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Comox Valley chapter writes the Minister-President of Wallonia

The Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter has written the Minister-President of Wallonia Paul Magnette to thank him for the stance he has taken with respect to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

They write, “We share your deep concern about CETA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms and other ratchet clauses.  It is our understanding that the provisional amendment to the original language will not prevent corporations from challenging our governments. We have already experienced the chilling effect NAFTA ISDS challenges have placed on Canadian law-making, and worry that CETA will further the loss of governments’ sovereignty (yours and ours).”

And they highlight, “We need the capacity to uphold and improve social, economic, education, food safety and security, labour and environmental programs and legislation in ways that further the public interest.   We are particularly concerned that CETA opens up procurement by our sub-national governments to ISDS challenges for the first time. These kinds of measures are surely not needed in agreements between strong, democratic countries with stable and effective judicial systems.”

The chapter concludes, “Please know that there are Canadians who support your analysis of CETA, and that we share it. Yours is the first elected body to take action on the democratic implications of this ‘modern agreement’ and we applaud you for it.”

To send your own message, these are the contact coordinates:

Paul Magnette, Ministre-Président

Gouvernement wallon

Rue Mazy, 25-27

5100 Namur


Email: Paul.Magnette@gov.wallonie.be

Fax: 011-32-81-331-366 (leave out the dashes when dialing)

Despite Wallonia’s constitutional right to reject CETA, Radio Canada International reports, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Brussels for a planned European Union-Canada summit [on October 27] despite the failure by Belgium’s federal government to sway the country’s French-speaking Wallonia region to support a landmark free trade deal [says trade minister] Chrystia Freeland. ‘I will be there with Mr Trudeau, absolutely’, Freeland said responding to a question in French.”