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Canadians want feds to deliver on progressive trade promises: new poll

November 15, 2017

Toronto – A new poll reveals the vast majority of Canadians feel the government needs to secure progressive improvements to labour, environmental and other social issues in NAFTA or be prepared to walk away from a bad trade deal.

“Canadians share Unifor’s view that trade deals should serve broader public interests, not just those of private investors and big corporations,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our federal officials are right to focus on enhanced labour standards at the NAFTA table, for example, but they must not back down.”

Environics Research conducted an online survey of 2,000 Canadians (18+) between October 5th and 16th and found that while 90 per cent of those surveyed are supportive of trade agreements in principle, eight in ten say Canada should walk away from NAFTA if the Americans reject all demands addressing labour, environmental and social issues.

Other key findings on Canadians attitudes toward NAFTA and progressive trade issues include:

•             75 per cent believe the US and major Canadian corporations have benefited from NAFTA while only 29 per cent believe they have personally benefited;

•             Nine in ten Canadians support the government’s push for NAFTA changes to better serve society’s interests, including higher labour and environmental standards; and

•             Eight in ten Canadians would feel disappointed if the government signs a new NAFTA deal that does not include improved labour, environmental and social provisions.

Survey results can be viewed online at unifor.org/NAFTA.

“It’s clear that Canadians aren’t willing to blindly accept that we need a deal at all costs,” said Dias, who will take that message to Mexico City for round five of NAFTA renegotiations beginning on November 17.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).