Trade deals getting in the way of sustainable planning

OTTAWA, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) shows that trade deals to which Canada has signed are preventing governments from taking responsible action to develop a green economy. One of Canada's largest private sector unions, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) is calling the decision undemocratic and unacceptable.

"True to its habit, the WTO has ruled in favour of foreign companies who claim to be losing profit over the Ontario government's Green Energy Act," said CEP National President Dave Coles. "It has never been so clear that these trade deals put profits first, and people and the planet last."

Today's WTO's ruling is rendered on an appeal filed by Japan and the European Union against Ontario's Green Energy Act. The Act's feed-in tariff system requires electricity generators to source up to 60% of their equipment in the province to be eligible for subsidies.

"The Ontario Green Energy Act was meant to gear the local economy towards production that would simultaneously create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: exactly the kind of program that is needed to combat climate disturbances and high unemployment rates," added Coles. "Losing this appeal is another example of a trade deal hindering our governments' ability to do what's right and a reminder that they should be abandoned."

CEP is the largest union in several key sectors of Canada's economy, including forestry, energy, telecommunications and media. The union's 110,000 members work at a wide variety of jobs in hundreds of different workplaces across the country.

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles, National President, 613-299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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