Citizen Action Monitor

CETA deal signed but not yet sealed and delivered

Leadnow highlights 6 potential ways for Canadian and EU opponents to stop CETA in its tracks.

No 1895 Posted by fw, February 17, 2017

I have some bad news, and some good news. The bad news is that, this week, both the European Parliament and the Canadian House of Commons ignored public opposition by passing CETA – a risky and extreme trade and investment deal that will cost thousands of jobs, drive up the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and allow multinationals to sue us for millions when our laws affect their profits. What’s worse, Canada’s Trade Minister called CETA “a deal for the people” — when we know it’s anything but…. But the fight is far from over. As the agreement moves on to the Senate in Canada, legal challenges, referendums, and other people-powered obstacles still stand in the way of CETA becoming fully enforced. Opposition to CETA is strong. There’s a powerful network of organizations and people-powered movements — in Europe and Canada — who are not giving up on this fight. Brittany Smith, Leadnow

Trudeau ignores ordinary Canadians’ overwhelming opposition to CETA and tips his hat to big business. Welcome to the neo-Liberal’s oligarchy.

But CETA ain’t over ‘til it’s cleared 6 more hurdles.

Brittany’s email is copied below. Subheadings have been added to identify the 6 potential deal-breakers. Inline hyperlinks have been added to supplement the endnotes.

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Update CETA (email) from Brittany Smith, Leadnow.ca, February 17, 2017

Dear Frank,

I have some bad news, and some good news.

The bad news is that, this week, both the European Parliament and the Canadian House of Commons ignored public opposition by passing CETA – a risky and extreme trade and investment deal that will cost thousands of jobs, drive up the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and allow multinationals to sue us for millions when our laws affect their profits.

What’s worse, Canada’s Trade Minister called CETA “a deal for the people” — when we know it’s anything but. [1] The Trudeau Liberals can feel the weight of our people-powered pressure, and they are using this “flip of the script” in order justify their bad decisions.

But the fight is far from over.

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As the agreement moves on to the Senate in Canada, legal challenges, referendums, and other people-powered obstacles still stand in the way of CETA becoming fully enforced. Opposition to CETA is strong. There’s a powerful network of organizations and people-powered movements — in Europe and Canada — who are not giving up on this fight.

Here’s a snapshot of the road ahead:

1/ CETA must now be ratified by every EU member state – all it takes it one NO vote to scuttle the deal

Although CETA passed the European Parliament, it now has to be ratified by the national and regional legislatures in every EU member state. CETA opponents only need one parliament to vote no, and there’s good reason to believe this will happen. [2] Keep on reading to find out why!

2/ Wallonia has reiterated its promise to vote NO if its conditions are not met

Paul Magnette, the leader of Wallonia (the Belgian region that derailed the deal last October) has reiterated its promise to vote against CETA unless the conditions it laid out for ratification are met. [3]

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One of the conditions includes changes to CETA’s dangerous investor rights chapter, which would give multinationals special rights to sue entire countries when laws or policies get in the way of corporate profits. Wallonia will reject this mechanism unless substantive changes are made to it.

If Wallonia votes no, Belgium cannot vote yes. [4]

3/ Belgium’s approval is conditional upon EU Court of Justice ruling that CETA complies with EU law

Belgium is also sending CETA to the European Court of Justice, to get a ruling on whether the investment court is in compliance with EU law. [5] If the court rules it doesn’t comply with EU, then it cannot move forward.

4/ Opponents in Germany are confident they can push politicians to defeat CETA

In Germany, our sister organizations are confident they can push politicians to defeat CETA in Germany’s upper chamber, the Bundesrat.

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5/ Canadian constitutional lawyer is challenging CETA on grounds it’s unconstitutional

Here in Canada, a constitutional lawyer has launched a challenge to CETA on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional. The lawyer who launched the claim has a history of successfully challenging Ottawa. [6]

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6/ Netherlands’ activists are working hard to trigger a national referendum to defeat CETA. And there’s talk of referendums in other EU countries

Activists in the Netherlands have gathered almost two-thirds of the 300,000 signatures it needs to trigger a national referendum on CETA, which is likely to produce a strong ‘no to CETA’ vote. [7] There is talk of a referendum in Ireland and other EU member states.

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In sum, there are still plenty of opportunities to stop CETA for good. This is not the end.  Trade agreements like CETA are big, complex issues that take a long time to defeat — and for every setback, we grow stronger as a movement. This is the message I want to leave you today.

With hope and respect,

Brittany and Katelynn, on behalf of the entire Leadnow team

P.S. Thank you again to the 726 donors who pitched in to get your hard-hitting CETA ad in the Hill Times on Monday.  Even though the Liberals ultimately passed it, this ad on top of all the other actions we’ve taken together will make it more difficult for the government to do this next time. They’ve spent political capital on approving CETA this week — and it will cost them in the future. Here’s your CETA ad:

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Sources

[1] CETA approved Wednesday, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ceta-approved-wednesday-1.3983494

[2] European Parliament votes 408-254 in favour of CETA, but major obstacles remain, https://canadians.org/blog/european-parliament-votes-408-254-favour-ceta-major-obstacles-remain

[3] https://twitter.com/PaulMagnette/status/831840600638885888

[4] Trudeau signs CETA in Brussels, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prime-minister-trudeau-signs-canada-eu-trade-deal-in-brussels/article32586423/

[5] European Parliament votes 408-254 in favour of CETA, but major obstacles remain, https://canadians.org/blog/european-parliament-votes-408-254-favour-ceta-major-obstacles-remain

[6] Rocco Galati files constitutional challenge against Canada-EU trade deal,, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rocco-galati-ceta-court-challenge-1.3819516

[7] Dutch campaigners gather signatures to derail EU-Canada trade deal, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/04/dutch-campaigners-eu-canada-trade-deal-referendum

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2017 by in evidence based counterpower, information counterpower, NGO counterpower, political action and tagged , .
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