With federal and provincial trade officials getting set to meet in Saskatoon on December 3, CUPE is joining a broad cross-section of Canadian groups to urge governments not to cave in to demands from corporate groups that they be given the right to sue the provinces and territories under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).
CUPE and many other organizations are also calling on the federal government to remove this investor-state dispute process from NAFTA and other bilateral trade treaties Canada has signed, and to refrain from including it in the proposed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Investment treaties have been a disaster globally because of the way they prioritize the protection of property and narrow economic interests over the right to regulate in the public interest.
The investor-state dispute process in NAFTA has allowed U.S. investors, and the occasional Canadian firm registered in the U.S., to bypass Canadian courts and directly challenge health, environmental and resource-related policies before private trade panels. Canada has paid out over $150 million to private investors under this process, with $130 million going to just one company - AbitibiBowater - this year.
The groups listed below released a joint statement asking all governments to deny corporations the ability to sue our provincial and territorial governments.
Alberta Federation of Labour
Canadian Auto Workers’ Union (CAW)
Canadian Conference of the Arts
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
Canadian Health Coalition
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Canadian Union of Public Employees- Ontario
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP)
Council of Canadians
National Farmers Union (NFU)
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour
Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
Ontario Federation of Labour
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL)
Union paysanne of Quebec
United Steelworkers (USW)
Yukon Federation of Labour