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Local Government

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Stop the GATS Attack: Involving Local and Regional Governments


Assembly of European Regions

Brixen/Bressanone Declaration on Cultural Diversity and GATS (unanimously adopted by the European Regional Ministers for Culture and Education, Brixen/Bressanone, 18th October 2002)

Assembly of European Regions: links on WTO & GATS


Austria

The following Austrian towns / local communities have adopted a resolution to stop the sell-off of public services and the privatisation of basic services, calling for an immediate halt on the GATS negotiations:

Over a hundred Austrian local councils, including the Vienna City Council, have declared themselves "GATS-Free". Overview and map

Sample letter and sample resolution.


Belgium

In the francophone part of Belgium, the following cities have declared themselves non-Gats territory:

Collection of documents used by the Coordination d'Autres Mondes (Forum Social à la Liegeoise) to propose a non-GATS resolution for the city council of Liége. Documents in French.


France

ATTAC France runs a campaign to have local and regional governments adapt GATS resolutions.

By 25 november 2003, 218 local governments in France had sounded the alarm bell on GATS. Full list.


Italy

In the context of a broader campaign towards Cancun -- "QUESTO MONDO NON E' IN VENDITA!" -- local and regional councils are asked to pass anti-GATS resolutions.

Resolutions adopted in:

Comuni di: Ferrara, Genova, Torino, Giaveno (To) Levanto (La Spezia), Rivalta (To), Villacirdo (Ca), Casalgrande (Re), Chieri (To), Seravezza (Lu);
Province di: Genova e Ferrara


Netherlands

Milieudefensie (Dutch Friends of the Earth) is encouraging local governments to adopt resolutions on the GATS. So far, no resolutions have been adopted. In Groningen and Amsterdam the city council will organise expert meetings to explore what GATS means for local public services.

Brochure on GATS and local government (in Dutch): Wat is er van uw dienst? Gevolgen van WTO-dienstenonderhandelingen voor gemeenten en provincies (May 2003)


United Kingdom

Local and Regional Council Motions on GATS:

Reading the riot act; Local government takes on GATS
Mike Ashley (Director of the Local Government International Bureau),
European Information Service, Issue 231, 2002 July

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS): Possible Implications for Local Government LGA/LGIB Briefing Paper, April 2002

Briefing on GATS, Association for Public Service Excellence, May 2002

Local Authorities Submissions to DTI GATS Consultation
(December 2002-January 2003)

Labour Campaign for Open Local Government
Local Government Association (LGA)
Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)
Manchester City Council
Monmouth County Council
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Devon County Council
Hampshire County Coucil


Australia

Australian Local Government Association response to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade discussion paper on GATS (26 February 2003)

North Shore City Council Letter to the Minister of Trade Negotiations (12 December 2002)

Regional District of Coaticook

Melbourne Council (24 October 2002)

More Australian local communities adopted anti-GATS resolutions (full list to follow).


Canada

Canadian municipalities who have passed GATS resolutions

Updated: February 13, 2003

To date, 68 municipal governments have passed anti-GATS resolutions. Several of these municipalities include a number of separate communities. As well, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities have passed resolutions. Please see a complete list below:

National Passed:
Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Annual Meeting 2001

Alberta
Passed: Red Deer, St. Albert and Sylvan Lake

British Columbia
Passed: Vancouver, North Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Richmond, Kamloops, Bowen Island, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Powell River, Tumbler Ridge, Williams Lake, Burnaby, New Denver, Delta, Abbotsford, Campbell River, Quesnel, City of Langley, Corporation of the Township of Langley, Wells, Comox, Courtenay, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and by School District 35 (Langley)

New Brunswick
Passed: Sackville, Port Elgin, Saint John, Fredericton

North West Territories
Passed: Yellowknife

Nova Scotia
Passed: Pictou County, Chester Municipal Council, Municipality of the County of Colchester (includes 11 districts, towns and communities including Tatamagouche and Stewiake), Town of Lunenburg, Truro, Sydney, Mahone Bay, Halifax, Wolfville

Ontario
Passed: Tecumseh, Guelph, Kingston, London, Windsor, Region of Niagara (includes mayors and representatives from St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, Thorold and seven other towns in the region), City of Ottawa (newly-amalgamated including former cities of Kanata, Nepean, Gloucester, Vanier, Rockcliffe and the townships of Cumberland, West Carleton, Goulburn, Rideau and Osgoode), Cambridge, Township of Brighton, Township of Hamilton, Township of Alnwick-Haldimand, Toronto (includes former city of Toronto, North York, East York, York, Etobicoke), Peterborough

Manitoba
Winipeg

Quebec
Passed: Ste-Anne de Bellevue, Fleurimont, d’Ascot Corner; Rock Forest, Municipalités régional de conté (MRC) de Sherbrooke (includes 8 communities), MRC de Coaticook (includes 11 communities), MRC deHaute St.- François (includes 13 communities)

Saskatchewan
Passed: Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon


New Zealand

There have been three major councils that have passed GATS resolutions:

Christchurch City Council (12 December 2002)
The report considered by the Christchurch City Council, written by Director of Policy Mary Richardson

North Shore City Council (12 December 2002)

Waitakere City Council (26 February 2003)

Submission on New Zealand's Approach to the WTO Negotiations on Services
Local Government New Zealand, 28 Feb 2003