April 15, 2010
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
Re: Canada European Union Trade Agreement (CETA)
As negotiators prepare for another session of closed-door CETA talks next week in Ottawa, I am writing to voice the concerns of the Canadian Union of Public Employees about the direction your government is pursuing.
Based on what we know so far, we believe the deal could compromise public services like water, and institutions like public power agencies and provincial liquor boards. The deal will limit democratic control over economic development and other policies set by local and provincial governments such as controls to protect the environment. The effects will be felt in both Canada and Europe.
Moreover, through provisions that we understand your government has put on the table, it will give corporations even more power to sue sovereign governments.
We call on you to immediately halt negotiations on this deal until such time as you have consulted broadly—with more than just business organizations—and achieved a consensus with all Canadian stakeholders.
CUPE also asks that the draft texts of what your government has put on the table be made public - so that all Canadians know what services, institutions and rights your government is prepared to put at risk.
This ill-advised trade agreement could impact many of the public services that Canadians depend on. For this reason, our organization will continue to speak out against CETA.
cc: Michel Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe, Liberal, NDP and Bloc trade critics