Stop Atlantica: the undemocratic corporate trade deal

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

Stop Atlantica: the undemocratic corporate trade deal

Press Release

16 June 2007

ANTIGONISH, NS, June 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Atlantica must be stopped
immediately and replaced by a project that would focus on fair trade, secure
employment and decent wages, according to the Public Service Alliance of
Canada (PSAC). Atlantica is a project of in-depth commercial deregulation and
free trade between Atlantic Canada, Eastern Quebec and the Northeast United

"There are times when borders should be erased as Doctors Without Borders
and Engineers Without Borders have proved time and time again," said Patty
Ducharme, the PSAC National Executive Vice-President. "But business without
borders is designed to hinder not help; it’s designed to trample worker
rights, and if implemented it will have negative impacts on your region of
Canada," she added.

Ducharme made the comments during a demonstration in Antigonish, NS to
protest against a project that has been described as an anti-worker, secret,
undemocratic corporate trade deal. The demonstration was held in front of
Central Nova MP, Peter MacKay’s office.

There have been meetings between representatives of business groups and
the government to discuss ways to harmonize regulations between Canada and the
U.S. Such meetings have excluded unions, environmental groups and other civil
society groups.

"We know that large business groups like the Bank of Montreal and Irving
Oil would like to keep Atlantica away from public scrutiny," said Jeannie
Baldwin, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for the Atlantic. "We will not
let the future of the Atlantic Provinces be decided behind closed doors," she

For many opponents of Atlantica, this project is a threat to the Atlantic
Provinces’ natural resources, environment and health, labour rights as well as
education and social programs. Atlantica is viewed as a cheap sell-off of
public resources, privatization of public services and a series of concessions
to large corporations.

It is also expected that harmonization of Canadian regulations to
American legislations will reduce or abolish minimum wages, restrict access to
employment insurance and restrict workers’ rights to be represented by unions.