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CUPE National President Paul Moist was on hand in Toronto today to help launch the Our Canada Project, a new national coalition forming on the eve of the next federal election to urge Canadians to embrace their great traditions of social justice, peace-keeping and environmental stewardship.

Moist represented the labour movement at the campaign launch, speaking alongside representatives of environmental, church, cultural and social justice groups.

The next election will shape the face of our nation perhaps like none ever, says Moist, which is why CUPE is proud to join this important coalition.

Our parents generation created a caring and compassionate Canada. Public services, delivered by CUPE members, are under attack like never before. Today CUPE stands in coalition to declare that our vision of Canada includes a full range of vital public services services that Canadians want and deserve.

Participants at the Our Canada launch unveiled a giant Canadian flag outside Toronto City Hall and released polling information that shows Canadians want to maintain their distance from the continental integration tendencies of Liberal and corporate elites.

The Our Canada Project is a new progressive coalition of over 25 national organizations including social justice groups, environmental groups, womens, church and anti-poverty groups, among others. Founders hope it will galvanize Canadians to use the ballot box to affirm Canadas position as a peacemaker, defender of universal social programs and champion of human rights.

The polling found, among other things, that most Canadians:
  • reject the idea that Canada should actively support the Bush administrations missile defence system even if it may require dedicating military spending to the program or allowing US missile launchers in Canada (69 per cent),
  • think Canadas limited military spending should be used to enhance our abilities in peacekeeping and conflict resolution rather than trying to maintain multi-purpose forces intended for heavy combat alongside US military forces (77 per cent),
  • believe Canada should establish an energy policy that provides reliable supplies of oil, gas and electricity at stable prices and on protection of the environment, even if this means placing restrictions on exports and foreign ownership of Canadian supplies (90 per cent), and
  • agree that Canada should maintain the ability to set its own independent environmental health and safety standards and regulations, even if this might reduce cross-border trade opportunities with the United States (91 per cent).