THE CLAIRE FOSS JOURNAL


DIRE NEED FOR A FAIR TRADE DEAL

RIP IT UP

Canadian Action Party candidate Claire Foss graphically
illustrates the party's belief that Canada needs to opt out
of the current free trade agreement and strike a better deal.


 

COMMENTARY:
By Canadian Action Party Candidate Claire Foss
Armstrong Advertiser
June 23 - 2004

This country needs to opt out of the Free Trade Agreement and negotiate a fair deal that will benefit Canada today and in the future.

That's the main message Canadian Action Party candidate Claire Foss delivered to the electorate as he campaigned in the North Okanagan/Shuswap riding.
"We are the political party that says let's get rid of that ridiculous free trade agreement and get a fair trade deal. The existing free trade agreement includes an opting out clause, with six-months notice, and this country should take full advantage of that before the window closes in about three years time. Canada will not be able to opt out of the FTA or the North America Free Trade Agreement once a new deal, the Free Trade Area of the Americas is negotiated and signed by the federal government," said Mr. Foss.
"I would hope people would stop and ponder on the key issues raised during the leadership debate. There was nearly nothing at all said about NAFTA or the FTA. To me and the Canadian Action Party, these faulty trade agreements are crucial."
"The free trade deals are killing the country. Foreign interests have bought up over 13,000 Canadian companies since former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney eliminated the Foreign Investment Review Agency and negotiated the FTA in 1987," said Mr. Foss.

"Mr. Mulroney sold us out. As far as I'm concerned he should go down as the biggest traitor this country has ever seen, he's the Benedict Arnold of Canada."

The deregulation of the banking industry is another ungodly development that is hurting the country. The federal government extensively used the Bank of Canada from 1939 to 1974 to finance projects that included the St. Lawrence Seaway, many of the major airports in the country and other critical infrastructure projects including schools and hospitals. "We now have the sad case of university students lining up at private banks for loans and they are in debt up to their necks even before earning their first pay cheque," said Mr. Foss.
"Canadians are in the unique position of actually owning their own central bank, unlike the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. that is exclusively privately owned."
"In 1974 the Bank of Canada held 21 per cent of Canadian federal bonds and the billions of dollars of interest it earned flowed into the public coffer. During the last four years the Bank of Canada, holding only five per cent of the bonds, paid the Receiver-General about $8 billion in dividends," said Mr. Foss.

"We really need to start using the Bank of Canada like we once did; this is a major issue of enormous consequence. The federal government is downloading on the provincial government and the province downloading on municipalities and everyone is scratching for the dollars. Using the Bank of Canada is an innovative way of providing those dollars."

"Proportional representation is another major plank in the Canadian Action Party's platform. It doesn't make sense when a Party is able to form government with just 37 per cent of the popular vote," said Mr. Foss.
With proportional representation the smaller political parties have more impact and can play a greater role in the government. Proportional representation can be problematic in some areas, particularly with the rural vote, but some countries, such as Norway, have overcome that particular obstacle and are now making the process work.
In Canada it is first past the post, a political process that simply ignores the input and views of too many citizens.

Mr. Foss is 67 years old and retired, the Creighton Valley resident is in excellent health and believes strongly in his cause. "The decisions affecting the economy of this country are increasingly made south of the border and that needs to change if the country is to survive and flourish in the years to come," said Mr. Foss.
This is the third time Mr. Foss stood as a candidate in a federal election. He ran in this riding for the Canada Party in 1993 and the Canadian Action Party in 1997.