Canada-Europe trade pact a bad deal that must be rejected


Toronto – September 16, 2016 – UFCW Canada is calling on the Trudeau Liberal government to reject ratifying the proposed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is a bad deal that would cost Canadian jobs and diminish Canadian sovereignty, with global corporations having the most to gain.

The proposed Canada-Europe trade pact might help some industries but many other Canadian sectors would suffer including the poultry, dairy, steel and automotive sectors to name a few. But the negative impacts could go even further, by allowing foreign multinationals to replace Canadian companies when it comes to multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects here in Canada.

CETA could also mean higher prescription drug costs – as much as a billion dollars a year – by blockading the introduction of cheaper generic drug substitutes, and passing billions back to multinational drug companies. CETA would also provide multinationals the power to sue any level of Canadian government over new regulations that might impact corporate profit, such as environmental, labour, or zoning regulations. Meanwhile, CETA has no provisions to protect labour rights.

In a recent meeting with federal Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland, UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema and other labour allies made it clear that without amendments, ratifying CETA as currently drafted would be bad for workers, families, and Canada. That message has been amplified though a joint statement that was released on September 15.

"CETA is a bad trade deal that would trade away the jobs of hard-working Canadians,” says National President Meinema. “We must not sign trade agreements like CETA that are unbalanced and only serve a multinational corporate agenda. Instead, we need balanced trade pacts that benefit all workers, and the sectors they work in.”

“The Trudeau Liberal government must not ratify CETA. It is harmful pact and a legacy of the Harper government’s corporate tilt,” says the national president. “Canadians rejected that agenda. So should the new government they elected.”