Open Letter to Harper on Conclusion of CETA Negotiations

PDF of Letter to Harper

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
Mr. Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Opposition NDP
Mr. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Ms. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada
Mr. Daniel Paillé, leader of the Bloc Québécois

October 18, 2013

Dear Prime Minister,

Your government has just announced the conclusion of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. The Trade Justice Network and undersigned organizations respectfully ask that you make the full CETA text public in order to provide Parliament and the broader public an opportunity to review, change and ultimately reject all or part of the agreement if it is found not to be in the public interest.

Texts from the CETA negotiations leaked over the past four years show that this agreement will have far-reaching negative implications for citizens and local communities. This is mainly because of how the deal will restrict public policy space at the request of multinational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Economic assessments of the deal published since the start of negotiations have also cast serious doubt on the value of CETA to Canadian exporters and workers.

Unfortunately, the federal parliamentary process for reviewing and approving trade and investment agreements leaves no room for a proper assessment of any aspect of these binding treaties, as evidenced by the rejection of every proposed amendment to other agreements during the review stage at international trade committee. We have gone to great trouble to see as much of the CETA text as possible, and what we have seen strongly suggests it is a bad deal for Canadians. Making the full, concluded text public would give you an opportunity to potentially prove us wrong.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Trade Justice Network


Le Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Ontario Federation of Labour
National Union of Public and General Employees
HIV/AIDS Legal Network
The Council of Canadians
AmiEs de la Terre de Québéc
National Farmers Union
Polaris Institute
Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign (Polaris Institute)
British Columbia Federation of Labour
Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Manitoba Federation of Labour
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
Canadian Health Coalition
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
Northern Territories Federation of Labour
Common Frontiers
Public Interest Alberta
Food Secure Canada
Vancouver and District Labour Council
United Steelworkers
Union Paysanne
Rideau Institute
Canadian Federation of Students
Public Service Alliance of Canada