CUPE Nova Scotia, Canada
CUPE Nova Scotia issues warning to Dexter, first ministers about proposed Canada-EU trade deal
13 July 2012
Truro, N.S. The president of CUPE Nova Scotia has a warning for the premiers and others attending the first Ministers meeting in Halifax later this month.
Danny Cavanagh says, "The proposed Canada-EU trade deal - CETA - will limit provincial and territorial powers, fundamentally reshaping the constitutional landscape of our country."
The warning comes in a new legal analysis urging full public disclosure of the deal’s details before it is signed. Concerned that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is being negotiated behind closed doors, the Canadian Union of Public Employees commissioned trade lawyer Steven Shrybman to review leaked CETA negotiating texts.
Shrybman’s analysis concludes the trade deal will give European corporations new rights at the expense of provincial powers. CUPE has sent the opinion to all provincial and territorial leaders in advance of the Council of the Federation meeting later this month.
"We’re sharing this opinion with the premiers as a wake-up call. The federal Conservatives are negotiating what amounts to a corporate bill of rights which will trump provincial powers over natural resources and public services," says Cavanagh.
The trade deal with the EU includes areas of provincial power that have never been covered by international trade deals, including natural resources, drinking water treatment and delivery, and health care.
Says Cavanagh, "CUPE is urging Premier Dexter and his provincial and territorial counterparts to protect public services and provincial powers by withdrawing their support until all of CETA’s details have been disclosed and discussed.