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CETA text leaked — let the public debate begin!

I just got back from Parliament Hill where the newly formed Trade Justice Network held a press conference to release the draft text of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. European trade negotiators were able to make it to Ottawa, despite ash and smoke grounding regular people indefinitely. Two of them even came to the press conference and sat quietly in the back. (Awkward!)

The goal of the network, of which the Council of Canadians is a founding member, was to get everything out in the public so we can have a democratic debate: a) About the details; b) About the secrecy; c) About whether the world needs another free trade agreement or whether a different international trade model that put environmental protections and labour rights above corporate rights is a better option. I think most Canadians and Europeans would agree it is.

You can read our press release here: Trade Justice Network releases secret draft of Canada-European Union free trade agreement, makes demands of Canadian and European governments

In French: Le Réseau pour le commerce juste rend publique une ébauche secrète de l’accord de libre-échange entre le Canada et l’Union européenne et présente des revendications aux gouvernements du Canada et de l’Europe

If you live in Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto, you can also come to public events tonight through Wednesday to discuss what’s in the CETA with members of the Trade Justice Network. See event details by clicking here.

Now that the draft CETA text is out and up on the Trade Justice Network/Réseau Pour le commerce juste webiste (www.tradejustice.ca or www.commercejuste.ca) it’s up to all of us to get it into as many hands as we can… municipal councillors, teachers, provincial politicians, the inlaws…

There are fact sheets up on the Trade Justice website too, to help you understand some of the leaked text and how it will affect public policy in Canada and Europe.

Let’s get this debate started right and keep it going until we get the trade agreements we truly want out of the Harper government.