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Ontario will pay, literally, for Harper’s new Canada-EU deal

Applause for Prime Minister Harper’s freshly concluded trade deal with the European Union was swift and loud. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne joined the celebration last Friday, saying her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) — with conditions.

The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries.

Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants. Taxpayers like you and me will be padding the bottom line of already-profitable multinational corporations.

That makes for a very expensive trade deal. It’s even more absurd when you consider that provincial trade officials say they are estimating only $100 million in annual savings to local businesses from tariff reductions.

And it’s not even the full bill the public can expect to pay for CETA. Premier Wynne left out the most expensive part of the EU deal: its investor rights chapter, which on its own could keep the provincial government in the red for decades.

Read the rest of my article at Huffington Post.