January 27, 2018 2:45 pm

Protest held outside NAFTA talks to put pressure on Canadian negotiators

Protesters gathered outside the downtown Montreal hotel where NAFTA talks are underway. Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

Mike Le Couteur/Global News

A protest was held just outside the hotel where the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations are taking place in downtown Montreal Saturday afternoon.

The protest — organized by the Réseau Québécois sur lintégration continentale (RQIC) — aimed to put pressure on Canadian negotiators.

READ MORE: Optimism emerges at NAFTA talks in Montreal

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The group hoped to raise awareness about the importance of environmental issues and how the interests of foreign corporations should not come ahead of Canada’s.

RQIC spokesperson Ronald Cameron said he was worried by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stance on free trade.

READ MORE: NAFTA negotiator tells Canada to be patient for U.S. response on proposals

In his opinion, NAFTA has not served the best interests of workers, nor the population at large.

Cameron expressed his belief that gains made through the agreement have largely benefited big business.

WATCH: Unifor marches on Montreal demanding better NAFTA deal

Cameron said negotiators need to bring new solutions to the table that would prioritize social justice and bring environmental issues to the forefront.

Several union leaders also took part in the demonstration, which was followed by a conference at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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