Skip to content

Barlow denounces CETA for promoting mining injustice

The Canada-European Union ‘free trade’ agreement will likely mean more environmentally-unsustainable mining, freshwater destruction and violations of Indigenous title rights in Canada.

EurActiv reports, “Canadian raw materials are particularly important for Germany’s automotive, chemical and high-tech industries.” In that article, Tim Aiken, CEO of the Nickel Institute, says, “Where do the batteries for our electric cars come from? What about the nickel for our airplanes? Demand for critical raw materials is growing and that is why CETA is so essential.” Patrick Chevalier of Environment Canada says, “Our raw materials include gold, iron, diamonds and we are also in an advanced stage of exploration for rare earths.” And Dierk Paskert of the German corporate Raw Materials Alliance says, “Partly due to export quotas from China, we experienced a price peak for rare earths. …What we need is a long-term strategy that offers security for the industry.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “Europe is seeking a comprehensive and aggressive global approach to acquiring the raw materials needed by its corporations. At its heart, CETA is a bid for unprecedented and uncontrolled European access to Canadian resources. The North and First Nations communities will be subjected to resource exploration and exploitation as Europe seeks permanent and secure access to our raw resources such as oil, minerals, fish and forests in its growing competition with China.”

She adds, “The Harper government is aggressively promoting trade agreements that give mining corporations the right to sue governments with the controversial investor-state dispute settlement provision if their right to profit is limited by new environmental or human rights rules.”

Corporations that signed a 2009 declaration of support for the Canada-EU CETA include mining companies Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto and Alcan.

For more on our campaign to stop CETA, please click here.

Further reading
Cigar Lake uranium mine starts production in Saskatchewan, more to come with CETA? (March 2014 blog)
Oliver says CETA will be good for mining companies (November 2013 blog)
CETA would mean more uranium mining in Canada (November 2013 blog)
CETA investor-state provision could be invoked if Greek gold mine cancelled (March 2013 blog)
CETA and an export restriction on chromite (July 2010 blog)