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Quebec Solidaire condemns CETA, warns of water privatization

Canada-EU free trade negotiations were no doubt part of Jean Charest’s conversation with the corporate elite at this weekend’s World Economic Forum, writes Françoise David of Quebec Solidaire in Saturday’s Le Devoir. She asks what compromises the Quebec and Canadian governments will be willing to make to gain better access to lucrative European markets, and suggests they might include drinking water and water treatment liberalization.

The CETA negotiations are happening behind closed doors, writes Ms. David in her op-ed. Citing the recent Council of Canadians and CUPE report on how CETA will encourage privatization of water services, she says the provinces might be losing their sense of caution in order to satisfy EU demands. But water is a human right, and the Quebec public will not tolerate trading away the public good for limited corporate profit — especially not for water, she says.

Ms. David is the president and spokesperson for Quebec Solidaire, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this Saturday over brunch in Montreal. The party won its first seat in the last provincial election, hoisting doctor and social justice activist Amir Khadir into office in the riding of Mercier. Mr. Khadir has been an exciting new voice for social justice in the provincial legislature.