Parliament of Canada

Formal Response to the Gowlings report - October 8, 1999

October 8, 1999

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
Minister for International Trade
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G2

By FAX: 996-8924
Eight pages including this page

Dear Minister Pettigrew,

This letter contains the formal response of the Working Group on the EDC to the Report on the Review of the Export Development Act, conducted by the firm Gowling, Strathy & Henderson.

The Working Group on the EDC is a coalition of Canadian non-governmental organizations concerned about the human and environmental impact of export financing agencies. The Working Group, which is a project of the Halifax Initiative, promotes adherence by export credit agencies, particularly the Export Development Corporation, to internationally accepted standards regarding human rights, environment and sustainable development.

July 28, 1999: Vote campaign reports

Here's a brief summary of events since our last update :

The federal government has made no formal effort to act on the endorsement given to it by Canadians and is, in fact, actively downplaying the Tobin tax motion. Although Finance Minister Paul Martin assured Halifax Initiative representatives, at a meeting in Washington in April, that he had raised the Tobin tax informally with Finance Ministers, actions in Canada and abroad reveals a failure of commitment and a betrayal of the democratic process.

Press Release - Sunday, March 28, 1999

Government action on debts of poorest countries a progressive move
says Halifax Initiative Coalition, and backs Canada to take a stronger position at the World Bank, IMF.
For immediate release 28 March, 1999
Ottawa -- Today's announcement that Canada will cancel 100% of debts owed by the poorest countries in the world is welcomed by the Halifax Initiative, a national coalition of environment, development, social justice and faith groups.

Tobin Tax Parliamentary Motion - One year on!

ONE YEAR LATER - What has Canada done about the Tobin Tax Motion? NOT MUCH! Write your MP, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister before March 23.

On March 23, 1999, an exuberant Parliament passed a motion to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community" with all party support by a resounding 164-83 margin. The motion was a strong message from Parliament that the political must regain control of the financial in the interests of the world's common wealth.

One year later, we have little progress to report. While the Canadian motion has sparked debate in Parliaments around the world, there has been little action at home. There have been no public hearings, no follow-up studies, no meetings of experts, in short, no substantive action to move the agenda forward either domestically or internationally.

Your Letter One Year After - March 23, 1999


On March 23rd, 1999, the Canadian Parliament demonstrated world leadership when it passed motion M-239 urging Canada to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community." This unprecedented action was viewed by many as an important first step in controlling destabilising speculation on financial markets, the wild and anarchic behaviour of which threatens all the economies of the world.


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