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In the midst of the ‘Buy American’ local procurement controversy, ‘Say bye to buy local,’ will arrive in Toronto on Tuesday, October 20. The Toronto event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Victoria College Chapel Building (91 Charles Street West, 2nd Floor, Room 213).

The Ontario speaking tour will then proceed to Sudbury, Windsor, Kingston, London, and Hamilton. The events, featuring Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario President Sid Ryan, will reveal how secret trade deals are threatening local economies, communities, jobs and the environment.

In times like this, we need our local, provincial and federal governments to be innovative and responsive to the communities they represent, as well as the international community we are all part of,” says Ryan. “We need them to recognize, like so many people already do, that many of the solutions to all these crises are going to be local solutions.”

Say bye to buy local’ is focusing on three specific trade agreements that will have significant impacts on Ontario communities: The proposed Canada–U.S. bilateral procurement agreement covering subnational governments that could be announced any day; the Ontario–Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement that Premiers McGuinty and Charest negotiated in secret and signed on September 11, 2009; and, the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, negotiations which start in Ottawa on October 19.

We are currently suffering multiple crises – an economic crisis that threatens our jobs and livelihoods, an environmental crisis that threatens our habitat, and an energy crisis that demands we move away from fossil fuels and a reliance on long-distance trade,” says Barlow. “Ontarians have a right to discuss and debate these agreements, and to have the power to modify, expand or cancel them if they’re not in the province’s interests.”

The impact of these internal and international agreements will be broad and often incompatible with social goods, such as stimulating local economies, maintaining a universal and publicly-funded health care system, and protecting the environment.

For more information, contact:

Sid Ryan  President, CUPE Ontario       416-209-0066
Kevin Wilson  CUPE Communications       416-821-6641