Dear Mister Marchi,
I am writing on behalf of a broad coalition of organizations representing millions of Canadians to invite you to participate in a public debate on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).
As you know, in the last few weeks there has been increasing demand from all sides of this critical issue for a full public hearing on the MAI.
On Feb. 24, opposition parties in the House of Commons closed ranks across ideological differences to support a motion condemning your government for the lack of public disclosure and debate on this vital issue of public policy for all Canadians.
We were pleased to note that at a news conference held with provincial trade ministers in February, you stated publicly your commitment to better inform Canadians and to allow for a full public debate on the MAI.
It is in this spirit that we today invite you to participate in a national public debate, widely accessible to all Canadians through the media, before you travel to Paris for a crucial meeting of OECD ministers of trade on April 27, 1998.
Because members of your party are gathering for policy discussions in Ottawa (the week of March 16-20), we hope to hear from you on this invitation by the close of your conference on March 22.
We look forward to working out the important details of time and place, format and participants with your staff in the coming days.
The Council of Canadians