Thank you to everyone who signed this letter telling the European Parliament to say “no” to CETA.
European Union Parliament
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
I am extremely concerned that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would, if put into place as it is now, permanently undermine our societies and the strength of our democracies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Nowhere is this truer than in CETA’s planned investment protection chapter, which will give Canadian and European companies the power to sue our countries when completely reasonable environmental, public health, resource conservation and other policies indirectly interfere with their “right” to profit.
Canada is the sixth most sued country in the world, all under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In one recent case, a US-based oil and gas company is demanding $250-million in compensation over a moratorium on shale gas projects in Quebec, put in place to protect community groundwater, that they claim is infringing on their profit-making!
If CETA includes an investor rights chapter, Canadian companies will not hesitate to sue Europe for completely legitimate public decisions, for example to not move ahead with an unwanted mining project, or to introduce stricter environmental rules than oil and gas companies would like.
We know about this chapter only because versions of it have been leaked publicly. My government has not been open with Canadians about the threat that the investment protections in CETA will pose to our basic ideas of what democracy is. And it has closed its ears to any legitimate criticism of this “right” to sue in Canada’s trade agreements and investment treaties.
That is why I’m writing to you. Canadians are increasingly speaking out against this bad agreement, yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper refuses to listen — he is completely ignoring the valid and heartfelt concerns of those he claims to lead.
CETA continues to be undemocratically negotiated behind closed doors — with no chance for Canadians like me to see the deal on the table, make changes, or have a real say in whether or not it’s brought into force.
The threats from CETA are too numerous and serious for me to ignore so, with nowhere else to turn, I’m reaching out to you for help. I would like to make it clear that:
I implore you to please, on behalf of our children and grandchildren, do whatever you can to keep this damaging and undemocratic agreement from being signed in its current form, with the anti-democratic investment protection chapter included.