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CETA: Canada’s trade minister Chrystia Freeland visits the European Union trade committee, Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow will respond

Maude Barlow in Vienna
Barlow challenges CETA, ISDS and ICS in Vienna, Nov. 2015.

Brussels, Belgium – As CETA, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, heads into the final stretch, perhaps getting to the European Parliament this year, it is obvious that it will be a close vote. It is then no wonder that Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister is in Brussels, Wednesday, before the trade committee.

But while Freeland may have one perspective, calling CETA a “gold standard,” there will be another Canadian perspective in the room, that of Maude Barlow, alternative Nobel Prize winner and veteran trade expert. Barlow opposed Canada’s first free trade agreement with the United States and has written countless books on trade.

Where: Brussels, EU Parliament Room: Paul-Henri Spaak (1A002)
When: Wednesday April 20th
15h-17h30 CET (9am to 11:30 am EST): Chrystia Freeland presents to the INTA committee: Webstream
17h30 CET (11:30 am EST): Maude Barlow will be available to react

“It is important for Europeans to know that Canadians are also asking questions about these types of trade agreements,” says Barlow, “In Canada, there has been no consultation, no debate, and no studies on how CETA will affect Canadians. This government came in with a promise that it would be different. They said they would consult and be transparent. We urge the government to follow up with that promise. Don’t rubber stamp Stephen Harper’s agreement.”

Barlow and her organization, the Council of Canadians, have been campaigning in Canada and the European Union against CETA. Barlow has toured several countries in Europe telling politicians and the public about Canada’s experience with NAFTA — 350,000 lost manufacturing jobs, rising inequality and 37 challenges under investor state dispute provisions, making Canada the world’s most sued developed country in 2014.

Throughout the tour, Maude Barlow will be talking about her report Fighting TTIP, CETA and ISDS: Lessons from Canada, which has been revised and reissued. It has been turned into a five-minute short video which can be found here in English, German, French, Spanish, and Polish (report only).

“For many Europeans, this is their first experience with this kind of ‘new’ trade deal that gives extraordinary powers to foreign corporations. Unfortunately, we in Canada have had over 20 years of experience of NAFTA, so this is not new to us,” says Barlow. “We want to share our experience with Europeans. Like NAFTA, CETA and other deals like it will threaten public services, the environment, food safety, the local economy, and labour regulations on both sides of the Atlantic.”


Contact: Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner, Council of Canadians, +33 7 86 40 32 00, sdey@canadians.org.