Unifor’s campaign to stop ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal ramped up in Toronto on June 15 with a community rally and Town Hall that featured National President Jerry Dias.
Speaking to a crowded room, Dias called on the federal government to think boldly about trade to ensure Canada and made in Canada isn’t put at risk.
“The federal government needs to have the chops to support fair and reciprocal trade that helps to build Canada and a sustainable future,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor is a supporter of trade because it is a development tool for the economy, said Dias. The problem however with the TPP deal is that it has almost no upside to our economy. If ratified, the deal will grant extraordinary powers enabling corporations to challenge domestic laws and policies, and limit democratic decision-making in Canada.
Along with Dias, the Town Hall panel included Professor Michael Geist, Dan Schwanen from the C.D. Howe Institute and was hosted by the International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, who thanked Unifor for encouraging democracy and engaging in TPP consultations.
The Town Hall provided a forum for community members to offer their views. Based on speakers at the mic, the minister was sent a resounding message against ratification of the TPP deal.
Coinciding with the Town Hall was a community festival and demonstration organized by Council of Canadians, Leadnow, Open Media, Unifor and others.
In a passionate speech Unifor Director of Telecommunications and Toronto Area Director, Naureen Rizvi, said to demonstrators, “A fair trade future starts by stopping the TPP, and stopping the TPP starts with our federal government. So let’s keep the pressure on.”
Unifor’s National Executive Board has declared the campaign a top priority and to help ramp it up 12 regional coordinators from within the membership were appointed to organize and build momentum.
The 12 coordinators will work with Locals across Canada to inform members about the TPP, lobby local MPs to vote against ratification, plan demos and much more.
Local presidents should expect to hear from the regional coordinator in the coming weeks. To learn more about Unifor’s TPP campaign and action updates please go to unifor.org/tpp.