M. A. I. The Next Challenge

December 15, 1997


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M. A. I. The Next Challenge
dated December 15, 1997


M.A.I. The Next Challenge
Thousands of CAW members lost their jobs due to the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA. Now a new threat looms over Canada as 29 of the world's richest nations hammer out a new global economic agreement. It has been termed by big business as the as the ultimate treaty, involving all the nations of the world. It is called the M. A. I. or Multilateral Agreement on Investment.

Maude Barlow
Council of Canadians

"Basically the Multilateral Agreement on Investment dramatically limits the ability of governments, or intends to dramatically limit the ability of government to control investments in and out of countries. So its not just investments flows in here, but it would protect the dreadful practices, for instance of our mining companies and our oil companies and so on in other countries."

Maude Barlow told the delegates of the CAW Council that the only things exempted from the terms of the M. A. I. were military sales, law and order, and financial institutions; the rest is up for grabs.

Maude Barlow
Council of Canadians
"Everything else, culture, jobs , social programs, health, education, culture, environment, natural resources, every other thing is up for negotiation and is not named. Here we are, where are we now, it's almost mid December and nothing else has been negotiated in this agreement."

Barlow told the council delegates the MAI negotiations in Paris have been going on with little public fanfare. They are expected to be completed in May of 1998. Canada is expected to sign the agreement without any debate in Parliament, despite the fact that the agreement will directly impact the freedom of all levels of government in Canada.

Maude Barlow
Council of Canadians
"They have something in here they called Stand Still, which says that once you have signed the MAI; no government of any level, federal, provincial or municipal can ever bring in any new law or amend any existing law in a way that is not in a liberalizing fashion according to the privatization and liberalizing section of the sector. You can not go back, you can only go one way."

Barlow is convinced that the MAI can be stopped, if we utilize all we have learned from fighting the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA.

Maude Barlow
Council of Canadians

"Just take every line in here and put in the reverse. Every thing that is protected should not be protected, and everything that is not protected should be protected. We have to bring the rule of Law to global capital. That is the single most important challenge before us in the decade to come"

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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