The Liberal government shouldn’t pretend recently announced changes “fix” the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
“The worst parts of CETA’s corporate rights rules are alive and well, and living under an assumed name,” says Mark Hancock, national president of CUPE, in response to changes to the agreement announced Feb. 29.
“The process might have a different name and the edges might look softer, but foreign corporations still have unprecedented power to sue our government. CETA still lets foreign corporations sidestep Canadian courts, and cuts ordinary Canadians out of the process. Our public court system is the fair and accountable way to handle any disputes about government policy,” says Hancock.
Canada is already the most-sued developed country under existing investor rights rules in NAFTA.
Changes to CETA’s investor-rights rules do nothing to address the deal’s other fundamental flaws, ones that favour corporations over Canadians every time:
- Increase the cost of pharmaceuticals in our health care system by a $1 billion or more per year
- Put our public services at risk by making it harder to reverse failed privatizations or expand public services in the future
- Limit the rights of provinces, municipalities, schools and hospitals to get the most out of their procurement spending by favouring local goods and services