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CETA procurement rules threaten public water, says new report

A new report from Eau Secours! and CUPE-Quebec claims procurement and competition provisions in the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement would be harmful to the quality and cost of water services. Combined, these provisions would create a barrier to local development policies at the municipal and provincial level, as well as encourage privatization of public services, to the great benefit of private water providers from the EU, says the report. Eau Secours! and CUPE conclude that procurement should be withdrawn from the CETA negotiations altogether. The groups also recommend that new public funds be made available to municipalities to finance water system upgrades, and that the rights of Indigenous communities to be included as equal partners in any discussions related to water services be upheld. The Council of Canadians is a member of the Eau Secours! coalition, whose goal is to demand and promote water management practises from a perspective of public health, equity, accessibility, human rights and collective ownership.