Canada-EU free trade agreement called corporate Trojan horse
With NDP, Liberals and civil society groups criticizing Canada's secretive CETA agreement, VO launches a series on its impact on Canadians' water, democracy, jobs and health. Part I takes a broad look at CETA - and the secrecy surrounding it.
Campbell praised CETA, which he said will give Canadian firms access to the $17 trillion European market, and add thousands of trade-dependent jobs at home. He also dismissed the bill's growing opposition.
“The people that are opposed to trade are opposed to it always,” Campbell said. “Opening trade up for Canada is a critical component of our economic health in the future.
“If you want to have the additional jobs, the additional increase in our economy – if you want to create opportunities in Canada – it comes from trade.”
Today, New Democrats on a federal trade committee joined the Liberals in demanding the government make public details about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – a deal which critics warn could lead towards the privatization of water services, restraints on the rights of municipalities and provinces, and higher drug costs.
“Closed-door meetings have created a climate of secrecy in the CETA process,” the NDP said in a statement. “Too little public information exists for Canadians and their elected representatives, at all levels of government, to reach informed conclusions on the merits and risks of CETA.”
The difficulty of reporting on CETA is that so little is known. Not only are the negotiations secret, but all that is known to the public is that the deal will be signed in 2012, and has finished its final round of negotiations. Half a dozen documents, including a 2010 draft, have been leaked from the talks, raising further spectres.