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LETTER: Coles challenges Van Loan’s CETA letter

Dave Coles, the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, writes in the Globe and Mail today that:

Maude Barlow’s excellent column on the dangers of the proposed Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (What You Don’t Know About A Deal You Haven’t Heard Of – Jan. 6) prompted a predictable response from Canada’s Trade Minister (Jan. 10). He dragged out the old saw about how the same people who fought NAFTA are now fighting CETA.

What planet is Peter Van Loan living on? He should visit some of Canada’s formerly thriving forestry towns if he wants a better sense of NAFTA’s legacy. Good-paying manufacturing jobs have long since declined, yet governments of all stripes seem to clap hands when part-time service jobs spike upward. This is not about fighting yesterday’s free trade battles.

The path taken by Minister Van Loan and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the straight-line path to becoming a servile, impotent state.

Coles’ letter will be posted to the Globe and Mail letters page at

Maude’s op-ed and Van Loan’s letter in response can be read at