New CETA video aims to spark debate as crucial vote approaches

April 14, 2016
Media Release

Ottawa, Canada and Berlin, Germany – A new video is set to spark debate on CETA (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with the deal on the verge of a vote this year in the European Parliament, where opponents hope it will be defeated.

Today, the Council of Canadians, in partnership with the European Initiative Stop TTIP, is launching CETA: Lessons from Canada, a five-minute animation. Using a technique known as "handimation," the short video gives a comprehensive background on the controversial deal, known to many as TTIP 1.0.

The video is narrated by Maude Barlow, alternative Nobel Prize recipient and anti-globalization leader. Barlow is also an acclaimed author and chairperson of the Council of Canadians. It is based on her report: Fighting TTIP, CETA and ISDS: Lessons from Canada, which has been revised and reissued.  The video and report 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 other deals like it are destructive to public services, the environment, food safety, the local economy, and labour regulations on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Barlow is currently in Europe for an 11-day speaking tour to help strengthen opposition to the ratification of CETA among both elected officials and the general public. 

The new video also enters into the debate on the proposed changes to the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. On the rebranding of ISDS, the video says, “But didn’t we hear that the EU Commission changed ISDS? Well, they changed the name. Now, they are calling the three arbitrators judges. And they will be selected differently. But a fresh coat of paint… doesn’t change the basic problem. Foreign corporations would still have rights that no one else has. “

The European Initiative Stop TTIP has been a major critic of the agreement, garnering almost 3.5 million signatures on their petition asking the European Parliament to reject CETA and TTIP. The petition can be found in several different languages at stop-ttip.org.

“This video shows people exactly what we in Europe have feared about CETA. Our Canadian friends remind us that what they say is true: Canadians and Europeans have similar values. What the commission doesn’t realize is that these values are being attacked by this type of so called ‘free trade’ agreement,” concludes Michael Efler, Campaign Coordinator of the European Initiative Stop TTIP.

The video was made possible through the generous support of the JMG Foundation. It was made by Hand on a Whiteboard.

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Contacts:

The Council of Canadians: Dylan Penner, Media Officer, +1 613-795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org or Sujata Dey +33 7 86 40 32 00, sdey@canadians.org.

Stop TTIP: Anne Dänner, Press Officer, +49 178 8163017, press@stop-ttip.org

Click here for the tour itinerary.