There is terrific news from the Canadian Labour Congress convention in Vancouver. Yesterday delegates passed this resolution regarding the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA):
Resolutions ESP-20 to ESP-22, ESP-108, ESP-109, and ESP-158: The Committee recommends concurrence in the following composite resolution:
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) will demand that the negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) be fully transparent with opportunity for input from the public;
The CLC will support the call for a full evaluation of the social, environmental, and labour aspects of the proposed agreement;
The CLC will ensure that the proposed agreement will not interfere with the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, protect public services, or create new public programs;
The CLC will oppose the inclusion of investor-State provisions and demand that CETA does not force federal, provincial, or municipal governments to open public procurement to foreign companies;
The CLC will make it a high priority to campaign against a flawed CETA, including by providing support to the Trade Justice Network and local coalitions working to oppose CETA;
The CLC will work with allies in Europe to educate and build opposition in Europe;
The CLC will lobby the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to take a strong public position against CETA's threats to municipal powers;
The CLC will assist Federations of Labour and Labour Councils to persuade provincial governments to exempt municipalities from CETA, working to make CETA a high priority issue in upcoming federal and provincial election campaigns;
Because CETA will reduce the ability of governments, especially local and provincial governments, to act on behalf of citizens, and give new powers to international corporations.
CUPE's Claude Genereux, NUPGE's Larry Brown, CUPE Nova Scotia's Danny Cavanagh, and CAW Thunder Bay's Paul Pugh all spoke in favour of the resolution. Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew helped found the Trade Justice Network, so the CLC's promise to "provide support to the Trade Justice Network and local coalitions working to oppose CETA" is very welcome.
This resolution and others passed by the CLC can be found in their report at http://www.canadianlabour.ca/sites/default/files/pdfs/esp-en.pdf.