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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Give the feds "Code of Silence" award
Give the Feds the Code of Silence Award
Vote now, the deadline is Monday, April 1 (vote details at end of message).
The Canadian Union of Public Employees has nominated the federal government
for a “Code of Silence Award” for its role in maintaining the secrecy of
NAFTA’s Chapter 11 tribunals.
The dubious honour, to be awarded in April by the Canadian Association of
Journalists, would confirm the Chrétien Liberals as the “most secretive
government in Canada”.
CUPE argues that the secrecy of the NAFTA tribunals violates Canadians’
rights to freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
NAFTA’s Chapter 11 gives foreign corporations the power to sue governments
for injuring their investments. Tribunals hear claims behind closed doors.
Claims to date include challenges to public postal delivery, a ban on the
export of hazardous waste and a refusal to allow the export of bulk water.
CUPE has launched a Charter challenge, contending that the secrecy of the
NAFTA tribunal process contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. Represented by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, CUPE launched its
challenge jointly with Democracy Watch in May 2001. The case is pending.
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