Excerpt from ‘The Dominion’ – http://www.dominionpaper.ca
CCFTA among a host of initiatives that create “huge opportunities for easy profits”
by Dawn Paley
A new free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia, and the strong presence of Canadian companies in Colombia’s oil and gas sector, indicates the Colombian government no longer has to be tricked into handing over its natural resources to Canadian corporations. Instead, it will do so willingly, in the name of increasing foreign direct investment. On June 29, the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) went through the final stages of legislation in Canada,effectively becoming law. The final legislative legwork is with the Colombian Congress, which has to implement a series of laws in order to finalize the agreement.
In Canada, unions and human rights organizations led opposition to the CCFTA, but they failed to rally popular outrage against the agreement. The passage of this controversial agreement, however, cannot be attributed only to ineffective opposition, especially not when those actively organizing in its favor constitute a powerful swath of Canada’s corporate elite.
The day after the CCFTA became law in Canada, Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, stated, “Our members are pleased with the government’s commitment to move this trade agreement forward.” When Beatty wrote a letter to encourage the government to pass the CCFTA in May 2008, nine Chamber members signed on in support. Three were representatives of oil companies—all of them based in Calgary where Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party has an important base of support: Enbridge, Nexen and Talisman.
Read the full article here