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WIN! Sackville calls for municipal exemption from CETA

Sackville town council

Last week, the town council of Sackville, New Brunswick unanimously passed a resolution regarding the Canada-European Union free trade negotiations. Town Councillor Merrill Fullerton tells us he drew extensively from Council of Canadians materials available on-line, including the sample motion and talking points posted at http://canadians.org/action/2011/CETA-resolution.html.

At the town council meeting on October 11, Fullerton stated, “I am presenting an important motion this evening because many of us around this table, in our community, across our province and throughout Canada are concerned about a looming international trade agreement that threatens the autonomy of our municipal and local governments. As we speak, both federal and provincial governments are using municipalities such as Sackville – and the vital services we deliver – as bargaining chips in negotiating a complex and far-reaching trade agreement with the European Union.”

The resolution passed in Sackville calls for: A briefing from the New Brunswick Government on the scope and content of trade negotiations with the European Union, including the details of its procurement, services and investment offers to the EU; The Federation of Canadian Municipalities to provide a sector-by-sector analysis of the potential impacts on municipal functions and powers of the procurement regime that the European Union is seeking, and which exists already in the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement; The Federation of Canadian Municipalities to urge the government of Canada not to provide the European Union with access to subnational government procurement; The Government of New Brunswick to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA; and That this resolution be sent to the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick for consideration and circulation.

To date, 17 municipal resolutions in 4 provinces have been passed — Lunenberg (Nova Scotia), Sackville (New Brunswick), Brantford, Alnwick/Haldimand, Trent Hills, Asphodel-Norwood, Tecumseh, Windsor-Essex, Brockville, London, French River, Quinte West (Ontario), Logan Lake, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Trail, and Spallumcheen (British Columbia).

Note: The Sackville Tribune Post reported in August 2010 that, “A number of Sackville residents and members of town council are concerned the risks may simply be too high to allow an exploration company to search for natural gas resources on a tract of land bordering the town. (In July), councillors voted to deny Petroworth Resources Inc. exploration rights to conduct seismic testing on any town-owned land within the Sackville Basin area. The councillors who voted against the testing cited a lack of policies regulating the onshore gas and oil development industry in the province as the reasoning behind their decision, as well as the potential environmental consequences that could result from the drilling process if gas is found.”