Friday, May 4, 2012
LDLC on CETA
April 27, 2012
For Immediate Release
London and District Labour Council Speaks Out Against the Harper Government's Sham of Democratic Process Regarding the CETA Negotiations and the Sudden Promotion Tour
"The Harper Government's lack of respect for the democratic process is once again glaringly evident in the current sudden tour by 18 ministers across Canada to promote the Canada European Trade Agreement after keeping details from the public," states Patti Dalton, President London and District Labour Council. "This is a blatant public relations attempt to avoid the massive criticism from labour and social organizations all over Canada which have challenged the Government to come clean on the dangers of this trade deal which threatens the rights of municipalities to make decisions based on the best results for local communities. Speaking at us is not speaking with us and if Minister Lisa Raitt really wanted our input she would have had a townhall meeting not this sham of democracy."
Municipal governments have been outspoken about the lack of transparency in the CETA negotiations. Nearly 60 cities, towns and school boards have called for more information on the negotiations and an authentic democratic process regarding the input of Canadians. Several municipalities have asked for exemption from CETA in order to protect their democratic rights to set social policy and spending priorities without the unfair interference of corporate challenges. "I've never seen municipalities mobilize and unite together in Ontario like they have against the CETA," says Chris MacDonald Ontario Director for the Canadian Labour Congress. "I think that federal politicians need to respect the will of municipalities to make critical decisions for their local communities and this will be undermined if CETA is implemented in Canada."
Economist Jim Stanford has warned that CETA will result in jobs losses and CAW Local 27 President Tim Carrie states that: "CETA is another example of a trade policy that will weaken the Canadian economy and our autonomy." The reality is that Canada's trade deficit will grow under CETA and this was acknowledged in the Federal EU assessment.
Additionally, it is unacceptable that while the EU is protecting its municipally delivered services including water, Canada is not doing so. "So why is the Harper Government engaging in this sudden attempt to defend a losing proposition for Canadians that threatens our sovereignty and vital decision making ability?" comments Patti Dalton. "It appears that they are realizing that labour and social organizations like the Council of Canadians are alerting citizens and communities to the dangers of CETA and the Government is making a pathetic attempt to sell a lose-lose deal to Canadians. We've seen the devastating effects of previous trade agreements so lets make sure this next and more extreme deal is stopped dead in its tracks--as it should be."
Patti Dalton President LDLC, 519-494-3901
Chris Macdonald CLC Ontario Director, 647-261-0157
Tim Carrie President CAW Local 27, 519-318-1022