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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

What campaigns for trade deals are made of

An interesting memo just cropped up from Costa Rica in the midst of the debate about the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), one of the latest installements in the string of plans to free trade and capital flows in the Americas. This memo came from the YES campaign and advocated interesting strategies, such as fostering fear:

Beyond what can be done in the communities and in private enterprise, there is such little time left that we should have no shame in saturating the media with publicity. And precisely because of this short time, it is imperious to direct the campaign in two directions:


2. Stimulate fear. We can use four kinds of fear:

– Fear of loss of jobs. (…)

– Fear of attack to the democratic institutions. It is crucial to make YES the equivalent of democracy and institutionality (this is what Eduardo Ulibarri said: we have to fill YES with a content of values) and make NO the equivalent of violence and disloyalty to democracy. (…)

– Fear to the foreign influence in the NO. We have to insist everywhere on the connection of the NO with Fidel, Chaves and Ortega, in very strident terms. (…)

– Fear of the consequences of a triumph of NO on the Government. (…) (pp. 3-4)

This constitutes an interesting glimpse into what may go on behind closed doors amongst supporters of such agreements, and cannot but be reminescent of the behaviour of our own elite at various junctures, such as Montebello recently. Heads have started rolling in Costa Rica; is there a scope for increasing demands and pressure for accountability on our end?

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