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The Ugly Canadian

June 29, 2016, 9:35 p.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism

Posted By Yves Engler On June 29, 2016 @ 1:54 am

Twenty-first century “Canadian” corporate capitalism is quite the racket.

Built with public subsidies, a Montréal firm can shift its ‘head office’ to a tax haven and workforce abroad, but Ottawa will continue to use its diplomatic, economic and military might to advance the company’s reactionary international interests.

As part of its coverage of the Panama Papers, the Toronto Star recently reported that Gildan Activewear paid only a 2.8% tax rate on more than $1.3 billion US in declared income the last five years and it’s unclear if any of the apparel company’s measly $38 million in tax was paid in Canada.

After benefiting from government subsidies and financial backing from Quebec’s Fonds de solidarité labour investment fund, Gildan opened a subsidiary in Barbados sixteen years ago to sidestep Canadian tax. The firm took advantage of a tax treaty that permits companies to repatriate profits from the small Caribbean nation, which has a 1.5% corporate tax rate, without being taxed in Canada.

Concurrently, “free” trade agreements have enabled Gildan to shift its (unionized) Canadian and US production to Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haiti where it’s pursued an aggressive anti-union “sweatshop” policies. Without a high-profile brand name (until recently) Gildan has focused on producing T-shirts and socks at the lowest cost possible. Any increase in the dismally low wages it pays in these countries is a threat to their ultra-low-cost production model, which competes with even lower wage jurisdictions in Cambodia and Bangladesh.

Despite Gildan moving its production to low-wage jurisdictions and its headquarters to a tax haven, Ottawa has continued to advance the company’s interests. In 2004 Ottawa helped overthrow Haiti’s elected government and backed a military coup in Honduras five years later partly to protect Gildan’s ultra-low-wage production model.

At the start of 2003 Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government increased the Haitian minimum wage from 36 gourdes (US$1) a day to 70 gourdes. Of course, this was opposed by domestic and international capital, which used Haiti’s lowest wages in the hemisphere as a way to beat back workers’ demands in other Caribbean and Central American countries. At the time most of Gildan’s work in Haiti was subcontracted to Andy Apaid, who led the Group 184 domestic “civil society” that pushed to overthrow Aristide’s elected government. Coincidentally, two days after the US/France/Canada coup, Foreign Affairs stated “some Canadian companies are looking to shift garment production to Haiti.” By 2009 Gildan was the country’s largest employer after the state, employing up to 8,000 Haitians (directly and indirectly) in Port-au-Prince’s assembly sector.

To the west, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya raised the minimum wage by 60% at the start of 2009. Gildan’s opposition to Zelaya’s move to increase the minimum wage was one reason Ottawa tacitly supported the ouster of the elected president’s later that year. Under pressure from the Maquila Solidarity Network, Nike, Gap and two other US-based apparel companies operating in Honduras released a statement called for the restoration of democracy three weeks after the military overthrew Zelaya. With half of its operations in the country, Gildan refused to sign this statement. Since the coup Gildan’s Honduran workforce has grown from 11,000 to 26,000, making it the largest private employer in the country.

A Globe and Mail Report on Business profile described Gildan as “the ultimate fruit of globalization.” A firm that pays little tax, low wages and that employs the state to advance its reactionary international interests — neoliberalism at its finest.

……

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

June 29, 2016, 10:10 p.m.
Posts: 44
Joined: Sept. 28, 2013

Ugh, what a putrid stew of problems wrapped up in the business of this one company.

June 30, 2016, 1:15 p.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

Ottawa will continue to use its diplomatic, economic and military might to advance the company's reactionary international interests.

:P

Did you check the date on the article? I think you will find its dated April 1.

July 1, 2016, 1:28 a.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

:P

Ottawa will continue to use its diplomatic, economic and military might to advance the company's reactionary international interests.

Did you check the date on the article? I think you will find its dated April 1.

