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Canada-EU Free Trade: Why is trade committee discussing a secret deal that isn’t finished?

Ottawa – The Council of Canadians has the following to say about a trade committee hearing in Ottawa today on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA):

“The government isn’t giving us anything to help us decide if the Canada-EU deal is in Canada’s best interest. Why is the trade committee debating an agreement that isn’t finished yet, with no real text to study?” says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

“Minister Fast told the trade committee today that CETA is different than any deal ‘anywhere in the world,’ but that there will be no way to alter any of it before it’s signed and brought into law. This is completely unacceptable. Federal and provincial governments have a responsibility to hold public hearings on the EU deal where the input can affect the outcome of the negotiations.”

Trew is travelling to Brussels next week (November 12-15) as part of a Trade Justice Network delegation to discuss the impact CETA will have on public services and environmental policy with European decision-makers and civil society groups. The visit coincides with ongoing negotiations on the investment protection chapter in CETA and a round of U.S.-EU free trade negotiations in Brussels.