Of Governments and Corporations

Anyone who doesn't beleive that Corporations are gradually taking away our rights to elect our officials to govern in a manner supporting those who elected them, not who payed for their campaigns, should read the following. Some things that are not reported in the Mass Media do get to the public in other ways.
I would support any officials elected that would vehemently oppose thes draconian moves by governments who blatantly support big business in the manner following. And I would expect others to do the same.
It is shameful the way todays officials get away with supporting this crap. We are the ones who elected them and there was nothing in their platforms to enact this kind of legislation.
And in stating that fact, I deem any legislation of this type illegal and non binding.

Evans questions internal trade deal.Trail Daily Time -

Fri 08 Aug 2008 Byline: Colin PayneSource: Nelson Daily News

A recent decision regarding internal trade within Canada made by provincial leaders at their annual Council of the Federation meeting has the potential to profoundly restrict the authority of local and regional governments.
Nelson-Creston MLA Corky Evans says the new dispute resolution process put into place by Canada's provincial leaders should be of great concern to Nelson residents because it has the potential to allow corporate domination of municipal and regional law-making.Much like the Trade, Industry and Labour Mobility Agreement set out between Alberta and B.C. in 2006, a new clause set out in the national Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) will allow corporations trying to do business in another province to dispute laws that keep them from doing so.

As of Jan. 1, a private dispute resolution panel will be able to dole out fines as high as $5 million to any government that tries to uphold laws that restrict business opportunities.Evans said this new policy is something people should be extremely wary of."I hate this kind of policy," Evans said. "And I think all Canadians should hate it. It essentially strips communities of any ability to define themselves, and makes mayors, regional directors and even provincial governments impotent."It's ceding power to corporations that you used to give to your mayor and council."

To give more grounding to the implications of the new AIT regulation, Evans provided some examples of its potential.
"What if your town decided you didn't want to allow pesticides in the town," he said. "Maybe a pesticide company in Ontario would sue your town - saying that it impedes their ability to make a profit.
"What if your town decided they wanted to engage in planning and say they didn't want big box stores in town. Then Home Depot or Wal Mart would sue and say that you were impeding their ability to make a profit."

In the end, Evans said the sky is the limit when it comes to this law. More than anything, the law will cause local governments to shy away from enacting laws that might be challenged under the AIT."Municipal governments, regional districts and school boards become too risk averse - they're afraid," Evans explained. "It's self-governing. The municipalities will limit their own behaviour. They won't want to take a risk because their lawyers will advise them not to on all kinds of issues.

"A law like this could potentially stunt the growth of things like the local food movement happening in the Kootenays."What if our school board said they want to feed kids food that grown locally whenever they can," he said. "So we'll have a rule that will give preference to local food producers for lunch programs.

"In effect, a large grocery chain or food service provider based in another province could then turn around and sue the school board for impeding their business, he noted.The law has the potential to hit Nelson where it hurts, by taking away the ability to govern its own affairs locally.

"Nelsonites have empowered their municipal council to make real planning decisions and real investments," Evans said. "That's a wonderful thing. That creates and defines a community-but to strip council of any power?

"I just hope people run for office on the platform that they will go on doing what they believe their citizens want, without being afraid of the law."
Evans feels the trend of enacting laws like this represents a fundamental shift in the nature of our society."Ultimately, people have to realize that the old struggle between the left and the right has changed and now it's between the community and the corporate sector," he said.

"And they should throw out leadership that strips their government of power.

"We've had a few wars to protect democracy, and then just quietly giving it away is an insult to the history of this country."

Stuart TrewRegional Organizer/Organisateur régional (Ontario-Québec)Council of Canadians/Conseil des Canadiens

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