Medicare and Trade Fights Coming to Ottawa


Trade Remedy Must Be Fixed

Over the summer, National Director Ken Neumann met with federal government officials on the need to strengthen Canada’s trade remedy system. In addition to the steel industry, other key economic sectors that employ our members, such as aluminum and manufacturing, are also affected by harmful predatory trade practices.

“Any proposal for modernizing Canada’s trade remedy laws must include the ability for trade unions to formally participate in the trade remedy process,” said Neumann.

As it now stands, Canada’s workers and trade unions are prevented from initiating or participating in anti-dumping, countervailing duty or safeguard complaints. The federal government fails to recognize that the impact of such actions are felt by Canadian workers, and our members, more than anyone. 

Trans-Pacific Partnership Must Be Stopped

Meanwhile, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) remains a mega trade deal that the USW opposes. If ratified, the TPP would severely hurt Canadian workers as well as threaten to undermine our democracy, environment and national autonomy. USW has made a submission to the Standing Committee on International Trade.

Softwood Lumber Deal Must Save Jobs

In the forestry sector, negotiators reported in August to a special meeting of the International Trade Committee that renewal talks for a Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the U.S. were making little progress in advance of an Oct. 15 deadline.

The USW has emphasized that any renewed agreement on softwood lumber must not damage a sector that provides communities across Canada with family-supporting jobs.

Medicare Must Be Saved

The fight to save medicare has reached a critical point in 2016 with the B.C. trial that could give private clinics a green light and allow health care to be made more ‘conveniently’ available to wealthy Canadians. The Liberal government, like the previous Conservative one, has yet to write a new health accord with the provinces.

The Federal NDP has vowed to make health care for all a priority this fall.

NDP Health Critic Don Davies warned, “Canadians may not be aware of the serious threats that confront medicare.”

Davies added that the B.C. court case threatens one of the core values of the Canadian medicare system, which is that everybody should have equal access to medical services without regard to the ability to pay.

Add your name to the NDP’s petition at:

This article appears in the October 2016 issue of the National Director's Update.

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