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Poll: NDP, Liberal & Green voters support changes to trade deals

CETA Trojan HorseOTTAWA – As party leaders get ready to debate the economy tomorrow, Canadians are looking for an independent voice to cut through the spin about the Canada-Europe trade deal, according to a poll conducted for the Council of Canadians by EKOS Research. Seventy-one per cent support the Parliamentary Budget Officer assessing the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

“Canadians, especially progressive Canadians, want to move beyond partisan rhetoric with an independent analysis of the Canada-Europe trade deal,” says Sujata Dey, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “We want an honest assessment from the Parliamentary Budget Officer of what we’re gaining and what we’re giving up.”

Seventy-seven per cent of Liberal voters backed the idea of an independent assessment, as did 74 per cent of NDP supporters and 65 per cent of Greens. Even 62 per cent of Conservative voters, despite the government’s constant cheerleading for CETA, indicated their support for an assessment.

The poll also asked whether Canadians support controversial investor protections that allow foreign companies to sue governments when legislation or policies, including environmental regulations, reduce corporate profits. Sixty-one per cent oppose these protections and 20 per cent support them. Opposition by party was 71 per cent for Greens, 68 per cent for NDP voters and 60 per cent of Liberals.

“Canadians want a trade deal with Europe, but that doesn’t mean we want multinational corporations suing us every time our government passes a new environmental regulation,” says Dey. “The progressive parties have a chance to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives by demanding fairer trade deals free from corporate lawsuits.”

The poll of 1,092 adults in Canada was conducted online between September 8 and 15 by EKOS Research Inc. and has been statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to census data. A probability sample of this size would have an accuracy of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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IMAGE: Trojan Horse at CETA protests, 2014. Council of Canadians