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Fisheries and dairy “hush money” won’t fix CETA

Trojan HorseThe Council of Canadians is available for comment on what the organization describes as the federal government’s attempt to use “hush money” to quiet legitimate concerns about the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Yesterday, news reports revealed that Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and Prime Minister Trudeau were close to reaching an agreement on the $280 million promised by the Harper government for the province to give up minimum processing requirements under CETA.

“CETA is still broken. A bit of hush money won’t make CETA work for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” says Ken Kavanagh, spokesperson for the St. John’s chapter of the Council of Canadians, who has been closely following the fisheries developments. “This is basically a short-term bribe to make us keep quiet about CETA killing good jobs in an important industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is not a long-term solution. What is that saying about ‘teach someone to fish’?”

The federal government also announced a $350 million compensation package for the dairy industry today.

“The hush money for the dairy industry is not going to help those smaller farmers who will be put out of business as their revenue plunges,” says Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “That there’s compensation at all is a direct acknowledgement of just how damaging CETA will be.”

The Council of Canadians has been fighting CETA for the past eight years, lobbying against the agreement in Europe and in Canada. The Council has been asking for a proper, independent economic analysis of the agreement, and is concerned the agreement will increase drug prices, extend corporate rights to sue government, lock in privatization, kill buy-local policies and have detrimental effects on key Canadian industries.