Dear Editor:

Those free-trade deals Stephen Harper is signing all over the place in secret, without public knowledge, and without parliamentary debate are really charters of rights-and-freedoms for transnational corporations. Deals like NAFTA have empowered corporations with the right to sue governments that stand in the way of them making a profit.

For instance, U.S.-based Pitney Bowes could sue Canada for not opening the usually profitable Canada Post to transnational bidding. Selling off a publicly-owned service is bad politics. Thats why Harper and his provincial counterparts are scrambling to privatize every publicly owned asset they can: Canada Post, BC Hydro, Parks, even public health and education.

This privatization process is ugly: first they bankrupt the public asset. Governments have the power to appoint the companys board-of-directors. The directors hire the managers who bankrupt the company. This death by management scheme is particularly obvious with BC Hydro, where half its employees are making $100,000 or more.

BC Ferries had to cut services to afford their managers. Canada Post has 22 yes, twenty-twovice-presidents! As these companies fail, governments cry to the people, We told you so, publicly-owned companies are inefficient, they cost to much to operate. They must be privatized!

Do you want to be Prime Minister, or Premier? Heres another tip: promise those darned transnational corporations even more than what Mr. Harper, Ms. Clark and Mrs. Redford have. More subsidies, more tax breaks, more access to public resources, and lower environmental standards.

Then leave it to the corporations: theyve got the money, they own the media. These transnational corporations will get you elected, somehow. So, if you have no conscience, and are willing to forsake Canada and its people, you can be a leader. No experience necessary.

Bryan Stawychny, Edgewater