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Senate fails the public interest by passing C-30, the CETA implementation Act

Montreal-based Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey argued against CETA in a presentation to the Senate foreign affairs and trade committee on May 3.

The Senate voted in favour of C-30, an Act to implement the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), on May 11.

There had been some hope C-30 might be rejected by the Senate.

While the Senate is not known for blocking government legislation, an interesting situation has emerged given then-Opposition leader Justin Trudeau kicked all 32 Liberal Senators out of the Liberal caucus in January 2014 in a self-described “bold” move amid calls for Senate reform. In January, the Vancouver Sun reported, “That independence from party discipline has resulted in apparent growing assertiveness.”

Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey presented to the Senate foreign affairs and trade committee on May 3. She spoke alongside our allies Larry Brown (National Union of Public and General Employees), Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) and Archana Rampure (Canadian Union of Public Employees). Their shared message was that the Senate should not rush the approval of CETA.

The final ratification of CETA still faces steep challenges in Wallonia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. In order for it to be fully implemented, it must be ratified by all 38 regional and national parliaments in Europe.

Given the House of Commons and now the Senate has failed the public interest by voting in favour of C-30 and CETA, the Council of Canadians will continue to work with our European allies to stop the full implementation of deal.

C-30 will now go through the formality of receiving Royal Assent from Governor-General David Johnston.