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[OPIRG-EVENTS] public protest input tables
For Immediate Release
PUBLIC PROTEST INPUT TABLES TO BE PROVIDED
AT FESTIVAL PLAZA DURING THE G-8
Ottawa: 12 pm, June 17, 2002---Councillor Doucet and his office staff will provide tables on Festival Plaza where
citizens can register their views concerning the discussions underway at meetings of the G-8 in Kananaskis. The tables
will be open to receive petitions, briefs, and verbal comments from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30p.m, Wednesday, June 26 and
Thursday June 27th at Festival Plaza, as well as Saturday June 22nd from 1-3p.m., across the street from city hall in
Confederation Park for the Freedom Fair.
The Freedom Fair is organized by Global Democracy Ottawa and will be a family picnic event for all those wishing to
protest but not wanting to become involved with any possibility of violence on June 26th and June 27th.
Today, June 17th from 7p.m the Capital Area Justice Initiatives (CAJI), a faith based movement and part of the national
KAIROS coalition (the Canadian Churches Social Justice Initiative) will be hosting a teach-in, in the theatre of the
Ottawa Public Library on Laurier.
The Right Reverend Peter Coffin, Anglican Bishop of Ottawa will be talking about the environmental deficit that
international trade agreements are creating. Leah Daly of Canadian Catholic Development and Peace will be talking about
the debt to future generations. David Malungisa, from Zimbabwe will be talking about the injustice of the international
debt. They will be joined by Sarath Fernado from Sri Lanka and Gladys Jarazo from Argentina and Terri Brown, President
of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
"One of the great difficulties that the struggle for a transparent and accountable international trade process faces is
the unwillingness of the press to report on the substance of the debate," said Councillor Doucet. "Broken windows, tear
gas and wild costumes dominate in the media during every meeting of the G-8, G-20, World Bank, World Trade Organization
and International Monetary Fund.
These photo opportunities are symptoms of a process which many people feel is not working. Democracy that works is
distinguished by vigorous but peaceful debate. International Trade Agreements are negotiated in secret and then
attached as appendixes to Parliamentary Carriage Bills where they are not subject to debate in Parliament. They can
simply be voted through in block or rejected in block. Yet, these international agreements have many complex clauses
and consequences for local democracy, such as the ability of cities to maintain public services like water and
environmental standards. Local governments are shut entirely out of the process," said Councillor Doucet.
"Violence is never a solution, but we do need to find ways to listen better and to make the process itself more
transparent and accountable to elected officials at the national and local levels."
This public record of the G-8 protest will be published in a report by Councillor Doucet and forwarded to Canada's
representative on the G-8, the Honourable John Manley. It will also be made available to the media and the public on
Councillor Doucet's city web site.
Many organizations are coming to Ottawa because Kananaskis is too far and too difficult to get to. People have said they
want the opportunity to express their dissent to their elected representatives and have requested that politicians be
available to listen to their concerns.
Local police often unfairly bear the brunt of people's frustrations with the process.
In Canada, many Canadians blame the IMF, the World Bank and NAFTA for the retreat of the Canadian federal government
from funding Health and Social Assistance. Nor do they see it as applying equally to the most powerful countries, eg.
the U.S. softwood lumber tariffs and requirements that all Canadian furniture and other wood projects also be subject to
« Nous ne sommes pas uniquement un hôtel de ville : nous sommes un hôtel d'accueil pour cette manifestation
internationale. Nous voulons amplifier la qualité du débat démocratique. Le grand problème reste que les Ministres de
Finances se réunissent à huis clos, et ça c'est une recette pour la confrontation. » dit le conseiller Doucet
« Je vois ces tables d'inscription publique comme une façon d'augmenter la qualité de la démocratie locale. Ici la
création de liens démocratiques débute entre le niveau municipal et les autres paliers de gouvernement qui ont le
pouvoir de décision. » dit le conseiller Doucet.
"It is also a concern that the city of Ottawa is obliged to spend millions of dollars in security because of the federal
government's inability to host peaceful discussions".
It is the expressed wish of Ottawa City Council that Federal politicians be available to respond to the public and this
request has been forwarded to the Prime Minister.
Other City Councillors will be joining Councillor Doucet as they are available. -30-
For further information/pour des reseignments plus amples
Office of Clive Doucet/Bureau de Clive Doucet
City Hall/Hôtel de ville (613) 580-2487
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