Fredericton – The New Brunswick Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE NB) is urging Premier David Alward and his provincial and territorial counterparts to protect public services and provincial powers.
This week, Canada’s premiers are meeting in Halifax for their annual meeting. One of the items on their agenda will be the Canada-EU trade deal – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
“This trade deal with the EU includes areas of provincial power that have never been covered by international trade deals, including our natural resources, our drinking water and health care,” explained Daniel Légère, CUPE NB President.
CUPE recently commissioned trade lawyer Steven Shrybman to review leaked CETA negotiating texts. Shrybman’s analysis concludes that the trade deal will give European corporations new rights at the expense of provincial powers.
This legal opinion has been sent to all provincial and territorial leaders in advance of the Council of the Federation meeting in Halifax.
“We hope this will be a wake-up call for some of them. According to this opinion, if this international agreement is signed, European investors will be able to challenge our public regulation and decision-making in secret tribunals and sue us for compensation.”
“It’s time to have a full and open discussion about this trade agreement. CETA will limit our provincial and territorial powers and a deal like this cannot be negotiated behind closed doors,” concluded Légère.
CUPE NB members will be in Halifax this week to voice their concerns about CETA.