Joint Task Force 2 commandos/sharpshooters were among Canadian troops that seized Haiti[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s main airport on February 29, 2004. This was instrumental in that day[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s kidnapping and forced removal of President Aristide by U.S. Marines. Then, 500 Canadian troops joined U.S. and French occupation forces (MINUSTAH) to prop up the new regime that was illegally-imposed. MINUSTAH has been responsible for human rights abuses including the murder and detention of thousands of supporters of the deposed government. Canada pressured MINUSTAH to use even more excessive force.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/60/60.htm

See also…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadians-apologize-to-haiti-10-years-after-the-coup/5367885

https://yvesengler.com/2014/02/28/why-did-canada-help-overthrow-haitis-government/

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

July 1, 2016, 6:58 a.m.
Posts: 142
Joined: June 24, 2013

tl;dr Cliff's Notes version?

Libre? Libre como el vienta……

July 1, 2016, 11:57 a.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

Canadian frenchies vis-a-vis their common language/culture/connections exploit the labour of poor peoples in France's old colonial outposts for financial gain.
Apparently the Cdn. govt. is happy to spend your tax $ to assist.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

July 1, 2016, 3:27 p.m.
Posts: 763
Joined: March 12, 2004

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/60/60.htm

See also…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadians-apologize-to-haiti-10-years-after-the-coup/5367885

https://yvesengler.com/2014/02/28/why-did-canada-help-overthrow-haitis-government/

Yes, I am sure the military overthrow of the Haitian government at that time was initiated by a t-shirt company.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

July 1, 2016, 3:57 p.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

The issue is margins, not product.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Sept. 2, 2016, 12:38 p.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016

Canadian Media Bias

by YVES ENGLER

An elitist, nationalist, bias dominates all areas of Canada’s paper of record.

On the front of last weekend’s Style section the Globe and Mail profiled Sonja Bata on turning 90. Business partner and wife of the deceased Thomas Bata, the Globe lauded Sonja for the “many contributions she has made to Canada”, including the Bata Shoe Museum and various other establishment “cultural, environmental and social causes.” The article touched on the shoemaker’s early history and described how she “traveled the world building a shoe empire – between 1946 and 1960, 25 new factories were built and 1700 Bata stores opened.”

While the three-page spread included an undated photo of Sonja and her husband on the “African continent”, it ignored how the Toronto-based shoe company took advantage of European rule to set up across the continent. By the end of the colonial era Bata had production or retail facilities in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Senegal, Congo, Tanzania, Rhodesia and elsewhere. In the 1940s and 50s, notes Shoemaker with a Mission, “the organization’s expansion was especially great in francophone Africa. As Mr. Bata himself noted, there was no country in that part of the world where his company was not established as the number-one supplier of footwear.” While “Mr. Bata” may not be the most objective source on the shoemaker, a government study just after independence found the company controlled 70% of the footwear market in British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).

In a 1974 Saturday Night article titled “Canadians Too, Can Act like Economic Imperialists”, Steve Langdon describes the company’s operations in Kenya: “Bata seems to be undercutting decentralized rural development in Kenya, to be blocking African advance in other areas, and to be throwing its weight around politically — all at a handsome profit.” In a bid to subvert the establishment of a domestic competitor, the Toronto-based multinational wrote its overseas suppliers to discourage sales to its challenger and asked Kenyan government officials to intervene on its behalf.

Bata’s mechanized production methods squeezed out indigenous footwear producers all the while increasing imports of plastics and machinery, which came at the expense of local materials (leather) and employment. In the 1975 article Canada’s Relations with Africa Robert Matthews notes that Bata drained “money and opportunity from poor rural areas” to the benefit of a small group of locals and the Toronto head office.

When the post-independence Tanzanian government announced that it would acquire a 60 percent share of a multitude of major foreign firms Bata was the only hold out. The Toronto firm attempted to sabotage Tanzania’s push to acquire a controlling interest in the local company’s operations. In Underdevelopment and Nationalization: Banking in Tanzania James H. Mittelman explains: “Bata Shoes (a Canadian-based concern), for example, ran down stocks, removed machinery, supplied imperfect items, and later withdrew all staff, supposedly closing down for annual repairs! The Company refused to relinquish more than 49 per cent of its controlling interests, tried to set up a new wholesaling operation dependent on its firm in Kenya, and urged other foreign investors to fight.”

