CETA, Trade and Environment

The Canada-E.U. Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations are based on commitments to place corporate rights before social and economic justice, democratic control, and ecological sustainability. Negotiations are progressing quickly and with little public scrutiny until now.

What is the threat we face?

Free trade agreements, by furthering unlimited growth and trumping environmental legislation, have contributed to environmental degradation, pollution, CO2 emissions, and the exploitation and the depletion of natural resources. Consequences have included ecosystem collapse, loss of ecosystem services, a global food crisis, water scarcity and unjust and unsustainable climate change impacts. CETA would contribute to these impacts.

How will this be a problem for us if it gets approved?

With such a deal, Canada will continue to be the pariah of the world for exacerbating global climate change through growth-oriented free trade and failing to recognize the dire climate change issues around the tar sands. If we sign on to CETA we will have little if any policy space left to craft democratic legislation and regulations to protect the environment. Why not consider the future of our children and grandchildren by adopting a sustainable development and fair trade framework instead?

Who will benefit because of the changes?

The beneficiaries of such a Canada E.U. agreement as proposed will be large transnational corporations like Veolia and Suez, big banks, mining companies, energy companies, HMOs, etc. and the political elite who are invested in this failing global economic model. In fact, the push for the Canada-E.U. economic agreement has come from more than 100 of the largest corporations in both Europe and Canada.

Before any agreement is signed we need a:

• Review of the social, environmental and economic effects of free trade and investment agreements in general and CETA in particular;

• Review of alternative fairer trade models including the new TRADE Act before the U.S. Congress which includes a proposal to diminish investor rights.

We reject:

• Diminishing or dismantling of health, food and environmental regulations;

• Opening procurement markets which would eliminate the right of public authorities to include criteria related to sustainable development, local economic development and decent work;

• Inserting a NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-rights clause which has in past largely targeted environmental legislation;

• Privatization of water services and allowing bulk water transport.
What should we do?

Call your municipal councillors, provincial politicians and your Member of Parliament. Find out if they are in favour of this deal. If so, ask them how it would affect your community. Ask how it would strengthen Canada’s social, economic and environmental policies.

Tell us about your conversations. Link to the website. Share the materials. Learn more at tradejustice.ca.

Get your organization to sign the Civil Society Declaration on the Canada-E.U. trade agreement and become a member of the Trade Justice Network. info@tradejustice.ca