Cheerleading CETA won’t fix flaws

NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says when the Liberal government is finished cheerleading the signing of CETA, they should take the time to inform the public of the serious and long-term consequences this agreement will have for the people of the province.

McCurdy was responding to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) coming into effect today.

McCurdy says the agreement’s investor rights provisions put the interests of private corporations ahead of the interest of governments and the public, giving corporations the right to sue governments when they take actions that are aimed at protecting citizens.

“This arrangement opens up procurement for huge multinational corporations. The full negative impact of CETA on the local business community needs to be understood and addressed,” McCurdy said.

McCurdy says government announced they would be doing consultations after the agreement comes into effect. He says there should have been meaningful consultations prior to the implementation of the agreement so there could have been an open and transparent debate with people about the potential consequences.

“One of the main potential advantages associated with CETA was the commitment by the previous federal government to a cost-shared $400-million fisheries fund. Unfortunately, the Liberal government let the federal government off the hook and settled for a share of a $100-million fund available to the four Atlantic provinces,” he said.

In Question Period in March 2017, NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael took government to task for abandoning‎ minimum processing requirements for fish shipped to the European Union and letting the federal government off the hook ‎for its $280-million commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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