Voices 9/16/08

Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco

The annual conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers is currently taking place in Bar Harbor.  Activists have been marching and rallying outside the conference for the past 2 days—expressing their concerns about the potential impacts of what they describe as a regional Free Trade zone comparible to NAFTA, called “Atlantica.”

The concept of “Atlantica” is the brainchild of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, a Nova Scotia based economic and social policy think tank.

Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians has called Atlantica “part of a corporate-driven scheme to further integrate Atlantic Canada’s economy with the United States, with potentially disastrous results.”

Activists from the areas impacted have become concerned in recent years that the annual Governors & Premiers conferences are serving as a private forum for industry representatives and policy makers to plan the implementation of Atlantica, free of public participation.  Although there is no official mention of Atlantica on the agenda for the conference,  the items that do appear–such as “harmonization” of policies for trucking and building an east-west expressway to improve trade– are in keeping with the Atlantica concept which touts “The importance of being connected to emerging international networks in a  globalizing world”

Today we bring you voices from the rally held outside the Bar Harbor club Monday morning, followed by a comment from a representative of Governor Baldacci’s office:

We’ll bring you further coverage of the meetings on  RadioActive Thursday afternoon at 4p.m. and will archive our recordings of the meetings
themselves on our website www.weru.org , along with a list of websites where you can find more information

FMI: www.maineatlanticawatch.org, www.canadians.org, www.atlantica.org,