Trade campaigner Stuart Trew speaks to 60 Green Party MEPs and staff in Strasburg, January 2011
The Chinese Xinhua News Agency reports that, “Some Canadian nationalist and environmental groups claim the (Canada-European Union) free trade deal will open Canadian government services to privatization and foreign control. On Thursday, the Council of Canadians, which opposes the deal, sent a letter to each member of the European Parliament, saying the deal will force Europe to accept oil imports from Canada’s controversial oil sands. The council wants the talks to stop, noting the deal would ‘weaken and prevent social, health and environmental regulations, and protect investors’ rights at the expense of democratic rights’.”
The news agency also notes, “Trade officials (in Ottawa) said that there are still disagreements (in the negotiations) in several important areas, including intellectual property, on which Canada is starting a new round of changes to its copyright and patent rules, and agricultural subsidies as well as market protection. The EU provides large subsidies to its farmers, while Canada controls milk, egg and chicken production through a supply management system to keep out foreign competition. Canadian farmers have to follow this system, which keeps prices high by limiting production, despite pressure on Canada during free trade talks with the United States and other countries. Protectionism in government procurement rules is another major area of disagreement.”
To read our media release about the letter to Members of the European Parliament, please go to http://canadians.org/media/trade/2011/20-Oct-11.html. To read the letter, go to http://canadians.org/media/documents/Letter-MEPs-CETA-tarsands-1011.pdf.
The Council of Canadians will be intensifying its lobbying of MEPs in advance of the expected vote in the European Parliament on Friday December 2 on the European Fuel Quality Directive. More on that at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11238.