
613.995.7052, Fax: 613.995.2962 DosanU@parl.gc.ca
2- Keith Martin, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, BC Tel: 250.474.6505, Fax: 250.474.5322;
Tel: 613.996.2625, Fax 613.996.9779 MartiK@parl.gc.ca
3- Alexandra Mendes, Brossard-La Prairie, QC, Tel: 450.466.6872, Fax: 450.466.9822;
Tel : 613.995.9301, Fax : 613.992.7273 Mendes.A@parl.gc.ca
4- Andrew Kania, Brampton West, ON, Tel: 905.846.0076 Fax:905.846.3901 Tel:
613.995.5381 Fax: 613.995.6796 Kania.A@parl.gc.ca
5- Ruby Dhalla, Brampton - Springdale, ON, Tel: 905.874.6868, Fax: 905.874.1415;
Tel: 613.995.4843, Fax: 613.995.7003
6- Siobhan Coady, St. John's South - Mount Pearl<, NL Tel: 709.772.4608, Fax:
709.772.4776; Tel: 613.992.0927, Fax: 613.995.7858
7- Justin Trudeau, Papineau, QC, Tel: 514.277.6020, Fax : 514.277.3454; Tel:
613.995.8872, Fax: 613.995.9926 Trudeau.J@parl.gc.ca
8- Frank Valeriote, Quelph, ON, Tel: 519.837.8276, Fax: 519.837.8443; Tel:
613.996.4758, Fax: 613.996.9922 Valeriote.F@parl.gc.ca
9- Brian Murphy, Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, NB, Tel: 506.851.3310, Fax: 506.851.3273;
Tel: 613.992.8072, Fax: 613.992.8083 MurphB@parl.gc.ca
10- Paul Szabo, Mississauga South, ON, Tel: 905.822.2111, Fax: 905.822.2115; Tel:
613.992.4848, Fax: 613.996.3267 SzaboP@parl.gc.ca
11- Joe Volpe, Eglinton-Lawrence, ON, Tel: 416.781.5583, Fax: 416.781.5586; Tel:
613.992.6361, Fax: 613.992.9791
12- Wayne Easter, Malpeque, PE, Tel: 902.964.2428, Fax: 902.964.3242; Tel:
613.992.2406, Fax: 613.995.7408 EasteW@parl.gc.ca
Please see the following letter to see the Union Support!
September 14, 2009
Public Service unions up in arms over Tory attempt to rush
Colombian free-trade agreement
OTTAWA Four of the largest Canadian trade unions are incensed at the Harper government’s attempt to ram through the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in advance of a possible federal election.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the National Union of Public and General Employees are criticizing the scheduling of Bill C-23, the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, as the first order of business when Parliament resumes on Sept. 14, 2009.
PSAC president John Gordon, CUPW president Denis Lemelin, CUPE president Paul Moist and former international vice-president of NUPGE, George Heyman were part of a trade union delegation that visited Colombia in July 2008.
“In the past eight months, 27 trade unionists and more than 77 members from the Indigenous communities have been murdered in Colombia,” said Moist, who heads the 590,000-member union, CUPE. “Stephen Harper should not be legitimizing these killings by ratifying a free trade agreement with Colombia”
Lemelin, who represents 56,000 postal workers through CUPW echoes Moist’s sentiment. “The Colombian Presidency has authorized its own intelligence service (DAS) to spy on and intimidate human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and even magistrates from the Supreme Court who have been investigating political scandals. Canada should not be ratifying a free trade agreement with a government that is working so hard to block democratic debate.”
“We are in an economic crisis,” said Gordon, president of PSAC which has over 166,000 members. “The federal government’s priorities should be creating jobs. This free trade agreement will not create jobs for Canadian workers, and it will not improve the lives of Colombian workers. In fact, the ratification of such an agreement will legitimize a repressive state internationally and will put the lives of Colombian activists in further peril.”
The four union presidents are asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to shelve the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement until a comprehensive and independent human rights impact assessment is carried out.
The presidents of the four unions are calling on all political parties to support human rights and real democracy in Colombia and to reject Bill C-23. So far, they have garnered the support of the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois. They have yet to hear from the Liberal Party, but are calling on Michael Ignatieff to put human lives before free trade.
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CUPE National Media Relations: 613-818-0067
CUPW Communications officer, Richard McGrath: 613-236-7230 extension 7914
PSAC Communications Officer Joselito Calugay: 613-560-4235 and 613-293-9324 (cel)