Harper Is Selling Another Piece of Canada to the United States
By signing the agreement on government procurement, the Harper government is selling another piece of our country to the Americans. The provincial and municipal public markets were not included in NAFTA or the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
The Harper government, that has already betrayed Canada in the case of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, is doing it again and delivering provincial and municipal markets to the Americans for a vague promise of reciprocity.
The reasons to oppose the agreement are several.
First of all is the Americans’ credibility. The Americans don’t ratify international agreements or, when they do, they don’t respect them and engage in long judicial proceedings that finish by wearing out the opponent. The softwood lumber dispute is only an example, but one can also remember the fisheries, wheat and durum wheat disputes.
Economically, Canada will be a loser. Lower wages and less restrictive American work and environmental rules and regulations will create pressure for lowering wages and rules and regulations in Canada. American companies could consider the Canadians rules as non-tariff barriers and engage in judicial proceedings. Unemployment will increase as many Canadian companies go bankrupt because of American competition. The result will be a lower standard of living and a deteriorated environment in Canada. Of course, some Canadian companies will still make profits, but on the whole, Canadians will lose.
In addition, considerable amounts of money will be taken out and used in the United States instead of serving the common good in Canada.
In Eastern Ontario the first cities to feel the impact will be small border cities such as Brockville, Cornwall and Kingston.
To have a fair agreement for Canadians, Americans must promise to respect Canadians rules and regulations. Furthermore, the United States must guarantee Canadian companies access to similar American public markets, including municipalities, without the continual threat of a future Buy American Act.
Before ratifying the agreement, the Harper government must respect the democratic process and obtain approval from Parliament.
Lastly, if our MP, Guy Lauzon, tells you that the agreement will create jobs in Canada, don’t believe him because he represents the interests of his party and not ours.
Corneliu Kirjan – Cornwall
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)
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