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LETTER: Ottawa chapter activist Soubliere challenges CETA in the Globe and Mail

Ottawa chapter activist Phil Soubliere writes in a letter to the editor published in the Globe and Mail today.

He writes – More is at stake in a trade deal with Europe than cheap cellphone rates for Canadians. It isn’t called a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) for nothing (A Vital Interest In Free Trade – April 27). Among other things, our government is pursuing a trade deal that targets municipal powers and services, without giving a real say to local governments. For example, CETA could prohibit municipalities from applying buy-local or buy-Canadian preferences to contracts, or requiring that bidders use some proportion of local or Canadian goods, services or labour. This would end the ability of municipalities to use procurement as a local economic or social development tool. It’s one reason why more than 50 Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions asking for clarification or even exemption from CETA. The EU doesn’t seem to think “protectionism’s day is over.” It is protecting its municipally delivered services, including water. Canada is not. Glossing over such facts is disingenuous.

His letter can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/april-28-letters-to-the-editor/article2416413/singlepage/#articlecontent.

Yesterday the Council of Canadians effectively countered the Harper government’s CETA public relations offensive by challenging them in news reports that were picked up by Postmedia News, Canadian Press, and Global News articles across the country.

For more on the Council of Canadians campaign against CETA, please see http://canadians.org/ceta.