Stop the Canada-EU free trade talks - Put climate, jobs before corporate profit!

BECAUSE the federal government, provinces and territories are quietly negotiating a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), or free trade agreement, with the European Union that goes far beyond what is generally understood as trade, and;

BECAUSE through these negotiations the European Union is seeking domestic policy changes in areas not limited to Canadian sub-federal procurement rights (including for municipalities, universities, hospitals, Crown corporations and public utilities), the delivery of postal and other public services (including public drinking water and treatment), copyright and drug patent policy, telecommunications and cultural rules, the functioning of provincial liquor boards, environmental policy, banking and financial regulations, and;

BECAUSE the right to specify local priorities when public money is invested by our municipalities, provinces and territories on goods, services or construction projects could be prohibited by the agreement, unreasonably reducing economic options for local communities, and;

BECAUSE according to a legal opinion of the agreement, the proposed investment protections could block future provincial or federal measures attempting to address climate change and other pressing environmental priorities, notably the enormous environmental and social impacts of the Canadian oil industry, including possible cutbacks in the amount of water used to extract bitumen or general production limits, and;

BECAUSE a draft Sustainability Impact Assessment conducted on behalf of the European Union predicts the agreement could encourage the privatization of Canada's mostly public water systems, increase Canada's greenhouse gas emissions from new resource extraction and transportation of goods, and potentially negatively impact the rights of First Nations communities, and;

BECAUSE an economic assessment of the proposed intellectual property chapter in CETA estimates it would increase the cost of public and private drug plans in Canada by over $2.8 billion, with almost half of that incurred by already struggling provincial health care systems, and;

BECAUSE a critical analysis of the Government of Canada and EU's joint assessment of the benefits from CETA found it grossly exagerated the case for free trade, and that in fact the agreement could result in Canada losing between 28,000 and 150,000 jobs, and;

BECAUSE most of what we know about the CETA negotiations comes from leaked copies of the draft agreement and closed communications with various Canadian and European government officials, which is unacceptable for an agreement as wide and deep in scope as this one;

THEREFORE WE REQUEST that the Government of Canada, and the provincial and territorial governments immediately cease negotiating with the EU while nation-wide public consultations can been held on how and whether or not to proceed with a potential trade agreement.

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