WTO talks a threat to medicare

The Report: October / November 1999 vol.20 num.3

Canadas health care system is once again at risk as the -MilleniumRound" of trade talks begins on November 30. Government leaders from around the worldwill be meeting in Seattle for the World Trade Organizations Third MinisterialConference.

This round of negotiations will include discussions on expanding the General Agreementon Trade in Services, and the United States and other countries are pushing hard to havehealth and social services included in these discussions.

Large US health care companies have made it clear what theyre after ... accessto foreign health care -markets." As part of the US Coalition on ServiceIndustries, they have lobbied their government to put health care on the table.

And while the US knows what it wants out of this round of talks, the Canadiangovernment has continued to talk out of both sides of its mouth. Trade Minister PierrePettigrew, while denying that Medicare is in jeopardy, has also said that exportingCanadas expertise in health care is a priority. But he cant have it both ways.Either health care is on the table or it isnt. Its time to let our governmentknow what you think.

What you can do

Learn more about the WTO
Contact the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to get your very own copy of ACitizens Guide to the World Trade Organization by Steven Shrybman. CCPA can bereached at: 815-207 West Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7
Tel: 604-801-5121 Fax: 604-801-5122

WTO teach in
Attend the teach in on WTO in Vancouver, to be held November 12 (7:30 - 10 pm) and 13 (9am - 5:30 pm) at Robson Square Conference Centre, 800 Robson Street. Registration $5 to$20; contact 604.878.5424 for information or registration.

Check out these websites

Go to the Seattle March
The AFL-CIO is organizing a massive rally and march at the WTO on Tuesday November 30th,and Fair Trade networks throughout the world are mobilizing to march with them. Peoplewill be meeting at the Seattle Center Memorial Stadium, gates open at 10 am.

Attend the BC Federation of Labour Event
Labour and community activists will join together at the opening of the BC Fedsannual policy convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. If you cant make it to Seattle,this will be the place to be! Contact BC Federation of Labour, 604.430.1421.

Tell the provincial government what you think
Send any comments to:
Mr. Noel Schacter
Director, International Branch
Ministry of Employment and Investment
PO Box 9327 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9N3

Tell the federal government what you think
Call or fax your Member of Parliament. You can find the numbers for your MP inthe blue pages at the back of your phone book, or contact them through their website at: