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Question 8: Prosperity

What should Canada do to help make the benefits of globalization more widely shared within and among all countries?



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Date: 2003-05-01 22:25:21
Free trade must also be fair trade. Many countries have taken advantage of free trade agreements to sell products in blatant disregard of basic human rights codes and labour laws. With products such as West African cocoa and coffee, workers are enslaved and not even paid low wages. This kind of trade does nothing to help alleviate third world poverty or preserve jobs in industrialized nations.

People in poorer countries need jobs but they need to be paid at least enough to provide their basic needs. They can't survive in a world full of tariffs. It's sad when people in Western nations lose work to other countries, but with welfare states such as Canada we're still more able to absorb the loss & ultimately help our citizens find other jobs. With this in mind, we also can't leave multinational corporations to regulate themselves entirely. There has to be some balance. Accordingly, organizations such as the IMF shouldn't meddle so much in projects they fund. Recipients should have to account for where money is going but they shouldn't be forced to spend it on impractical mega-projects just to make for good pictures and soundbytes. Canada should also take an active role in ensuring that such organizations actually give out money instead of spending it on themselves.(I've been in the World Bank in Washington & it bears a striking resemblance to Saddam's palaces) It would be nice to see the government do more to help Canadians create jobs for themselves by participating in the development of other countries, even on a small scale basis like the creation of dung fuel sources for individual families in India. This would also do a lot to reduce our need for sporadic diplomatic initiatives because we'll already be there on an informal basis.
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