Canadian case against MAI gets int’l. support


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,   Jan. 11

The MAI is dead, right? Well, no, not quite.

As we know, it is no longer being negotiated at the OECD, but the MAI agenda
is looking for a new "home" and for all we know, may have found one.

The Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee is taking the Canadian government
to court, arguing that it is unconstitutional for the government to be
negotiating the MAI. The court date is coming up soon, as you will see, below.

It is interesting to note that support for this fight has come from around
the world, including from people who have contributed items for this list.

all the best, Jan
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 00:04:35 -0800
From: CONNIE FOGAL <•••@••.•••>
Subject: REPORT Canadian MAI lawsuit FogalvsHMQ RTF/Eudora/WP8/win98

January 10,1999         REPORT on DEVELOPMENTS and STATUS  of Court File
No. T 790-98 
                                CANADIAN  M.A.I.  LAWSUIT

This is a report of the current status of the lawsuit brought in the
Federal Court of  Canada to stop Canada from entering the Multilateral
Agreement on Investments, M.A.I.  The lawsuit is brought by the Defence of
Canadian Liberty Committee invoking the protections to citizens under the
Canadian Constitution.  Our website will shortly show the pleadings and
activities in a chronological order. See:

Our lawsuit is at the crucial time of action. Take note of the Hearing date.

        Federal Court of Canada
        January S19 and 20,1999 
        930 A.M. 
        at 700 West Georgia Street, 16th floor, room 2 or 3
        Vancouver B.C., Canada

The Court proceedings, by law, are open to the public who  are entitled to
be present at the proceedings. We encourage citizens to be there and to
observe the proceedings. It is important that there be a strong showing of
interested citizens. Make no mistake. The government is watching our
responses to this. The continued involvement of citizens by being present
at this hearing is an important contribution to the political action of
resisting the corporatization of Canada which is reducing the Canadian
standard of living.

        I appeal to the local citizens to HELP US FILL THE COURT ROOM  and
even spill out into the hall. Remember there are two days of hearings. If
you cannot come on Tuesday, Jan 19th,  please come on Wednesday, Jan 20th.
Your presence is an important political act and statement. While the
lawyers do what they are trained to do, your presence will be an expression
of the substance of what the lawsuit is all about- your democracy and your


>From the outset of our lawsuit the government position was that the MAI did
not exist (was not a signed, accepted, or finished agreement) and therefore
the case should not be heard. In law that is called the 'Ripeness" issue.
There were many who tried to discourage us from taking this lawsuit
because of the ripeness issue.  We know that will be a main argument of the
Federal government at the hearing on Jan 19 and 20th.

When Canada's chief negotiator for the MAI gave testimony at the BC
provincial government hearings on the MAI in the fall of 1998, he kept
saying, "The MAI does not exist; the MAI does not exist; there is no
agreement." By that he meant nothing is signed, therefore there is nothing
to fear. In the next breath he repeated that his instructions were to
negotiate an extension of NAFTA to the OECD countries and others.

Our position is that the government does not have the right to negotiate an
agreement that throws out the kitchen sink! We say it does not matter
whether it is being negotiated or conducted or consulted at the OECD, the
WTO, or the IMF, or elsewhere.  We say it does not matter that the official
word is that it is no longer being negotiated. We know it is still on the
plate, but in more devious manner of secrecy. We say the principles
enshrined in the MAI are still outstanding and in issue.  We say we need a
ruling on those principles and issues from our Supreme Court of Canada. 

We will not be deterred by difficulty. The effort is necessary because we
are losing our rights under agreements like FTA, NAFTA and numerous
bilateral agreements already entered and others in process. The corporate
agenda is being implemented rapidly. The MAI is being implemented
incrementally. Our politicians now refer to citizens as consumers and the
nation as a company. That is not what our constitution says we are. 

Many Canadians have been participating in this historic legal fight for our
continued existence as a nation. Many have been making financial
contributions without which this effort could not proceed. Many Canadians
and international friends have been helping by providing information by e
mail keeping us informed of the developments of the MAI and its ilk.
The legal scene today

After the October 1998 negotiations in Paris were stalemated by France
refusing to participate any longer at the OECD, the official word was that
the MAI was dead.  Those of us following the issue closely know that is not
true. It has just become more secret. The deception has deepened.

October 19,1998 France pulled out of the OECD negotiations.

October 26,1998 at the request of the federal government who asked for more
time, our October 26,1998 application  for an order to compel the federal
government to answer questions that it refused to answer  was adjourned to
Jan 19, 1999 or earlier if the parties could agree.

Dec 7, 1998 the federal government filed an application asking for
permission to file a second affidavit to say that the MAI was no longer
being negotiated at the OECD. The witness said,  "It is Canada's position
that the negotiations towards a potential MAI at the OECD have ceased
without any agreement being concluded"

Jan 6,1999 The Federal  Court ORDERED that: 1) the government witness must
submit to cross examination on her affidavit immediately at the government
's cost. (That cross examination is scheduled to proceed Tues. Jan 12,1999
at 195 Alexander St., Vancouver B.C. at 9:30 A.M.);  the government must
pay us $500.00 immediately for our costs; strict deadlines were imposed;
and we were granted other technical entitlements if we need them.

The Jan 6,1999 order is a win for us. It is almost never the case that this
kind of judge in the Federal Court grants costs in an application that
occurs before the actual hearing. However, our task remains difficult. Our
Federal government has been manoeuvering to be able to say that the MAI
never existed, or, that if it did exist, it is now dead. We know that it is
alive and well and living in???????.

Evidence about where and how the beast is bubbling has been the recent
daunting task. If we did find any useful evidence, the task was how  to be
able to get that evidence before the court.  The cross examination on
Tuesday, Jan12,1999 is our last opportunity to get some evidence in about
an ongoing MAI . The Court has helped us to do that by commanding the
Federal government  to submit to cross examination. The feds tactic has
been to stall until it is too late for us.

I acknowledge the recent quick aid of a number of supporters, and send
special thanks to Lisa Shaw of CHOICES from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Bev
Collins, from Prince George B.C.,Canada; Caroline Dumonteil of Oxford
Brooks University, United Kingdom;  Ron Rowe of Citizens Alliance of Santa
Barbara, California, USA.. I send special thanks to the ongoing work of
organizations on the alert who dispatched information that came in at this
time when we needed it: Oxford Brooks University- Caroline Dumonteil;
Public Citizens Global Trade Watch, USA- Lori Wallach and Margrete
Strand-Ranges; Ecoropa, France; UK Anti MAI Forum. I send special thanks to
the list serves and the individuals who forwarded this information to us at
this crucial time:, Janet Eaton and  Janice from MAI Not at Flora; UK Anti
MAIf-Chris Keene and  Paul Swann ; Mainet11; Brian Jenkins, Australia;
•••@••.•••; Catherine Blake, Montreal, Que., Canada; Judith
Mermelstein, Montreal Que., Canada; CCCI, Gil Yaron; CORP FOCUS, Robert
Weisman; Bob Olsen, Toronto, Ont, Canada.

Connie Fogal, one of the Applicants Court File No.T 790-98

 "The constitution of Canada does not belong either to Parliament, or to
the Legislatures; it belongs to the country and it is there that the
citizens of the country will find the protection of the rights to which
they are entitled" Supreme Court of Canada A.G. of Nova Scotia and A.G. of
Canada, S.C.R.1951 pp. 32-33