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Nova Scotia Government leaves out important public services from Canada-EU trade offer: Council of Canadians

Halifax – The Council of Canadians, commenting on Canada-European Union trade documents leaked last week, is calling on the Dexter government to explain why it has not carved out drinking and wastewater services from its offers to the EU in the ongoing Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations.

“The Dexter government wants to hold onto its right to set energy, gambling and liquor policy in the future but is telling EU water firms the province is open for business,” says Angela Giles, Halifax-based Atlantic regional organizer with the Council of Canadians. “Protecting the right to supply energy however the province sees fit is important, but the government needs to explain why water is less important than gambling and booze.”

“At the very least the Dexter government should revise its offers to better protect our public water systems,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But really what needs to happen is for all provincial governments to make the CETA negotiations democratic and transparent. What kind of trade deal asks local governments to restrict how they provide essential public services? We fear it’s a deal designed to help multinational corporations take over and run these services for a profit.”  

The Council of Canadians and Canadian Union of Public Employees have issued a briefing note on the leaked offers and water services, which is available in French and English. The note recommends:

“We are asking all provincial governments to correct this mistake by fully excluding drinking water and wastewater services from their Canada‐EU trade offers. We also urge the provinces to withdraw their support from the CETA negotiations until the public and other elected officials have had a chance to review these offers.”

For a link to the initial Nova Scotia and other Canadian offers to the EU, see http://tradejustice.ca.

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