EDITORIAL – NAFTA Under the Gun – Canada should never be for sale – Jamie Gilcig – Cornwall Ontario – March 10, 2010

It may be time to circle the wagons here in Canada.  A group of politicians in the US are planting the seeds to open the NAFTA trade agreement.

Created during the Mulroney era, NAFTA has been argued on both sides of the border since its inception.   This US initiative is essentially being directed in response to record job losses that some in the US blame on NAFTA suggesting that US jobs are being lost to Canada even while statistics clearly show that our own industrial sector has lost a huge number of jobs per capita since NAFTA was implemented.

To me this is akin to a drowning man pulling down those around them.   The ills of the US job crisis have to be squarely dealt with by the US via their policy both domestic and abroad.   Out sourcing of jobs to China, India, and other emerging economies with little social nets or taxation structures comparable to North America is a major cause of US and Canadian job loss; not Canada’s economy.

The US needs our resources.  They need our technology.   If you look at the Soft Wood Lumber capitulation our current Federal government is set to start to open to the doors to foreign control and ownership of our key industries.    From water, to territorial integrity in the Arctic,  Communications to Book distribution Canada is about to be plundered by US and other foreign interests .

It should be a key issue in the next election and there needs to be strong leadership to confront the Harper machine’s zest to sell off Canada one piece at a time.   It’s much more important an issue than say…the National Anthem because if Canada gets sold off one piece at a time we’ll all end up singing the Star Spangled Banner before long.

(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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  1. “The US needs our resources. They need our technology.”

    I take issue to this claim. It’s more like “The US needs our resources. We need their technology and financing.”

    And while you may argue until you’re blue in the face about certain industries losing jobs to their American counterparts – how many more Canadian jobs have been created because of Starbucks, McDonalds, Walmart, Costco, Ford, Boeing, the majority of the oil and gas companies, and all the other American corporations who invest in Canada?

    Take the example of Walmart – an American corporation whose supply chain uses cheap Chinese labor to produce inexpensive goods. Those goods are sold in Canadian stores (open because of investment by the American parent company), employing Canadians, but also allow Canadian customers to save more of there personal income. With more personal income, those Canadians consumers invest more in regional economic activity, creating more prosperity.

    That is a truly beautiful system, as EVERYONE prospers from it and it is only possible because of free trade.

  2. Author

    “how many more Canadian jobs have been created because of Starbucks, McDonalds, Walmart, Costco, Ford, Boeing,”

    Harble how many Canadian jobs did these companies cost our economy? What was the impact of these corporations had on the rate of salary? The Middle class?

    I’m not trying to be an isolationist; I just think that allowing mega corporations complete access and freedom with no checks and balances is plain dumb for our economy; but then we’re a country that voted in a Prime Minister whose own company was offshore!

    The US and Canada have been impacted by allowing our companies to shut down their local factories and move lock stock n barrel offshore yet still keep their sales offices and income here.

    That’s not good for business or government in the big picture.

  3. What is the average pay scale at Wal Mart, Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.? So who prospers?

    When the original Free Trade document was signed (the worst thing ant Candian government has ever done, thanks again Conservatives) it was the first of its kind, opening the door for the rampant globalization we are dealing with now. Originally all our manufacturing jobs went to Mexico, and now they are spread out throughout Asia. This allowed the corporations to maximize profit without worrying about treating employees well, without worrying about environmental issues, without worrying about the safety or quality of the product (lead toys anyone?).

    So then Wal Mart can sell this junk to us at super low rates and tell us what a wonderful thing it is. And we’re forced to buy it because all the good jobs are gone and we can’t afford to buy quality products manufactured locally. Let’s not forget WalMarts atrocious record with treating its employees as well.

    I say screw globalization and let’s start making things here again.

  4. Author

    Do cheaper gym socks and t shirts at Walmart really help you when you’ve lost your $24 per hour job? Or your $14 per hour job? Does working at Walmart replace owning your own store or working for a locally owned firm?

    Again, I’m not suggesting outlawing or dissing these companies. The work within the laws of the land. I blame we voters who allegedly make and implement the laws of the land.

    It’s time we voters took back Canada, Ontario, and yes, even Cornwall and worked for the things that we want from our government.

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