Press Room  —  Video Solidarity March and Rally

Highlights of the Solidarity March and Rally

On October 23, 2005, in Montreal, the GO5 Coalition organized a solidarity march and rally in favour of supply management. Quebec, Canadian and international public figures spoke about their support for dynamic local agriculture and expressed their strong concerns regarding the globalization of agriculture “WTO style”.

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Biographies of speakers at the Solidarity Rally

Cheikh Mouhamady Cissokho
Cheikh Mouhamady Cissokho is a Senegalese farmer. He is Honorary President of ROPPA, the Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (West African farmers and farmer organizations network), which he helped set up in July 2000. ROPPA brings together the cooperation organizations and agencies in 10 West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo). Cheikh Mouhamady Cissokho is also the Chair of the Conseil national de concertation et de coopération des ruraux du Sénégal (Senegal national coordination council for rural Senegalese), which has nine member federations (farmer associations, farming cooperatives, horticulturists, women, fishers, animal breeders, animal breeder cooperatives and forest operators).

M. Bob Friesen
A turkey farmer in Manitoba, Bob Friesen has been the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture since 1999. He sits on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. In addition to serving as President of the CFA, Mr. Friesen chairs the National Safety Nets Advisory Committee, which advises the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food. As Manitoba Director to the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency (CTMA), he has had a seat on the Executive Committee of this agency since 1993 and served as chair for four years.

M. Pierre Marc Johnson
Pierre Marc Johnson, a former Québec premier and counsel to the Heenan Blaikie firm since 1996, joined the GO5 Coalition for a Fair Farming Model, Supply Management, as its special advisor in June 2004. Recognized for his expertise in global trade, negotiations and international partnerships, Mr. Johnson is the chief counsel and negotiator for the Québec government in the softwood lumber trade dispute between Canada and the United States.

M. Laurent Pellerin
A farmer in Bécancour in the Centre-du-Québec region, Laurent Pellerin has held the office of President of the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1993. He is also the First Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. An interminable hard worker, his main concern is to ensure a better future for men and women who live from farming in Québec through cooperation. Mr. Pellerin has successfully drawn the attention of farming organizations around the world to the Québec model and its joint action.

M. Laurent Lessard
Laurent Lessard was Mayor of the city of Thetford-Mines from 1993 to 2003, until his election as liberal MNA for the Frontenac constituency in April 2003. Minister of Labour, and since August, of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Québec, Mr. Lessard previously worked as a notary in private practice from 1989 to 1998.

M. Jean-Louis Roy
Jean-Louis Roy has been President of Rights and Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) since 2002. A one-of-a-kind institution, it is the link between non-government and government organizations, promoting dialogue between society and government. Although its mandate is quite vast, Rights and Democracy structures its work around four themes, including globalization and human rights. Mr. Roy was formerly Director of the Montreal daily Le Devoir, Québec’s Delegate General to Paris and Secretary General of the Agence de la francophonie in Paris.

M. Jack Wilkinson
Jack Wilkinson has been a grain, oilseed and cattle farmer in Ontario since 1979. He has served as President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) since May 2002. IFAP represents around one hundred farmer organizations in 71 countries. Mr. Wilkinson was previously President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture for six years as well as well as of Ontario Federation of Agriculture.