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Halton Hills Mayor Takes Free Trade Fair Trade Message to Quebec: Release

Published by Brad Fougere on January 23, 2015

Halton Hills Mayor Takes Free Trade Fair Trade Message to Quebec

MEDIA RELEASE

January 22, 2015

Halton Hills Mayor Takes Free Trade Fair Trade Message to Quebec

HALTON HILLS, ON–Mayor Rick Bonnette participated in a press conference organized by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) held in Montreal on January 20, 2015.

Halton Hills has been a leader in making the public aware of theimplications of the Buy America Act that specifies that steel and iron products used in public infrastructure projects are sourced exclusively from U.S.companies.

“This about Canadian jobs and assessment,” said Mayor Bonnette. “The Buy America Act has negatively affected many communities across Canada and we must put a stop to this discriminatory legislation.”

Canadian companies cannot bid on projects in the U.S., while foreign companies are free to bid on infrastructure projects in Canada.

Hellen Christodoulou Quebec Regional Director of the CISC cited many examples of U.S.-based companies supplying the steel and iron for Canadian projects; she empathically stated that Canadian companies would be excluded from U.S.projects.

“I thought that the Buy American provisions were behind us,” added Mayor Bonnette.

“We received a Canadian exemption in 2009 after intense lobbying at all levels, but more and more legislation in the U.S. at both the state and federal level now contain buy American clauses”.

The Buy America Act is having an impact on Canadian companies.

Mueller Canada,based in St. Jerome, Quebec, announced suddenly on December 19, 2014 that it would close its Canadian operations laying off 71 employees as a direct result of the Buy American provisions, an American plant will now service the Canadian market.

“What we are looking for is Fair Trade with the U.S., an acknowledgement that our supply lines don’t recognize borders and that reciprocity should be the cornerstone of the trade relations with the U.S”, said Edward Whalen president of the CISC.

Mr. Whalen encouraged provinces and municipalities to be pro-active on this issue and in the event the U.S. government does not exempt Canadian companies that we shouldreconsider our current open market procurement stance.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is also alerting its members of the serious consequences to the Canadian economy. Halton Hills Regional Councillor Clark Somerville, who also serves as the second vice-president of FCM, is fully engaged in making sure the message resonates with all Canadian municipalities that free trade should be fair trade.

Mayor Bonnette continues to work closely with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association (CME) on this issue meeting with representatives on January 19,2015 prior to the Montreal press conference. Mayor Bonnette added, “We are prepared to fight for Canadian jobs. It is the right thing to do”.

Halton Hills Regional Councillor Clark Somerville and the Town’s Economic Development Officer Doug Penrice, also attended and supported the Mayor’s participation.

About the Town of Halton Hills

The Town of Halton Hills, with a population of approximately 60,000, consists of two urban centres, Georgetown and Acton, the Halton Hills Premier Gateway employment area, three hamlets – Glen Williams, Stewarttown and Norval – and several smallers ettlements. Halton Hills has long been recognized for its natural beauty, active agricultural community, high quality of life and proximity to major centres, including Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto. The Town is the 2013 recipient of the National Municipal Environmental Award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and is ranked as one of the top small communities in Canada by a national magazine.

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For further information contact:

Mayor Rick Bonnette

Town of Halton Hills

905-873-2601 ext. 2342

Email:mayor@haltonhills.ca

Found in: Buy America

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