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Mulcair says EU shouldn’t support CETA if investor-state provision included

Mulcair met with Canada's ambassador to France (former Conservative MP) Lawrence Cannon while in France yesterday.

Mulcair met with Canada’s ambassador to France (former Conservative MP) Lawrence Cannon while in France yesterday.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says that the European Union shouldn’t support the Canada-EU Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) if it includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.

iPolitics reports, “Mulcair told a French think tank [at the Royaumont conference] on Sunday that the European Union shouldn’t support the deal if investor-state dispute settlement continues to be included.” Mulcair said, “Europe shouldn’t let itself be locked into an agreement that contains such a provision, especially since it’ll serve as the basis for an eventual agreement with the United States. Because ultimately, all these tools, whether it be trade, public spending, natural resource exploitation, or finances, should be at the service of citizens.”

Mulcair also noted that Germany, Austria and the Netherlands share his party’s opposition to the investor-state provision. In various campaign blogs, the Council of Canadians has pointed to this opposition in Germany, France, Austria and the European Parliament.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow tweeted, “Good move! Mulcair attacks investor-state in CETA! Yes!”

While this is undoubtedly a good move, Mulcair has yet to express his opposition to CETA itself. NDP trade critic Don Davies maintains that the NDP does not believe ISDS “is necessary in trade deals”, but that “it is only one component of a trade deal and we assess them as a whole.” This despite the reality that the Harper failed to meet most of the 17 conditions for the deal that the NDP outlined in 2012.

That said, if the NDP position is still lacking, the Conservatives and Liberals both attacked Mulcair’s comments as threatening the deal.

It is not expected that CETA will be ratified before the upcoming federal election on October 19, 2015.

For more on the Council of Canadians campaign to defeat the ratification of CETA, please click here.

Further reading
Thomas Mulcair en visite à Paris (La Presse)
Mulcair attaque l’entente Canada-UE (Le Devoir)
Tom Mulcair to address political conference in France (CBC)