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NEWS: Comox council defers CETA vote to March 12

The Comox Valley Echo reports that last night Courtenay Coun. Jon Ambler “went along with a proposal to support a proposition of Coun. Doug Hillian to back calls by the Council of Canadians to seek exemptions for local councils from a Canada-European Union trade agreement currently being negotiated by Ottawa. …The Council of Canadians was concerned that large local contracts could be opened to international bidding under the proposed treaty, and councils would be obliged to let them in.”

“Ambler said local governments were not like businesses, in that they were ‘agents for change’. And one of the ways they effected change was through local procurement – being able to support local businesses and jobs through the tendering and award of contracts locally. …But his line was strongly opposed by Coun. Starr Winchester, who said she was elected to get the best possible deal for taxpayers when contracts were placed, not give preferential treatment to some companies over others depending on where they were based.” Coun. Bill Anglin wanted buy local to be better defined.

“The council was split on the issue last night, so deferred a vote on the matter for 30 days for a staff report on the implications of taking a stand.”

The Comox Valley chapter has approached both the Comox Council and the Comox Valley Regional District on the issue of CETA, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13434.

The news report is at http://www.canada.com/Possible+loss+local+option+splits+council/6149199/story.html.