Bata’s aggressive reaction to Tanzania’s efforts aimed to dissuade other newly independent African countries from following a similar path. The shoemaker no doubt feared for its significant operations across the continent.

Bata received Canadian government support as well. In mid-1973 the Canadian High Commissioner in Nairobi visited Uganda to ask Idi Amin if he would attend the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting taking place in Ottawa. But, the primary objective of the high commissioner’s meeting was to convince Amin to reverse his nationalization of Bata. A cable published by WikiLeaks read: “CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER OLIVIER MET WITH PRESIDENT AMIN JUNE 29 TO DISCUSS GOU TAKE-OVER OF BATA SHOE FIRM. AMIN REVERSED EARLIER DECISION AND ORDERED THAT A NEW PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT (51 PERCENT BATA, 49 PERCENT GOU) BE WORKED OUT.”

Through the 1970s Bata worked under the white regime in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). It broke sanctions against Rhodesia by exporting goods manufactured there to South Africa. Even more controversial, it operated in apartheid South Africa until the late 1980s. The company broke unions and blocked black workers from semiskilled, skilled and executive positions. Listed among the “hardline defenders of investment in South Africa” in Ambiguous Champion: Canada and South Africa in the Trudeau and Mulroney years, Bata faced an international boycott campaign. During this period Sonja Bata was quoted in the Canadian media justifying the company’s South African policy and Thomas Bata proclaimed “we expanded into Africa in order to sell shoes, not to spread sweetness and light.”

The Globe and Mail is exposing its elitist, nationalist, bias in ignoring Bata’s unsavory history.

Yves Engler’s latest book is [HTML_REMOVED]#8234;Canada in Africa: 300 years of Aid and Exploitation.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Sept. 2, 2016, 8:51 p.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

Why Canadians are worse than Hitler

Sept. 2, 2016, 9:06 p.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

Some are. Some aren't. Some are incorrigible.

Like this ghoul…

http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/07/19/BrianDay/

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Sept. 3, 2016, 10:35 p.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

Some are. Some aren't. Some are incorrigible.

Like this ghoul…

http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/07/19/BrianDay/

You know that most of his "private" patients are regular folks insured by WorkSafeBC, right?

Here is another picture of another ghoul with Brian Day:

Sept. 3, 2016, 11:11 p.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

Wow. He wasn't a very good comrade, was he. What's the context of that pic?

I don't care if his patient is god, statement below says it all….

An ad for the conference went as follows: "Day will discuss at length the disadvantages of providing and receiving care in a government-run delivery system," in what was slated to be a "frank" discussion.

"Day refers to his election as evidence that doctors there are ready to give private health care a bigger role in the Canadian system," the ad continued.

Thin edge of the wedge. Guy should have his citizenship revoked.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Sept. 4, 2016, 12:24 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

Wow. He wasn't a very good comrade, was he. What's the context of that pic?

Brin Day is an Honorary Member of the Cuban Orthopaedic Association.

He was talking health care policy with Fidel. Apparently Cuba's health system makes money from medical tourism and invests it back in the local health care system (they don't generally have waiting lists for surgery or treatment in Cuba).

As Shirley Douglas, daughter of Canadian medicare visionary Tommy Douglas, reminds us: "You either want a single-payer system in this country or you want an American-style system. And don't kid yourself that there's anything in between."

Not true … aside from Scandanavia, most countries in Western Europe have mixed public-private health care models with better outcomes and lower costs than Canada. There are already 4 tiers of health care in BC - publicly funded, WorkSafeBC, fully private and medical tourism outside of Canada.

Sept. 4, 2016, 1:04 a.m.
Posts: 3544
Joined: May 23, 2006

If Cuba can do it why not Canada? Buncha' losers!

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

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