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Hamilton Wentworth District School Board calls for an exemption from Canada-EU trade rules

The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board has followed in Hamilton city council’s footsteps by requesting a “clear, permanent exemption” from the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. As far as we can tell, the HWDSB is the third school board or association, after Chilliwack, B.C. and the B.C. School Trustees Association, to ask to be excluded from CETA. Its motion, which was proposed by chairman Tim Simmons, reads as follows:

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union

Whereas the federal government is pursuing international and interprovincial trade deals that target municipal powers and services and,

since the proposed agreement, will undermine the ability of municipalities, as well as school boards, hospitals, provincial agencies and Crown corporations from availing their public dollars for promoting community economic development, purchasing local goods and services and hiring local workers and,

since the proposed agreement, will prohibit municipalities from creating or supporting a market for innovative goods and services, including green technologies, if the effect would specifically favour Canadian producers or attract investment to Canada.

Therefore be it resolved,

(a)The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) will request that the Province of Ontario consider a clear, permanent exemption for the HWDSB from the Canada-EU CETA, and that it otherwise protect the powers of all publically funded school boards in Ontario to use public procurement, services, and investment as tools to create local jobs, protect the environment, and support local development and,

(b)That this resolution be sent to Ontario Public School Boards Association, the 72 public school boards across Ontario and local Members of Parliament.

We’ve added the HWDSB to our interactive map and Action Alert page where you can find information and sample resolution to take to your school board or municipality. Over 50 cities, towns, school boards and associations have passed CETA motions, more than half seeking an exemption because of the new and unreasonable restraints an EU deal would put on local democracy.