Prime Minister Stephen Harper has returned empty-handed from a week-long trip to Europe. He was expected to announce that Canada and the EU had wrapped up negotiations on the biggest corporate rights deal this country has ever seen.
Thankfully that didn’t happen. But there is every chance it will, and soon. This is no time for champagne – from secret cheques to secret trade deals, we can’t trust this government to do what’s right for the country and our communities.
If – or when – Harper eventually does complete his secret Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, we need a chance to see, debate and even change the parts we can’t live with before it is signed.
That could be up to a year away, which gives Harper and the provinces and territories plenty of time to give the country a democratic say on a deal that will have significant impacts on our daily lives and our shared future.
THIS IS MORE THAN A TRADE DEAL
If you think CETA is just about trade, think again. From leaked documents over the past three years, we know this “deal” is more like a corporate bill of rights. CETA will reach into our communities and every level of government to make unnecessary and unwanted public policy changes that could:
- Ban “buy local” policies in our communities and at the provincial level.
- Give brand name drug companies longer patent protection, driving up drug costs by billions of dollars a year.
- Let European companies sue Canada for environmental, public health or other policies that limit corporate profits.
- Encourage and then lock in the privatization of public services, including drinking water, transit, mail and health care.
- Make Canadian banks (and anyone with a bank account) more vulnerable to global financial crises.
HARPER UNDER PRESSURE TO SELL OUT TO EUROPE
These are the parts of CETA we already know about. Harper is under enormous pressure from corporate lobby groups and the media to do whatever he has to do to get a deal done with Europe. What will this cost our public services, the environment and local democracy?
TAKE ACTION – SHOW US THE EU DEAL