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UPDATE: Trew and Giles talk CETA in South Shore, Sept. 30

The South Shore Chapter of the Council of Canadians is holding a public forum on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement on Friday September 30 in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

The announcement for the event highlights, “Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians will be presenting via Skype, and Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer, will also be presenting. An opportunity for questions, a community conversation and ideas for action will follow.”

The poster for the public forum is at http://canadians.org/events/documents/Cafe-Canada-CETA300911.pdf.

CETA and Nova Scotia

-In January 2010, the Trading Options coalition (of which the Council of Canadians is a member) asked Nova Scotia’s NDP premier Darrell Dexter to establish a mechanism for receiving public input to assess the broader societal impacts of free trade with Europe, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=7492.

-In March, trade lawyer (and Council of Canadians Board member) Steven Shrybman met with government officials in Nova Scotia. Shrybman suggested that the Dexter government call for public hearings on trade issues and form alliances with provincial governments with trade-related concerns, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9119.

-In April, Giles spoke against CETA at a 100+ person International Peasants Day rally in Halifax, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9050.

-In September, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities passed a resolution brought forward by the City of Lunenburg, NS to defend the power of municipalities to make local spending decisions, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=7869.

-In January 2011, Giles and CUPE Nova Scotia president Danny Cavanagh wrote in the Halifax Chronicle Herald that CETA poses a threat to public water, procurement, fisheries, health care, farmers, and democracy. They concluded, “As we have expressed to members of the provincial government’s negotiating team, Nova Scotia needs to explicitly raise these concerns with the other provinces and Canadian negotiators. Without a clear position, we are concerned our province will be dragged into ’signing on’ to the final text in a rush to reach ‘consensus’ and an agreement.” http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5314.

-Also in January, Trew and I met with Nova Scotia’s trade negotiator during the sixth round of CETA negotiations in Brussels and raised our concerns about the proposed deal, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5148.

-In February, a report commissioned by the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association stated that under the proposed pharmaceutical patent provisions of the EU trade deal, Nova Scotia’s annual drug-plan costs would increase by $95 million, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5432.

-In March, during the federal election, as Stephen Harper promised to go “full-throttle” on CETA talks, Giles and health care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki got as close as possible to Pier 21 – where Harper was speaking – and held ‘no CETA’ placards, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6313.

-In early-June, municipal councillors from across Canada in Halifax for the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention were greeted by a Council of Canadians-held ‘no CETA’ banner stating ‘Don’t let Harper gamble with our communities’, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9350.

-In late-June, more than 200 people gathered in Halifax to hear Council chairperson Maude Barlow, CUPE president Paul Moist, and Mark Austin (executive director of the Rural and Coastal Communities Network) speak about the threats posed by CETA, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9519.

-In September, Giles and organizing assistant Ali Vervaeke attempted to meet with federal trade minister Ed Fast during his visit to Halifax to raise questions about CETA, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10501.

-Also in September, Giles asked Nova Scotia’s Department of Health Ministerial Assistant MLA Gary Ramey at a public meeting about the increasing cost of pharmaceutical drugs, the need for bulk purchasing, and CETA threatening to extend big brand pharmaceutical patents for longer periods which will increase the cost of drugs further, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10597.

For more on our CETA campaign, please go to http://canadians.org/ceta.