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Winnipeg chapter tweets CETA-themed Valentine’s Day wishes to NDP leadership candidates

Winnipeg CETA

Winnipeg chapter activist Mary Robinson speaks outside the Manitoba Legislature, February 2012.

The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter is asking the three candidates who are seeking to lead the Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP) and in turn the Government of Manitoba to oppose the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and its investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.

They are hoping Premier Greg Selinger will change his mind about supporting CETA and that the two candidates seeking his job – Theresa Oswald (the former Minister of Jobs and the Economy) and Steve Ashton (the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation) – will take a position against CETA.

@CanadiansWPG has tweeted:

The web-link the chapter is sharing in these tweets takes people to an 8-minute video the chapter produced in February 2012 that features a CETA-themed Valentine’s Day delivery to Premier Selinger’s office at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg.

The CBC has reported, “After the delegate selection process ends on Feb. 25, it is estimated that approximately 2,217 delegates will be eligible to vote on the leadership of the party on March 8.” The Winnipeg Free Press adds, “By Monday [February 16] night, 13 NDP riding associations will have elected more than 500 delegates to vote at the party’s leadership convention…” Preliminary results from February 8, with just 9 of the 57 riding associations reporting, show 105 delegates committing to Ashton, 72 to Oswald and 0 to Selinger.

The outcome of the leadership vote could provide a new opportunity, particularly in light of Newfoundland and Labrador taking its dispute with the Harper government over CETA and the fisheries fund to European officials. The next provincial election in Manitoba is likely to take place on April 19, 2016, which could be around the time of ratification votes for CETA in Europe.

The chapter’s tweets provide an alternative view to those coming from @Canada2EU, the Mission of Canada to the European Union. They have tweeted, “Once #CETA comes into force, chocolate will flow tariff-free between Canada & #EU #ValentinesDay”. Tariff-free chocolates or protection from an undemocratic investor-state clause that allows transnational corporations to sue governments for billions of dollars in future profits affected by public interest legislation? A Savoy truffle in exchange for a corporate hustle?

For information on our campaign to stop the ratification of CETA, please click here.