An Open Letter to Hon. Keith Ashfield, MP for Fredericton
January 22, 2009
Dear Hon. Keith Ashfield,
We write to urge you to vote no to ratifying the Canadian-Colombian Free Trade Agreement.
Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists, with over 2,500 union leaders and human rights defenders murdered there in the past ten years.
The government of Colombia ignores and violates workers’ rights, and Colombian courts have found ties between high ranking government officials and the deadly paramilitary forces.
No trade agreements should be forged with Colombia until there is effective prosecution of killers of civilians and enforcement of minimum International Labour Organization standards on the rights of workers.
Prime Minister Harper made a very undemocratic move when he went ahead and signed an agreement with President Uribe of Colombia without waiting for the completion of a report prepared by a Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Committee’s recommendations included
requiring an independent assessment of human rights violations in Colombia before ratifying and implementing any trade agreement. Canada’s most important trading partner, the United States, has decided not to proceed because of widespread concern with U.S. Congress Democrats about the level
of violence, impunity and the role of the paramilitary in Colombia.
Canadians and Colombians need fair trade, not free trade agreements that undermine worker protections, the environment and human rights.
We urge you to take a stand for justice by voting no to the Canadian-Colombian Free Trade Agreement.
Tracy Glynn, Fredericton Peace Coalition
Cathy Holtmann, Development and Peace, Diocesan Council
Cindy Doucet, Development and Peace – Latin America International Development Committee
Tara Hurford, Development and Peace
Plea from an Israeli woman associated with Machsom Watch – Check Point Watch
Vigil for Gaza
When: Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6:00 pm.
Where: Fredericton City Hall (Queen and York).
Stand in vigil for the victims of Gaza.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“Operations at the open-pit mine were suspended temporarily in December after hundreds of people invaded the area and fought with security personnel, leaving one person dead and $7 million in damage.”
Barrick Gold is a Canadian-owned gold mine.
Peace activist Tamara Lorincz tried to disrupt Monday’s breakfast, quietly holding up a sign at the front of the crowd protesting the Canadian military’s role in Afghanistan.
But the general’s security detail soon grabbed Ms. Lorincz and forced her out of the hall where he was speaking.
“Afghanistan is an illegal war,” she shouted as they took her away.
Betty Peltier-Solano: We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.
The Canadian government has ordered two US Iraq war resisters to leave Canada against their will the week of January 23rd. Three other resisters are expected to be ordered to leave the following week.
An adaptation of “The Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak” by Deborah Ellis.
Amira, is a Palestinian child who fled her home after the army shelled it and took shelter in a nearby home bleeding and scared for two days without food and without anyone who can take care of her wounds.