Press Responses : May 27, 2002

Activist links farm woes, globalization
Privatization seen as failing farmers
David Finlayson, Journal Staff Writer
The Edmonton Journal

Monday, May 27, 2002 The same global policies that make African countries economic slaves are hurting Canadian farmers, Ottawa activist and educator Pamela Foster said Sunday.

The federal government's move to privatization, abolition of subsidies and more international trade in the mid 1990s isn't working, and there's a backlash against the globalization pushed by the G-8 countries, Foster told about 120 people at a forum at the University of Alberta on the upcoming G-8 summit.

"I was talking to a farmer in Grande Prairie who now feels isolated because the other farms around him have been sold off.

"He's an island in a sea of big corporate farms and he can't afford to do it without subsidies."

Foster pointed out that one of the G-8 agenda items is how to help poorer continents such as Africa, yet the Africans are not invited.

Foster is part of Talking G8: The Travelling Road Show, organized by the Alberta Council for Global Co-operation and the Parkland Institute, a U of A research network.

It's visiting 11 Alberta communities prior to the summit in Kananaskis June 26 and 27.

Calgary activist Sarah Kerr said the current globalization model has its roots in colonialism, where powerful nations see their poorer cousins as sources of slave labour and places to dump their excess products.

"We're facing erosion of the social safety net here, but for other countries it's a more desperate struggle -- for independence."

The G-8 countries, with the help of corporate media, perpetuate a system of social and economic injustice around the world, she said.

© Copyright 2002 Edmonton Journal