Maude Barlow
Key Player

Chairperson, The Council of Canadians; Director, International Forum on Globalization; Author, Global Showdown: How the New Activists Are Fighting Global Corporate RuleAnti-free-trade activist Maude Barlow has been called “the Ralph Nader of Canada,” and the description is more than apt. She chairs the Council of Canadians, a Nader-inspired organization that Canada’s National Post has called that country’s “local command post” for the anti-food-technology movement. Under Barlow’s leadership, the Council has run successful scare campaigns convincing Canada’s Liberal government to prohibit the use of bovine growth hormone (BGH) in beef and dairy cattle, and (until recently) to heavily regulate genetically improved foods.

Barlow has been a vocal opponent of free-trade agreements between the United States and Canada, holding positions that put her in line with modern socialists. Complaining to Canadian newsweekly Maclean’s that “governments are now saying everything should be on the open market,” she defiantly declared that she and her organization “have decided that is not going to happen.”

In her book Global Showdown: How the New Activists Are Fighting Global Corporate Rule, Maude Barlow emerged as a big-time international rabble-rouser; she makes prominent appearances at just about every major protest event on the World Bank/WTO calendar. In an April 2001 address to demonstrators in Quebec City, Barlow even defended vandalism and property destruction, saying that “the real violence lies behind that wall, with the 34 political leaders and their spin doctors and their corporate friends who bought their way in.”