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CUPE is bringing concerns about the Canada EU trade agreement directly to members of the EU Parliament in Europe this week as part of a delegation of Canadians opposed to the deal. A critical eighth round of negotiations for a “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA) is taking place in Brussels from July 11 to 15.

CUPE staffers Blair Redlin and Carol Ferguson are part of the delegation of Canadian civil society organizations from the Trade Justice Network and Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC).

The trade deal is being negotiated behind closed doors by the Harper government and EU officials.

Key issues are:

  • increased pharmaceutical costs of 2.8 billion dollars annually
  • new corporate rights that override the public interest
  • threats CETA poses to public water
  • loss of democratic rights for municipal  and provincial governments especially with regard to public purchasing

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution on CETA, raising concerns about Canadian asbestos, Canada’s tar sands, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms), among other things.

The Trade Justice Network delegation has come to Europe (London, Brussels and Paris) to lobby Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to meet with unions and civil society groups, and to monitor the negotiations. CETA threatens public services, environmental policy, Indigenous rights, municipal autonomy, farming and cultural policy, jobs and other important areas of social policy.

The delegation includes representatives of CUPE, the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Canadian Labour Congress, NUPGE, and the Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC).

Learn more about the dangers of CETA: