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Details of a sweeping new Canada-EU trade agreement remain under wraps – or yet to be finalized – but that didn’t stop the Conservative government from holding a launch party with its corporate friends.

Trade minister Ed Fast touted the deal at Canadian Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday morning. Events like this make it clear corporate lobbyists know more about what’s in the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) than members of parliament, or all Canadians.

Full details of CETA remain a tightly-guarded secret. CUPE and its allies are calling on Prime Minister Harper to release the full CETA text.

Leaks reveal deal’s dangers

Later the same day, corporate representatives filled the House of Commons visitors’ gallery as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government unveiled a “technical summary” that doesn’t shed much light on what’s been traded away.

Throughout negotiations, leaked documents have shown the dangers the deal poses to public services, local governments and the environment.

The far-reaching deal would for the first time bind municipalities to international rules affecting how local governments spend public money. Local content or local hiring policies attached to contracts, or occasional “Buy Canadian” rules would be banned.

Leaks also reveal CETA would encourage and lock in privatization of vital public services like water and wastewater systems – a key demand of powerful European multinational water corporations.

CETA will also give European corporations the right to sue governments for decisions that affect the profitability of their investments. If CETA is signed, European investors will be able to challenge public regulation and decision-making in secret tribunals, suing for compensation.

There’s still time to stop CETA

With a two-year timeline to finalize, ratify and implement CETA, there’s still time to stop this dangerous deal.

CUPE is mobilizing with our allies to stop the ratification and implementation of CETA. At our national convention, delegates passed a resolution calling on CUPE to work with Canadian and European coalition partners to demand the full CETA text; call for a democratic debate and public consultation; and pressure provincial and municipal governments to demand an opt-out.

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