Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
By Dana Gabriel, Be Your Own Leader
August 28, 2012
With the final rounds of negotiations sessions planned for September and October, Canada and the EU are closing in on a free trade deal that would go far beyond the reach of NAFTA. Meanwhile, there is growing opposition to the agreement as the whole process has lacked openness, transparency and any public consultations. In Canada, there are concerns over the threat it poses to local democracy. This includes fears of deregulation and privatization, as well the expansion of corporate investor rights. There are also warnings that the deal could be used as a backdoor means to implement ACTA which was rejected by the European Parliament in July.
As the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) talks near their end, the Council of Canadians continue to voice their opposition to the deal. While I don’t agree with their position on some different issues, they have been championing the fight against CETA. In an effort to counter misleading statements made by the Conservative government regarding the trade pact, they have released the report, the CETA Deception. Trade campaigner, Stuart Trew explained how this is an effort to, “challenge the government’s reassurances that its EU trade deal will not affect public health or environmental regulations, will not allow foreign corporations to challenge public policy, will not undermine public services or municipal democracy, will not increase drug prices or hurt Canada’s supports for arts and culture. In each case, the government’s position is either misleading or demonstrably false.” As a result of the threat CETA poses to local sovereignty, a growing number of Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions seeking more information and a greater say in negotiations with some also requesting to be excluded from the agreement.