TRURO, N.S.– Nova Scotia’s premier has it wrong when he says he wants a national policy to allow workers to move freely from one province to another, said CUPE Nova Scotia president Danny Cavanagh while attending a labour rally outside the premiers’ meeting in Moncton, N.B., today.
“Our premier is pitching the agreement between Alberta and British Columbia as a model, but it won’t make things better for workers or anyone else,” Cavanagh said. “Workers are moving freely between provinces and, as a result, we are seeing the start of labour shortages in Nova Scotia.”
The agreements, Atlantica in the east and the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) in the west, have been negotiated in secret and will impose harmonization on local economies.
Cavanagh fears that Atlantica, which includes a dispute settlement mechanism, will encourage a race to the lowest provincial labour standards in the country. “We know there is heavy pressure on all provinces to implement inter-provincial trade agreements,” he said. “These will give corporations the power to force elected governments to remove laws and regulations they don’t like.”
Cavanagh joined hundreds of citizens in a march on the Council of the Federation premiers’ meeting where protesters stressed the same concerns about the trade deals.
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