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Saint John – The Presidents of CUPE in the four Atlantic Provinces want a full public debate on the concept of ‘Atlantica’ before there are any further moves toward ‘business without boundaries’.

Donalda MacDonald, President of CUPE PEI, says: “The Chambers of Commerce, whether local, regional or national, do not speak on behalf of the citizens in this country. We elect governments to work on behalf of all citizens, not just the elite business community.”

“The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), has outlived its usefulness, says Danny Cavanagh, President of CUPE Nova Scotia. AIMS is saying that local land rules are too restrictive; the federal minister should not appoint people to port commissions; that we have to take the operation of ports out of the public’s hands and let business do it. But Canadians want to have a say in how public facilities are operated.”

Wayne Lucas, President of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador, says Atlantica will be exposed. “We will engage labour councils and federations of labour, and other social justice groups to hound the authors of Atlantica. This is a fight to defend our Canadian values.”

Daniel Légère, President of CUPE New Brunswick, was concerned with the statements of an official of the Lord Government at the conference. “I was startled that Trevor Holder, Minister of Environment, bragged about supporting the free trade concept in 1988, contrary to the rest of the eastern provincial bloc, and continues along this path in supporting the concept of Atlantica.”

Rick MacMillan, General Vice-President for CUPE, said that CUPE’s half-million members in Canada will be watching this very closely. “We are very concerned with any talk of harmonizing regulations with the United States. Our experience has been that it always results in the lowering of standards for Canadians. Atlantica needs a full public debate, not a shady back-door lobby from the corporate elite.”

For information:
Wayne Lucas
President, CUPE NL
(709) 727-2509 (c)

Danny Cavanagh
President, CUPE NS
(902) 957-0822 (c)

Daniel Légère
President, CUPE NB
(506) 869-0424 (c)

Donalda MacDonald
President, CUPE PEI
(902) 969-9074 (c) cope 491