GENET archive


Government misleads re NAFTA

January 6, 2000         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TORONTO, ON -- "As Canada takes on the challenges of the 21st century, it 
is time to set the record straight on free trade," said the Hon. Paul 
Hellyer, leader of the Canadian Action Party.  "The Canada/U.S. Free Trade 
Agreement and NAFTA are not, I repeat, not primarily trade 
agreements.  They are investment agreements which have led to the sale of 
much of Canada over the past decade.

"The fact that Canadians don't realize this is the direct result of a 
deliberate and well-orchestrated misinformation campaign."

Mr. Hellyer pointed out that both the FTA and NAFTA contain clauses which 
give U.S. corporations the right of "national treatment" (the same rights 
as Canadian citizens) in Canada.  This has allowed large American 
businesses to expand into Canada (Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot) or purchase 
Canadian companies (MacMillan Bloedel, Eaton's, Club Monaco) with 
impunity.  The exceptions to this rule lie in the banking, transportation, 
cultural and social areas -- but protection for these sectors is also being 
whittled away by the Chrétien government.

"These trade agreements weren't even needed," Mr. Hellyer argued.  "Trade 
barriers between the two countries were already being reduced by the 
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  And, it is important to 
note that, as ‘free trade’ agreements, the FTA and NAFTA haven't worked at 
all well for many important sectors of Canadian industry.  Steel, cement, 
lumber, pork and other exporters have learned that there is no such thing 
as free trade with the United States.

"Again, these deals and other more global trade deals are really about 
investment, not the free flow of goods and services," Hellyer added.

The Canadian Action Party head was reacting, in part, to an Angus Reid 
poll, released January 3rd, which revealed that Canadians are confused 
about their country's current situation.  "The poll results show how the 
governments of Jean Chrétien and Brian Mulroney have successfully mislead 
the Canadian electorate. It (the poll) shows that 71% of Canadians think 
that free trade with the U.S. has been a positive contributor to a growing 
closeness between the American and Canadian economies -- YET the poll also 
shows that 61% are angry at our federal government for not doing more to 
stop U.S. and other foreign-owned corporations from buying Canadian-owned 

“The most frustrating aspect of this poll is that it shows that the 
Canadian population is not aware of the fact that the present trade 
agreements with the U.S. actually permit and encourage such cross-border 
incursions," Mr. Hellyer said.  "We at CAP have been saying all along that 
agreements such as the FTA, NAFTA, the narrowly defeated MAI and, now, the 
WTO, have all sought or are seeking to pave the way for the eventual 
corporate takeover of Canada.”

In spite of government and corporate attempts to lull Canadians into a 
false sense of security based on misinformation, there is a growing 
awareness across the country of just how rapidly Canada is being absorbed 
by the U.S., he noted.  "Our natural resources are threatened, our culture 
is being blanketed by American values and the heart of our nation's 
distinctiveness is being menaced.

"If we don’t halt this progressive invasion in the very near future, we 
will have lost Canada to the United States forever.  This would truly be 
the largest, bloodless political coup in the history of the world as we 
know it,” warned Mr. Hellyer.

The Canadian Action Party will be doing its utmost in the coming year to 
educate and organize Canadians so that they are capable of avoiding such a 
scenario, he stated.  "We are readying ourselves for the next federal 
election which will determine whether Canada survives or falls."


For more information, please contact:

Paul Hellyer , Leader, Canadian Action Party-- (416) 535-4144
Peter McCrindle, Vice President -- (514) 428-0921
Connie Fogal, President-- ( 604) 872 2128 or (604) 687 0588
Marc Bombois, Vice President,-- (604) 898 5641
Clair Foss, Vice President-- ( 250) 547 9764

Web Site:

Canadian Action Party/ Parti Action Canadienne
Office of the President
Constance (Connie) Fogal  #401- 207 West Hastings St.,Vancouver B.C., 
Canada, V6B1H7
Telephone (604) 687 0588 work or (604) 872 2128 home; Fax: (604) 688 0550
E-mail:  <>

Head Office 99 Atlantic Ave., Suite 302, Toronto Ont M6K3J8
Tel(416) 535 4144;Fax: (416) 535 6325; e- mail: <>