Why should Newfoundland and Labrador be concerned about the Harper government’s secret free-trade negotiations with the European Union?
Because they could screw us to the wall.
The same Europeans nations that fished out/raped the Grand
Banks are negotiating a deal with the Government of Canada.
And no one reports to Parliament on the status of negotiations.
In other words, Canada is doing a back-room deal with a group of serial rapists.
How scary is that?
Gus Etegary drove home that point, as only he can, during a Town Hall meeting in St. John’s Wednesday night to publicize the perceived evils (the only documents available are leaked ones) of a Canada/EU free-trade deal.
An 8th round of negotiations over the so-called Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is planned for July 10th in Brussels.
The Council of Canadians, along with CUPE, held the Town Hall (part of a national tour) to warn how such a free-trade deal would be “bad for Canada.”
The Harper government may be about to give the EU access to natural resources such as fish, minerals and water, essentially privatizing them.
The raw material would be shipped to EU countries, made into goods, and sold back to Canada, further weakening the country's manufacturing sector.
Not to mention opening up Canada's $100-billion government procurement market, and waving goodbye to the "buy local" concept.
Multi-national companies could take over our world.
The cost of prescription drugs could also jump by $2.8 billion a year.
The EU reportedly wants major extensions to pharmaceutical drug patents, which experts predict will dramatically increase the price of drugs.
Here’s a quote from Paul Moist, national president of CUPE: “Our country is worth fighting for. We can’t leave it to secret negotiations.”
And a quote from Etchegary: “Foreigners will effectively be taking control of the Grand Banks.”
What's left anyway.
Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, described CETA as a “grab for Canadian resources.”
She said such a deal would remove export restrictions on raw fish, and give access to EU foreign countries to buy up fishing licences.
Said Barlow: “This model is wrong for the world. Privatization of everything is killing the planet.”
The federal New Democrats, led on the trade front by critic Robert Chisholm, are keeping a close eye on Canada/EU free-trade talks.
I've asked him to keep a closer eye on East Coast fish stocks.
It should be an interesting fall in the House of Commons.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Sue Kelland-Dyer attended the Town Hall, sporting a seal-skin purse.
Said Sue to Etchegary: “She (the seal from which the purse was made ) isn’t eating cod anymore.”
All the more for foreign fleets.