The Impact of GATS on Public Sector Libraries
The privatization of public services has been a strategic priority for the corporate sector for many years. With the advent of international investment and services agreements as part of the framework of international trade law, the coercive influence of NAFTA and WTO disciplines are working to undermine public control of critical social services while diminishing the capacity of governments to regulate these newly privatized services.
In a series of legal opinions, Steven Shrybman has examined the perils of privatization in light of the binding international commitments Canada has made as part of its trade agenda. His analysis exposes the new risks associated with privatization in a global context within which a small handful of corporate players dominate in any particular sector. This opinion considers the impact of the General Agreement of Trade and Services (GATS) on the policies, programs and law concerning public sector libraries in Canada.