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Maude Barlow challenges CETA at Global Justice Now event in Manchester, England

Photo by Nick Dearden TwitterCouncil of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke in Manchester on Monday (Nov. 2) in opposition to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.

She is currently on a 7-city tour of the United Kingdom organized by Global Justice Now, which is “a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world.” Her co-panelists are Yash Tandon, Ugandan trade expert and author of Trade is War, and Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now.

Earlier today, Dearden tweeted, “In Mcr @MaudeBarlow ‘Canada is the most sued developed country thanks to Nafta. Under CETA you’ll join us’ #NoTTIP” He also tweeted, “‘It’s possible you’ll defeat TTIP, but #CETA is TTIP by the backdoor. You must defeat it too’. @MaudeBarlow in Machester tonight. #NoTTIP”

In advance of the tour, Barlow wrote in The Ecologist, “I’m coming on a speaking tour of the UK to share a powerful story of Canada’s experience that is relevant for two reasons. The first is that we Canadians have lived with ISDS for 20 years. The other reason people of the UK and Europe should care about Canada is that the CETA is a ‘done deal’, meaning that, even though it has not been ratified politically, the negotiations are finished and they contain ISDS provisions. CETA could act as a ‘back room’ for American corporations whether TTIP is adopted or not.”

During the tour, Barlow will be highlighting her new report Fighting TTIP, CETA and ISDS: Lessons from Canada.

The Council of Canadians has previously noted that if CETA were ratified, it could also pose an obstacle to the remunicipalization of privatized water services in England. That’s because the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan owns 27 per cent of Northumbrian Water Group Plc, which sells its water services to about 4.4 million ‘customers’ in England, and the Canada Pension Plan owns one-third of Anglian Water Services, which sells water services to approximately six million people in England. The water utilities are highly profitable for these Canadian pension funds.

Between October 7, 2014 and October 6, 2015, 501,819 people in Great Britain signed the self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative to Stop the TTIP and CETA. The United Kingdom has 73 seats in the European Parliament, which will vote on the ratification of CETA likely sometime next year.

The Global Justice Now tour began on Sunday (Nov. 1) in Dundee. The tour now goes to Leeds (Nov. 3), London (Nov. 5), Oxford (Nov. 6), Cardiff (Nov. 7) and Dublin (Nov. 8). Following the UK tour, Barlow will also be speaking on trade justice at stops in Madrid (Nov. 10-11), Barcelona (Nov. 12), Vienna (Nov. 16-17), Karlsruhe (Nov. 24-25) and Paris (Nov. 29).

Further reading
Global Justice Now web-page for the tour
All-party motion in UK expresses concern about investor-state provisions (Jan. 14, 2014 blog)
CETA would hinder water remunicipalization in England (Nov. 11, 2013 blog)
Where does the UK stand on CETA? (Jan. 23, 2011 blog)

Twitter-photo by Nick Dearden.