Free Trade worsens Canada's disparity, so will Border Pact

Suddenly, Canadians are listening. Recently, when the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued a stark report, Growing Unequal, the message hit home. The fact that Canada was singled out as one of the countries in which the rich were most rapidly increasing their share of income made headlines, filled the airwaves and got people talking.

The apparent cause is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  This Agreement has undermined the ability of ourselves, as Canadians, to control our own socio-economic destiny.  The recently developed "Border Pact" will only futher push our cities to resemble more and more the economic disparity which is prevalent in America.

We, as Canadians, can only prevent this trend worsening, by liberating ourselves from both NAFTA and the "Border Pact".  We, as Canadians, need to once more, become 'masters of our own house'.  We, as Canadians, need to be free to create the kind of social policies which will affirm human rights and foster social justice.

It wasn’t the first time the global agency had sounded the alarm.

Three years ago, it warned that a small group of winners was reaping a disproportionate share of global growth and pinpointed Canada as the country with the sharpest increase in income equality.

Nor is the OECD the only agency to signal that Canada is becoming a nation of great extremes.

The Conference Board of Canada pointed out in September that Canada is rapidly catching up to the United States on the income equality scale.

A year ago, the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group coined the phrase “hourglass economy” to describe this city’s labour force with a coterie of well-paid knowledge workers on the top, a swelling mass of low-wage service workers at the bottom, and very little in between.

Since 2006, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has been trying to jolt Canadians out of their complacency about the increasing polarization of wealth.

The complacent majority shrugged. They weren’t hurting. They couldn’t see themselves being jobless, their savings gone, their prospects bleak.

What changed? The recession, first of all. It stripped people of certainty that they were beyond the reach of adversity. The anemic recovery, second. It didn’t bring back the solid jobs and reliable paycheques of the pre-recession era. And finally, the Occupy movement. It crystallized all the changes people were experiencing: their debts were mounting, their standard of living was slipping, their well-educated kids couldn’t find work, their friends and relatives were losing their jobs, and their political leaders were calling for more belt tightening — while executive salaries soared.

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