For Immediate Release
December 16, 2010
Ottawa, ON -- Canada's already challenged public water systems are under threat from a broad free trade agreement being negotiated by Canada and the European Union (EU). A new report released today, Public Water for Sale: How Canada will privatize our public water systems, warns that public water in Canada will be lost unless the provinces and territories take immediate steps to remove water from the scope of the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
A spectre is haunting Ireland -- the spectre of James Connolly.
Connolly was executed by a British firing squad for his role in Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising for home rule. Celebrated as a hero of Irish independence by political parties of both the left and right in Ireland, his socialism is all too conveniently overlooked.
Concern for the plight of others is normal; it is part of being human. People recognize what it means for someone else to be cold or wet, or face thirst or hunger. Accounts of what we should do as a society have a place for empathy. The over-arching political philosophies, conservatism, liberalism and socialism are built around ideas of what responsibilities citizens have (and do not have) to each other, though this does not mean it is easy to reach agreements about how to provide shelter, and sustenance to those in need.
Canada's trade negotiators used to complain they were missing all the fun. Canada didn't sign any free-trade agreements for seven years (stretching back to a blockbuster deal with Costa Rica in 2002). Then, last year, a spate of little deals (including Colombia, where trade unionists are still being murdered) broke the drought and gave them something to do. But it's the "big one" that now has negotiators drooling: a proposed mega-deal with the European Union. The fourth round of talks kicks off today in Brussels.
The world economy is mis-functioning. The whole world is sending money to the richest country, the U.S., to feed its consumption habits. While Germany, Japan, China, and the oil exporters are in a surplus position, the rest of the world is in deficit. This is a serious problem because, unlike the U.S., other deficit countries cannot settle their accounts by printing their own money.