The public services committee or “intergroup” of the European Parliament has come out strongly in favour of Canada’s public services. Their recent news release entitled “Long live Canadian public services!” raises concerns about CETA, the proposed Canada EU trade agreement, and the precedent it sets to include all services in the deal.
“Public services are not like other services,” said Chair of the Public Services Intergroup, Françoise Castex. “Their exemption from international free trade agreements removes the risk of their being subject to international competition.”
Castex called on the European Commission to respect this precedent in their negotiations.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the largest union federation in the European Union, has been actively lobbying Parliament in support of public services in light of CETA negotiations. EPSU represents eight million public service workers in more than 250 unions.
CUPE and the Council of Canadians continue their CETA cross-country tour in opposition to the deal with stops in three cities scheduled for June. Town hall meetings will be held in Winnipeg, Halifax, and St. John’s.
Meetings have already been held in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Saskatoon with plans now underway for the fall.