The Council of Canadians is calling the Liberal government’s plan to table legislation today to implement the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) all style and no substance.
“Given the process could take another five years in Europe, what’s the rush here other than another photo op?” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “There needs to be a fuller public consultation process on CETA, just as the government has done with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
CETA has been signed (again), but the deal is still facing at least five major obstacles. Thanks to public opposition in Europe and Canada, including from the Council of Canadians, CETA’s investment provisions and ratification are very much in doubt. A German constitutional decision notes that provisional application of the deal can be undone by Germany. Belgium has also said that it can undo provisional application.
“Minister Freeland said in today’s press conference that Belgium has agreed to CETA, but the regional parliaments are still against it. Canadians also have concerns at the provincial and other levels,” says Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Without real public consultations, thoroughly analyzing the agreement, and doing our due diligence in Canada, as Wallonia has, CETA can have no credibility whatsoever.”
In order for CETA to enter into force, the deal must survive ratification votes in the European Parliament, as well as 28 national and 10 regional parliaments. If just one of the parliaments rejects the deal, it is unlikely to go ahead.