This morning in Brussels, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President of the European Commission, Jose Manual Barroso announced conclusion of the agreement, in principle, of the Canada-EU CETA.
“While critical details of this Agreement are still being kept from the public, I am profoundly concerned with some of the core measures that have already been announced”, said Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada.
This agreement will undermine Canadian dairy farmers and producers, restrict local decision-making by municipal governments on procurement, and drive up prescription drug prices for all Canadians in order to protect the interests of massive European pharmaceutical corporations.
Further, like the Canada-China FIPA, a central element of the CETA consists of an anti-democratic Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, allowing foreign corporations to sue Canada and challenge democratically-passed Canadian laws that impede their profits.
“Prior to this Agreement, Europe has had the good sense to avoid these dangerous investor-state agreements, which are rapidly falling out of favour internationally”, said Elizabeth May, “but Prime Minister Harper seems bound and determined to tie the hands of future Canadian governments – national, provincial, and municipal. The devil can’t be in the details, because we’ve already now seen it in the summary”.