The Council of Canadians Kitchener-Waterloo chapter has written Wallonia’s Minister-President Paul Magnette in support of his position on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Magnette is threatening to block the ratification of CETA. If his government refuses to ratify CETA, the deal would collapse. That’s because, as The Globe and Mail points out, unanimity is required among all 38 national and regional parliaments in the European Union and any one of those parliaments can veto the agreement.
Chapter activist David Lubell writes, “I am a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of the Council of Canadians, a national organization that has been informing our fellow citizens about the dangers of the CETA for a number of years. We have tried many times and in many ways to get ministers and parliamentarians of the previous and current Canadian governments to actually look at the problems with this trade agreement that privileges corporate profits above our sovereign rights to environmental protections and local decision-making.”
He adds, “We already see rising inequality in our communities. Our rights to set taxes and protect workers and the environment is critical to our future health, our sustainability and resilience. We understand the risks that CETA is posing to our planet as well as to our local municipality.”
And Lubell concludes, “Wallonia! We do not know you but are proud of your stance! Your firm analysis and opposition to this deal strengthens our resolve to continue to raise opposition to this deal on our side of the Atlantic Ocean. Warmest regards to you and your government as we both continue to press against CETA.”
The Globe and Mail has also reported, “In his book, titled CETA: When Europe Derails, Magnette offers a candid assessment of how Canadian and EU officials [including then-trade minister Chrystia Freeland and CETA envoy Pierre Pettigrew] tried to pressure Wallonia, using emotional pitches and blunt threats. …[Pettigrew told Magnette] that Wallonia’s refusal to back CETA would be a punch in the stomach for Mr. Trudeau and that there would ‘inevitably be heavy repercussions for relations between Wallonia and Canada’.”
Undoubtedly, the Trudeau government will use “emotional pitches and blunt threats” against Magnette again to get CETA passed.
To send a message to Magnette and the people of Wallonia that says the Trudeau government does not speak for you, you can write:
Paul Magnette, Ministre-Président
Rue Mazy, 25-27
Fax: 011-32-81-331-366 (leave out the dashes when dialing)
The Kitchener-Waterloo chapter now joins the Hamilton, Guelph and Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapters who have also written Mr. Magnette.