On January 27, FIQ Vice-President Shirley Dorismond led a panel at a forum organized by Le Réseau Québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC). It was held following a citizen gathering on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
To begin, Ms. Dorismond pointed out that free trade agreements grant excessive powers to multinational companies at the expense of human and workers’ rights.
For the FIQ, it is mainly the impact these agreements have on human health that is cause for concern. All we have to do is think of the rise in cost of prescription drugs and how they limit the government’s ability to develop public policies based on the public’s needs.
What’s more, we can no longer afford to ignore how these agreements affect the environment, which is a major health factor. Air pollution, the quality of drinking water and pesticides in our food are just a few concerns that drive us to demand a more progressive negotiation of NAFTA.
The vice-president also stressed that women both use health services and work in health services the most. They would therefore be the most affected if parts of the health system are privatized, whether through the worsening of work conditions or a loss of jobs in the public sector.