Photo: Pat McGrath, the Ottawa Citizen
Perhaps feeling a bit put-out by the media attention being (finally) devoted to the Occupy Wall Street (#OWS, for those on Twitter) movement, an alliance of Canadian and European anti-free trade activists wheeled a Trojan Horse up to the gates of Parliament Hill in Ottawa today. In case the point of the action was lost on those not versed in Greek mythology, or perhaps those who have been struck on the head by a large rock, Canada's celebrity trade opponent Maude Barlow was on hand to explain why Canada and the EU should not have a trade pact.
"Just like the Trojan horse behind me, this trade deal carries huge threats," Barlow said.
In response to the appearance of the 14-foot high theatre prop, Gerald Keddy, parliamentary secretary to Canada's Trade Minister Ed Fast, admitted that he finally understood why the trade deal was so wrong-headed. "I was a big supporter of free trade with the EU until I saw that horse coming up Wellington Street," Keddy said.
"Only now, thanks to this literal Trojan Horse, do I understand that a trade deal is a metaphorical 'trojan horse' introduced into the Canadian economy," he went on. "I wish to thank Ms. Barlow, and her European co-protesters, for bringing this to my attention in such an unmistakable manner. I will be consulting with Mr. Fast and advising him of my opinions immediately."
I kid. He actually dismissed the concerns as being raised by "special interest groups ideologically opposed to free trade."