On August 5, 2014 – 10 months after announcing an “agreement in principle” had been reached – Prime Minister Harper announced that negotiators had finalized the text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. CETA is a “next generation” free trade and investment pact that Canada and the EU have been negotiating since May 2009. But it is better understood as a corporate power grab. The Harper government clearly sees CETA as a way to further deregulate and privatize the Canadian economy while increasing corporate power and undermining Canadian and European efforts to address the climate crisis.
If ratified, CETA will unfairly restrict how local governments spend money and ban “buy local” policies, add hundreds of millions of dollars to the price of drugs in our public health care system, create pressure to increase privatization of local water systems, transit and energy, and much more. The secret negotiating process and the overall corporate agenda behind these next generation deals are an affront to democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
With the announcement that negotiations have been finalized and that the CETA text is now closed to any changes, citizens on both sides of the Atlantic are left with just one option: reject CETA before it is ratified. Read more.