By Stuart Trew, Friday, July 22nd, 2011
(notice the last pp, on exempting water rights, pharmaceuticals, etc. Mary
The Vancouver and District Labour Council passed the following resolution on the Canada-EU free trade negotiations during its regular meeting this week. The VDLC committed to: educating its members on CETA; urging the provincial government to exempt municipal governments, water and pharmaceuticals from the agreement, and; endorsing the civil society declaration on CETA which is posted to the Trade Justice Network website. If you’re organization has not yet but but would to endorse the declaration, write to TJN.RCJ@gmail.com.
VDLC RESOLUTION: Canada- EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
BECAUSE the government of Canada and the European Union have been negotiating the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (the “CETA”), with their eighth round of meetings held July 8th - 15th, 2011 in Brussels and Paris; and
BECAUSE the European Union is insisting on full access to procurement by sub-national governments - including municipalities, school boards, universities, hospitals and other provincial agencies - which could significantly reduce or eliminate the right to specify local priorities when public money is invested in goods, services or capital projects; and
BECAUSE unfettered access to Canadian municipal procurement by European corporations may encourage privatization and reduce economic development options for local communities; and
BECAUSE CETA also threatens to give European multi-national corporations access to Canadian water services and supply, override indigenous rights and labour standards, and would allow these corporations to sue the Canadian government for non-compliance similarly to Chapter 11 of NAFTA,
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL
• Take steps to educate its affiliates about CETA’s scope, cost impacts and resulting loss of local discretion;
• Sign onto the “Open Civil Society Declaration on a proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union”;
• Urge the government of Canada exempt water rights, pharmaceuticals and sub-national government procurement from CETA and other trade agreements; and
• Urge the provincial government to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA.