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UPDATE: Key dates to counter the Canada-EU CETA

This morning, more than 20 organizations met – in person and by telephone – to further plans to counter the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Chaired by Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew, the meeting discussed three major interventions:

– A public forum in Ottawa the week of April 19-23, when the third round of negotiations takes place. This forum would include representatives from European labour and civil society organizations. They would also lobby key MPs while here. There was also some discussion about media interventions that week in Toronto and Montreal.

– A presence in Brussels the week of July 12-16 for the fourth round of negotiations. This intervention could include a presentation to the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee meeting on July 13.

– A major activity in Ottawa the week of October 18-22 for the fifth and final round of negotiations. With the Council of Canadians annual general meeting starting on October 22 in Ottawa, we have the opportunity for chapter activists across Canada to take part in a protest against these talks at a critical time.

Plans are also underway to develop a 4-page comic book that would explain the Canada-EU CETA in a popular education format. There’s also the suggestion that this comic book could be translated into a viral video.

There was also good discussion about working with the UK-based Trade Justice Movement, a large coalition of groups that fight EU trade agreements. More on the TJM at http://www.tjm.org.uk/about.shtml.

And there was good discussion about building  opposition – especially in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec – to the CETA given the necessity of provincial government support for these negotiations.