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Burnaby, North Vancouver city councils pass CETA resolutions, demand answers on municipal impact of trans-Atlantic free trade

Good news from British Columbia! The cities of Burnaby and North Vancouver have passed resolutions requesting: 1. A briefing from the province on the scope and content of the Canada-European Union free trade negotiations, specifically areas that touch municipal responsibilities, and a draft of the current agreement; 2. A sector-by-sector analysis of the agreement from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and; 3. That the FCM urge the federal government not to include subnational procurement in the final agreement.

The two resolutions read as follows:

THAT WHEREAS the Canadian government has entered into negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive economic and trade agreement; and

WHEREAS the European Union and European corporations are insisting on full access to procurement·by subnational governments – including municipalities, school boards, universities, hospitals and other provincial agencies -which could significantly reduce or eliminate the right to specify local priorities when public money is invested in goods, services or capital projects; and

WHEREAS Canadian municipalities have expressed a growing interest in trade agreements and their potential impacts on municipal programs and activities; arid

WHEREAS unfettered access to Canadian municipal procurement by European corporations may encourage privatization and reduce economic development options for local communities; and

WHEREAS the FCM has stated that it will inform Canadian municipalities about international trade negotiations and ensure timely sharing of information and coordination;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Burnaby request a briefmg from the Province of B.C. on the scope and content of trade negotiations with Europe, the areas where the negotiations touch on municipal responsibilities and powers, and a copy of the current draft text of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Federation of Canadian Municipalities provide sector-by-sector analysis of the potential impacts on municipal the ‘functions and powers of the procurement regime of the European Union is seeking, and;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the City of Burnaby ask the FCM to urge the Government of Canada not to provide the E.U. with access to subnational government procurement and THAT a copy of this resolution be sent to all UBCM member municipalities, and British Columbia MLAs and MFs.

The FCM meets in Toronto May 28 to 31 but trade does not seem to be part of the program and accounts say the European free trade negotiations did not come up at a recent FCM board meeting in PEI. With enough municipal support for resolutions like the one above, that could change.


Readers are encouraged to get a copy of the above resolution to their local councillors and mayors so that other Canadian cities can get the information they deserve on the Canada-EU free trade agreement.

Another option would be for your city to sign the Civil Society Declaration on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement — a list of demands the federal and provincial governments must satisfy before negotiating any further. You can access the statement here: www.canadians.org/trade/issues/EU/declaration.html