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City council has asked the province to keep Thunder Bay out of the Canada – European Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.
After a lengthy discussion, council voted Monday to ask the province to exempt Thunder Bay from the proposed Canada-EU agreement. The exemption request was made in order to protect the powers of municipalities as well as jobs, the environment and local development.
The Conservative government started negations with the European Union in order to establish an international trade agreement. The agreement is expected to boost the Canadian economy.
Economist Jim Stanford recommended in May that city council find a way to exempt Thunder Bay from the trade agreement because he said the procurement rules would hurt local companies such as Bombardier.
Council took his advice and sent the request to the province as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the cities two MPs and MPPs.
Neebing Coun. Linda Rydholm municipalities aren’t allowed at the negotiation table and was concerned about the lack of clarification on making sure the 1,300 jobs at Bombardier were secured.
“We’re pointing out to the province that hey, mass transit is important please exempt it,” Rydholm said.
At-Large Ken Boshcoff agreed with Rydholm’s opinion and said cities have to do everything they can to ensure local development can happen.
He said support has to come from the local level.
“No one is going to do it but us,” Boshcoff said. “There’s no one else in the country that’s going to it. This really is a chance to put us in the limelight because it’s not going to come from anyone else.”
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