|Posted by Winnipeg Chapter on December 8, 2011 at 12:30 AM|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Manitoba MLAs receive LUMP OF COAL from Council of Canadians, and launch of "CETA Clause" Video.
Winnipeg, Manitoba - December 7th, 2011
At 8:30AM Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter Chairperson Mary McCandless will deliver a Christmas letter and gift of coal to all Members of the Legislative Assembly to draw attention to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Europe and Canada (CETA). "CETA Clause" has made an appearance at the Provincial Legislature and Council of Canadians members were able to record an interview, launched concurrently as a CETA Clause video on YouTube.
The CETA negotiations are nearing completion as European Union and Canadian governments finalize this secretive, wide-ranging deal; and CETA will not be good for Manitobans.
CETA is the first international trade agreement to include provincial and municipal procurement, yet there is a lack of information available, and Canadians have been strategically shut out of the discussion about how it will affect us.
CETA will require government spending to be open to bids from European corporations, and will prohibit considerations of local economic development, local jobs, sustainability, indigenous rights, environmental considerations or anything other than lowest bid in choosing the winner.-30-
Dear Premier and MLAs,
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! For a while, we were worried. Well, to be honest, we're still worried. This Christmas is snowy, beautiful and full of possibility - but next Christmas isn't looking so good.
2012 is the year that CETA - the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada - will be ratified. This is the widest ranging trade agreement that Canada has ever considered, and the first to include provincial and municipal procurement, yet media have not been reporting on it, and Canadians have been given very little opportunity to find out what it is and what it's going to do to us.
Fortunately, there are some things we have found out about CETA:
CETA will be good for corporations and bad for every day people.
- European corporations want to sell Canadians the services we now receive publicly, services such as health care, education, water and mail delivery.
- CETA will give these private companies the right to bid on all government tenders over $200,000 for goods and services including schools, hospitals, airports, public transit, ports, and hydro projects to name just a few.
- Governments must by law choose the lowest bidder, without any considerations of local economic development, environmental policies, indigenous rights, or anything outside of direct dollar amount.
- Any rules or practices that favour local economic development, support local food production or promote local or Canadian goods and services will be challenged as unfair barriers to trade.
- As well, these corporations will have the right to challenge any local laws that promote fair trade or reflect environmental concerns of the community, such as bottled water bans
- The section on intellectual property rights will allow big pharmaceutical corporations to increase their patents by an additional 5 years, thus adding $2.8 billion/year to the cost of pharmacare in Canada – $79.8 million of that in Manitoba alone.
We want next Christmas to be a happy one, a time for us to celebrate our values of freedom and democracy. We want to know that when we send our Holiday letter next year, it will be to Members of a Legislative Assembly that still has the right to make decisions without the fear of corporate interference.
We don't want to wake up Christmas morning to find that a CETA Clause put coal in our stockings!
The Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter